Hey there, internet. With the derth of gaming news and the fact that I can’t tackle my backlog of games for another week or so, I think its time to start talking about some specific ambassador games. Today we are going to discuss Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, which was originally released for the Gameboy Advance. The Fire Emblem series has only recently been coming out to the west. Despite that, it is actually a very popular, long running series.
|Only for Gameboy Advance my ass|
The Fire Emblem series takes a very different route when dealing with the aristocracy. You know how in every American movie, you can tell who is evil by how much money they have, and if they have a formal title, they might as well be calling themselves Dick Dastardly? Well that serious hatred of the rich and powerful is not present in the Fire Emblem series. With one exception, all Fire Emblem games have you playing as Lords of various kingdoms. These characters don’t spend their time twirling their mustaches thinking about ways to oppress the lower classes either. Instead, they are usually overly compassionate characters, who cannot bear to see anyone in trouble.
|This man would not pass through auditions to be a Fire Emblem lead|
Fire Emblem is a turn based strategy game of the hardest variety. You see, you have customizable characters, who you fight with, level up and grow attached to. If that character’s health reaches zero, that is it. They will die and be gone forever. That’s harsh. You spend all game primping your unstoppable killing machine only to have him be felled by a stray critical attack. Of course you can reload your game, but if you aren’t patient, constant reloading can drive you mad. That is why The Sacred Stones is the perfect introductory Fire Emblem. Why, you say? Because its easy, much easier than any of the other western Fire Emblems. The reason for this is the fact you can engage in random encounters and greatly bolster your levels, making you quite a bit overpowered.
|Poor Vanessa, she’s going to die…forever|
Along with the surprising attitude towards the cultural elite, Fire Emblem strictly follows Japanese anime conventions. Every character is some kind of anime stereotype (perfect if you don’t know anything about anime). You have the gruff mercenary with the heart of gold, women obsessed with their brothers, and of course dozens and dozens of identicle fifteen year old girl warriors, and fresh faced thirty year old male knights, who you just have to love. Despite the serious political nature of the plot, the characters are anything but. It looks like every character stopped by the paintshop before a rhino bungled through the place. What I mean by this is that every character’s hair is some bright random colour.
|She’ll help you kill the enemies…WITH PERKINESS!!!|
In terms of Fire Emblem games, The Sacred Stones is an odd duck. The series is known for its difficulty, which this game tries to curb. However, this does make it the perfect introduction for newcomers to the series. The battle system really hasn’t changed much from the NES original, but the refinements to the gameplay are clear. The game is tight, really tight, and while there are definitely balance issues, this doesn’t affect this game very much, as grinding unbalances everything anyway.
-Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer