Fire Emblem Echoes | Teen Ink

Fire Emblem Echoes

May 22, 2020
By Qualsly BRONZE, Antelope, California
Qualsly BRONZE, Antelope, California
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a tactical RPG for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is actually one of the three remakes in the Fire Emblem series, the original game being Gaiden that was released way back in 1992. In my opinion, Echoes is a great game with a good story that both experienced and beginner Fire Emblem players will enjoy. 

Once the game is opened, the player is greeted with an introductory cutscene showing Alm and Celica, the two protagonists of the game, as their younger selves. They lay near a fireplace, promising to each other that no conflict shall ever come between them. Followed right after is a collection of cutscenes which each can occur throughout the game, giving you a little synopsis of the story without much context. 

The story starts out with a prologue that introduces you to some of the characters you’ll see in Alm’s side (You get to see Celica and her gang in Act 2). You’ll soon initiate your first battle in which the game guides you through, teaching you basic strategies and game mechanics. Battles are turn-based and take place on a map with a grid, which you are able to move units around on. Units are able to engage attacks on the enemy with a variety of lances, swords, bows, and magic tomes, each with different stats that may help or hinder the unit. What weapon a unit wields is based on their starting class. For example, knights use lances and mercenaries use swords. You learn more tactics as you progress through the beginning, but then you’re left on your own to strategize and defeat enemies and opposing armies along the way.  

Dungeon exploring is a feature completely unique to Gaiden and its remake, Echoes. You are able to control either Alm or Celica in a 3D environment and fight off monsters or other beings as you explore labyrinths and hideouts. Shrines are another part of dungeon exploring where you can promote a unit to a higher tier of their base class  at the right level. Their base stats will grow and may provide more help on the battlefield. You can also make offerings to the statue in the shrine, curing all your fatigued units after sweeping through your enemies.

In addition to having playable units on the battlefield (which is a feature in all Fire Emblem games), characters can interact with each other through support conversations if they fight next to each other. All dialogue in the game has full voice acting, which you can also experience through different events and sequences within the story. Support conversations rank from C, B, and A, with C being the first interaction between them and A being the last. More often than not, supports have the two characters come between a small conflict which is resolved at their last conversation. These support conversations can reveal more about the character and their personality, and you may even grow to love some of them.

The musical compositions in Echoes are simply outstanding, ranging from jaunty tunes, adventurous themes, and powerful vocals. The music clearly sets the mood for your adventure, and if you do enjoy what you hear, you’ll surely be coming back for another listen. In fact, you get a taste of the music in the introductory cutscene, which I think is great. 

 Fire Emblem Echoes has many strengths: its story, characters, music, and much more. This is a RPG that I enjoyed a lot and left a good impression on the rest of the Fire Emblem series for me. If you’re into story rich games, dungeon exploring, or strategic battling, this is a game that won’t disappoint!

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