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Did Fire Emblem move in the wrong direction?

Game mechanics  

159 members have voted

  1. 1. How important are game mechanics for you in a FE game?

    • the most important factor
    • important, but not the decisive factor
    • not important, other factors can equalize it
    • not important at all
    • I don't care.
  2. 2. Which FE game has the best game mechanics?



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For a standard Fire Emblem player as I am, the game mechanics are the most important part of a Fire Emblem game for me.

I count this series as a round-based-strategy game and consequently I favour elements, which influence the strategy.

If the game mechanics aren't good, the game won't be good.

Anyway I see a development, which really worries me. The latest FE games especially FE13 are more focussed on waifu-stuff and fanservice than on good game mechanics and exciting maps. The traditional strategical part is faded more and more in the backround.

Since after FE10 none of the latest FE games have good game mechanics imo.

11 and 12 are only just forgiveable, because they're remakes. But at the latest FE13 made at least one step in the wrong direction.

Many old classic mechanics are gone:

  • magic triangle
  • missions like defend, escape, defeat in xx turns
  • staves like sleep, silcence, berserk (I even have more ideas, but oh well)
  • fug of war maps
  • ballistas (they even existed in FE11 + 12)
  • weapon weight (should be fixed)
  • steal command for thieves
  • rescue take and drop are removed
  • enemies have healing items and trade them each other
  • enemies uses staves like warp and rescue

Therefore it introduced the pair up system, which is unbalanced and no alternative of the classic take and drop. On higher

difficulties the classic 1vs.1 battles don't exist anymore.

  • Do you agree with my statement?
  • Which Fire Emblem game has the best game mechanics?
Edited by Mister IceTeaPeach

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Fe5, 10, 12 and 13 have the best gameplay the earlier three have the best mechanics while 13 had the most fluid.

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I do agree that mechanics are very important, but what made it so important in the older games is that it gave you more incentive to think. Oh the enemy has a speed wing, I needa get my theif in steal it and get him out alive. This made the final act of part to in fe10 my favourite map to play. These mechanics helped foster a sense of urgency and created problems the player needed to solve which was lacking in awakening

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I think enemies should not have too much access to Warp. Can't remember the chapter where you fought Validar in Awakening but there really isn't much space for the player units to hide on that map and Warp will only add to the frustration. Not to mention we're surrounded by powerful enemies with strong weapons.

They could just troll us and Warp a moving boss close to us and make us suffer. lol

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In terms of gameplay, I think FE5, and FE10 (From what I've heard, have yet to play it). Pair Up was a big mistake to include in FE13, now it's almost expected to return, even if it was game breaking. That being said, I wouldn't mind it returning if they fixed it a bit more. Also, basically everything you said that was missing, for the most part I agree with. First time FE players who've only played Awakening will never know what made FE so great in my opinion, unless of course they play the older games.

Edited by DragonLord

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As to the question... ehhhh. I'd say they're important one of the more important factors (even if they aren't what I'd base my decision on). It's more how playable the game looks (and in case anyone's wondering, it's part of why I have a grudge against the Jugdral games, but more so FE4, which just reeked of a big step in the wrong direction considering that it was kinda early in the series for it to try to move in a direction like that imho; I mean, sure, it brought skills into the franchise, but a lot of what else it did could've been done without).

Edited by Levant Caprice

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I honestly don't care beacuse as long as they don't go back on difficulty settings and their principle of flexability there will always be ways to make the games more strategically interesting by imposing restrictions upon yourself. Every FE game can effectively let you ignore most of the nuances in their mechanics if you exploit particular systems properly, and I think trying to proclaim that having more extraneous systems results in greater depth isn't really a valid view. FE12 on Lunatic proves this because the game's depth and difficulty stems heavily from the placement of enemies. To me this is when FE is at it's best; trying to find the exact tiles you need to utilise to make your strategies work out and being precise about where units need to be is the greatest joy I get out of the series.

I'm honestly far more bothered by the aesthetic and thematic elements of the series being degraded so heavily over time than the mechanics.

Edited by Irysa

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It's kind if hard to tell.

Because, y'know.

The new game isn't even out yet.

