Preview Fire Emblem Engage promises to be hot, Nintendo Switch will start strong in 2023! in transition

Preview Fire Emblem Engage promises to be hot, Nintendo Switch is off to a strong start in 2023!

A little over three years after the release of Three Houses, Fire Emblem returns with a new installment of the main saga. Called The Occupation, this adventure prides itself on fan service by featuring heroes from previous games. What can repeat the success of the first opus on the Nintendo Switch?

Summary

  • Towards a more classic scenario than Three Houses?
  • More dynamic combat than ever
  • The relational aspect is still present

For more than ten years Fire Emblem has managed to establish itself as a major Nintendo license internationally. Long exclusive to Japan, the series began to open up to the rest of the world with Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, released on the GBA in 2004, simply titled Fire Emblem here, the first episode to be available in a language other than Japanese. After several iterations on Nintendo’s portable console and later on the Gamecube, the saga really caught on with Western audiences, especially with the 3DS Fire Emblem: Awakening. A success confirmed with Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the first title on Switch, selling nearly 4 million copies. Therefore, all this heritage is about to be released on the shoulders Fire Emblem Engage that we were able to play for several hours To give you our first impressions.

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Towards a more classic scenario than Three Houses?

Away from the monastery and the three different houses of the previous episode, Fire Emblem Engage takes place on the continent of Elyos, which is made up of four kingdoms surrounding the sacred land of Lythos. In this medieval-fantasy world, we embody the Dragon Lord who risked his life and defeated the fallen Dragon that laid waste to these lands a thousand years ago.. After a thousand years of slumber, our avatar finally wakes up as this threat is about to return. To defeat him again, our goal will be to collect the twelve Emblem Rings, which contain the souls of heroes from other worlds, namely the previous Fire Emblems. In our fight against this terrible enemy, we are forced to attract many allies along the way from different kingdoms, which will be an opportunity to make friends with them.

Fire Emblem Engage promises to be hot, Nintendo Switch is off to a strong start in 2023!

Compared to the story of Three Houses, Engage depicts a conflict between different nations rather than a war against a common enemy, the Fallen Dragon. A more classic scenario, with less geopolitical emphasis and much revolves around the figure of our character, who is seen as truly divine. by his companions. However, since we’ve only played a small portion of the title, it’s hard to judge the adventure as a whole right now. Given that this is a Japanese role-playing game, a J-RPG, it is obvious that such an experience takes time before its plot begins. Despite everything, the scenario remains very different from the scenario of Three Houses, based on the attachment that the player can feel for his students in the Monastery to make the second part of his adventure more attractive.

More dynamic combat than ever

Fire Emblem Engage promises to be hot, Nintendo Switch is off to a strong start in 2023!

Obviously, you won’t be surprised if you’re told that Fire Emblem Engage is a tactical role-playing game with turn-based combat like all the other games in the saga. Each character has a class with unique characteristics and moves their units on the battlefield to defeat opposing troops. Among the innovations, The iconic triangle of arms from the Three Homeless franchise is back, at least in a way. To quickly summarize, it’s a system where each weapon is both effective against one type of weapon and vulnerable to another. In Engage, hitting an opponent with a weapon breaks their defenses, preventing counterattacks. What offers easier chaining to all your units. But the big innovation compared to Three Houses is that Fire Emblem Engage offers a mechanic that changes the way you approach combat. Once the correct size is filled, Units equipped with the Emblem Ring can fuse with the spirit within. In this form, the warrior sees his attributes increase and gain new devastating abilities. Obviously, not to oversimplify the experience, this transformation only lasts for three turns, and you have to fill the designated gauge to trigger it again.

Fire Emblem Engage promises to be hot, Nintendo Switch is off to a strong start in 2023!

When you use this mechanic, you realize one of the first qualities of Fire Emblem Engage: combat animations. More than ever in the history of the saga, Our heroes’ attacks have never been so fluid and dynamic, which makes them always fun to watch. Whether it’s dodging, attacking, or casting spells, it’s all about great efficiency. In general, it can be noted that this new episode offers a really successful visual aspect for the Nintendo Switch, with beautiful character models thanks to cel-shaded rendering, i.e. in a style reminiscent of anime. As for the design of the much-talked-about characters, especially the heroes with two-tone hair, everyone will be more or less sensitive to it, even if we mention that the hair is less colorful. In Three Houses.

The relational aspect is still present

Fire Emblem Engage promises to be hot, Nintendo Switch is off to a strong start in 2023!

But Fire Emblem Engage isn’t all about combat, as between the two missions you can switch to Somniel, a floating island that serves as a base. It is here that we can prepare for the next battles by buying new equipment for our units as well as facilities. As with the Three Houses, this is also an opportunity to discuss with our companions how to strengthen our relationship with them so that they can be more effective in the field.. Of course, these same friends can get close to each other. Among the small innovations are mini-rhythm games that improve the characteristics of our character based on push-ups, abs or squats. Units equipped with an Emblem Ring in a specific room can learn techniques that give them various advantages, such as passive stat bonuses. But in this passage we find a mechanism that causes a little controversy.

Fire Emblem Engage promises to be hot, Nintendo Switch is off to a strong start in 2023!

If you’ve followed the game’s communication so far, you’ve been surprised and even chilled to see that the title has a gacha aspect a bit like Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Gachas for those who don’t know. games with a random dimension available to the player. This is usually what we find in free-to-play mobile games like Fire Emblem Heroes to stay in the same series. With this kind of experience, when you apply for a banner, you don’t know exactly what character you’re going to get. At Engage, we assure you that this aspect of the gaming experience is ultimately pretty trivial. By collecting connecting fragments, it is possible to obtain rings that contain the souls of lesser-known heroes of Fire Emblem.. We can then equip them with our units so they can benefit from small character boosts. In any case, there is nothing very decisive in the gameplay, the twelve Emblem Rings are recovered throughout the main adventure, not thanks to this mechanism. It remains to be seen whether this aspect will indeed play a central role in the final version.

Our impressions

Fire Emblem Engage is becoming a not-to-be-missed Nintendo Switch exclusive in early 2023. After Three Houses, this new episode features an adventure that looks more classic than its predecessor and emphasizes fan service. by uniting the heroes. previous games. If we are still dealing with turn-based combat, the clashes are more dynamic than ever, thanks to the impressive animations and the extremely impressive combination mechanics. Visually, the title offers a particularly successful rendering for Nintendo’s hybrid console, further highlighting the characters with anime and colorful design. Now, we just have to wait before playing the final version, which promises to be interesting, scheduled for January 20th.

Editorial review

Excited

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