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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.

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16 hours in Engage and just finished chapter 13, and I'm enjoying it a bit more than I thought I would. Following Rol's approach I will give what are my positive, neutral and negative impressions so far

+ Positives

+ Engaging mechanics are a clever and original way to give a secondary class to a character and allow you lots of experimentation. If you deepen your bond enough you can inherit skills from any of the rings, which helps a lot of flexibility and offsets the fact the weapons are now back to being class-locked. Their special abilities are something closer to overdrives

+ Hard so far offers a fair and balanced challenge for anyone who is used to FE mechanics, without consuming so much of your brain cells like in Conquest and definitely not "Hard, but easy" like Three Houses. Chapter 11 comes to mind as the hardest yet and of course my favorite as well. 

+ Animations and graphics are a very welcomed improvement from Three Houses in every way. Still not on top of Switch capabilities, but now the technical side of the game is perfectly serviceable 

+ I feel the game to be balanced. Dodge builds are reliable, and critical hits don't look overpowered like in 3H. Knives doing poison damage is a nice addition. Archers are not OP either (in Awakening and Fates even the faintest archer could 1OH all flying units)

+ Celebration of the over 25 years of Fire Emblem. As someone who only started playing in Awakening (having played Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn later thanks to emulation), more than half of the emblems are unknown to me and this game does a very nice introduction to the main characters of old. I've spent some time collecting the bond rings just to read the description of the older cast. I've also read some of the maps are inspired by older games so I imagine for older fans this game must be a joy

= Neutrals

= History is actually alright, not good by any means but serviceable. It doesn't annoy me enough to skip any cutscene yet as Fates did and the introduction of the 12 Emblem Rings feels very organic and well-placed. I'm surprised because I was expecting something horrendous. 

= Maps. 3H haters on Reddit says 3H maps are shit and keep praising Engaging for putting "Core strategic gameplay first", but I honestly fail to see how the maps here are any better. Conquest and Radiant Dawn still have better maps and so far I argue that even 3H has more varied maps than Engage. The maps are certainly better than Awakening though

= Breaking mechanic. This mechanic was probably not really well thought and I guess they introduced it after realizing that in Three Houses you can make Dimitri or Felix go to a map and then all the enemies will just suicide trying to kill them (unless you're playing on maddening). The concept is okay, but the problem is this is basically an infinite charging Battalions (and I miss Battalions, RIP). As long as you're not facing armored units you can spam attacks without being punished by your enemies attacking you back. This is making characters that in the past would be frail during Player Phase (i.e. physical units with low Def) to be absolute beasts, Chloe comes to mind although she's the only physical flying unit in the game so far. You can basically make it through all the player phases without even getting damaged, broken IMO

= Somniel is a nice hub actually, better than in both Fates and Three Houses. I thought it would feel disjointed but I'm sold on the concept and it actually feels alright to have a base where you can come back, buy items, do some support's dialogues, train, and sharp or skills before committing to another fight. I found it to be overly cutesy, but you get used to it after some time

- Negatives

- UI is bad and confusing, I'm surprised because UI was always very good on Fire Emblem games. I have the impression the team responsible for the UI here is the same responsible for Awakening and Fates, but they forgot we don't have a second screen on Switch

- Although the game has tons of experimenting options for inheriting skills and testing emblem rings, most of them seem to be enough to explore in a single playthrough. Unlike Fates/3 Houses with its multiple routes or Awakening with the marriage and second-generation mechanics, I see nothing on Engage compelling the player to a second playthrough. I can be wrong as I didn't finish and didn't see what NG+ has to offer, but well... unless you are REALLY a fan of grinding the game story over and over I don't see much value here other than the ~40 hours on maps and combats of the first playthrough 

- Social interaction mechanics are HORSE SHIT. This is not Persona by any means and I'm seeing very few rewards to "engaging" with them. Three Houses did a much better job here, as social activities would often give you weapon proficiency points, professor experience to give you more time for other activities, deep the bounds between the units, and make the morale of your students higher so you can spend more time training them. So while Three Houses actually encourages you to PLAY the game, here your only reward is to pretend you are a friend of 10 different waifus and talking about waifus...