But if you're talking about the series relative to 13, I do think it was a step backwards. Less a step backwards in gameplay but more a step backwards in art, character, world, and story. Awakening's world felt shallow, IS couldn't event be bothered to do pre chapter narratives.

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A resounding YES.

Fire Emblem is slowly becoming another run of the mill srpg, where there's barely any strategy and depth and the focus is on fan-service, rpg elements, bigger numbers, broken gameplay, 'waifu' elements and 'flashier' stuff. Unfortunately, that's an easier product to sell on today's market. And since money talks...

Regarding your second point, Thracia 776 has the best mechanics in the series, by a far wide margin. It's the game that puts the most emphasis on strategic elements while diminishing the RPG part. After leaving Intelligent Systems, Shozou Kaga refined them. Berwick Saga went a step further, becoming the best eastern SRPG regarding game mechanics. It's not even a contest. I know I'm sounding like a hopeless fanboy but that game does almost everything right. If you never played it, check it out. You will be pleasantly surprised.

But the saddest thing is not what FE is becoming. It's the fact that no other japanese developer picked the torch left by Berwick Saga and Thracia 776, i.e. SRPG games with a focus on strategic scenarios, with varied and balanced gameplay. The only other japanese series that was comparable was Front Mission, with Front Mission 5 being the highlight in terms of gameplay / mechanics. But that series is also dead.

Fortunately, you can still find similar good stuff made by western and indie devs (for example, the new X-Com). But one can only wonder what we could have today if someone followed the footsteps of Thracia and Berwick Saga.

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Fortunately, you can still find similar good stuff made by western and indie devs (for example, the new X-Com). But one can only wonder what we could have today if someone followed the footsteps of Thracia and Berwick Saga.

I still haven't played the EW expac for new X-Com (which half addresses the problem) but vanilla that game was cheesable as all hell by just spamming squadsight snipers. Most of your tactical considerations go out the window when you employ that strat. All the extraneous stuff has no meaningful depth unless you step back to purposely NOT cheese it, which is exactly the same problem FE13 has.

Edited by Irysa

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Obviously it's the right direction because more people are enjoying it.

Or is this a subjective question? In this case then I'd still say yes despite not enjoying a few recent developments.

Now I shall feed my inner anti-purist:

Fire Emblem is slowly becoming another run of the mill srpg,

Are there even that many strategy RPGs to compare Fire Emblem to, let alone SRPGs that are actually similar to FE?

where there's barely any strategy and depth

Fire Emblem has been giving the players more difficult game modes all the way since FE6. Yes, the "Normal Mode" has become easier in more recent games but we've been given more options to increase difficulty in exchange. You cannot seriously say there is no strategy and depth in FE12 H3 and stuff like that.

fan-service, [...] 'waifu' elements

I mean, first of all, rule 34 exists, so "waifu elements" will be there for anyone looking for them, but most importantly, Fire Emblem has focused on fanservicing ever since they started doing proper artwork for the characters, as we can see from this Lynn artwork showing about as much skin as Tharja. It only wasn't as apparent in-game because technology wasn't quite there yet.

If you don't like the style of the more recent artwork then that's subjective and that's okay, but don't put it on "fanservice" or "objectification" when that's always been a thing.

(PS: kinda off-topic, but I see the objectification issue being brought up now and then and: I don't think it's a bad thing at all)

rpg elements, bigger numbers, broken gameplay,

lol when was Fire Emblem ever even remotely balanced

the numbers might increase, but all 20 caps didn't stop FE5 from being broken in a million pieces by almost anything with a staff rank

But the saddest thing is not what FE is becoming. It's the fact that no other japanese developer picked the torch left by Berwick Saga and Thracia 776, i.e. SRPG games with a focus on strategic scenarios, with varied and balanced gameplay.

I repeat: FE5 did not have any shred of balance

Also once again this is subjective but FE5, to me, doesn't really seem to have a focus on strategy but rather a focus on underexplained situations that made the game more difficult - which is different from "more strategic" and totally different from "varied and balanced". I don't see how FE5 had varied gameplay (as it is objectively not balanced lol).

Edited by Axie

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For me, the most important thing is in a fire emblem, is a mix of story & gameplay, and to an extent I can enjoy a game lacking in one area if it covers in the other.

