Review of Fire Emblem Warriors for Nintendo Switch
Nintendo marks the second attempt at musou after the fair Hyrule Warriors, fire emblem warriors it builds on another noble series by definition, the spearhead of the Intelligent Systems team, to package a product that can fit well into Koei Tecmo Games’ noisy and exuberant gaming. Already available in Japan for a few weeks, the title is preparing to fight even between the two screens of the Switches in our house, scheduled for Europe on October 20. Even more so than in the case of the “Zeldian” experiment, a question can only arise spontaneously: can a franchise that strategizes cautiously with its banner find satisfaction in a hack’n’slash drift that typically has very little or nothing strategic?
gathering of warriors
The infinity of spin-offs developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja, pillars of Koei Tecmo regarding the production of musou, taught us well: as always, the events narrated during the Story Mode of fire emblem warriors they are nothing more than a banal pretext to draw swords. The protagonists of the story are the young Rowan and Lianna, prince and princess of the Kingdom of Aytolis. They are practicing the noble art of combat in the company of the brave Darios de Gristonne when, suddenly, space-time vortices appear, throwing hordes of hideous monsters from the sky. Unfortunately, the trio of braves are unable to protect the castle, but the Queen, before disappearing into the rubble, manages to hand them the Flame Shield, a five-cavity instrument that requires the most “pyrogems” to activate and restore. the natural order of the world.
The story, divided into twenty-one chapters, unfolds between cut scenes and dialogues with static drawings written quite superficially, composing a story that struggles to take off and overflows with situations without depth. On the other hand, the interdimensional confusion gimmick turns out to be a boon for fans of the origin video game genre. During the long journey of the heroes, fans of the regular series will have the pleasure of meeting, facing, and ultimately recruiting familiar faces like Marth, Corrin, Ryoma, Xander, and many others, who found themselves in Aytolis afterward. the crime mentioned above. To a substantial roster of playable characters, fire emblem warriors combines a playful formula that, in its contours, does not betray an iota of the already consolidated tradition of the genre.
Each chapter of the campaign takes place within a limited geographical area dotted with garrisons, where the player is required to complete missions given by the software, ranging from the conquest of certain enemy districts, always reported on the HUD minimap, to the annihilation. of specific subjects of the opposing army.
At the head of the allied party is always a team leader, occasionally flanked by other paladins whose clothing the wearer can instantly don, with the press of a button on the d-pad. The victory conditions are classic: except in special cases, it is necessary to complete the main objectives without the leader of the group, typically Rowan or Lianna, depending on the preference given in the previous game, or other key characters being killed in the meantime. Which translates into a hectic back-and-forth between friendly and hostile bases where the “one vs. one hundred” clash (where one, needless to say, is represented by the player) is the situation that occurs most often.
As usual, it’s possible to get away unscathed thanks to a combat system dedicated to extreme simplicity, massive devastation, and choreographic exasperation. Basically each fighter can count on a light attack, a heavy one, a special removable sleeve to fill a dedicated bar, and also a triple hit that is launched by emptying a gauge, called Collapse, which appears on the enemy’s head. when he is tired. There’s also a dodge command, but in all honesty we never felt its specific gravity as the action was mostly dedicated to hard assault.
As in all its congeners, the game of fire emblem warriors then you can count on optional side quests and time trials, with NPCs to be intercepted along the way for rewards, and items to be activated to open up otherwise barred transit routes. similar to Warriors of HyruleIn addition, the game offers ample space to manage individual characters before going out on the field. From the menu it is possible to optimize your equipment, spend money to level them up beyond the experience accumulated in battle, forge new weapons, and unlock badges to increase your attack, defense, and “class stats.”
In short, there is a lot to do; but it is this “so much” that also smacks of superfluity, that fails to completely avoid that atavistic feeling of monotony that can arise in these productions from afar and that runs the risk of making the product more similar to a blender than to a source of real entertainment. The same additional mode to the story mode, the epic mode, suffers from the same disease of redundancy. Comprised of a series of challenges in various forms, it nods to Fire Emblem’s turn-based strategy anticipating the action with the mapping of the battlefield and the characters involved in the dispute, strictly in sprites; Ultimately though, it’s interesting just to do some external polishing to the main story chapters.
looking for references
We would miss out on important information if we didn’t highlight how developers, laying the groundwork for fire emblem warriorsHowever, they have tried to get as close as possible to the original IP philosophy curated by Intelligent Systems, which, unsurprisingly, has had its hand in the development phase. References to the supporting series are attributable to different aspects of the game, which obviously go beyond pure fanservice. The first, a direct inheritance from Fire Emblem Fatesrefers to the possibility of configuring the campaign in such a way that the law of permanent death is in force, so that party members who have fallen in battle do not automatically become available again in later stages.
