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New Details Emerge for Fire Emblem if

by Donald Theriault - April 29, 2015, 4:38 pm PDT
Total comments: 23 Source: 4gamer (link in Japanese), Serene Forest, Siliconera

Japanese players will have to dig deep, but will get two radically different experiences

Japanese website 4gamer has provided some additional information about the release of Fire Emblem if, including how the download versions will work and the nature of the game’s 3rd downloadable story.

The Hoshido (White version) route will be similar in objectives to Fire Emblem Awakening and include a world map, while the Nohr (Black version) will not have a world map and feature skirmishes similar to other Fire Emblem games. The eShop versions will download the same first five chapters, then the choice will be made based on which version you purchased and will force a download of that story’s data. Should the owner want to play the other story, they will have to purchase it separately, even with the download version.

The 3rd scenario also had details revealed, which describe it as “halfway” between the Hoshido and Nohr stories and will pick up from chapter 5 as well.

The promised limited edition bundle, which contains all three scenarios, has sold out across Japan including two separate releases on amazon.jp. Fire Emblem if releases on June 25 in Japan and 2016 in the West, and we hope to have Western details shortly.

Thanks to Serene Forest and Siliconera for providing translation details.

Talkback

broodwarsApril 29, 2015

If they pull this B.S. in NA, then I can't see the sales justifying any future FE localizations. The Japanese are used to getting reamed by their corporate overlords (just look at how anime is priced & distributed over there), but the NA fanbase is way too small for this not to have severe negative repercussions.  They'll effectively have blown away any traction they earned with Awakening.

Mop it upApril 29, 2015

Hopefully, one reason why this game isn't releasing until 2016 in NA is because they're going to package the game differently here.

SorenApril 29, 2015

At least now those who always crap on about permadeath will get their own version.


I will have every version, please.

LazersApril 29, 2015

If the reviews out of Japan (and the people who import) are good, I honestly can't see a similar release structure slowing down the franchise too much in the West. The thing about "niche" titles (which a lot of people are always quick to label this franchise) is that the majority of their fanbase is entrenched. As long as the content and gameplay is there, I'll pre-order the limited edition bundle the minute it goes up.

TOPHATANT123April 29, 2015

Are people really forgetting that Awakening had ~$55 worth of dlc? For ~137.5% the price of the main game you got ~50% more maps. Whereas in IF for another ~100% the price (assuming each path costs $20) you get ~200% more maps. Anyone with half a brain can tell If is a way better value proposition, and if you want to know if they will pull this outside of Japan you need only ask yourself if Nintendo likes money.

EnnerApril 29, 2015

Quote from: broodwars

If they pull this B.S. in NA, then I can't see the sales justifying any future FE localizations. The Japanese are used to getting reamed by their corporate overlords (just look at how anime is priced & distributed over there), but the NA fanbase is way too small for this not to have severe negative repercussions.  They'll effectively have blown away any traction they earned with Awakening.

But why are you mad? Intelligent Systems is doing us fans a solid. They set out to make two games worth of story. Instead of charging fans for two stories when they might be satisfied with one, they let us save a little instead of buying a bigger game (that we might not play all of) upfront :D

Quote:

“I believe so; however, you’ll be plenty satisfied even just by playing one of the routes, so please play whichever one piques your interest,” replies Nintendo producer Hitoshi Yamagami. “After that, if you get curious about what happens on the other route, give that a try. Once you learn about one route, the other one will become more profound.”
...
“Yes, that’s exactly it,” responds Yamagami. “If we were to put the content of both sides into one, we’d have no choice but to set the price as two games, and that wouldn’t be fair to players that are just going to play one route.”
...
“It is Fire Emblem, after all,” says Yamagami with a laugh. “Each route is properly made, with its own scenes and movies as well.”

If you’re wondering just how much content the routes of Fire Emblem If has, we previously reported that it has about the same amount of content as Fire Emblem: Awakening, which wasn’t a short game, by any means. That said, with the increased cost of development in mind, it makes sense that Intelligent and Nintendo chose to split the game into two versions instead of simply charging a higher price for the entire package as a whole.

