I went ahead and bit the bullet last weekend and completed the main campaign in Fire Emblem: Awakening. I was trying my darndest not to tie things up as I was having way too much fun with skirmishes, bonus missions, etc. but I figured that I could still do those after beating the game and I was champing at the bit to experience the conclusion of the story. And as I had anticipated, given the sheer amount of effort that had went into the game, by the end my initial play-through my expectations had been completely blown out of the water and I couldn’t be happier with the final results.
Of course, finishing the game is really just the beginning where FE games are concerned (which is one of the biggest draws of the franchise) given the additional difficulty modes, paid DLC, and the sheer amount of strategies one can pursue, be it new strategies, new pairings, new classes, different character focuses, among a myriad of other options. I briefly thought about firing up the lunatic mode, but this comment from one of the Intelligent Systems developer’s made me rethink it:
When it comes to the roles they each play, I think Hard is just about right, but—no, Hard is pretty tough stuff. But Lunatic just isn’t right!
Ha, hard mode it is! Though I’m going to have to try lunatic just to see what’s in store…
I hate to admit it, but despite being a huge Strategy RPG fan, I’ve never had the opportunity to play the Vandal Hearts series.. It appears these games have a devoted following, but also a number of detractors. Though either way, I do plan to try the third installment in the series, Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment (PSN, XBLive), and will likely keep an eye out for a good deal on the original PS1 releases as well.
I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a pristine copy of the Japanese version (along with Shining Wisdom; pictured above) for a swan’s song while in Tokyo this Christmas and am glad to be able to add these to my collection. I’ve got two years of Japanese courses under my belt, which in no way will allow me to functionally understand these, but at the very least I should be able to get some great game play out of them one of these days.
In the meantime, I’ll just have to enjoy the fantastic art both of these series’ have offered up over the years, not the least of which is featured above.