Review by Bl4ckflare
An addictive challenging turn based strategy with a story worth playing for.
Fire Emblem - Radiant Dawn, the 10th installment in the long running Fire Emblem series, the 4th to be released outside Japan. It continues the story of the previous game that was released on the Gamecube, Path of Radiance.
The presentation is impressive with a great introduction cut-scene. But there on after you might be disappointed with in-game graphics. Graphics however don't make a game.
The gameplay is straightforward and easy to catch onto, and is addictive, like any other Fire Emblem game, you are stressed not to lose any of your units, if you do they are lost forever - which can be a pain as you can get attached to these characters. There's the usual rock-paper-scissors system, involved, and now height effects how well you do in battle.
However the level up system which involves set percentages can be completely screw up your characters - for example your mage may have 30% chance to increase speed every level but you sometimes won't get a +1 speed until 10 more level ups can be very frustrating. But make no mistake, the simple addictive gameplay of Fire Emblem does not disappoint.
This is where the game downfalls, the cut-scenes (which appear ever so sparsely) are very impressive and look great unfortunately the in-game graphics on the other hand dont even look half as good and is very similar to the Gamecube Fire Emblem. Sadly most critical attacks dont have much wow factor to them as they did in the GBA version (most, not all). There is no doubt that Radiant Dawn is an improvement though, the animations look smoother, there's more detail in models and the map environment but nothing above par.
You can use the wiimote, classic controller or the Gamecube controller, all controls are straightforward and easy to remember just like playing a SNES. Not so much a big loss, but for those that wanted motion sensing stuff or point and click movement will be at the loss.
You can't go wrong with Fire Emblem soundtracks, there's an nice range of soundtracks to match the mood, different battle music which keep you humming. The sound effects of swords clashing onto armor, or spears missing that fighter aren't too impressive but nonetheless do the job well.
Fire emblems are widely known for a deep and compelling story, Radiant Dawn delivers. Some may argue that its dull and predictable and yes some parts are but there are parts which hit the epic scale as well. The story starts 3 years after the previous game (PoR) and starts off with the Dawn Brigade a small group led by Micaiah. The first lord you meet in this game and is a spellcaster to boot, which is out of the usual for Fire Emblem games. The Dawn Brigade stand up for their country, Daien which is being overruled by the Begnion Empire after losing the war against neighbouring nation Crimea 3 years back.
There is none. =(
To some it's worth playing through twice, to some it's just too lengthy. 50 hours or so of replaying doesn't look to appealing but there are... differences in a second playthrough so you be the judge.
Overall 8.5/10 (NOT AN AVERAGE, round up to 9)
If you like a good strategy backed up with a great story, there is no other game for you. Those new to the series might stay away from this as it is very challenging, even easy mode could be a tad difficult. Difficulty however is sometimes a good point, a challenge is needed once in awhile. Though no doubt overall it is a great game, graphics could've been better but hey, like I said, graphics don't make a game.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (AU, 04/10/08)
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