Review by Mairuzu
To be honest, I'm a Fire Emblem fan, so the score might be a little biased. Well, I use fan in the loosest sense. I haven't played every single game, not even every title released in English. In all honesty though, this game is great. The few changes made to this game are both good and bad, hurting and maintaining the tried and true formula.
The game takes place three years after the Gamecube title, Path of Radiance. A girl named Micaiah, the green haired thief, Sothe and the rest of the Dawn Brigade fight the Begnion Empire for independence. There's more to the story than just that, as the game is divided into four different parts, each with its own story, though all stories will be merged in the end. Plot wise, the game is fine, though its story isn't as moving as its predecessor. In Path of Radiance, certain events (which I will not say due to it being a spoiler) made you really want to fight the war, made the game, as other reviews put it, compelling, which is in short supply in Radiant Dawn.
Graphically, the game is below average. The in game graphics look slightly better than Path of Radiance, which isn't saying much. The cel-shaded cut scenes are very pretty however, and are quite a treat. Considering the Wii's capabilities, they could have made it look much better.
Gameplay is similar to the other Fire Emblem titles. You move your characters around the map, engaging enemies and gaining experience. The age old strategy-RPG. Characters are still lost once they die, which keeps the game quite crisp and intense. You'll want to plan each battle perfectly so everyone survives. The game is divided into chapters which are further divided into four parts, with each chapter being a new map and mission. The game is quite lengthy, longest game in the series. One thing that is a bit of an annoyance is that when the game jumps from different chapters your characters switch off for other to further the story. Also, you're able to save mid-battle in Radiant Dawn, so you can restart from a saved point in the battle in case you mess up (like me). I kind of wish they implemented some sort of Wii functionality, maybe pointing and clicking where you want your units to go, but the game is fine without it.
Radiant Dawn is average in the sound department. The music is a little bland and repetitive, but not so mind-numbing that it'll annoy you. Voice acting isn't great, but the narration in-between chapters is a nice touch. When the characters talk during the cut-scenes, their voices are still slightly softer than the background music, but the sub-titles remedy that slightly.
Overall, the game is great. Amazing, really. It's still the same Fire Emblem that people have grown to love, though the formula is beginning to wear thin. The only reason I'm not giving this a 10 is due to the graphics, which could have been better, and because of the story. Still, this is worth checking out if you like strategy games or RPGs. It's challenging, but fun, and provides a solid amount entertainment. Definitely worth it if you have a Wii.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/13/07
Game Release: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (US, 11/05/07)
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