It’s been several weeks since I finished Fire Emblem, and i have to say in some ways they have made it significantly better than Fire Emblem’s of the past. The downside to this is that aspects of the game made it far less enjoyable than Fire Emblems of the past. For those unaware of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the game is a strategic roleplaying game collaboration between Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo, and is a Nintendo Switch exclusive. The story takes place in a Hogwarts style school with three different houses: Black Eagles, Blue Lions, and Golden Deer. The player decides which of the three houses to lead. The first part of the game take place at the school. The second part of the game takes places after the player experiences a time jump that will age everyone and will bring the player into the middle of a war between you guessed it, the three different houses and the parts of the kingdom they represent.
Let’s look at what made the game great. First the game is stunning. Nintendo first party games have always known how to make the most of their underwhelming hardware. Although, the graphics are not as realistic like the games you will find on XBox or Playstation, they still are beautiful. The game does away with the weapon triangle of old, and frankly it makes the game a lot better. Replacing the weapon triangle with a combat system that is a combination of the weapon being used and the characters stats definitely helps bring new players into the fold. The voice acting for the game is very well done, with each actor supplying a voice that embodies each their characters. The final area where I feel the game excels is with how powerful your units become. Through leveling and training, units can become unstoppable units who can defeat an enemy with a single attack. For those that are new to the series, they introduced two new things. The first is that there is a casual mode. In this mode, if a unit dies, it just goes back to the school versus in the normal mode, the unit is lost for ever. The second mode is a rewind feature. This feature allows the player to rewind the battle to any point they wish. This will help prevent a unit from dying if you move it back far enough to rethink your placement that unit.
Now this is also a drawback to the game as well. Having insanely powerful units takes away from some of the more difficult levels later in the game. The level designers do a great job with the enemy placement, but if you get a powerful character up front, it could end up taking out 6 enemies unit before the enemy has finished their turn. The part of the game that helps to make the units this powerful is the part of the game that made it very hard for me to enjoy the game. In order to truly unlock your support units full potential of dual specialties, you will need to talk to them weekly, as well as manually teach them every teaching session. Part of the problem with this is that you have to run all over the school grounds to find them in order to talk to them. Now you can certainly bypass this and just battle each week of the calendar, however you will not unlock their dual specialists forms if you do.
Overall the game is a great game, even with its drawbacks. It is about a 60-80 game based on how you choose to teach the kids. As is the case with all Nintendo first/second party titles, the game is gorgeous and makes the most of the hardware. The voice acting in the game is on point and definitely makes the game more enjoyable, and in some cases light hearted. For completionists, there are 3 story lines to go through, one for each house. The game retains the challenge for veterans of the franchise while being flexible enough for new players to not turn them off to the game. Regardless of the negative, for me, this is still a must play, even for just a run through, and I highly recommend it.