Read more at http://www.siliconera.com/2015/04/29/fire-emblem-developer-explains-game-split-two-versions/#v1ymaiFCEd17Lddb.99

Also, instead of the many bite-sized DLC bundles of Awakening, the DLC of Fire Emblem if is just one, big expansion story route! You should be happy about this! We should all be happy!

-----
Taking Nintendo's and Intelligent System's words on good faith, it seems they believe they are providing three Fire Emblem game's worth of content for two (4700 yen for 1 story route + 2000 for the other route + 2000 for the 3rd route ). Seeing how even Japanese game companies are pissing Japanese fans off with DLC shenanigans (Bandai Namco and the recent Tales of Zestria come in to mind), I'd hope that plenty of Japanese Fire Emblem fans are looking at Fire Emblem if with skepticism.

I don't know how this could have been done without any worry. My surefire solution is that Intelligent Systems shouldn't have made such a big Fire Emblem game all at once (One of the design goals of FE if was to make two games worth of story at once, paraphrasing translation reports of the 4gamer interview). I think fans would have been just as pissed if this game was separated in to annual releases. Maybe we would be okay with this if the two other routes were released as big DLC expansions 6 and 9-12 months down the line? But then some Fire Emblems fan would complain about the Black Kingdom route, the hard route they demand, being an extra DLC purchase.

ClexYoshiApril 29, 2015

This... this is actually brilliant! there's always been 2 very distinct (I guess 3 if you count Geaneology of the Holy War, but we'll get back to that) flavors of Fire Emblem.

Flavor 1 is the high strategy/Resource Management FEs. money, equips, and EXP are all finite resources that form a symbiotic circle of management that factor into your movement across the battlefield just as much as who the best unit to dispatch an opponent does...! "I could easily have Nephenie dispatch this sword master with the killing edge, but my Killer Spear is down to 2 uses, and if I don't crit, that's gonna break and cripple her effectiveness... maybe I should move Tormod up and have him try and possibly whiff a Bolganone and pick up some EXP? at the same time, there's like, a bunch of Sword/spear paladins sitting over there, oh shit..."

Flavor 2 is the Fire Emblem Gaiden/Sacred stones/ Awakening flavor, which is more cruched on the high RPG aspect of things and having the ability to min/max and not be forced into hoping the growth RNG blesses the character you like with good stats. at the same time, being able to grind for money that you can eventually spend on stat ups or items to respec a character starts to rob battles of tension when you know if you'r ehaving trouble with a mission that you have the option to just fall back on mashing zombies in the face with disposable iron tat for coin and EXP. "Oh, hey! Est! she was impossible to use in FE1 since you get her so late, and... I mean, this isn't any different, except for the fact that I can take her back and train! I just have to get through this mission without anybody poking her with an arrow or something stupid!"

I know some people who really thought Gaiden and Sacred Stones were kinda trash, and only kinda begrudgingly accepted FE:A because of how awesomely it handles it's fanservice to the series at whole and that it got their friends talking about FE.

this is like bitching that Nintendo is selling you Chocolate and vanilla ice cream seperate, and that the choco-vanilla swirl with strawberry and walnuts on top costs extra.

Here's hoping that campaign 3's 'combination of both' gives us flavor 3 of Fire Emblem, which we only got in geaneology of the Holy War.

Flavor 3 is somewhat close to the first flavor of high strategy, but rather than picking out portions of your army, you are utilizing EVERYBODY! all your units come for every map, but the maps are HUUUUUUUUUGE affairs with mini-maps in the forms of castles you can conquer from enemies and then keep control of by having your units garrison there, giving your army at large various benefits! "Arden usually has trouble keeping up with the group, and Adean is good for healing the big lunk, so they can stay at this castle in case reinforcements show up, and I can keep pushing the line with Sigurd and the rest of the cavalry!"

broodwarsApril 29, 2015

Quote from: Enner

Quote from: broodwars

If they pull this B.S. in NA, then I can't see the sales justifying any future FE localizations. The Japanese are used to getting reamed by their corporate overlords (just look at how anime is priced & distributed over there), but the NA fanbase is way too small for this not to have severe negative repercussions.  They'll effectively have blown away any traction they earned with Awakening.

