Review by Pastulio_

"Great strategy game"


The Fire Emblem series, a series of Turn Based Strategy games, has always been popular in Japan. Unfortunately, only 3 of the games have made it to the United States. Those games are Fire Emblem 7, Fire Emblem 8:The Sacred Stones, and Fire Emblem 9: Path of Radiance(FE:PoR). Here is a little description of Turn Based Strategy games in case you do not know what they are. Turn Based Strategy games are games where a player has control over a number of units, who can move, attack, etc. on their turn. Most of the time, when one player loses all their units, it's game over. Sounds easy, but it's much more complicated. You need to use strategy in these games. Don't get lazy, or all your units will wind up dead, for good.

Graphics and Sound 9/10

FE:PoR uses cell-shading, but not as cartoony as games like Tales of Symphonia or Wind Waker. Dialogue parts are really just 2-D characters talking with each other. These parts are a little detailed, but nothing to special. Battles have more detail then the dialogue parts. However, some of the characters are blocky. FE:PoR has a few FMV parts. These are very good, detailed characters, detailed back rounds, everything looks wonderful.

PoR's sound is also good. The music is never boring and it suits whats happening very well. For the FMV's however, the voice acting is so soft, that if you want to clearly hear what they are saying, you may have to turn the volume on the T.V. way up. Overall, both graphics and sounds for PoR are good.

Story 10/10

What a great story! PoR's story starts out simple, you are Ike, a member of the Greil Mercenaries. You work for your father doing various jobs. But just as you a getting the feel of mercenary life, a war breaks out, and Ike, his father, and all the mercenaries get caught right in the middle of it. The story has a few twists and turns and is very good. Enjoy!

Gameplay 9/10

As said before, PoR is a TBS game. You units are placed on a battlefield divided into squares. Your units can move only on their turn. A turn is divided into 4 phases. First is the Player Phase, where you move your units, then the Partner Phase when partner units move, the Enemy Phase, where enemy units move and lastly the Other Phase, where everyone else moves.

When when unit attacks another one, a battle occurs. First the attacker attacks, then the attacked attacks, in some cases, a unit may double up and attack twice in one battle. If one of your units is killed, too bad they are gone, for good. If you want them back, you will have to start the chapter over. Be very careful with your units.

For your units to attack, they need to have weapons. The for weapons are swords, lances, axes, and bows. Some weapons have advantages over each other. Sword beats axe, axe beats lance, lance beats sword. Bows are good and bad against nothing. Mages can use spells. The spells are Fire, Wind, Thunder, and Light. They are good and bad against each other just like weapons. Fire beats Wind, Wind beats Thunder, and Thunder beats Fire. Light is neutral. As you use weapons and spells, they eventually break, then you can't use them anymore, so always keep extras!

The game is divided into chapters. Each chapter normally has one battle. When you win the battle, you clear the chapter. After a certain event, before each battle you can buy weapons, give characters items, and distribute Bonus EXP. Bonus EXP is EXP you get when you clear a chapter, before each battle, you can give it to characters to help them level up. This is good if one character is falling behind.

To win a battle, you must either kill all enemy units, capture a certain area, defend for a certain number of turns, get any character to a spot withing 15 turns, or defeat the boss. You will encounter each one many times.

Replay 9/10

This game is fun. When you beat it, you will want to play it again. With an easy, normal and hard mode (or Maniac mode if you have a Japanese copy) this game will last you a while. If you want to unlock everything, you must beat the game 15 times! Get to work!

Overall: 9/10

Wonderful Fire Emblem game. Get it if you own a Gamecube.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/06/06

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