After finishing the first six chapters of Fire Emblem Engage, there are a few things I can say:
+Story and characters: Despite this being an anniversary game which meshes a new world with Emblem rings that bring back the heroes of the past games, it's surprisingly coherent so far. The main story moves at a good pace while the support conversations are shorter than they've been in the recent past, which is welcome because there are once again a lot and at this designated length they don't interrupt the pacing too much.
+Gameplay: While there are tons of possibilities that invite heavy grinding for the characters, the limit of three rounds per activation of an Emblem ring keeps the strategy aspect intact for the most part. The permanent display of the full character sheet at the bottom of the screen makes it much quicker than in the past to view and especially be aware of anything special an enemy may be able to do.
+Graphics, or rather the character models: The environments look sparse (framerate is stable), but the character models of the fighting cast are really good and bring the people to life. They are also more pleasant to look at than Three Houses' choice of matching eye and hair colors for a lot of its characters.
+-Music: Couldn't form much of an opinion yet. So far it's solid with nothing sticking out as particular great or bad.
-Customization: There are so many things, ranging from weapons to skills to rings and classes. The sizes of the stat bars make it obvious just how much room there is to beef up characters. There are lots of different items with no other purpose than being a currency for upgrades, so this is a game for people who love to grind for all kinds of stuff.
-The Somniel: What's good about it are the few options to earn support points between characters without much effort to improve relationships even among the people you rarely send into battles. But the free-roaming in a hub remains as unneeded as it always was in a Fire Emblem game, coming with a few features that are plain timewasters, such as the wake-up duty which features events in the vain of poor support conversations and happens by random chance on top of it. I suppose quite a lot of time spent in the Somniel isn't really needed, but since I don't know how many items of each kind I'll end up needing eventually, I collect all the stuff that's scattered around. Overall, it's not as time-consuming as Garreg Mach, but sadly it also isn't as quick to go through as the town in Fates.
Engage is more or less a blend of Awakening, Fates and Three Houses, taking elements from each game and shaking them up a bit. No idea which one of these aforementioned games' direction will be dominant in the end, but after the first several hours it at least looks like Engage can be a great game when played in a barebones manner. Meaning that the vast majority of the Somniel features and the heavy character customization can be ignored and the whole thing is still fun to play. Naturally, the higher the difficulty setting, the more time will have to be spent on grinding.
Engage doesn't seem to have what it takes to put it into the top tier of Fire Emblem games, but chances aren't bad that it can make the tier below with titles like The Sacred Stones, Fates and Three Houses. Fingers crossed that there's no new game plus or the like in Engage, because I've had enough of strategy RPGs that require multiple playthroughs.
Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV will outsell Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I was wrong.