Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest Review

fireemblemconquest

Despite moaning about Nintendo’s money-grubbing decision to split Fire Emblem Fates into two titles I was unable to resist the temptation of buying both games. What can I say? Gamers love to complain about how publishers swindle customers with day one DLC and bug-ridden products, but our passion for the hobby compels us to throw money away all the same. One small consolation is that owning Birthright allowed me to download Conquest at a slightly reduced price. You win this round Nintendo… although let it be known that I refuse to dump any more cash into this addictive strategy RPG. Huh, what’s that? Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation is due out in Europe tomorrow? Where’s my credit card? I must buy that digital exclusive third instalment ASAP!

OVERVIEW

Whilst playing through Conquest I must admit to feeling a sense of déjà vu. Both games feature levels that are fought on the same maps, but the experience is distinct enough to justify a second purchase. The enemies you face are different for a start and Conquest’s mission objectives are more varied. Rather than simply routing the opposing army you’ll sometimes be expected to protect a base for a few turns or safely retreat to a certain location. The biggest difference between Birthright and Conquest however is that in this title prince/princess Corrin elects to fight for his/her adoptive nation of Nohr. Prince/princess? Is Corrin a hermaphrodite? No, don’t be silly. You pick the protagonist’s gender during the character creation process you silly goose.

Two new tactical features introduced by Fire Emblem Fates are 2v2 battles and the Dragon Vein system. The former happens whenever a unit standing adjacent to an ally attacks. When this occurs the nearby comrade bestows his buddy with some stat buffs in addition to whacking the foe you have targeted, in effect giving you two attacks for the price of one. Alternatively you can choose to pair up characters so they both occupy the same tile on the map. Paired up troops are immune to double attacks, as the duo’s active warrior goes on the offence whilst their chum plays the role of bodyguard (cue Whitney Houston song) who is tasked with blocking secondary assaults.

Dragon Vein on the other hand relates to effects that are triggered whenever the royal members of your army reach a specified spot on the map. Depending on the level in question you’ll be able to heal soldiers standing within a highlighted zone, activate destructive earthquakes or even freeze a lake to form a shortcut that your forces can travel across. Royalty has the power of a dragon? Sounds like conspiracy theorist David Icke was onto something when he accused the queen of being a humanoid lizard. Just to be safe I recommend that all of you wear a tin foil hats whilst playing on your 3DS.

VERDICT

My rating for Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is five stars. I had a blast conquering the thirty-hour story’s twenty-eight levels and my inner architect also enjoyed the castle construction that you can dabble in between skirmishes. By spending the DVP earned through battles players can decorate their fort and build stores that sell handy items such as weapons. The reason I am giving Conquest a higher score than Birthright is because the cast of characters under your command are far more amusing. Instead of Birthright’s plain do-gooders, Conquest stars a bloodthirsty cavalier, an eternally young sorceress and an axe-wielding champion of justice. The wyvern riding big sister who is blessed with huge knockers also appealed to me because I like boobies… um I mean dragons.

If you are new to the franchise I would however recommend playing Birthright over Conquest, as it is more newbie friendly. Conquest is by far the toughest Fire Emblem game I have ever played and that’s saying a lot, as I have played all the series’ western releases (even the lacklustre Shadow Dragon.) Were it not for the option to disable perma-death my army may not have survived Conquest’s many trials. The latter stages are extremely challenging and unlike Birthright it isn’t possible to beef up your forces by grinding on random encounters. I especially loathed chapter twenty’s wind themed battle. Seeing critically injured characters get blown into a squad of enemies by an unexpected gust really “blows” (no pun intended.)

11 thoughts on “Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest Review

  1. Those knockers must have been that huge xDD. Good review Judge. Do the stories inter-connect with each other?. So you get a different perspective of things in the same world. Or is it a stand alone story altogether?.

    • The first six levels (which are pretty much tutorials) are the same for both games. After that you side with one of the armies and see the war from that side’s point of view. The Birthright characters I used were bosses in this game. Defeating my former pals was a little sad.

  2. I was warned that Conquest was the more difficult campaign, but I was still astonished just how insane the experience ended up being. It’s probably the most difficult localized installment in the series thus far. It’s similar to the fifth installment in that the campaign is always putting you in ridiculous situations (that defend mission where you have to guard four tiles comes to mind) and gives you a very small amount of money with which to achieve victory. Thankfully, you have the option to make fallen characters come back, but even on Normal and Causal, it’s quite challenging.

  3. Every damn person on this planet seems to play Fire Emblem but me and I hate missing out on the fun! Though as you say, if I may complain about Nintendo and gaming, I don’t want to enter the arena buying a 3DS now when I can just wait a couple of months or a year for the next huge console. Fire Emblem also looks so pretty. You seemed to have a lot of fun with it, so now I’ll leave you to spend more money, complain more about industry, and have a blast with great games.

  4. So it’s true, Conquest is much harder than Birthrigt. Nice review, I can imagine it’s hard to slay your former buddies. And uh…so, you like dragons?

  5. So Conquest gives the better experience? Glad to know that. That’ll probably be the one I pick up first when I take the plunge and pick up the games.

    So how does the challenge balance out, taking into account that you can turn off perma-death? The big difficulty with the older Fire Emblem titles was almost always that the enemy AI would do whatever it could to kill a character of yours, rather than actually when the fight, knowing that if you lost a character you’d likely be resetting the game anyways. Is that still the same case here, or has the focus of the AI adjusted?

    • I enjoyed Conquest slightly more, but if I were to replay the games I would probably pick Birthright. The campaign is less stressful and it’s nice having the option to power level your army on optional battles.

      A.I wise the game is like previous Fire Emblems. Enemies will attack anyone who gets within range and prioritize fragile characters first. You can tweak the challenge to suit your tastes. Not only can you toggle perma-death on/off, but you also get different difficulty settings. Playing with perma-death disabled may be easier, but you can still get over if all your guys are defeated. Be warned this game is hard in parts. I don’t think I could have avoided casualties with perma-death on – although I am far from the best general ever.

  6. I’ve been meaning to buy either Conquest or Birthright since I really enjoyed Awakening on the 3DS. I think I may have finally decided to give it a go!
    PS: The I like dragons line actually made me laugh out loud. XD

  7. I’m so bad at these games that even after buying some dlc maps to pad experience I ended up finishing this route on Phoenix mode. But I really enjoyed this one and think the different routes were worth it, even if they were extra paid DLC.

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