In the Crosshairs: Fire Emblem Warriors (Nintendo 3DS/Switch)

I’ve always thought about adding a Dynasty Warriors-style game to my 3DS library; despite being similar in concept to beat ’em up games, it feels quite different to run around in a game overworld, swinging your weapon of choice around and cutting down waves upon waves of nameless fodder. I thought about the old Samurai Warriors on the 3DS but review scores weren’t good enough and I wasn’t really that interested in Japanese historical figures.

Then came Hyrule Warriors Legends. A port of the Wii U title Hyrule Warriors, the game was a crossover between The Legend of Zelda franchise and Koei Tecmo’s hack and slash title. I really considered getting this game, I just didn’t get it at the time it came out as I was busy with other titles. I was still planning to get a copy – until Nintendo announced Fire Emblem Warriors, that is.

Box art of the NA version of Fire Emblem Warriors for the New Nintendo 3DS.

Similar to the Zelda spin-off, Fire Emblem Warriors is a Dynasty Warriors game covered in a coat of Fire Emblem paint. Despite being a fan of The Legend of Zelda franchise, I lost interest in Hyrule Warriors immediately after I heard that this title was coming out on not only the Nintendo Switch but also the New Nintendo 3DS.

Fire Emblem, in my opinion, is simply a much better fit for the Warriors game format than the Legend of Zelda; for one, Fire Emblem titles always featured a number of playable characters whereas Zelda games had Link as the sole playable protagonist. Also, The Legend of Zelda titles have always been action-oriented already, so I didn’t feel the need to play as Link in a hack and slash game. Fire Emblem games have always been turn based strategy RPGs so it’s great to finally control all their characters in a more action-based game.

Lastly, the Legend of Zelda games have mostly revolved around the same characters; Fire Emblem games rarely repeat characters across titles and seldom have sequels so you’re working with a different set of characters altogether – I’m highly interested in seeing each title’s protagonists interact and maybe even battle each other. And the premise of Fire Emblem Warriors, while similar to Hyrule Warriors and even it’s mobile spin-off Fire Emblem Heroes, resonates a lot to me – a world is in peril and to save it, heroes from different Fire Emblem worlds have to team up and work together.

What I really like about Fire Emblem Warriors is, at least based from people who have played preview copies, how it retains signature elements of the franchise like the weapon triangle (swords beat axes beat lances beat swords), the support conversation system, and even the tactical gameplay.

You can closely monitor the action all throughout the map thanks to the second screen of the New Nintendo 3DS.

What cemented my decision to get a copy of Fire Emblem Warriors though is History Mode where you can revisit a selection of battles from each of the Fire Emblem titles but in a Warriors game rather than as a tactical RPG. Seriously, the idea of playing Chrom and Robin’s final stand in Fire Emblem Awakening in a hack and slash format is very exciting.

Fire Emblem Warriors has a lot of other good stuff to it such as amiibo functionality for past and future Fire Emblem amiibo (more games to use my Ike amiibo on!) and the potential for loads of DLC to come (the announced characters that will be part of the main game has barely scratched the surface) that I can’t think of a reason why I shouldn’t get this game.

Now I have to admit – I’m a big Fire Emblem fan, so this title is probably for someone like me. I acknowledge that someone who isn’t into Fire Emblem will probably feel the same way that I do about the main Dynasty Warrior games. But this could be that person’s entry into the Fire Emblem franchise – Nintendo wouldn’t be releasing so many Fire Emblem games in a relatively short span of time if the franchise isn’t any good. So yes, this is definitely on my radar and it should be on every New Nintendo 3DS and Switch owner’s too.

Fire Emblem Warriors has already been released in Japan and is scheduled for release in the NA, EU, and AU regions on October 20, 2017. Are you going to get a copy?

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