This is not how I'm with all games (really depends on the game), but fire emblem has just been one I think has don decently in both.

Favorite mechanics is kinda hard to say, I really enjoyed RD, for it's mechanics (like ledges and height advantages), Trachia I thought had fun mechanics, I mean things like capture, not staffs missing. So it's hard for me to say which had the best mechanics, because so many has done things I really like.

And if it goes in the wrong direction, I can't say since the new game isn't out yet, yeah so far I'm not a big fan of the designs and art, but with Kozaki being back, it was to be expected, personally not a big fan of his, but overall, anything could still happen with this new game, so we'll just have to wait and see.

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The new game isn't even out yet.

And if it goes in the wrong direction, I can't say since the new game isn't out yet, yeah so far I'm not a big fan of the designs and art, but with Kozaki being back, it was to be expected, personally not a big fan of his, but overall, anything could still happen with this new game, so we'll just have to wait and see.

The title might be a little bit to soon.

FE12 has some new features like an avatar and support conversations, but there also some mechanics removed (dismount and weapon weight).

It looks like for me that the latest games are simplified for the younger generation. Games like FE5, 6 and 10 have a pretty high difficulty even on lowest mode. Eight-year-old children probably won't master these games because of the high demand of mathematics and logical thought.

In general the rised part of minor aspects is obvious. It's even focussed too much on characters than on the story, mechanics and map design. The arts of some characters like Micaiah were the reason, why I never felt like to play the DLCs. They didn't have a purpose except for distribute fanservice and support conversations, I'm not interested in.

In general I actually don't despise everything in the latest games. The avatar was a good idea, however it's often used for different purposes in the fan-community.

The pair up system was actually an interesting idea, but it was implemented poorly. It only functions to survive lunatic (+). Pair up can still exist, if the enemies can use it too. A 2 vs. 2 battle like in Advance Wars or other RPGs would be interesting and gives you some strategical capabilities.

Edited by The Taninator

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I don't think Fire Emblem is moving into the wrong direction as much as I think it's been stagnating for a while now. While the new games certainly aren't bad I'm kind of missing the innovative gameplay changes that affect a player's strategy. Rescuing, dancers, canto ... all these things add depth to the game and make it more interesting. It's no surprise that Tracia 776 is the game with the second most votes as it introduced no less than 3 completely unique mechanics with fatigue, capturing and dismounting [which technically exists in FE4 too but is useless there] that all have a direct impact on how you play the game.

In the same hand FE10 getting the highest amount of votes isn't surprising either as it more or less perfectionized the way Laguz units work and ledges are also a thing. So instead of bringing back some old mechanics like pairings ... maybe IS should start coming up with something entirely new that makes the next FE stand apart from all the other iterations of the series.

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The mechanics are quite important to me but only if they're done in a significant and in a way that makes a significant impact. Fire Emblem 12 made me realize a lot of the features they had before were essentially fluff that didn't do much rather just existed(magic triangle) or restricted(weapon weight) and that the biggest challenges in the series can be built out of a much more simple system. The mechanics that were removed made the game more complex but they didn't actually add real depth(Weight in the GBA games just meant your 5/6 con Myrmidons/Swordmasters would stick to a fraction of the swords available or face a massive speed penalty, in Geneology it was simultaneously bizarre and canceled the effects of its own weapon triangle system, the magic triangle either didn't matter much because either you're seeing single digit battles regardless or your powerful Anima Sages are demolishing weak dark magic users) .

I feel the fact Awakening is building ontop of what we have after Shadow Dragon and New Mystery weeded these stagnant mechanics out of the game adding ones that have great impact and significance(Pair Up, Dual Attack and Dual Guard although it needs adjusting) that fit in very well with the existing support system and is entertaining for all players to use is persuing the right direction game mechanic wise.

If the game is more complicated but not actually challenging I don't really see the point. Is it to scare off new people from trying the series?

