Posted: 12 days ago, last updated 6 days ago.
Author: Ben Kendall, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.
The series title refers to multiple different artefacts from across the series that act as centrepieces to the story; in Fire Emblem Engage, this takes the form of Emblem Rings that brings back main characters from previous games. The games occur across multiple continents of a medieval fantasy world, with warring houses, evil armies, and ancient evil to conquer. Engagement takes place in Elyos, where a monstrous dragon plunges the land into darkness, and you play Alear, who awakes from a thousand-year slumber and must summon a team of heroes to help them vanquish evil and restore their memories.
Gameplay mixes turn-based tactical battles and character interaction. Combat involves moving your characters around a grid and their specific attacks and special abilities to defeat foes. There's a rock-scissors-paper aspect here (pikes beat swords, bows beat pikes, swords beat bows). There's surprising depth to what you can do, and discovering powerful team combinations and ambitious strategies is essential to success. In earlier games, if a team member died during a fight, they did not get revived afterwards, but this is now only an option.
As you progress you not only develop your team (and hopefully prevent them from being lost in battle) but also nurture relationships with in-depth conversations that shape the narrative, and life-simulation elements such as fishing and tending to animals. The preceding game to Engage, Three Houses, offers the best example of this, with three unique stories that change depending on your actions, while Engage itself hearkens back to earlier entries with a stronger focus on combat.
The result is a unique mix of tactical, highly involved fights that require ingenuity, experimentation, and determination and sprawling, grand stories that put the characters and their interactions at the forefront.
There have been lots of games, but only The Blazing Blade (released simply as Fire Emblem) onwards were released outside of Japan:
- Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (1990) Famicom, released worldwide in 2020 on Switch.
- Fire Emblem: Gaiden (1992) Famicom
- Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (1994) Super Famicom
- Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (1996) Super Famicom
- BS Fire Emblem: Archanean War Chronicles (1997) Super Famicom Stellaview
- Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (1999) Super Famicom
- Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (2002) Game Boy Advance
- Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (Fire Emblem outside Japan) (2003) Game Boy Advance
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (2004) Game Boy Advance
- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005) GameCube
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (2007) Wii
- Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (2008) DS
- Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem (2010) DS
- Fire Emblem: Awakening (2012) 2DS|3DS
- Fire Emblem: Fates (2015)
- Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE (a crossover between Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei) (2015) Wii U
- Fire Emblem Heroes (2017) iOS and Android
- Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017) 2DS|3DS
- Fire Emblem Warriors (2017) New Nintendo 2DS|3DS and Switch
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019) Switch
- Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore (an expanded version of Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE) (2020) Switch
- Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (2022) Switch
- Fire Emblem Engage (2023) Switch
Release Date: 20/04/1990, updated in 2023
Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GBA, GameCube, Switch, Wii, Wii U and iOS
Content Rating: PEGI 12
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Genres: Battle, Communication, Strategy (Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Role-Play and Simulation)
Accessibility: 23 features
Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night and Grid
Developer: Nintendo America (@NintendoAmerica)
View our choice of games like Fire Emblem. This game is good if you want to:
You can play this game in the following styles:
11+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. There are lots of different, very in-depth systems that you need to get to grips with as you play, and although you can rewind fights if you make a mistake, coming up with a winning strategy can still be quite challenging.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia
Fire Emblem Engage
Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem Warriors
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade Of Light
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
- In-Game Pass: Purchase a season/battle pass to gain access to limited in-game purchases, reward items and other aspects of the game.
The latest game, Fire Emblem Engage, has an expansion pass that adds extra emblems and characters you can play as, along with more story content.
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This report is based on the latest game in the series, Fire Emblem Engage. Previous games may differ in the accessibility features offered.
At the start of the game, you can select a difficulty to play on, which can be lowered later on in the game, but never increased. Playing on a higher difficulty yields greater rewards for winning battles. At the start, you also select whether you want to play in the Classic style, where team members who die stay dead forever, or on Casual, where they are revived after. This choice cannot be changed later.
As the combat portion of the game is turn-based, there is no need for fast or precise reactions, and you can rewind as many turns as you need if you make a mistake. While there are some minigames in the hub world that require precisely timed inputs, these are all optional.
There is lots of text in menu boxes and settings screens throughout the game, which is all high in contrast but is often quite small. Dialogue is all subtitled, but is not always high in contrast and not 1/20th the height of the screen. During gameplay, the speaker's name appears alongside their speech, and a video f their face implies tone.
The hub world, the only area where you move around freely and control the camera, has a large map with different points of interest markets on it. During fights, it is always clear where you can and can't go, with high-contrast blue denoting tiles you can move to. Sometimes, it is not explicitly clear what to do or where to go next.
The game can occasionally appear low in contrast, with objects being similar in colour. During fights, the background is static.
Diversity and Inclusion
Gender and Sexuality:
Gender and Sexuality Choices: The gender and sexuality choices you can make for your character orientation and presentation in the game.
- Choose Man/Boy or Woman/Girl: You can choose between either man/boy or woman/girl character.
Sexual Orientation Representation: The sexual and romantic orientation of characters you can play in the game.
- Play as Gay Character: The game’s protagonist is a man, masculine presenting person, or non-binary person who is gay (attracted to men, masculine-presenting people, or non-binary people).
- Play as Lesbian Character: The game’s protagonist is a woman, feminine presenting person, or non-binary person who is a lesbian (attracted to women, feminine presenting people, or non-binary people).
- Play as Bi Character: The game’s protagonist is bi (someone who is attracted to two or more genders, sometimes but not always all genders), pan, poly, or omni.
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