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Fire Emblem: Three Houses Game review

Game review 25 July 2019, 16:00

author: Przemyslaw Zamecki

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Review – Decent Tactical Adventure

The Fire Emblem series has been well-known to fans of excellent tactical games for years. With Nintendo Switch's hybrid consoles, the taste of well-designed tactical has a chance to appeal wider group of players.

The review is based on the Switch version.

 
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PROS:
  1. top-quality tactical gameplay;
  2. personalization of dozens of characters – each with its own history, flaws, advantages, doubts...;
  3. a lot of side activities;
  4. tables, numbers, calculations – all for keen strategists;
  5. the possibility of leading each of three available sides, which allow you to experience three stories with different endings, apart from the main plot;
  6. excellent visuals of animated cutscenes;
  7. perfect voice-over of dialogues – both in Japanese and English versions;
  8. bunch of fun for many weeks;
CONS:
  1. endless running around the same locations – fortunately partly compensated by the helpful localization system of all characters and a fast travel;
  2. quite often combat doesn't require sophisticated tactics – then the "fire at will" option works best;
  3. although important from the point of view of companion development, all side activities are mercilessly tedious;
  4. for the first ten hours, the plot is in a "static" phase.

Fire Emblem. I've been hoping to play some part of this series for a long time, but in the case of the newer ones I was discouraged by the requirement to play on a portable device. To be honest, I've never enjoyed playing on mobile gaming platforms. At least in case of titles where statistical tables and numbers are common features. However, when I had the opportunity to get acquainted with the latest installment of this franchise on the hybrid console by Nintendo, I willingly gave it a go. And you know what? It was a brilliant decision, because on the big screen the game does not lose anything of its charm, and my eyes have a chance to peacefully wait until I retire.

Three Houses made a very good impression on me from the very beginning. In part, perhaps, because it gave me completely new, previously unknown sensations. As I went deeper into the rules of the game world, my fascination grew, but I'm sorry to say that the game also contains a lot of dull stages that may be rejected by people who are not fond of unique Japanese productions. However, after we overcome our weaknesses, it will turn out that this is a large title. You can spend long months with it, gradually dosing yourself with a lot of impressions – I encourage you to do so even know, at this very moment.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Review – Decent Tactical Adventure - picture #1
Turn-based combat allows you to get familiar with all the stats easily.

Officers factory

In the game we play the son of Jeralt, the former captain of Knight Seiros, who after many years of absence returns to the church academy which trains officers from three factions that rule the continent of Fσdlan. A teenage boy or girl, because the game allows us to choose the sex of the hero, thanks to some personal perks and attributes becomes one of the professors (just after arriving at the place). Your task is to train recruits from the chosen faction. By the way, our hero learns a variety of combat techniques after advancing to higher experience levels.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Review – Decent Tactical Adventure - picture #2
You can train the adept in a given profession by becoming more skilled with weapons.

Garreg Mach Monastery, where the Academy is located, is a bit like Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series. During the following months you train your students as well as yourself. In your free time you run around the available locations and play a variety of mini games. You may perform a lot of side quests and activities (which usually have point A to B objectives). Additionally, you can watch white owls flying over your head. Also, the idea of three different factions competing against each other is directly taken out of the books about a small wizard, which in my opinion isn't saying much for developers. It's just a small digression, because the plot and game mechanics are addressed to a slightly older audience. However, some infantile moments and typically Japanese embarrassments can be found here as well.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Review – Decent Tactical Adventure - picture #3
Just like Hogwarts.

For the first few hours of the game I just felt lost. The pop-up tutorials that suddenly appear every now and then help you to get to know dozens of statistics and skills, but if you want to understand all the relationships between them it may become a tough challenge and requires some experience from training and tactical battles. Nevertheless, don't be surprised if you see a new tutorial after fifteen hours of gameplay, because for the first time you have encountered monstrous beast that require a more complicated approach than most enemy bandits or soldiers. As a matter of fact, it also makes it difficult to complain about the quality of gameplay. Becoming a professor, we receive a huge influence on what our students are going to learn, how we manage their morale – because morale is a main factor that mainly decides about the learning pace of specific skills.

ASSIGNMENT CEREMONY

Shortly after the start of the game, you face a dilemma as to which of the three factions to join in order to lead it into the battle. The Academy trains three nations living in the continent of Fσdlan. These are Imperial Black Eagles, Blue Lions of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus and Golden Deer representing the free peoples of Leicester. Choosing one of the houses determines the gameplay style. The Imperials specialize in magic, the Lions focus on the striking force of steel and cavalry, while Leicester prefers ranged combat with trained archers.

 
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