- ... the characters in this game are unbearable. They come from the most generic anime you can think of, they are not only unidimensional they are straight-up annoying and the voice acting is not doing them any favors. Their design is so bad that it makes me sad to play with them, thinking about Celine fighting with her big Dress and it just seems off and immersion-breaking. The fact I can't stand 90% of them and most of them actually are pretty useless gameplay-wise (and you get over 30 of them in a single playthrough, mind you) are making me think 2/3 of the cast were designed to die as baits on maddening 

- Art direction. Starting from the soundtrack, bland and uninspired, when I compare it with Path of Radiance of Three Houses which has pretty iconic music I can't stop scratching my head in disbelief seeing how much less artistic this game actually feels. It's a very much forgettable entry in all the sense of the word and the lack of actual effort to make it memorable in any way instead of resorting to past main characters. Nothing here makes sense, the setting, places, and even the color pallets don't match together. Worldbuilding is ass as well and the lack of visual identity makes the graphics (which are good) to look much less beautiful than they actually are.

Overall, the negative points are making Engaging a game that I don't want to revisit, I will finish and call it a day. It's a soulless game that is not something common for Nintendo games, if you showed it to me I would say it was made for some random Japanese third party who make waifu JRPGs

Last edited by IcaroRibeiro - on 21 January 2023

RolStoppable said:

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

Spend a couple of hours on Reddit and you will see. The only thing people were talking was about who can get a romantic S-support in the end game

The fandom is now dominated by weeaboos. That's why the female cast seems to be created by a waifu generator and the male cast seems to be an anime version of Jpop idols

And that's why the social aspects in this game looks so alien to the game instead of something organic and well thought (like Persona or Three Houses). This is a game designed to be like classic old Fire Emblems, but they need to keep putting saunas and cafes so you can spend your time romancing your partner even if this has a very minor impact on the actual evolution of your units unlike Awakening where marrying was an actual way to unlock characters and passing them skills

As much as I love social sims, you cannot just add them randomly without giving them context and purpose and purpose is something Engage sorely lacking 



IcaroRibeiro said:
RolStoppable said:

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

Spend a couple of hours on Reddit and you will see. The only thing people were talking was about who can get a romantic S-support in the end game

The fandom is now dominated by weeaboos. That's why the female cast seems to be created by a waifu generator and the male cast seems to be an anime version of Jpop idols

And that's why the social aspects in this game looks so alien to the game instead of something organic and well thought (like Persona or Three Houses). This is a game designed to be like classic old Fire Emblems, but they need to keep putting saunas and cafes so you can spend your time romancing your partner even if this has a very minor impact on the actual evolution of your units unlike Awakening where marrying was an actual way to unlock characters and passing them skills

As much as I love social sims, you cannot just add them randomly without giving them context and purpose and purpose is something Engage sorely lacking 

I am not going to waste my time on Reddit. Romance began to dominate as the topic of conversation with Awakening, so nothing new as far that is concerned.

And no, Engage is not designed to be like classic old Fire Emblems, but rather like the three most recent ones (Awakening, Fates, Three Houses) sprinkled with appearances of classic Fire Emblem lords. I also disagree on this being anything like a social sim, because support conversations and equals to S-supports have long been a mainstay in the FE series. Saunas and cafes aren't more than additional ways to earn support points, so they don't bother me. What does bother me is characters being locked behind marriages like in Awakening and Fates which necessitated grinding for support points for a few hours in order to complete all couples. Not so much to unlock characters, but rather to unlock sidequest maps.

Speaking of grinding, the tower of trials in Engage is a major slap in the face. Fighting three battles in a row against ~25 enemies each, but without EXP gains outside of a very small participation bonus for all deployed units is a giant waste of time. It's even more upsetting when you consider that Engage has skirmishes on the world map, so additional EXP are already available and the balance of the game is unchecked anyway. But no, the developers had to separate grinding for EXP and a special brand of items. It's so dumb.

