Nintendo released the demo for “Fire Emblem Awakening” recently and if there were some who were on the fence about it, there’s a pretty good chance that is no longer the case. For anyone that is familiar with the series they will immediately feel at home with “Fire Emblem Awakening”. The game still has the basic rock paper scissors weapon system, still has the same turn-based style, and you can still lose your characters forever if they die (unless you’re playing on casual mode).
Basically, if you love the “Fire Emblem” series you will love “Fire Emblem Awakening”. If you hate the series… well you won’t find anything different here. “Fire Emblem Awakening” simply brings the “Fire Emblem” series to 3DS, and boy does it make use of the new technology available to it.
It was a bit disappointing to find that strategist customization wasn't in the demo, but there seems like there will be quite a few different options to choose from. Luckily, there were many other things to check out. First off, and arguably most important, is the 3D. It is well done, everything from the story scenes to the overhead view of the battlefield is 3D capable and it is fun to look at. During story scenes you actually feel like you’re standing there talking with the rest of your group. The overhead view of the battlefield has never been this dynamic in previous portable entries of the series. 2D buildings and characters on the field instantly become 3D and it really feels like you’re simply riding a wyvern giving air support.
Even so, as with pretty much anything 3D if you look at it for an extended amount of time while playing you may find yourself getting a bit of a headache. If that’s the case you may want to take a quick break or turn off the 3D for a few minutes.
The graphics have been overhauled in every area compared to previous portable installments, though some are immensely more noticeable than others, such as the story scenes and the cutscenes which show the attacks happening. In those cases the graphics give the Gamecube game a run for its money although they are a bit chibi in nature. Needless to say it is a far cry from previous titles not on a major console. Add in the 3D and it draws you in unlike any previous title portable or not.
Sound wise the voice acting was fine, and a few familiar tunes of the series popped up, but the constant “Huh?” “What?” “Right.” or various grunts quickly became annoying during story scenes. Instead of completely voice acting the words you’re reading the voice cast will throw out these one-liners or simply grunt. It may have been a better choice to just not have them say anything, or at least make it less frequent, as few if any really add anything to the experience. The fully voiced movies are amazing though and are also in 3D.
All in all “Fire Emblem Awakening” adds in a few new tricks while not changing the formula of a popular series. Playing the demo definitely made the wait until the game releases on Feb. 4 feel that much longer, and if the demo is any indication players will not be disappointed with it.
Have you played the demo? What did you think of it? Wish something was different? Don’t be shy leave a comment below!