Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation

The optional retirement of one of the long-running Fire Emblem franchise’s chief gameplay aspect of permanent death for playable characters in Awakening ushered in something of a golden age for the series, attracting casual and masochistic gamers alike, and the Fire Emblem Fates subseries added another feature destined to attract more casual players, the Phoenix Mode where characters that die in a round of combat revive the following turn, ideal for those simply yearning to experience the enjoyable storylines of the branching paths. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation is the final third part of the subfranchise, aiming to fuse elements from Birthright and Conquest into a package that’s well worth the purchase.

Those who have played both Birthright and Conquest will undoubtedly be familiar with the basic Fire Emblem mechanics, with optional opportunities for grinding in addition to special objectives for most missions. The aforementioned Phoenix Mode definitely makes the experience the very definition of casual, and given the frequency of unit death, one can’t imagine how gameplay would fare on higher difficulty settings. Furthermore, the playable cast is larger than the other two iterations of Fates, and the A.I. doesn’t consider the unique terrain and objectives of maps. Even so, the gameplay is a definite draw for both casual and hardcore players.

The controls are generally solid and likely familiar to those who have experienced the other storyline branches, given a customizable base between missions after the plot division, the only real flaw being the lack of an option to optimize equipment for all party members, not just those whom the player selects before each battle.

The storyline follows a tertiary branch, where the player sides with neither Hoshido nor Nohr, with a sizeable cast coming from both division, with a few twists and turns, and a rewarding epilogue for all surviving playable characters that effectively settles their fates. The translation is largely solid, as is expected of Nintendo, although there is occasional pleonasm such as “united together.”

The soundtrack is still solid, with superb sporadic voicework, although there are as with the other games some occasional silent moments.

The graphics also continue to look nice, combining two and three-dimensional elements, with solid artwork and cel-shaded cutscenes, although blurry pixilated textures occasionally abound.

Finally, one can blaze through the game in less than half a day’s worth of time, with plentiful lasting appeal in the various difficulty settings.

Overall, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, like its brethren of the storied tactical franchise’s subseries, is another feature in the pantheon’s proverbial cap, given that most of its elements are all-around solid, including the strategic gameplay, efficient interface, engaging narrative, superb sound, and polished visuals. The strikes against it are negligible at best, but those looking for a weak point will probably find one in the potential divergent experience when playing on difficulty settings other than those serving as the lowest, although this definitely makes the game a godsend to both casual and masochistic gamers alike, who will likely relish in experience all three plot branches.

The Good:
+Quick and painless tactical gameplay.
+Great control.
+Engaging narrative with polished translation.
+Excellent soundtrack.
+Nice visuals.
+Plenty replay value.

The Bad:
-A few too many characters.
-A.I. doesn’t consider a few unique maps.
-Can be intimidating to play on higher difficulties.
-Some slight visual blemishes.

The Bottom Line:
Rounds out the Fire Emblem Fates subseries nicely.

Score Breakdown:
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Game Mechanics: 9/10
Controls: 9/10
Story: 10/10
Localization: 9/10
Music/Sound: 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Difficulty: Adjustable
Playing Time: 6-12 Hours

Overall: 9.5/10

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