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Fire Emblem Warriors impressions/review

November 18th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is mainly an impressions post for a simple reason… it’s a Dynasty Warriors game (also known as Musou). If you don’t yet know whether you like these or not… Play one of them. Any of them, really. Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes are my top recommendations… alongside Fire Emblem Warriors. But there’s a pile of others based on Gundam, Berserk, One Piece, Fate, Fist of the North Star, Arslan Senki, ancient Japan, ancient China, an “all-stars” with several Koei Tecmo characters, and probably a pile more stuff… Grab the one that interests you most. I don’t feel like I really need to go full on explaining how this plays and stuff, because it’s such a huge series with so many options.

So back when Hyrule Warriors came out, a lot of people were pointing out that Fire Emblem would work really well with this style too, so it wasn’t too surprising to actually see this being made.

So here’s my impressions! I will discuss what separates this from Hyrule Warriors and probably other games in the Musou series

(next I want to see Kirby Warriors… imagine an army of Kirbies with different powers running around killing the shit out of things)

Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games/Nintendo
Date of Release: October 20th 2017
Platform: Switch, New 3DS (Switch version reviewed)
Genre: Musou

Rated T for Teen


The areas look really generic, pretty much fields with forts all around or interiors of castles, but the characters’ 3D models are looking like really close to their portraits in their own games. They look really great and are nicely animated in battle. There’s also some really fancy super attack animations, they’re pretty ridiculous overall, but not quite as cool as they were in Hyrule Warriors sadly (with a few exceptions). There’s not a whole lot to say about how the graphics look due to it being fairly generic otherwise, but I love the use of the Fire Emblem 2D sprites from the games (as well as a handful of 2D maps that I do believe come from the games), and the cinematics look really good too. Performance is solid throughout. There’s some enemy pop-in, which is very normal for a Musou game, but I didn’t really notice any dips in framerate (in handheld mode, I haven’t played this docked).

On the sound side, there’s some remixed Fire Emblem music, and lots of sword slash sounds. Kinda hard to mess either of those up.

On the story side, this game takes place in a separate world from any of the other games. You play as either Rowan or Lianna (you choose between them but it’s a pretty meaningless choice since you get access to both anyways), 2 lord-class characters that I am 99% sure are unique to this game. For whatever reason monsters are popping up from weird portals, so the characters get hold of the Shield of Flames (also known as the Fire Emblem), which they must complete to defeat the Chaos Dragon using Gleamstones that they get from heroes. The heroes in question are characters from other Fire Emblem games, who got sent to this world due to what seems like the influence of the Chaos Dragon and the monsters coming into the world. So yeah, you meet heroes, gather gleamstones and go through a little bit of drama on your way to fight the Chaos Dragon… That’s it. It’s okay, nothing amazing story-wise but it’s something.


Where Dragon Quest Heroes took the Dynasty Warriors gameplay but changed the objectives of the levels, making them more varied, Fire Emblem Warriors goes the Hyrule Warriors way and offers pretty standard Dynasty Warriors gameplay.

You have a map you can run around with forts. Conquering forts weakens the enemy army, in addition to taking over outposts which helps in a very minor way. In most maps things are locked behind some kind of progress, may it be taking over the few available forts, or defeating gatekeepers in front of forts, or defeating certain hero enemies. Bigger enemies tend to give either materials or weapons (a bit more on those later).

The combat is much as you may remember from other Dynasty Warriors games. Weak attacks with one button, strong attacks with another (which you usually use after a string of weak attacks for different strong attacks). The different strong attacks are useful in different situations (some good for large groups, some good for single enemies, some better at stunning). As per usual your attacks have a huge radius of effect so you kill the crap out of anything that doesn’t have a life bar extremely quickly and without really thinking about it. Stunning an enemy puts a gauge above their head. Grey or yellow, yellow is better. Emptying that gauge by attacking them initiates a Critical Hit, which is basically a mini-super. Fighting enemies increases 2 meters, the Super meter and the Awakening meter. Awakening gives you a temporary buff and ends with a slightly smaller super attack, and super attacks are just big radius attacks that deal super massive damage.

