Fire Emblem Engage: Taking Inspiration from Nintendo’s Mobile Success

A New Direction for Fire Emblem

Nintendo’s latest installment in the beloved Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem Engage, shows a clear influence from the success of Fire Emblem Heroes, one of Nintendo’s most popular mobile games. While Fire Emblem: Three Houses received critical acclaim in 2018, it’s the mobile hit Heroes that seems to be shaping the future of the franchise, and Engage embraces this direction.

Familiar Tactics, Exciting Innovations

For fans of the series, rest assured that Fire Emblem Engage stays true to its roots. It remains a meticulously designed and intricate tactical RPG, offering the same hooks and charms that have captivated players for years. Whether you enjoy the intense grid-based battles or the quirky characters, Engage delivers a familiar experience.

In its early chapters, Engage does an exceptional job of introducing new and old ideas. The captivating cinematics quickly immerse players in the world of Elyos and the game’s protagonist, Alear, a descendant of the Divine Dragon. While the story may not be groundbreaking, the visuals are stunning, with vibrant colors and smooth animations reminiscent of an anime.

The tactical battles, with their rock-paper-scissors combat mechanics, continue to be a highlight of the series. Engage adds new elements, such as the chain attack and guard system, which reward players for strategic troop placement and add depth to the gameplay. The over-the-top battle animations bring each character’s personality to life and make critical hits even more satisfying.

Troops move around a grassy battlefield in Fire Emblem Engage.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Welcoming Newcomers

Despite building on the series’ strengths, Fire Emblem Engage manages to remain accessible to newcomers. The game gradually introduces its complexity, allowing players to ease into its mechanics. The hub world, Somniel, serves as a base of operations where players can engage in various activities, such as farming materials, buying gear, and participating in mock battles. As the story progresses, Somniel evolves into a thriving community, creating a sense of belonging and familiarity for players.

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Influenced by Fire Emblem Heroes

Fire Emblem Heroes’ influence is evident from the beginning of Engage. The game revolves around summoning characters from the series, offering a delightful fan service reminiscent of Heroes. The ability to acquire rings through a “gacha” system adds complexity to the RPG experience. However, the game ensures that in-game currency is plentiful and easily earned, without the need for real money transactions.

Fire Emblem Engage strikes a balance between appealing to mobile players and enhancing the RPG formula. Rings not only provide stat buffs but also introduce the concept of “ultimate abilities” into the game, allowing for strategic decisions and visually stunning special attacks.

Alear equips Marth's ring in Fire Emblem Engage.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Customization and Bonding

Fire Emblem Engage offers a tremendous amount of customization through its bond system. Characters can level up their bonds with ring heroes, unlocking passive abilities that can be bought and equipped. This adds depth to the gameplay, encouraging players to experiment with different character and ring combinations. The possibilities for creating unique strategies and specialized units are endless.

Embracing the Mobile-Console Fusion

At first, the focus on fan service in Fire Emblem Engage seemed questionable. However, after playing through the initial chapters, I’ve come to appreciate the game’s experimentation. While the story has yet to fully captivate me, the gameplay experience is a joy. Managing resources is straightforward, and the constant progression and achievement system keeps me engaged and motivated. Engage represents Nintendo’s exploration of merging mobile and console offerings, and it succeeds in creating a delightful experience.

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Fire Emblem Engage will be available on January 20 for the Nintendo Switch.

OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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