Happy upcoming Valentines Day! I'm definitely in the lovin' mood after spending some time with Fire Emblem this week.
I'm going to be real honest about it, Fire Emblem is my favourite soap opera. It's a great tactical experience, lots of options in battle, encourages very smart play, blah blah blah. That's all great, but for me, the real focus is all about fostering these little battlefield romances.
Fire Emblem has a interesting relationship system where placing units next to each other on the field, or pairing them up so they move as one combined unit, will let them share sympathetic bonuses. Aside from generic buffs to attack rating, accuracy, agility and so on, combined units will also randomly work together to compliment each others talents. A burly knight may jump in front of spear to protect her squishy mage friend, or an archer may rain down some long distance payback on behalf of his thief accomplice. The more one particular pair works together, the tighter the bond between them will be and the more effective they become as a team. Great for the strategy end of things.
But they also become friends, or lovers. Between battles you can listen in on conversations between your units and watch as their relationships grow. This has quickly become the highlight of the game for me. I'm a big romantic softy and even early on I've got my own set of cute awkward romances going that I want to see develop. I want to see the far flung day when these crazy kids get together and have little warrior-babies of their own.
It can be a heart-breaker though. Fire Emblem works on a perma-death system. Once a person is down, they're gone. It can be devastating to lose one half of a battle-couple to a unlucky critical or a poor move. I'm trying to keep it legit and roll with my losses, but sometimes it's hard. I've already lost Sully the tomboy knight just as she started warming up, and I had to restart a match twice to keep hayseed-cum-warrior Donny alive, I can't let him die so far away from the farm and his mama!
- See you on the other side Sully.
This game plays your emotions like a fiddle. Definitely a great choice for some Valentines gaming.