Mad? No...not really. I think it's ridiculous that Nintendo is openly admitting that they made one game, split it into 2 parts so they could sell it twice, and people are praising them for it when "on-disc DLC" is so widely despised elsewhere. Frankly, the mountain of DLC is one of the reasons I stopped playing Awakening, and I have no desire to go back to it. The likelyhood of me even buying this game is not great at the moment, and knowing how this game is designed doesn't help that. Am I mad about this? No, but I'm annoyed and as a general fan of the franchise do think this will do more harm than good to the NA FE franchise, which is small as it is.

hhgjfApril 29, 2015

Well, I really don’t see a problem here; actually, I consider this to be a very good idea if the white and black paths are really that different from each other as described, representing Awakening and old school FEs respectively. Given how divided the FE fans, old and new are, with some criticizing on how grindy Awakening is and others on the old ones being inaccessible, doesn’t it make sense to give both camps the options to choose from? Instead of paying say $50 for a gigantic game with portion I don’t like, why not pay just $40 for a standard-length game in which I enjoy every bit? For my case, I will just buy the black version and not bother with the white. Yes, I may buy the “3rd path” DLC that is supposedly the “best” path, provided it is actually good. The point is, if I enjoy the main game then paying $15 for another 60%-80% extra contents isn’t that bad.

EnnerApril 30, 2015

ClexYoshi, that was a lovely perspective for me to read as some one who isn't well versed in the Fire Emblem series.

Quote from: broodwars

Mad? No...not really. I think it's ridiculous that Nintendo is openly admitting that they made one game, split it into 2 parts so they could sell it twice, and people are praising them for it when "on-disc DLC" is so widely despised elsewhere. Frankly, the mountain of DLC is one of the reasons I stopped playing Awakening, and I have no desire to go back to it. The likelyhood of me even buying this game is not great at the moment, and knowing how this game is designed doesn't help that. Am I mad about this? No, but I'm annoyed and as a general fan of the franchise do think this will do more harm than good to the NA FE franchise, which is small as it is.

But Intelligent Systems is making two games worth of story! And the second one comes at half the price if you so choose to want it! You can't take that away from them! (Actually, you can.)

The DLC of Awakening existing being a reason to disengage from a game seems to a sad consequence of having developed some degree of cynicism from following the movements of video game industry closely. And maybe from being used to buying only one thing. The story of Awakening is a complete experience. All the DLC for it seems to be extra character moments, shortcuts, and challenges. Well, unless the other reasons for stopping Awakening were its characters and story.

I haven't been one to read the Internet comments on this issue so I can't comment much on many Nintendo fans being welcoming of Fire Emblem if's pricing scheme. Judging from the comments here, I get a sense of caution, apathy, and humorous prods. Oh, and one declaration of brilliance.

I do wonder what Nintendo of America will do with this game. I can easily imagine a scenario of them following Japan except that the eShop version's lock out scheme is modified to be our one and only retail SKU. Or maybe NoA will try to be clever (or stupid) by charging an Atlus price ($49.99) for a retail version that has both Hoshido and Nohr story paths playable. Oh, and the third story path will be $29.99 DLC. 'cause Nintendo is all, "Fuck you, we gonna get paid."

Triforce HermitApril 30, 2015

The main problem here that is locked in-game content, hidden behind a DLC gate, which is a practice I detest. I plan on getting the limited edition (if NOA even cares to bother), but this is still bullshit.

If it wasn't locked in-game content, then frankly, I would consider this a good deal because what, we pay $80 for Pokemon if we want both versions and they are mostly the same aside from what Pokemon you get?

SorenApril 30, 2015

I don't see the difference between this and the Pokemon series, with the exception that this has the potential to be cheaper.

nickmitchApril 30, 2015

I don't think anyone is really expected to buy both parallel versions of a Pokemon game (though they obviously do). 

I don't think this is so bad.  I feel as though if you're a hardcore FE fan, you can buy the harder game, then get the easier game down the road (hopefully for much less) that'll scratch the itch while waiting for a new game.  For more casual FE fans, you get an easy game with the option to buy harder games.

Do we know the pricing yet?  That's gonna be the deal breaker here.

