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Fire Emblem: Immortal Sword - 3.5 stars
Slifer Horus Offline
Member

Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #1
Fire Emblem: Immortal Sword - 3.5 stars
General commentary/overview:
Well guys, I'm a really big fan of the fire emblem games, so when I played this game from the demo on their site, I immediately felt the need to write a great review for them! While it has some issues, I can see how they would easily be worked out with just a bit of time and effort.

Take note that there are two FE games entered into the booth this year, with Immortal Sword being made in XNA (Though I think I played an older version made with one of the Rpg Makers?) and Elbian Nights being a romhack.

Pros:
-Almost perfect emulation of the known Fire Emblem games. Same great leveling system, same great Fire Emblem look at feel.
-New features that distinguish it even from the professionally made FE games, such as an entirely new battle scene, a lot of new weapons and items, and new classes, which are always welcome.
-Some even more amazing additions, such as an expanded mini-blurb window for units that shows their inventory, general damage stats, and experience so far in the game.
-The custom character mugs look very professional with only two offhand that I noticed had any issues. Credits to whomever makes the mugs for doing such a good job :)

Cons:
-While I appreciate a game that has a lot of story, the dialogue felt very thick and drawlish at times. In particular, the Trial 2 map took me some 15 minutes to read through the text and by the time I got halfway through I lost my train of thought as to what they were saying and thereby lost interest.
-The gameplay is excruciatingly hard. I thought maybe I was simply having a lot of trouble because I'm bad at FE, but then I had my older brother play it and even he had a lot of issues too. I noted that there is a "Normal" and "Hard" mode but really it's more like "Difficult" and "Nearly Impossible".
-Finally, and only because I feel I need three examples of cons, there was a bit of mild language used in this that may warrant a small warning on the game site. Personally I don't care much, but some people might.

Gameplay
The gameplay is, as mentioned, quite hard. At times it felt like I had barely beaten a wave of enemies before another one came along and I wasn't healed yet. Being a completionist, I had planned to take my time and then wait until I had killed all the enemies off so I could heal, but the second of the two "trial maps" also has a thief that will raid chests and steal your items!

If you aren't much of a completionist and you don't mind losing a unit or two (The levels aren't connected so just winning would be okay) then you can probably have a lot of fun playing this. But for me, constantly losing my units and restarting took its toll. When I tried to go slower, the thief charged. When I sped up, I lost units. I would ask that in the more official version, the developers give players just a bit more leeway and not force us along at a breakneck speed.

I was going to try visiting the arena on the second trial map, but aside from 3 or 4 scattered visits I kept losing units so I was unable to visit it very much. I assume it's completely functional though and the few battles I played felt just like the GBA fire emblem battles.

Overall, the game was fun at times, but it felt like the developer was trying to give "Too much, too fast". I hope the full game doesn't have any of these issues if possible, so please take my review to heart :)

Graphics
The graphics in this are excellent. Let me just say, that the new classes feel identical to GBA fire emblem classes. They look smooth, and in the instance of the Halberdier (I never had time to play it but I've seen a few videos) better than the GBA classes by far.

The character face mugs look alive and from my understanding are all 100% full custom. The weapon icons are indistinguishable from the GBA games. This game will most likely be a masterpiece when it is released.

Sound
The sound is basically just ripped music from the GBA games, but it sounds good and is of high quality so I have no complaints. I would have liked a little custom music but then again, this is a huge project benefitting the entire fandom when the developer released his XNA game kit for other developers to use. I only hope that other games can reach the scale of this one.

Replay
The replay value is pretty average. I have noticed that in some instances, the stats were varied enough to warrant a couple playthroughs, but each map is pretty static and a slight stat difference doesn't make it feel too different.

If you can get to the point where you can use the arena, however, you would probably enjoy leveling your characters in there and promoting them to fight the boss :D

Final words
This game shows more promise than any other game before it, but currently it feels more like I was slogging through thick mud to get to the fun parts, rather than swimming in an ocean of fun. I think most of the issue lies in that the developer has to cram all the story they've been working on into only 2 maps. Once it has been fit inside an entire game, I have no doubt that it will be an amazingly fun experience for all.

Final Score
EDIT: 3.5 stars, a solid game, but low end computers cannot play it very easily.
(This post was last modified: 10-25-2011 01:10 AM by Slifer Horus.)
10-24-2011 11:19 AM
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KiddoCabbusses Offline
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Posts: 257
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #2
RE: Fire Emblem: Immortal Sword - 3.8 stars
I would like to add two notable cons:
1) My lower-end computer couldn't run this game very quickly even with the framerate cut. In comparison, the GBA hack-based FE "Elibian Nights" ran flawlessly.
2) I've had the game crash on me twice, over the Livestream. This prevented me from being able to clear Trial Map 2.
In comparison, Elibian Nights ran nearly flawlessly from what best I could tell.

Here's the Livestream session where I played Immortal Sword:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foDQu1zJS34
10-24-2011 11:18 PM
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Slifer Horus Offline
Member

Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #3
RE: Fire Emblem: Immortal Sword - 3.8 stars
Oooooh yeah I forgot about that. I'll have to dock a couple extra points off for that then, sorry guys. When they release the XNA version it'll most likely be much faster though, so here's to hope.
10-25-2011 01:09 AM
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