In 2015 having banded together, Omega Force and Team Ninja had brought Hyrule Warriors to the Wii U and I couldn’t get enough of it. I love my hack-and-slash games and Hyrule Warriors was almost exactly the game I had wanted it to be. Then in 2016 Hyrule Warriors was improved and brought to the Nintendo 3DS as Hyrule Warriors Legends and now that we’re in 2017, instead of yet another improved Hyrule Warriors port, we got something else entirely.
Already out in Japan and soon to release in the Americas, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Fire Emblem Warriors is already in the hands of members of the press and today is the day we get to share our impressions of it and for me, my impressions are a little mixed. It is not a dead ringer for Hyrule Warriors as the game does actually try to be a true Fire Emblem adventure, whilst living up to what we expect from a game based on the Warriors brand, but despite a lot of the originality all parties tried to give it to make it feel like something entirely new, there is no denying one little fact. A fact that is Fire Emblem Warriors is what I had feared it would be, a game that is quite literally a mash-up of Hyrule Warriors meets Fire Emblem Heroes.
Now I don’t have a problem with that, as I enjoy both games, but if you were hoping for a story that was more originally to explain why Heroes from other worlds/previous games were appearing in the world where Aytolis resides, then be ready for a disappointment, because the explanation is pretty much what you expect it to be, but while Fire Emblem Warriors may not have a story as grand as games in the Fire Emblem series, there is no reason to write it off just yet.
Both Story Mode and History Mode are action packed and talking of the action, it is superb. For a game that has more Sword users than it actually needed, each one fights with a style different than the other and their Special Attacks aren’t too bad either. They don’t just deal massive damage, but they look utterly fantastic! What Fire Emblem Warriors lacks in story originality, it greatly makes up for it with superb artwork that makes characters from previous Fire Emblem games look exactly like we always pictured them and as for the cut-scenes, they’re like miniature movies.
Yes there are times when dialogue is voiced and presented in text boxes while characters, set the scene for a battle that is about to start, or after a battle has finished, but there are still plenty of cut-scenes that brings certain crucial scenes to life as an anime-like movie and if they do not impress you, than you must clearly not be an anime fan. The scenes can feel magical, suspenseful and downright brilliant, so while I might be an absolute fan of the original characters Lianna and Rowen, or the voice they have when they talk, they do still make the cinematic imagery worth watching.
Out of the two of them though, hands down Lianna is the better one of the two, not just because she is the better fighter as her sword skills can be rather exemplary and worthy enough to take on Link with the Master Sword. But she also comes across as a decent, considerate and very caring character, who can be reserved most of the time, but anything but when she really needs to, whereas Rowan comes across as more of a hot-head.
Still, aside from all the hack-and-slash action that does make Fire Emblem Warriors look and feel more like a Warriors game than Hyrule Warriors ever did, Fire Emblem Warriors is still very much so Fire Emblem at its core. The Heroes from other worlds are the Heroes we know and love, the overall presentation of the game and its menus is that which you’d expect from Fire Emblem and Master Seals, Attack Triangle, Support Conversations and Permadeath are all very nicely implemented, as well as strategy. Granted things like Support Conversations haven’t always been part of the Fire Emblem series, but they have been around for a long time and they tie in rather nicely, since they are the result of pairing two units when out in the field of battle. Sure once units are paired, you will suddenly have one less AI controlled ally/character you can swap out to when in a tight fix, but Pairing up can result in some highly entertaining and devastating Special Attacks are triggered and more life, which always comes in handy when battling more powerful foes.
Now I would love to talk more about Fire Emblem Warriors as I am immensely enjoying the game, and am still absolutely loving it as both a single player And multiplayer experience, it is still under embargo at the moment so while a preview is okay, my full thoughts will need to go unspoken until the 18th of October. But don’t worry, Fire Emblem Warriors is a game that captures the essence of what a Fire Emblem game and quest should be, but if you’re going to play it, it really is better on Switch!