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    zontan's Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii)

    [February 9, 2008 03:25:48 AM]
    For a game where losing even a single unit means Game Over, your units die way too frigging fast. Especially in levels where even in a defensive position, three units are exposed to enemy attack- Sothe and Nolan are fine. Sothe dodges everything and Nolan has enough HP that he can't be oneshotted, and can thus be healed every round. But who to put in the third slot? Edward? Tried that. Enemy walks up to him. Smacks him for 17 damage when he has 20 HP. Second enemy walks up behind first enemy. He has a Javelin, range two. Loldeath. Leonardo? He has better defense than Edward, but he has a bow. Which means no counterattacking. Which means bad guys walk up to him and he becomes utterly useless. Micaiah? She has magic. Range one or two. She can counterattack. She has magic. Meaning she's a mage. Mages die.

    End result: Game Over. It's frustrating to all hell and I'm just about ready to say "screw it." I really, really want to know what's going to happen in the story- especially after playing Path of Radiance- but if I die five times on every single level, it's not worth it. I don't care how good their story is, I'm not going to like it if I have to spend an hour repeatedly dying between every piece of it.

    On a completely different side note, I found Ilyana, a thunder mage, also from the previous game. Didn't use her much either. (*cough*Soren*cough*) And I found Aimee, who was the weapons merchant from the previous game. Wasn't expecting to run into her. I suspect that by the time the game is finished, I'll have pretty much everyone from Path of Radiance again. And there were like forty of them. Fire Emblem gives you a lot of units to work with. But not in the beginning, and it won't matter if every time a unit dies it's Game Over. In the last game it was only Game Over if Ike, the main character, died. Now it's everyone. Great.

    I should stop complaining, as you've probably already gotten the point. I'm still annoyed at it, though.

    The level design of Fire Emblem is actually surprisingly diverse, considering how little it actually has to work with. Each level is just a combination of tilesets, after all. But with several possible goals (getting a certain character to the end, getting all character to the end, defeating the boss, or defeating everyone), and sometimes a time limit, and some tiles where you can step and some tiles where you can't, it manages to remain interesting. But just as much time is spent off the battlefield- Fire Emblem cutscenes are long. Always have been. If you play it, prepare for a lot of reading. But that's the style that Fire Emblem chooses for its games and I personally enjoy that style. It allows for a detailed story and intricate character relationships- which are furthered by Fire Emblem's support system, which, at least among the games I have played, is unique.

    The ability to have your units talk to each other (either on or off that battlefield, depending on which game you're playing- haven't found out for this one yet, I've hardly done anything), and for them to actually have reasonable conversations and then get stat benefits for doing so is a very interesting idea, and as a roleplayer, I approve of it. Relationships are good. Plus it provides a wonderful way to get to know all the characters- or at the very least, your favorites (Lethe). Have I mentioned that Lethe is awesome? Yes? Oh. Well, I'm doing it again.

    The difficulty could use some fixing, though. I'm playing on 'Normal' (and the only modes available the first time through are 'Easy' and 'Normal'), and I'm having forementioned dying problem. Your units are far too death-prone in the beginning and they get oneshotted far too often. It's very frustrating.

    Sigh. And on that note, I'm going to bed. Ciao.
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    [February 9, 2008 02:06:03 AM]
    Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn takes place three years after the end of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance for the GameCube. It assumes you won and that Daein has been defeated. In a rather interesting twist, the Begnion Empire, your ally in Path of Radiance, is now the enemy, as their occupation of Daein is by no means benevolent. You start out controlling the members of the Dawn Brigade, a group of Daein rebels who are trying to do what they can to make life better for the commoners of Daein and more of a hassle for Begnion. One of these members is Sothe, who was a very minor character in Path of Radiance (I never used him, ever- Volke is cooler). The other main member is Micaiah, who has the ability to heal allies with a touch by taking their wounds herself. She also knows how to speak the ancient language of the heron tribe. I am intrigued. The other three members are Edward, a Myrmidion (a swordmaster with cool critical things), Nolan, a fighter, and Leonardo, an archer.

    Radiant Dawn is a typical example of the Fire Emblem series. A turn-based strategy game in which you control a set of units, each with different abilities and weapons, and you can move them on the map and fight enemies. Each time you attack an enemy, you get to attack, and they they get to counterattack. (If your character is fast enough, you might get a second attack. Too slow, and they enemy gets two).

    The major thing that separates Fire Emblem from a lot of other games of its genre is that each character has a name, a personality, a piece in the plot, a death quote... as such, you become attached to all of them. For most true Fire Emblem fans, losing even a single unit is unacceptable and requires a restarting of the level. Unfortunately in this particular one, at the beginning you only have five characters- and they're all essential members of the Dawn Brigade. Losing a single one means Game Over. This is incredibly annoying when only two of them (Nolan and Sothe) are tough enough to survive more than two or three hits. And then your newest ally, Laura, can't even survive one. And if you accidentally leave her within range of an enemy, they will ALWAYS go for her. I've lost three times already and I'm only on the third mission.

    It doesn't help that the mission is completely impossible unless you figure out that your units can block one of the ledge accessways to where you start and still be considered two spaces away from the bad guys- and thus out of range. This, I might add, is not mentioned anywhere- you just have to figure out before you die enough times to be completely frustrated. Which brings up the next point- a complete lack of a tutorial. The game jumps straight into missions. No explanation of controls (although there's a helpful button function bar at the bottom), no practice fights, nada. Just boom, bandits. Go kill. Instead, everything you would usually learn in a tutorial is in the unusually thick instruction booklet- which I'm pretty sure no one except me reads. While this does allow you to theoretically get straight into the game, I do not think it is an improvement- you're likely to have to resort to the manual instead, or just die because of the aforementioned quirky terrain rules that aren't explained anywhere.

    Apart from this, it's still a Fire Emblem title. The story is sure to be epic (what I've seen shows the usual good writing of the series), the music is good, the opening cutscene is stupendously awesome, and it has lots of voice acting. Yay voice acting.

    Now give me Lethe, she's my favorite character. Excuse me while I go beat enough of the game to get her to join me.
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    zontan's Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 8 February, 2008

    zontan's opinion and rating for this game

    Damn silly Game Over rules. -_-'

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See zontan's page

    See info on Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii) by CptnWaffles (rating: 4)
    2 : Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii) by dkirschner (rating: 3)
    3 : Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii) by Jherbold (rating: 4)


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