FE Engage: an honest review


Photo courtesy of Video Games Chronicle

“Fire Emblem” the crit hell video game has had a pretty weird time outside of Japan. In the majority of the world, it was introduced not as itself but as a pair of characters in the famous “Smash Bros” series. Players would question the identity of these anime characters fighting alongside the widely known Mario and Pikachu. People wouldn’t receive their answer for a long time but the series the two came from would finally hit the states and continues today. Now we have the new release of “Fire Emblem Engage” with all its jank and glory.

With all the history of the “Fire Emblem” franchise, we were bound to get a celebration game featuring all the bells and whistles from every previous release. This is not a foreign concept, as celebration products have always existed. They can be great, like “Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger,” which breathed life into their franchise bringing in many new fans. On the other hand, they could be “Fire Emblem Warriors,” where the characters Ryoma and Xander keep charging forts by themselves, only to result in the game ending. Fire Emblem Engage is a mix of the two, having a great gameplay but the other aspects being subpar

Unpolish is everywhere, reminiscent of a modern Pokemon game. This can be seen in the voice-acting to even the way the game presents itself. Dialogue feels stitched together with no cohesion. Every time a character opens their mouth they are cut short just a tad bit too early with long speeches being incoherent. 

Appearance isn’t everything in a game, but sometimes it kinda does. Some of the game looks like something you’d find on a 2010’s FNAF animated skit. Whoever made the exercise mini-games made the most jank animations in the world. I do not know the first thing about CGI or 3D animations, but they are a bit laughable with how awful they look.

This absolute circus doesn’t end there as we’ve yet to talk about one of the most controversial choices the development team chose. This choice being the character design. There is a lot of discourse about the shift in “Fire Emblem” designs, going from 90’s style anime to more modern anime. Of course, I do not really care about styles since if done correctly you can tell a good story with any style, unlike basic character design. Yeah, “Fire Emblem” has decided to take character design notes from modern anime which destroys any emotional scene. It is hard to focus on a tragic death when a comically over-designed character is just chilling in the background. Not to say that this type of character design is bad, but for a series as dramatic as “Fire Emblem,” less awkward designs would have made more sense. 

All of that was pretty bad but there was a reason I bought the game, the gameplay. I have played my fair share of “Fire Emblem” games, so I have to say that the game is pretty solid. I have not seen anything as dumb as the teleporting witches of Fates or the uselessness of Roy in the Binding Blade but there are a few things slightly wrong. The game is fine, but sometimes the lack of polish catches up like how they tell me that a guy has immortality immediately after I have my units surround him. Funky stuff like that are a tad bit annoying but for the most part, the gameplay is alright with the additions the developers decided to add.

“Fire Emblem Engage” is a mixed bag, because of the multitude of backlash on the designs, but still manages to have good gameplay. If you want the true experience of the game, turn off the sound and focus on the dialogue boxes while speed reading to dash towards the gameplay. But even though there are a fair amount of flaws, this game is one of the best of all time.