Edited by arvilino

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I don't think Fire Emblem is moving into the wrong direction as much as I think it's been stagnating for a while now. While the new games certainly aren't bad I'm kind of missing the innovative gameplay changes that affect a player's strategy. Rescuing, dancers, canto ... all these things add depth to the game and make it more interesting. It's no surprise that Tracia 776 is the game with the second most votes as it introduced no less than 3 completely unique mechanics with fatigue, capturing and dismounting [which technically exists in FE4 too but is useless there] that all have a direct impact on how you play the game.

To be fair FE4 dismount was meant as a Fanservice. IS did not want their player's husbando to look ugly, so they wanted to implement dismount to make up for that

And dismount was actually introduced in FE3

Edited by JSND

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I think it's too early to say that Fire Emblem moved in the wrong direction. I personally disliked Awakening, but one worse game isn't enough to claim the whole series is going downhill. I'd actually argue that map design and well adjusted enemy stats are far more important than mechanics. For instance, FE 12 is lacking in a lot of things mechanically, but probably has the best designed higher difficulties in the series because enemy offense stays high enough so that funneling all your resources into a few select units doesn't trivialize the game (FE13's lunatic+ avoids this, but in a way that's random and frustrating.) Beautiful mechanics can't compensate for bad level design and poor enemy balance, so I'd like future Fire Emblems to place a greater emphasis on enemies that stay relevant throughout the game (and can't all be swatted aside by a single well trained unit) and have fun and fresh maps. For me, FE13 didn't fail because of its mechanics (though I dislike reclassing and pair up, at least in the ways they were implemented.) It failed because the avatar could destroy every difficulty except for lunatic+, there was no incentive to train a larger team, and almost every map was just a massive enemy swarm attacking charging you.

Edited by MartyTheDemonSlayer

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but one worse game isn't enough to claim the whole serious is going downhill

the whole sirius*

... oops.

I personally like good mechanics, but I don't consider them as important to make me play / not play an FE game. I like rescue ferrying, reclassing and pairup, but I dislike things like weight, OP dodging formulas like in FE6, how hilarious skills on FE13 can turn out and how easily children can set themselves way apart from gen1 units. imo mechanics do influence gameplay, but map design, enemy stats, playable unit stats and all that crap matters a lot more in that way and should be looked at more importantly. I don't think that FE is going downhill. I personally like FE12 a bit (though not much) more than FE11, and like FE13 not as much as either of DSFE, but I still like it. I can't really say that it became worse. What I dislike about Awakening is how much fanboyism there is, but thats unimportant and I can ignore it anyway.

Edited by Gradivus.

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Fire Emblem is slowly becoming another run of the mill srpg, where there's barely any strategy and depth and the focus is on fan-service, rpg elements, bigger numbers, broken gameplay, 'waifu' elements and 'flashier' stuff. Unfortunately, that's an easier product to sell on today's market. And since money talks...

It looks like for me that the latest games are simplified for the younger generation. Games like FE5, 6 and 10 have a pretty high difficulty even on lowest mode. Eight-year-old children probably won't master these games because of the high demand of mathematics and logical thought.

The HELL? If Awakening did something right, it's the multiple game modes. Yes, Normal Casual is super-easy, but for someone who's never played anything like this before, it's a good introduction. For people who think that this game is way too easy, go play Lunatic Classic (and add on any other optional restrictions that you feel like, such as no Pair-Up). But the sentiments I quoted above are completely and utterly false - I'd say the worst of it was FE7/FE8 (I'd throw FE6 in here, but the thrones were stupid), the latter whose hardest mode I can comfortably do in a draft. And if I take a step backwards, there's FE12 - another game with multiple difficulty modes, with an emphasis on positioning and preparation.

Now, as for the topic. . .I think FE's moving in the right direction. The multiple difficulties mean that the series can be picked up by a wide range of people, and while Pair-Up can be tweaked, I think it's better than previous versions of Rescue. What I miss most is the Steal mechanic, followed by variable mission objectives (so something besides seize/rout/defeat commander). Stuff like weapon weight and canto can stay gone - the former becomes moot after a certain point (STR-based) or a constant thorn in the side for tiny units (CON-based), and the latter emphasized mounts even further than necessary (they already have good stats and better movement).

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I'm pretty pissed at how Silver Card and Iote's shield were reduced to DLC >_>

That shit better not happen again.

