Fire Emblem: Three Houses

There are so many reviews of the game out there, but this is specifically for the limited “Limited Edition” review.
I’m a newbie to Fire Emblem so this is my introduction to the franchise. If you’re like me, this can be a great place to start playing. The box set is not too flashy, all in black with gold lettering and accents. I was kind of surprised by the contents.
The artbook is a pretty solid sized coffee table style artbook (hardcover!), and the game itself comes in a gorgeous looking steel book.

I played Fire Emblem: Three Houses for 38 hours after only 3 days of it being released. Yes, you read that right. I spent an average of 12.67 hours/day over 3 days. Needless to say, I LOVE this game. There are 3 routes (4 if you count a shorter, secret route) that are about the same length. It took me 44 hours of playing at what I consider to be an average speed to beat one of the routes on hard difficulty. Basically what I’m trying to say is that you’ll be getting many hours out of this game if you enjoy it.

Fire Emblem Three Houses are the latest Fire Emblem game coming from the waifu revolution in the 3DS games. Nintendo has raised the stakes and taken the school system from Persona before long we will have a Dancing game spin-off on our hands. Jokes aside Fire Emblem Three Houses is the latest game in the Fire Emblem series coming strong after the 3DS and making a triumphant return to a home console in a decade. Take Game of Thrones meets Persona all in an Anime aesthetic and you have the Game of The Year and one of the best reasons to buy a Switch.

Fire Emblem Three Houses like other Fire Emblem’s before it is a tactical turn-based strategy game that takes a big focus on the characters this time around. With three houses to choose from hence the name three houses (brilliant right?). The characters are the best fire emblem has ever seen. I took the Black Eagle’s route and it was just fantastic in terms of the main story and the choices you were presented that give you an alternate route to take in the second part. However, by far the characters were the strongest part all with interesting stories and a great English dub. I surprising loved most of the characters all except one. Who I got halfway through the game and immediately benched and that was, of course, was Cyril. I, of course, heard great things about the other houses that I didn’t get to play. The Blue Lions and Golden Deer being on the same level as Black Eagles but of course, the Black Eagles are the best house. This game lives and dies by the characters because if you don’t like any of the characters you’re not going to like the game. With a school being introduced straight from Persona with a lot of people also citing Harry Potter but without it’s more Persona inspired. As you teach your companions outside of battle or just hang out with them, eat lunch with them or invite them for tea. Playing it made me reminisce a lot about Persona 5 the time management as the calendar moves along now in-game and not in real-time. Which is an improvement now you get to experience all the birthdays and events you could have missed without having to cheese the system and changing the dates on the 3DS settings.

The Story is the best Fire Emblem story to date with a Game of Thrones like House system with Three major powers of the fictional country of Fodlan. All whose heirs are attending the school as students with big plans for the future. It’s like if Game of Thrones was an anime. It’s the right blend of Western-inspired fantasy, all while being rooted in its Japanese roots. Separated into two parts White Clouds and Silver Snow. Part one is mostly similar regardless of what house you pick and part two is when the paths divulge based on the House you picked in the beginning. Setting for the perfect branching narratives and as mentioned before Black Eagles has two routes. Fire Emblem three house’s story of politics, the status quo and the dawn of change is well down. A surprisingly morally grey story with no real villain that gets it right mostly. The tactical gameplay fitting right in the setting. You have the Fire Emblem staple the builds, classes, and support system. That all comes together with the school setting as you can teach students specific builds and classes that don’t even match with the recommended ones. Like you can make all your warriors into mages if you want or make your healers into archers. You can also recruit other members from other houses and you can clean the house on all the other houses. Which I mainly ignored except for those outside the house, One anecdote from my playthrough that shows the visceral gameplay was turning the weak Bernie into a Bow Knight and having her go 180 from useless to melting everyone. Another one is changing Petra from an Assassin to Wyvern Rider and scrambling the last month of the game to promote her the master class Wyvern Lord just barely making her a Wyvern Lord before the last boss fight and that satisfying feeling of getting her that master class was second to none. Finally, we have the graphics and the game doesn’t look bad it’s not the most good looking game ever. It relies mainly on the art style with the Anime cell shade aesthetics which isn’t bad I like that style. The models look good except a distance they start to look like Mii’s especially Flayn. Still, this is the best looking Fire Emblem to date.