Engage is first and foremost Awakening in its flawed design (incredible amount of grinding options and time wasters), then some Three Houses (expansive hub with various activities that slow down the pace) and a little bit of Fates (unbreakable weapons with lots of modifiers to remember). It's already clear that I'll have to keep going back to Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn for my Fire Emblem fix and I've only completed chapter 11 in Engage up till now, because I've been busy with other matters the past two days. The old Fire Emblem games offer so much replay value because the gameplay is so good: You spend the vast majority of your time on the battlefield, inbetween you go shopping and equip your units, all via plain menus. But since Awakening, and including the remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden known as Echoes, the developers have kept adding stuff that makes the games hard to stomach, and that's why I keep going back to the pre-Awakening era all too often.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV will outsell Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I was wrong.

I think Engage's soundtrack is awesome. Listened to a lot of it on Youtube and I really enjoy it.



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Kakadu18 said:

I think Engage's soundtrack is awesome. Listened to a lot of it on Youtube and I really enjoy it.

Aside from the god awful intro I heard. I think the soundtrack keeps the good tone of what someone would expect of a good soundtrack. The battle themes are nice and got good variations to them .... The rest is ... There.

Yeah, I think this one is gonna be the least memorable soundtrack of the series sadly. There's nothing in this soundtrack that made me stop or go "wow, what a piece" moment.

One of the major flaw this game has conceptually as an anniversary title is prolly the fact that a lot of aspects ,aside the gameplay, have been "downgraded" for the sake of simplicity and cohesion to mash previously seen mechanics in other titles.

Meaning I have no doubt most will get a "good time" out of it. But once it's over and time has passed enough throughout the year, this game will seem quite anecdotal because it'll have nothing truly strong to stand on.

Anywoo, bring back dungeon crawling, Intelligent System, you cowards !



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Mar1217 said:
Kakadu18 said:

I think Engage's soundtrack is awesome. Listened to a lot of it on Youtube and I really enjoy it.

Aside from the god awful intro I heard. I think the soundtrack keeps the good tone of what someone would expect of a good soundtrack. The battle themes are nice and got good variations to them .... The rest is ... There.

Yeah, I think this one is gonna be the least memorable soundtrack of the series sadly. There's nothing in this soundtrack that made me stop or go "wow, what a piece" moment.

One of the major flaw this game has conceptually as an anniversary title is prolly the fact that a lot of aspects ,aside the gameplay, have been "downgraded" for the sake of simplicity and cohesion to mash previously seen mechanics in other titles.

Meaning I have no doubt most will get a "good time" out of it. But once it's over and time has passed enough throughout the year, this game will seem quite anecdotal because it'll have nothing truly strong to stand on.

Anywoo, bring back dungeon crawling, Intelligent System, you cowards !

They can't do Paper Mario right anymore, you expect them to bring back Dungeon Crawling in FE?



Life is Strange 2 and Trek to Yomi announced for Switch, coming 2nd of Feb and 30th of Jan respectively



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023. (And over 130 million lifetime)

I finished Sol Cresta on Switch. Yuzo Koshiro's music never misses. The game itself is like The Wonderful 101 as a Shmup. Visually it's going for a 1997 Saturn 3D Shmup which is awesome to me. Great game!



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

I'm getting close to the end of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (I'm in the final chapter) and it's an excellent game so far. I've also been replaying the KOTOR games from the end of last year until now. I played them on PC in the past.
Fire Emblem Engage is a must-buy, but not right now. I'll either wait a bit and still pay full price or wait until at least one or two opportunities this year arise when it's marked down to $49.99 on sale.
I will probably get Tears of the Kingdom at launch. We've been waiting forever for that game.



Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 144 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million, then 125 million)

PS5: 105 million Xbox Series S/X: 60 million

PS4: 120 mil (was 100 then 130 million, then 122 million) Xbox One: 51 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

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