Author Topic: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones  (Read 2540 times)

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Offline Webmalfunction

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Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« on: June 23, 2012, 11:42:56 AM »

War... War never changes.

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Despite my colorful history with the Fire Emblem franchise, I never got around to playing Sacred Stones. Considering I started around the time Radiant Dawn came out on the Wii, I’d heard for a while about how merciful the game was compared to other, more brutal Fire Emblem games, and I had missed the boat on getting it when it initially released. In addition, I had seen everything in Sacred Stones described as less memorable and of lower quality, be it the class system, the story, or what have you.

The first thing I noticed in Sacred Stones is an “easy” option, which supposedly spells out many of the game's mechanics, along with providing an easier overall difficulty. I decided to go straight into hard mode—not because I'm good at Fire Emblem (I'm not at all), but because I wanted to see everything the game had to offer.

It's traditional Fire Emblem for the most part—a strategy RPG with a fantasy-military setting and lots of plot surrounding the relationships of each and every character. The draw of Fire Emblem is that, in almost every entry in the series, when you lose a unit, they either die or are "wounded" and show up only in necessary plot points. There are hit points, random number generators for stat boosts between levels, and a neat rock-paper-scissors system involving axes, lances, and swords (i.e., lances>swords>axes>lances). But if you want to know more about Fire Emblem as a series, that's on you. This whole article is just about Sacred Stones.

Although the combat in Sacred Stones is the same stuff present in the other games, its easiness comes into play outside combat. You can enter shops at any time, so stockpiling weapons isn't an issue (as it was with Shadow Dragon, in some cases). Rather than keep the ability exclusive to missions and the occasional arena, Sacred Stones has two dedicated grinding areas you can visit without limit. For players invested in class promotion, these locations must be an absolute dream. In my opinion, the difficulty of Sacred Stones is determined by how much you use these places to level units up. Even so, I did notice fewer times in which I had to restart chapters than in other Fire Emblem games, and I usually play on the lowest difficulty.

Despite its lower level of difficulty, the game is still a load of fun, and I think story is actually much better than in many of the other Fire Emblem games. Because Sacred Stones is shorter than many of the newer Fire Emblems (with the exception Shadow Dragon, and possibly one more), there are fewer plot lines to deal with, and the main story is much shorter and easier to follow than in other games, especially if you're new to Fire Emblem or RPG storytelling. From beginning to end, it's fairly engaging, albeit a bit simplistic—there's war, attempted conquest, and an ancient evil. It sure is Fire Emblem.

If anything, my biggest issue with the title is that it doesn't introduce anything new. Much of the music and art is unmemorable (though with excellent animation, as per usual in Intelligent Systems games), and the mechanics and class layouts hold few surprises. It's just more Fire Emblem, with brisker pacing, more explanation, and additions intended to make the game less brutal for newcomers (I'm looking at you, Seth!).

It's not the worst Fire Emblem I've played (and in my book, the worst Fire Emblem was still a rather enjoyable experience), but it is certainly not one of the best either. If you haven't played Fire Emblem, this is likely the best place to start (something the excellent RFN RetroActive can attest to). If you have played a game or two in the series before, Sacred Stones is still worth experiencing despite its low difficulty, but at the end of the day, it's just more Fire Emblem.


Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 11:53:29 AM »
I really need to play this game. I mean, it's right there on my 3DS, and I enjoyed the first GBA one soooo much.
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Offline Webmalfunction

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Re: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 12:03:51 PM »
I really need to play this game. I mean, it's right there on my 3DS, and I enjoyed the first GBA one soooo much.
For me, it was like any other RPG. I always go into it begrudgingly, expecting a slow start, and as I play through the game, it goes from 30 minute blocks at a time to two hour blocks at a time as I get into it. Pressing A on the 3DS icon is always the hardest step.

Offline C-Olimar

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Re: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 12:15:17 PM »
So I guess this was a good game for my first Fire Emblem then? I always knew I would like it, since I love Advance Wars games, and RPG's, but I never got round to playing one, so getting this free from the ambassador program was great!

Offline C-Olimar

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Re: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 12:17:02 PM »
I really need to play this game. I mean, it's right there on my 3DS, and I enjoyed the first GBA one soooo much.
For me, it was like any other RPG. I always go into it begrudgingly, expecting a slow start, and as I play through the game, it goes from 30 minute blocks at a time to two hour blocks at a time as I get into it. Pressing A on the 3DS icon is always the hardest step.


I feel exactly the same way! I can rarely bring myself start the game, but when I do I play for hours!

Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2012, 05:05:59 PM »
I definitely agree that this game is a great place to start. I know this because I tried to get into Fire Emblem a few years ago with Radient Dawn and found it to be pretty tiresome. Sacred Stones won me over though, and I am now eager to play other games in the series.
Gouge away.

Offline Thaneros

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Re: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2012, 10:18:37 PM »
One think I miss from the GBA games are the sprites! I'm just not a fan of those clunky 3D models yet.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 09:52:17 PM by Thaneros »

Offline leahsdad

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Re: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2012, 12:59:51 PM »
One think I miss in from the GBA games are the sprites! I'm just not a fan of those clunky 3D models yet.

Tell it!   I'm also much more of a sprite than polygon man myself.  I used to  have no hope for sprite based games in 3D, but then I saw Mighty Switch Force.  Imagine if an RPG used that kind of artwork?  Whoa.
[Showing off game collection]

Oh yeah, I know I have 2 sealed copies of that game.   1 is for trading.  But people who collect Amiibos?  They really have a problem!