Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest and Birthright are the newest 3DS hits in the Fire Emblem series. Both are, in their own way, fantastic games overall, but in this review I’ll be covering Conquest. With easy to learn battle strategies, interesting characters, and a very memorable story I believe Conquest achieved what it aimed to do and that was stand out. Although as good as Fire Emblem: Conquest was, does it have what it takes to stand up to the story of its other half, Birthright?
Conquest continues to follow a similar fighting style that you find in any of the other Fire Emblem games. With it just boiling down to turn-based grid field fights, I must say nobody does it better then Fire Emblem. With large teams at your command in which you can pick and choose your troops, it makes coming up with unique strategies for each fight enjoyable. One of the newer things Conquest introduces are dragon veins onto the battlefield. The dragon veins give your team and allies advantages in battle to either clear obstacles, hurt the enemy troops, or even just boost attack or a characters movement; although that doesn’t mean the enemy can’t use them as well for their own diabolical uses, so make sure to keep an eye on them. One thing about battling that needs mentioning, though, is the effect relationships play in this game. While playing through the chapters, your characters will begin developing relationships with one another on a ranking system from C up to S. This affects how well another character can assist you in fights; in short, the better the rank the better they can defend you, fight with you, or if you’re paired up together, the stat boosts they give you.
Another thing new to Conquest and Birthright is the new base building aspect, in which you can set up and create a fortress where you can buy weapons, staffs, talk with characters, turn captured enemies into trusted allies, and that is just touching the surface. Besides serving as a resting point between chapters, though, it’s also used in invasion challenges in which you need to defend the fort from intruders, or where you can invite and challenge your friends or even random strangers to fight. These fights offer you rewards and prizes the more you fight, or the more you visit your friend’s forts. There are numerous reasons to keep upgrading and designing your forts to make the coolest and most battle-ready forts possible.
The story of this game is something less then desirable though. While memorable and full of fun moments, it doesn’t counter the amount of time spent just wanting to skip though big chunks of the story. The story of this game focuses on tension between the kingdoms of Nohr and Hoshido which have been inches from direct war from some time now. You play as Corrin and begin the game as a prince of Nohr. As you progress through your game you reach an unavoidable decision whether to place your allegiance with that of Nohr or Hoshido, and in Conquest you side with Kingdom of Nohr. For me, that was where the story started to decline. I won’t go in to too much detail, but overall it boils down to Corrin not understanding what happens in a war. He refuses to fight, always giving the same reason why. After hearing him complain and get upset about it every chapter just to have another character explain to him why it’s important, it becomes a chore to not to just skip every chapter and move on to the next part of game play. Honestly, if Corrin would have just not talked at all the game would have been much better. Even with that said, though, the characters were what made the story so enjoyable and that made playing on classic mode even more risking in which if one of your characters dies, they’re just gone forever making you consider every move you make even more closely.
Something that hooked me more in this game than with any other Fire Emblem game was the music: the songs were just catchy. The music was masterfully designed for each stage to fit not only the fight but the locations as well. It wasn’t just the music making this game great, though; the wonderful anime style artwork that so many of us enjoy made watching the cut scenes that much greater. It really had me wishing they had time to make more fantastic cut scenes. Graphically, compared to the rest of the game it didn’t draw you in nearly as much, but for playing this on a 2DS system it still looked very good. Overall presentation wise I’d say this game stands up really well against any game you’d like to compare it too.
I ended up really loving Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest. With a great story, memorable characters, and a challenging battle system, it had me hooked from chapter one right through to the end. Aside from a few minor things I would change about this game overall, I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out in the end. In the end, whichever path you decide to follow: fighting for Nohr or fighting for Hoshido, I can say for certain Conquest is a choice that won’t let you down.
Final Score: 9.0/10