Review by VirtuousYoda

"Don't listen to some of the media reviews"

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is a sequel to the Gamecube game: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. So if you haven't played the first one, and are reading this review, you probably should hit the back button on your computer, type in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and start reading some reviews for that game. As it is very necessary that you play the first one before playing this version. Not only for the story, but because you will need to beat Path of Radiance, to test to see if you can live up to the challenge of Radiant Dawn. Because this is a pretty tough game if you want to keep everyone in your party alive.
The story in this game follows up on what Path of Radiance had, with all the old characters, plus some new ones of course. Some of the media reviews for this game say, "the story is bland".... Well, if you never played the first one, you're probably not gonna have any motivation to read the story in this game. And personally in my opinion this game's story is even better than Path of Radiance's. Especially once you get close to the end. So I really don't understand why anyone would say the "story is bland" when it's actually better than it's original's story. Unless of course, you thought that Path of Radiance's story was bland as well.
Every Fire Emblem's gameplay is basically the same. They're strategy RPG's that well... actually make you use a lot of strategy. In Fire Emblem, every move you make is very crucial to keeping your characters alive. So you have to actually use everything this game has to offer. Which this game does not offer a whole lot of, but it's simple to understand gameplay, but is very hard to master.

Even though this game's gameplay is basically the same as all Fire Emblem game's there have been a few tweaks. Such as Elevation. You can now climb atop certain areas of the map. Plus if you use an archer, and shoot from atop or below these areas, you will deal some extra damage. Another minor difference is that they've added a third class to the game. This is a sequel to Path of Radiance so to make it feel like it, they started most of the characters on their second class, so that way, when they reach lv 20, they can actually keep getting stronger. However the neat thing they've added is that once a character reach's his third class he gains a cool special ability. Which will have the enemy begging for mercy, but it's too late... he's already dead.
Most of the media reviews say that, "The graphics are gamecube's graphics". Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn's graphics are certainly not graphics you would see on the PS3 or Xbox 360, but their graphics are, in my opinion, better than gamecube's graphics. They are Wii graphics. Which are decent, and with a game like this, it's not necessary to have the ultimate graphics. You just have to have graphics that are good enough.
I know that you're probably wanting to ask a specific question. Does this game use motion sensing? I'll gladly answer that and say that it does not use any motion sensing. So they've given you the option to choose whether you want to use the Wii Remote, the Gamecube Controller, or the classic controller. And of course the media complains because there is no motion sensing. I, personally, would rather not have any motion sensing in a game like this at all. I mean, yes the main focus of the Wii is to have motion sensing for all their games, and have good controls and all, but for a game like Fire Emblem, it's just not necessary.
As you can see I did not give this game a perfect rating, so that means... you guessed it, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn "does" have a couple minor flaws. Now, I understand that Fire Emblem games are supposed to be hard and all, but this one in particular is just sometimes ridiculous. It's still very fun, but at times can become a nuisance to deal with the floods of enemy reinforcements every other turn. And they don't add minor enemies that are easy, it's always got to be something like Pegasus Knights or Dragon Riders or some Mage that can hit you from half the map. And on top of that they have many battles with fog in them, which if you played the Sacred Stones you would know what I am talking about. Plus there are battles with mages that can sleep you from half the map, and I mean this game can get ridiculous at times.

Also, I realize that some people would be very disappointed to see that they still mostly use the character portraits with a backdrop and some text with no voice overs to tell their story. However, this game does have a lot more animated cut scenes than the original game did, and they actually have some scenes where they use they use 3D graphics for their characters to tell story, unlike in the original game, they only had about 2 scenes like that. But it would still be better if they used even more animated cut scenes.

In Path of Radiance you had one party and you gained tons of party members and such. Well in Radiant Dawn the game is separated into four parts, and you have 3 different parties. Which is a cool feature, but the reason that I sometimes don't like it, is that it doesn't allow you to "build your party" as much as Path of Radiance did. Certain characters that you need to use in the beginning that are not so good characters, will just never get good, simply because you won't have the time to build them up to be anything good. So you might as well just sacrifice them later on in the game, because they really become useless.

So overall, this is a great Fire Emblem game. It might be just a "tad" bit better than Path of Radiance, but still provides about the same amount of entertainment. Just make sure you prepare, because this is a long game. It took me about 60 hours to beat it.

If you would like to know how I rated this game you may read the following:
The game starts out as a 10/10 then
-.5 points for not using fully animated cutscenes
-.3 points for the game being too difficult
-.3 points for not having much option to build your party
that leaves us with an 8.9 for a rating which is closest to a 9.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/01/08

Game Release: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (US, 11/05/07)

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