Sunday, February 21, 2021

Fire Emblem Three Houses - I The Best Professor

I got Fire Emblem Three Houses for my birthday this last summer, and I've finally had the chance to play it - after managing to take a break from Minecraft for a bit. That's a hard thing to do sometimes! I'm glad I managed to though, because Fire Emblem sucked me in good.

If you're not familiar with Fire Emblem, it is a Tactical RPG set in a medieval fantasy world. There's plenty of characters and you level them up and assign them various classes as you progress through the story. This Fire Emblem features a hefty first half of the game where you play the role of a professor educating these young, up and coming lords and ladies. You can build relationships with them and guide them down their (or your) desired route of progression. There are options to do some of this automatically, but I enjoyed manually teaching my students.

I spent about 90 hours playing through the game - which is a bit longer than the average, but I liked talking to everybody! You have a choice early on which house you'd like to join and teach. This is effectively a choice about which characters you want to play through the game with and which story you want to experience. I'm terrible at making choices! This game is full of them. The nice thing is it warns you up front if the choice you are about to make will have permanent repercussions to the story. So don't fret the other choices throughout the game - they mainly help you build bonds with your students.

For my first time through the game I chose The Black Eagles house. This means I've got Edelgard at the helm and her whole crew to work with. Choosing was tough, as there were characters I liked my first impression of from all the houses. In the end, I grew to love every one of the misfits in the merry band I chose. I was even able to recruit Felix from one of the other houses.

Throughout the game there are days where you'll be able to explore the school and fish, garden, collect items, have meals, train skills, and bond with students. At the end of each month the story mission takes place. You can also take on quests and have non-story battles through the month to level up characters and collect rewards.

Now that I've beaten the game I have access to the New Game+ which I'm hoping to have the time to come back to one day. I'm super curious as to how the other houses stories unfold. Also, I'm excited to start a new game with the ability to carry over a lot of what I earned and collected in my first playthrough. One day. One day.

Something I don't think I ever fully utilized was the battalion system. This is a new mechanic to the Fire Emblem series. Having a battalion equipped to a unit boosts some of its stats, but it also gives them the ability to perform a gambit - a sort of special attack. Despite spending lots of time leveling up everyone's leaderships skills I never really used the gambits all that much. I've heard they're more useful in harder game modes - maybe I'll try to utilize them more in my next playthrough.

Overall, the game was excellent! It pulled me in. I enjoyed playing professor, I fell in love with all the character's in my house, and I enjoyed the battles. The battles themselves got a little easy the further I got into the game and the stronger my characters became. The final battle however, was a good difficulty. Maybe I'll try a harder game mode next time to have more of a challenge. The game was great, and I can't wait to play it again and experience a whole new story.