Quote from: Soren

I don't see the difference between this and the Pokemon series, with the exception that this has the potential to be cheaper.

Yeah, I don't get how it's okay to release two games simultaneously as separate hunks of plastic, but putting all that content on one card and making it available for less than you'd have paid separately is somehow an atrocity.

broodwarsApril 30, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Yeah, I don't get how it's okay to release two games simultaneously as separate hunks of plastic, but putting all that content on one card and making it available for less than you'd have paid separately is somehow an atrocity.

Well, I've always thought the way Pokemon is designed is a scam people have accepted for far too long, but that's a conversation for a different thread.

nickmitchApril 30, 2015

It's designed to encourage interaction between people who play the game.  The fact that some people are driven to buy both versions is very fortunate (for Nintendo).

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Yeah, I don't get how it's okay to release two games simultaneously as separate hunks of plastic, but putting all that content on one card and making it available for less than you'd have paid separately is somehow an atrocity.

Well, I've always thought the way Pokemon is designed is a scam people have accepted for far too long, but that's a conversation for a different thread.

What's going on here really seems more like the Zelda Oracle games than Pokémon, though. Do you think Nintendo was terrible for charging full price for both of those?

Quote from: nickmitch

Do we know the pricing yet?  That's gonna be the deal breaker here.

Roughly equivalent to $40 US for your first game, $15 for the downloads after.

StratosApril 30, 2015

Thanks for the breakdown, Clex. I never knew much about Genealogy and now I really want to see a FE game with that play model.

ClexYoshiMay 01, 2015

Quote from: Stratos

Thanks for the breakdown, Clex. I never knew much about Genealogy and now I really want to see a FE game with that play model.

There's a reason Genealogy is considered by many  to be the best in the series.

Weapons Triangle? Introduced in Genealogy
Support? Same.
Character abilities like Astra, Luna, etc? Yup, Genealogy had it too!
The whole thing with Fire Emblem awakening and the kids? They brought that back from FE4 as well!

The game is only 15 chapters, with 7 devoted to each 'story' in it, but the maps are so BIG that those chapters are an epic undertaking.


Also, I do want to take back my initial statement of saying this is 'brilliant'. i mean, it IS inasmuch that Nintendo will probably be making some mad skrilla off of it, but it is a really icky slippery slope. Playing devil's advocate with myself, I think this would sting less if both of these games weren't getting simultaneous dev time. I mean, there's a SRPG that actually did what FE:IF is doing right now that I can think of right now, and that's Soul Nomad and the World Eaters!


Yeah, that goofy lil' NIS Ogre Battle-ish game that James talked about on RFN? that game when you beat it the first time gives you a NG+ where you basically at the beginning of the game can choose "No" in one of those trite RPG points where they give you the illusion of a choice when the people ask for your help and brow beat you in an endless conversation cycle... although instead of that happening in NG+, you straight up murder the people of your village and go on a rampage across the land, recruiting the various bosses you've fought and maybe some of the heroes from the normal playthrough, but you also end up slaughtering most of your old allies in a campaign that is very differently structured from the original game...! it also tells one of the most fucked up stories ever comitted to a JRPG, where there's a character who in the hero story you save from their father abusing them... and in this evil path, she's a little... let's say mentally broken from what her father does to her... (It is heavily implied that it involves lotion and the D.)

So, yeah. Fire Emblem IF White and Black are going to need to have the standard 25 to 30 chapters of content on their own to justify this premium. I'm unfortunatley going to be raked over the coals on this one, but... we'll see.

StratosMay 01, 2015

What Ogre Battle-ish game are you talking about? Is it available easily? I've been wanting to go back to an Ogre Battle style game recently.

ClexYoshiMay 02, 2015

Quote from: Stratos

What Ogre Battle-ish game are you talking about? Is it available easily? I've been wanting to go back to an Ogre Battle style game recently.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/ctg/Soul-Nomad-World-Eaters-Sony-PlayStation-2-2007-/56286707

It's an NIS game, so do expect some Disgaea/La Pucille Tactics flavor to seep in, but yeah.

StratosMay 02, 2015

Price isn't too bad either. Might check it out.

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