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NWR Staff's Favorite 10 Games of 2013

Fire Emblem: Awakening

by Josh Max - December 27, 2013, 7:22 pm EST

Warning: Spoilers to one of the year's best games. 

In early 2011, the Fire Emblem franchise was on its last legs. There was a fiercely loyal fan base, but it was far from being a household name (unless you count Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros.). It had been four years since the last original Fire Emblem game was released. Then some rumblings started echoing throughout the fandom about a new game coming. As one of the members of the aforementioned fan base, my excitement was immediate, but even my highest expectations were dwarfed by Awakening’s final product. 

Once the game was released it took the word by storm. Offering a fantastic story spanning different timelines, a slew of intimidating enemies and an impressive amount of heart, the game breathed new life into the franchise. It also offered an entirely new level of strategy that no one had ever expected. For the first time in the series, characters could have children and those children would have stats and abilities dictated by their parents. Players now had to not only think of the enemies confronting them, but the allies they would soon meet.  The weapon triangle, the class hierarchy, and the impressive list of abilities all help keep the game interesting from level to level. All of these aspects required strategies spanning the entire length of the game.

The gameplay was intuitive and engrossing. Battlefields were numerous and always kept battles interesting. The 3D models of the characters were beautiful and music was used perfectly. Watching the characters rough the terrain around them and strike down their foes in glorious 3D was a sight to behold. Even in 2D the visuals were impressive. In my opinion, the localization of the voices was the best part. For the first time we could hear the characters as they fought their way through massive armies and as they found love amongst the war that surrounded them. 

Even when the initial campaign ended, the game was far from over. Nintendo started offering DLC episodes where the game’s army could take on armies of the past Fire Emblem games. Defeating these enemies could yield greater weapons, abilities and allies that would come into the main game. The extra content isn’t essential to the game, but it offers an entirely new level to already great title. With the final DLC that was released, The Future Past, players even get to glimpse the dystopian future that the children hail from. The levels of strategy, story and gameplay all culminate into a perfect mixture that we call Fire Emblem: Awakening, which I whole heartedly believe is one of the best games of 2013. 


Leo13December 26, 2013

Want to play Pikmin 3, but lack a Wii U? $219 on newegg.com http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0PW-003J-00002
This sale has been going on since last week I just got mine the other day.

sisibakbakDecember 29, 2013

I bought it a few days ago and just finished the main set of levels. Absolutely adoring it, fantastic use of the GamePad and there's a crap ton to do. Has to be my GOTY (though, I haven't played a great deal of new games this year including 3D World so it's a bit of an easy choice really).

Vrgin XJanuary 01, 2014

Team Plasma is so 2011, Team Flare is where it's at, son.  8)

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 02, 2014

I'm going to post my top games of the year here, lest I forget. It's been a slow year in terms of gaming for me, so I can only muster excitement for the following 5 games.

1-The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
2-Fire Emblem: Awakening
3- Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
4-Steamworld: Dig

I also had some fun with the following notable mentions, but couldn't quite bring myself to put them on my 'top' list.

-Animal Crossing: New Leaf
-Pokémon Y
-Mario and Donkey Kong - Minis on the Move

I have also played a few hours of Pikmin 3, Rayman Legends and Super Mario 3D World, which all seem awesome, but not being a Wii U owner has meant I haven't spent as much time with those games as they probably deserve.

KhushrenadaJanuary 02, 2014

Oh ho! Nice. I thought the last spot might end up going to the Wonderful 101. Not sure what kind of support the game might have with staff. However, I can't argue with the choice of the 3DS's 6th jewel this year. Often not as appreciated as the main 5 of the year LM, FA, AC, PY/PX and ALBW, I'm glad it was not forgotten and regarded so highly.

Leo13January 02, 2014

I agree AND disagree with Khushrenada. I agree that I expected Wonderful 101 on here somewhere, but I disagree on justification. I'm honestly shocked that it's not on here. I'd say there's no argument that it should be above Shin Megami Tensi and Ace Attorney.

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 02, 2014

"Much like Grand Theft Auto V..." is not a statement I ever thought I'd see used in reference to an Ace Attorney game.

KhushrenadaJanuary 02, 2014

Quote from: Leo13

I agree AND disagree with Khushrenada.

How dare you! You had it right in the first bit. Never second guess your first instinct.

Leo13January 03, 2014

You really think BOTH of those deserve to be over Wonderful 101?
I was listening to the Official Nintendo Magazine Podcast this morning and they did their Nintendo 2013 top ten and W101 was #1

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 03, 2014

Quote from: Leo13

I was listening to the Official Nintendo Magazine Podcast this morning and they did their Nintendo 2013 top ten and W101 was #1

...Good for them?

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