Is Fire Emblem Engage’s direction good for the future of the franchise?
#Fire #Emblem #Engages #direction #good #future #franchise Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:
The new Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Engage appears to be something of an anniversary crossover game. Through the power of Emblems, new heroes can join forces with the old heroes (read: the lords of the last 15 games) in a grand new adventure to slay an evil dragon. The fact that it has my boy, my boy, Lief, is already a selling point for me.
But I’m just a little worried about the direction the game is going.
I don’t want this article to just pose about how “modern Fire Emblem is bad”. Since my favorite Fire Emblem game is Thracia 776 and I’m still complaining that we haven’t had a Fire Emblem game built around classic mode since DS, I’ll have to fight hard to make this one to refute allegations.
Anyway, to talk about Engage we have to talk about a few previous games in the series. Namely Fire Emblem Fates and Fire Emblem Three Houses.
Fire Emblem Fates uses a “My Castle” system. To avoid filling up the actual world of Fates, which notoriously lacks a name or specific boundaries, you can pause between chapters on your vacant lot between dimensions. As you walk through your castle, you can talk to your allies, open shops to buy items between chapters, forge more powerful weapons, buy accessories for your characters, enter daily lotteries, preset materials from farming fields, and a betting arena obtain which you can use your materials upon.
You can go to other people’s castles via the online feature to use their facilities and get extra materials, and fighting or completing a fight resets your farm tiles, lotteries, etc., which creates a nice rhythm. You run a fight and instead of going straight to the next map, you’re presented with a small base screen that’s more than just a menu before you jump off.
Honestly, I hope that when they redesign Genealogy of The Holy War they make the castles or villages small explorable areas with similar mechanics to Fates or Echoes to help break up this game’s massive maps.
Fire Emblem Three Houses went a few steps further with the central area of the monastery. In Three Houses, you can roam the war school, talk to the students, eat with them, drink tea, find and hand over lost items, and go fishing. This all seems pretty funny at first glance. You have limited slots to do these things, so there’s a degree of time management, almost similar to a Persona game released in the last decade or a dating sim like Tokimeki Memorial.
But no, that would be an insult to really good implementations of the mechanic, because there’s no depth – maybe a unique line here and there.
And then you start getting more time slots.
When you combine that with some of the most poorly balanced maps in the series, you end up spending more time at the monastery, sitting and eating, than playing Fire Emblem.
What does Engage look like?
Well we have a home base and also all the mechanics from Fire Emblem Three Houses are coming back. And more. Like fitness mini-games and on-rail shooters. I don’t know about you, but when I play Fire Emblem, I’m here to play a strategy RPG, not a flat-based simulator.
Sonically, everything feels a lot like the Aether resorts from the Fire Emblem Heroes gacha game, which are even flatter because they’re tied to a poorly designed and highly exploitative mobile gacha game. I can explain why I despise it so much in another article. Still, I don’t think my disdain for games that rely on exploiting vulnerable people is an invalid argument.
Speaking of gacha…
Fire Emblem Engage has this cool mechanic called “Emblem Rings” that lets you summon the main characters from previous Fire Emblem games as support. But since you won’t seem to have enough to outfit your entire team from the start, you can get additional accessories called “Bond Rings” for stat boosters…
…through a gacha system.
While the mechanic doesn’t allow you to pay real money, this type of mechanic could have been an accessory shop where you use your fortune to buy and forge specific rings based on what you think would work best for you Team, rather than having it, is something that ties into the exploitative system of another active game.
Finally, in a much more personal nuisance, the game seems focused on being another casual mode-oriented title. That’s not to say casual is bad; Except that mechanics like emblems giving characters who use them permanent bonuses instead of emblem hero abilities, combined with characters being able to learn abilities from different classes via second seals, makes for a more balanced game around building and grinding lead an army over time. Again, this is not bad; I would just want it to be more in line with permadeath, we haven’t had that in a while and the longer we go on without it the less likely it seems we’ll ever get it again.
Despite these points, I’m still looking forward to Fire Emblem Engage. There are a number of new mechanics like break and smash and weapon types that could make for a fun strategic experience. But since they’re entirely new, we don’t know exactly how well they’ll work, and I don’t want these mechanics from Three Houses returning in Engage to be the face of what Fire Emblem is perceived to be.
The last thing I want is for more people to call Fire Emblem dating sim-like when some believe dating sims are just the social mechanic with no layers. It clouds the identity of the franchise, and I don’t think the focus on these superfluous social mechanics offers any real depth or ties into the heart of the series.