Edit: And yeah Awakening handled difficulty well. So did FEDS and FE7. I love when a game has lots of difficulty options.

Edited by Ownagepuffs

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The mechanics are quite important to me but only if they're done in a significant and in a way that makes a significant impact. Fire Emblem 12 made me realize a lot of the features they had before were essentially fluff that didn't do much rather just existed(magic triangle) or restricted(weapon weight) and that the biggest challenges in the series can be built out of a much more simple system.

am i the only person who thinks that weapon weight (with con) is a good mechanic

i mean instead of SMs spamming light weapons (not that heavy swords are good to begin with), now they spam shit like silver blades in FE10. removing weapon weight has solved one problem by introducing another, and some people don't seem to view this as a problem.

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For a standard Fire Emblem player as I am, the game mechanics are the most important part of a Fire Emblem game for me.

I count this series as a round-based-strategy game and consequently I favour elements, which influence the strategy.

If the game mechanics aren't good, the game won't be good.

Anyway I see a development, which really worries me. The latest FE games especially FE13 are more focussed on waifu-stuff and fanservice than on good game mechanics and exciting maps. The traditional strategical part is faded more and more in the backround.

Since after FE10 none of the latest FE games have good game mechanics imo.

11 and 12 are only just forgiveable, because they're remakes. But at the latest FE13 made at least one step in the wrong direction.

Many old classic mechanics are gone:

  • magic triangle
  • missions like defend, escape, defeat in xx turns
  • staves like sleep, silcence, berserk (I even have more ideas, but oh well)
  • fug of war maps
  • ballistas (they even existed in FE11 + 12)
  • weapon weight (should be fixed)
  • steal command for thieves
  • rescue take and drop are removed
  • enemies have healing items and trade them each other
  • enemies uses staves like warp and rescue

Therefore it intodruced the pair up system, which is unbalanced and no alternative of the classic take and drop. On higher

difficulties the classic 1vs.1 battles don't exist anymore.

  • Do you agree with my statement?
  • Which Fire Emblem game has the best game mechanics?

The ones I highligted are the ones I agree with. Particulary varied mission objectives and the magic triangle. To me from a sheer replayability and content standpoint Awakening has the best game mechanics. If you're looking for a Fire Emblem game at its core through and through I would say FE7 and Tellius games take the cake.

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13 had the most fluid gameplay for me, as an all together package it stands to me as the best. I really like having online battles so losing that was a miss step for the games systems and the DLC is utter trash. Outside of that I think were moving in the right direction. Some things should be brought back but I'm more looking forward to how we move forward.

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I also liked weapon weight and con. It was a little bad for SMs, but on the whole they'd prefer using Killing Edges over Steel Blades anyways, and for classes like Pegasus Knights I thought it was a decent balance check. Making Javelins and Hand Axes a little heavier also made it (slightly) harder to just wreck everything with them (could have been done better though by maybe reducing accuracy levels or increasing weight more). Weapon weight and strength made it so that weapon weight didn't even matter past a certain point in the game, and not having weapon weight at all (plus infinite money) in FE13 made it so that there was no reason to ever not use the best weapons.

I agree with the magic triangle being useless though. Everyone talks about how they want it back but like... in how many instances in the games where it existed did it actually make any difference at all? It's almost never a good idea to use magical units to kill other magical units because they'll have high RES and you won't do much damage regardless of whether or not you have WTA. It makes much more sense to use them to attack low RES/high DEF enemies like Knights and other physical units. The exception is Luna but that's pretty much it.

Edited by BBM

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I agree with the magic triangle being useless though. Everyone talks about how they want it back but like... in how many instances in the games where it existed did it actually make any difference at all? It's almost never a good idea to use magical units to kill other magical units because they'll have high RES and you won't do much damage regardless of whether or not you have WTA. It makes much more sense to use them to attack low RES/high DEF enemies like Knights and other physical units. The exception is Luna but that's pretty much it.

That's all true but in Awakening I had no incentive what so ever to use anything besides the strongest thunder tomes and dark tomes because they were just stronger than the rest and had higher crit rates so it effectively made the rest usless in my book.

Edited by TacoMan42

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