Review by ganstamaori
"An improved sequel that ties up lose ends nicely."
A few months ago I bought Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn and started to play it extensively. I found it an all around enjoyable game, and thought it made an unnecessary, but still enjoyable sequel to it's predecessor, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
To those who are unfamiliar with Fire Emblem games, the graphics are shown in a number of ways. First there are basic pictures of the characters when they are talking, and on the battle map there are animations of the characters, which get the job done. But where Radiant Dawn shines is with the fight scenes. When two characters engage in a fight, it zooms in towards them fighting it out. Lastly the graphics are the best during the cinematic. The animations for the 'movies' take on an anime feel.
The sound for the game is pretty good, and has different sounds for different things. When you see a certain character, his own unique theme plays. When a character of yours is killed, sad, slow, music plays. It goes with the game well, but doesn't make me want to download the soundtrack to my ipod, like a number of other games.
I saw in another review that the reviewer complained that all the game was about was the battles, with the addition of the menu beforehand. But when you think about it, this is a strategy game. You're not going to be running around a world map cutting monsters up with a sword. You outfit your soldiers, and then you engage in the battle, and go to compete your mission.
Anyway, the game play takes place on a grid made up of squares. Each square has a type of terrain, like forest, or water. These can effect things like the defense you get from standing there, or your movement. On each map you get missions to complete, such as survive for 7 turns, seize gate, protect gate for 12 turns, etc. So your job is to carry out your mission, whether you position your men defensively and wait the enemy out, or slowly push forward in formation towards the enemy gate, withstanding the assault of the enemy and countering their reinforcements. Another thing is that if one of your characters die, they stay dead. Unless they are important to the plot, then they retreat and you just can't use them again. You get game over if your main character dies.
Lastly, a thing that the makers added which makes the game fun is the ability to carry over data from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. This means that your characters will be stronger when you get them.
The plot is carried on from Path of Radiance, so it would be better to play that game first, but it is not necessary. In comparison to other fire emblem games, it is pretty good, but not the best. I will try not to spoil the outcome of the previous game. You start with a handful of characters who are fighting to liberate their kingdom, and as the story unfolds, familiar faces from the prequel come in to the story as the conflict of the land grows.
I know I was vague, but I dislike spoilers, and it wouldn't be very nice to do it myself. The only downside to the plot is that it shifts between characters quite a few times. So you don't spend the whole game with your favorite characters, and often you don't have enough missions to train your team.
Rent or Buy:
Up to you really. If you buy it, you have time to replay it, to unlock the 'secret' characters. I would say buy, but that's because I always come back to games in later years.
The final score is 9/10 because I don't think it had enough new features. Mind you, it is still a brilliant game, and I recommend it to you.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/08/08
Game Release: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (AU, 04/10/08)
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