In any case, this is a completely optional playstyle – given a not-so-bright companion AI, that seems fair to us.
Warriors It then introduces the mechanics of the links between characters and that of the so-called Duo Attacks, both derived from the Dual System experienced in fire emblem awakening. During the fight, two nearby warriors in the fray can join forces to defend themselves and finally unleash, with a full double energy bar, a combined special attack, obviously with devastating range. The prolonged collaboration between wrestlers has the consequence of strengthening their bond, which increases in rank match after match, producing increasingly powerful tag team performances. The Duo formula certainly benefits from the spectacular nature of matches, although the use of its combos tends to annihilate even the strongest opponents with disarming ease, risking devaluing the feeling of challenge too much.
Where the title pays more homage to its ancestors, however, is in the use of arm triangle, the mechanism à la «stone Paper scissorswhich is historically one of the hallmarks. Here, therefore, the heroes and antagonists shine in the use of a specific type of weapon, where the sword is strong against the axe, which in turn is effective against the spear, which, in the end, deals considerable damage to the enemy. sword. The addition of triangulation to the fighting system is certainly curious from a theoretical point of view. In practice, however, the mechanics don’t turn out as one would expect. A little more pushback than usual is enough to neutralize even opponents with favorable loadouts. In addition, the control system provides a command to send one’s avatar to berserker, an eventuality that cancels any kind of resistance and thus further nullifies all good intentions that the implementation of the Triangle brought as a feat.
It is therefore paradoxical that the most concrete contribution to the attempt to shorten the distances between fire emblem warriors ei Fire Emblem canons comes from a feature that really has nothing unpublished, already present, in fact, in the last musou of The Legend of Zelda. We refer to the opportunity to give general orders to the formation itself before and during the conflict, accessing the level map and directing the individual components towards very specific areas, as if they were pieces on a hypothetical chessboard. Which, of course, doesn’t make the experience suddenly tactical. But the truth is that a pinch of strategy, in an action game that is inspired by one of the strategic series par excellence, is at least welcome.
Quality or dynamism?
two against allfire emblem warriors offers the ability to play with a friend in local co-op on both TV and tabletop modes, sharing Joy-Con or using two full controllers. Sectioned off from a horizontal split screen, the shot becomes visually ugly, and even the frame rate proves to be much shakier than using full screen. If on television you can still turn a blind eye, on the small screen of Switch the situation becomes decidedly problematic. Especially since the minimap is already the size of a postage stamp, which, given the constant movements that the game requires, does not stop generating some confusion.
From a technical point of view, fire emblem warriors He does his job in a more than worthy way. It must be admitted that the graphic sector is not the most valuable, and in fact it stumbles especially when it occurs to look at the configuration, really very little in terms of details. Nonetheless, the character of the franchise emerges well from the polygonal realization of all the characters to the study of their in-game animations, to the numerous cinematic sequences, quite precise and pleasing to the eye.
It is above all in the performances where the production demonstrates its solidity, in addition to making available to the player an option that, from memory, we do not remember applied to other products of the same type. We are talking about a selector that leaves the user free to start the game, favoring the beauty of the image on the screen or, vice versa, favoring a greater fluidity of the action. In “Picture Quality”, on TV, the game runs on 1080p, but is forced to stop at 30fps; “Motion Speed” setting, on the other hand, the frames per second goes up to 60, where the resolution is 720p. Although there is a slight deterioration in the general visual cleanliness from the first to the second tune-up, we are sure that lovers of these experiences will not hesitate to activate the quick action mode. Also because, in both cases, the framerate shows great stability even in the most hectic duels, yielding to a noticeable decline, oddly enough, especially on the occasion of some cut scenes.
When you then remove the Switch from the dock to go mobile, the concession to choice is no longer valid, but even if you force 30fps and a resolution less than Full HD, the title holds up well. It’s not a small factor, it’s worth it fire emblem warriorsIn fact, the most technically pleasing portable musou produced to date: a considerable added value, which nintenarians passionate about the genre will not strain to appreciate beyond measure.