I normally don’t write about video games, but I’ve been playing Fire Emblem: Awakening for the past month and finally finished it today so I figured I’d say something. The game is simultaneously a shipper’s dream come true and a shipper’s worst nightmare. If you have characters fight together (“Support”, if you’re familiar with other Fire Emblem games) you can get them to befriend each other and even marry and have children. The hardest part of the game is choosing who to ship with who.
If you’ve never played a Fire Emblem game before, it’s a tactical RPG. What this means is it’s both a grid-based strategy game and an RPG, in which you control many characters, plan out their actions in battle on a grid like a strategy game, and have the characters level up as in an RPG. The Fire Emblem series is set in a traditional fantasy setting, with swordsmen, knights, mages, wyverns, etc. What makes the series stand out from other games of the genre is that a lot of effort is put into the characterization, compared to series like Disgaea and XCOM where the characters are mostly throw-away. The series is also very anime-like.
FE Awakening’s gameplay is essentially the same as its predecessors. The main new gameplay component is that you can “Pair Up” two characters to have them fight together on the same square, giving them a boost in stats. I liked this option because a) it makes it easier to build up supports, and b) you have to move half the number of units per turn.
Unfortunately, I decided to play the game on Normal mode, thinking it would be hard enough based on my experience with previous games. However, it was ridiculously easy. I could have soloed the final level with the two main characters, no problem. Part of the problem is that you can fight an unlimited number of battles on the world map, which I of course took advantage of to build support and marry everybody off. If I play the game again I’ll choose Lunatic mode which I’m certain will make the game more of a challenge.
This is the first game I’ve played on the 3DS, so I feel obliged to comment on the 3D aspect. It’s kind of cool, but in FE Awakening it’s used mostly as just a gimmick. I’d forget about it after a while, then a bird would fly by on the map and I’d think “sweet.” Character portraits and dialogue are shown in the foreground during conversations, but otherwise the 3D is nearly unnoticeable.
My only complaint about the 3DS is that the battery doesn’t seem to last very long. Although perhaps I have become spoiled from my Nexus 7…
This is the best and worst part of the game. Best because it’s awesome, worst because it makes you want to try every single combination.
Best girl: Morgan. The way she just loves to mess with everyone and doesn’t give a crap that she lost her memories is great. This is frustrating because she was my character’s daughter so I couldn’t marry her. The only character in the game I couldn’t marry. Sometimes fate is too cruel. Anyway, I had her marry the guy in the picture. My Morgan had red hair because I married Cordelia. The red looks much better in my opinion.
The second best character is Henry, who is a batshit insane moe mage. Unfortunately he arrived later in the game when I had already married most of the eligible bachelorettes. I won’t make the same mistake next time.
My third favorite is Donnel, a farmer who kicks ass. Fourth place goes to Cynthia, a genki girl who wants to be a superhero. Anyway, here are the shippings I went with. Feel free to let me know where I went wrong. I may or may not listen.
The First Generation
Cherche x Gregor: I’m convinced Gregor would be hilarious with anybody. I barely even noticed Cherche in these dialogues.
Cordelia x My Character: I wanted to ship her with Chrom but couldn’t. She’s the only female in the first generation I could actually see myself getting along with. In retrospect, it was an excellent decision because she gifted Morgan with the best hair color.
Lissa x Gaius: You’ve got to let the thief steal the princess’ heart.
Maribelle x Donnel: I feel kind of bad for Donnel, but rich princesses who are full of themselves all need to marry a farmer to bring them down a peg.
Miriel x Virion: I wanted to see if she could keep him in line. If not, no one could.
Nowi x Ricken: I wanted to ship the guy who looks and acts like a kid with the girl who looks like a kid who’s actually thousands of years old. It worked out pretty well.
Olivia x Vaike: Didn’t really like either of them so they ended up together by default.
Panne x Kellam: I’m not sure why but I really like this pairing. Maybe because neither of them have much of a presence.
Sully x Lon’qu: Lon’qu’s afraid of women, so I paired him with someone who has bigger balls than him.
Sumia x Chrom: For some reason, although Chrom is one of the main characters, he barely has any options. Sumia was the only one that didn’t come across as completely ridiculous. I wanted to marry him to Cordelia but she is eternally friend-zoned…
Tharja x Stahl: Stahl is so outrageously normal that I had to put him with the crazy girl.
Forever Alone: Frederick, Libra, Henry, Anna, Say’ri, Tiki, Basilio, Flavia. Frederick and Libra I never used. (Initially I thought this would be like older fire emblems, where if you use your paladin too much in the early game your characters won’t level and you’ll be screwed.) Henry came too late. The rest didn’t have any options except my own character.
The Second Generation
These ones were much harder to choose who to ship.
Cynthia x Gerome: The girl who wants to be a hero and the guy who wears a mask. Easy ship. I also got Cynthia to marry Owain but didn’t go with it. Owain is annoying, Gerome is just boring.
Kjelle x Laurent: The two people who don’t talk very much go well together. In truth, I wanted to ship Laurent with half the females in his generation.
Lucina x Owain: I said the males in this generation sucked, but Lucina is the worst. So boring. She’s exactly like Chrom would be if Chrom were always sulking about the end of the world.
Morgan x Yarne: The crazy awesome girl with Bunny. I think Morgan would work with anyone though. If I do it again I think I’d go with Laurent.
Nah x Inigo: I had to put the womanizer with the loli dragon. Perfect couple. (Summary: Nah gets him to marry her by threatening to eat him.)
Noire x Brady: I thought these two would go well together, the girl who seems quite but is actually insane and the guy who looks really evil but actually has a heart of gold. Unfortunately their storyline was about being sick together and it kind of sucked.
Forever Alone: Severa. Everyone is better off that way.