What this does different from the Warriors games I played is fairly simple really: you can give orders to characters you’re not controlling. I do think they’re a bit more active than in some of the other games so they can do stuff alone, but you can combine that with another feature this type of game doesn’t always have: switching characters. Anytime in the game you can pause (which is also where you give orders) and press X on a character to get the option to control them (there’s up to 8 characters on a map at once, however only 4 of them are ones you can control, the others can still be ordered around though). This is super useful since you can split things up and attack areas a lot faster.

Another new feature is permadeath. It’s a really cool feature because you fully lose characters if they die, so you end up being a lot more careful in battle, it makes things a bit more tense at times. As you advance through the game you do get the option to revive dead characters, but it is very expensive to do, costing both a lot of money and 10 gold materials (which are pretty rare).

You can pair up with characters. Basically you keep controlling the character you were, but you get a stat boost, and super attacks, depending on circumstances, can be even better supers where the paired-up character does extra damage or drags in more enemies. The paired up character can also come out for a quick attack (which has some cool-down). If you pair up with a controllable character you can also switch between them, though I tend to pair-up with non-controllable ones (and I try to pair up every controllable character with someone else). After a battle, you have chances of increasing your bonds between all the characters. It seems that fighting close to teammates does that, as does pairing up. I believe a higher bond means better stat boosts when pairing up, but it also gives character-specific materials.

Then there’s the weapon triangle, a staple of the Fire Emblem series. Sword users are strong against axe users, who are strong against spear users, who are strong against sword users. Then you have some characters with horses, wyverns and pegasuses (pegasi? who knows). Bow users are strong against flying units, I think magic users don’t really have specific strengths or weaknesses, and the few dragon stone users seem to have some weaknesses but I’m not quite sure what (however Tiki’s awakening, instead of just being a buff like it is for others, transforms her into dragon mode and changes her moveset). Send units against enemies that are strong against them is very dangerous, but you can do some planning pre-battle to get a good mix of different kind of weapon users.

Here you level up your characters by fighting (with a pop-up screen that shows the stats increase like in Fire Emblem, though you can deactivate that screen if you want). Defeating stronger enemies gives you weapons and materials. Weapons have different stats and passive abilities (which you can transfer to different weapons at the smithy), so they’re not unique things with different combat moves like in Hyrule Warriors, just straight on power-ups. You also have badges, which you buy for each character using materials dropped by enemies. 2 categories of badges are replicated between characters. One which give more combo moves, better/more super meters or awakening. The other gives several helpful features like more/better healing item use and stronger defense against different kinds of weapons. The third category of badges is where some characters diverge. It does 3 things: class up, ability to use better-rank weapons, and skills. Skills tend to be passive things like stat boosts, some are dependent on level or luck stats. You can equip 3 skills at once. The class upgrade requires a master seal, a fairly rare drop (there’s enough for all the characters, I assume). It changes the character’s appearance, gives a HUGE stat increase, and adds more badges to the different categories.


I think this is the second best Warriors/Musou game that I’ve played (which isn’t saying a lot but you know). The ability to give orders to other units and switch between them on-the-fly alone make this a much smooter game overall, solely because you can order someone to go somewhere, do something on one side, and then once you’re done switch to the other character and do stuff there. So much less running around. The pair up mechanic is fun too, and as per Musou tradition there’s a crapload of content (lots of art pieces to get from Anna, several history maps, lots and lots of grinding, and I don’t know what else because I’m still playing it). I put it slightly below Dragon Quest Heroes, but it’s very very close.

So yeah, I highly recommend this one, it’s super solid.

Why is there even a New 3DS version? No one’s gonna buy that.

(I do need to get DQH2 at some point, not sure what’s holding up Squeenix on the US Switch version since the game is both already ported to Switch and already translated to english on PS4 and PC)

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