Graphics quality: 9/10. Almost every game that releases is capable of looking better, and FE3H is no exception. However, whether it is the animated cutscenes, traversing the monastery, or engaging in large-scale tactical battles, FE3H looks great for a game on Switch. I genuinely believe this is one of the reasons the game pulled me in so quickly, and I am so happy to see that time was taken to ensure the game looks as good as it does.

Animation: 9/10. Again, the same thing. Beautiful. I was very happy to see things that were not previously animated, being animated. The best way I can describe this is that there are smaller things you will notice from time to time that you never thought would make a difference – like the fact that there is no longer an animation for “entering” an attack. Those things make a difference. All of the difference.

Story: 9/10. “Harry Potter” is not an accurate description of this game’s story, because the only thing FE3H shares with Harry Potter is a House system. House systems are a tradition of England’s schooling dating back hundreds of years. If anything, FE3H is historically accurate. And I am really disappointed that some of my fellow Fire Emblem veterans have simply dismissed the game for this reason, because the nuance of the story is something I really appreciate as opposed to many of FE’s former titles. I won’t tell you what to do, but in short, I do not believe you can actually “play” the game and walk away thinking it is like Harry Potter, so if I were you, I would strongly disregard anyone who brings that view to the table.

Characters: 10/10. Characters in this game are excellent. The dialog is snappy, and time spent with students really draws you into the world and its story. If you do not spend time with these characters, you will be missing a HUGE part of the game. Take the time to individually “instruct” them when the time comes and you will see that you care a lot about your students and their progress. You will definitely be invested in them and their lives.

Customization: 10/10. Your student’s progress is the foundation for FE3H customization options. Every single student has the ability to become so many different classes. It is your responsibility to see to it that they achieve their goals, true. But it is also your responsibility to ensure they try new things. If you do, you will find that some characters have a knack for classes they had no interest in – just like real life. This is a really fun part of the game that I think a lot of people are overlooking, so take your time with it.

Gameplay: 10/10. Honestly, FE3H feels as great as FE always has. They brought back weapon durability, which adds some busywork, in my opinion, but the classic battle system is there with just a few more layers to keep veterans interested. And it’s great! I also think the battle-to-schooling ratio is perfect, making battles feel more intense and more important than previous titles.

Voice-acting quality: 10/10. This entire game is voice acted. This ENTIRE game. I love the voices involved and I am really happy with all of the casting choices. I recognize many of the names, but generally, the voices are a “good fit” for the characters you are speaking with.

Music: 8/10. The music is well implemented. There some interesting decisions with sound design in the battles that I think I just need to play more to understand, but it seems like the music shifts depending on what is occurring, which is cool. None of the tracks stand out to me so far though, which is a shame. “You are the ocean’s gray waves” comes into my mind every so often, and I miss that.

In conclusion, Fire Emblem Three Houses are my game of the year. Minor issues aside it has a great story, characters, and gameplay. Making it absolutely game of the year and a reason to buy a Switch. Those disappointed with the lack of a Persona 5 port on switch look no further than Three Houses which masterfully adapted a lot of the mechanics into the game flawlessly. Fire Emblem Three Houses are worth a buy, four routes new game plus you can easily drop a 100 hours. My first playthrough was 60 hours and after beating the game I immediately wanted to start a second playthrough as Blue Lions on New Game Plus. It’s been a while since I wanted to replay a game immediately after just finishing it. Nintendo hit it out of the park this year and now we are waiting on new stories they will add to the game and extra character and plot devices.

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