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    dkirschner's Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii)

    [June 9, 2012 12:32:46 PM]
    Never played a Fire Emblem game before, but I am a big fan of SRPGs. It looked challenging and epic and all those good things I like. Start the game, lots of political intrigue story going on, don't really care, pretty bad dialogue, introduces tons of characters and factions and all this, very confusing to try and follow. Ok, so maybe not playing for the story. Guess how many times I died in the FIRST TUTORIAL BATTLE? I think it was 3. And in the first few levels after? Yeah probably another 12 times.

    Fire Emblem is HARD.

    Fire Emblem enforces a fun little rule called permadeath. Sometimes if one of your characters dies it's game over. Fair enough. Other times though, if it's not a main story character, it's just dead forever. Fooorrreeeevvvveeer. And your characters literally get one-shot. Not even your weakest characters either. The mid-level ones still get one-shot. You cannot just send characters out into the field. You've got to plan to a really unreasonable degree to keep vulnerable characters out of the line of fire. I mean think about it. You can go the entire game growing a character and then screw up one time and have it gone forever. That sucks. So in my play time, I started on Normal difficulty since I like strategy RPGs and I'm not bad at them. Ok so Normal is like my Nightmare. I finally decided to switch to Easy after I'd been doing this one battle a few times, and was finally almost done with it. I went to attack an enemy with a normal full-health character, and she got counterattacked, crit, one-shot, dead forever. I was just like omg seriously? Putting it on Easy! So I restart and it really was easier, but just the fact that there is permadeath is just so lame. I had this level 1 priest, my only healer, who can only level up by healing allies. She was level one forever because on Easy (most of) your characters turn out much stronger than enemies, so she wasn't seeing much healing action. Then in this one level, some reinforcements came (enemy reinforcements come A LOT, from every which direction) and killed her because they spawned right near her and she couldn't get away. Permadeath, bam. That's when I stopped for good. And as far as I got, you can't just create a new character (maybe can later, dunno). So my healer died there and I was out a healer. Each character, no matter how minor, is actually a part of the story. Like she had a name and was a 'childhood friend' of another ally I had. And she died! Anyway, Easy was way better than Normal. You get I think literally twice as much XP and some other perks too, like again, literally half as many enemies. But yeah, permadeath makes me insane because that's all you're thinking about is 'ok is there any way they can kill any of my characters this turn?' Not fun to worry about.

    So let's talk enemies. The AI is really lame. First of all, they completely target weak characters, characters who can't attack/counter. Makes sense enough, but I mean, it's freakin brutal here because they die forever. For this certain logic, the AI routinely is stupid as hell. Many enemies will just stand in one place until you attack them. Some you can draw out by moving into their attack range and others you can't. You never know which ones will move and which ones won't. I mean I did figure out that enemies standing in doorways and in front of chests don't move, but others will or won't too. So you can't like 'pull' them reliably. And in a game where your characters permanently die, you need some reliability. Also, like I mentioned earlier, reinforcements come quite often. There are WAY too many enemies on the maps in this game. Those reinforcements are chargers. They come straight for you. It's easy to be overwhelmed. In the beginning of the game, they keep giving you characters of wildly polar levels. So I had my level 1 priest and my level 12 mage...and my level 1 thief could go around one-shotting enemies and taking more hits than the level 12 fighter...???? Doesn't make sense. So you can kind of abuse these stronger characters, but your weak characters don't level as much because you want to rely on the strong characters who won't die because if you use the weak characters and make one miscalculation, they die! And even using the strong characters a lot, you'll still get a million reinforcements and they'll eventually die too because you can't heal them because your healer is level 1 and she can't move near enemies or else she dies! AAAHH!

    Mmm, despite all the things I hated, the combat system is pretty cool. Weapons have durability, which I've never seen in an SRPG before and I kind of liked. I also liked the inventory system and the trading and how you can choose which weapon to attack with on your turn. So a lot of my characters had 2 or 3 different weapons by the time I quit, like a weak sword for when I just need to knock a few HP off, a strong sword, and a magic sword that can attack over 2 squares instead of only 1 for range attacks. Characters in this game always counterattack if they're in range. So if a swordsman attacks another swordsman adjacent, there will be a counterattack. So you have to be smart. If a swordsman attacks an archer (who say can only attack 2 squares away, not an adjacent square) then the archer can't counterattack. So I'd soften up enemies with non-counter-attackable attacks and finish them off with what could have been counterattacked if the enemy didn't die. There was also a neat rock-paper-scissors system for weapons and magic. Sword beats axe, axe beats lance, lance beats sword kind of thing. Lots of skills to equip. Terrain and terrain effects. Seems like a cool battle system. But characters need some balancing and the game just needs to be less punishing and I'd probably eat it up. As it stands, I have had Disgaea 2 sitting in my stash for like 2 years, so I've got no time for inferior SRPGs!
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    dkirschner's Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Friday 8 June, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 9 June, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    did not like! seems like a smart in-depth combat system, but boring story, too many enemies, really freakin hard...

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner'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 Jherbold (rating: 4)
    3 : Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii) by zontan (rating: 3)


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