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Is Shadows of Valentia really worth the purchase?

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I was occupied with other games for a while, like Tales of Berseria and Final Fantasy, I didn't have the available time to purchase SoV. Yes I know, I could buy it on the Eshop and while I was gonna do that, having a hard copy is more satisfying to me. My plan was to wait maybe a couple weeks on SoV and see if it was really worth the wait and the hype. From what I've read and discussed with others, the game is fine, aside from the apparent garbage map design, and most people seem to be enjoying it. BUT! I have come across people saying that isn't worth the 40$. To be honest, I was surprised. Yes, everyone has different views but I still want to take others' opinion into consideration. If I end up getting it, I'll also buy the DLC which is 45$ with the season pass, which I might not get. So a hefty 85$ on the game. My question is, IS IT WORTH?

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SoV is definitely worth it imo. While the map design is lacking, and there are some annoying parts with gameplay, it doesn't mean it absolutely sucks. There are still a lot of fun parts. I went into it gameplay wise with really low expectations and was actually surprised. If you go into it with the concept of SoV, gameplay wise, being a RPG with strategy elements thrown into it, rather than a strategy game with RPG elements thrown into the mix that FE is typically known for, then you will be fine in terms of gameplay expectations.

 

as far as the story goes, I have found it really enjoyable. Definitely a step up from the previous two games on that front. What really helps is the stories presentation and the full voice acting. The full voice acting is really well done, so it adds a lot of emotion. And the story's presentation is really good.  This is also one of the best cast of characters imo for the series. Again, full voice acting adds so much to them, and the fact that there are so many ways they interact outside of supports really adds to it.

it is definitely worth the 40. As far as DLC goes, that is ultimately a peresonal issue. I think it's better to piece mail what you like instead of buying the season pass. Do some research on each one and just buy what you like instead of buying it all and not liking half of it. But it's mostly up to you on that.

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I'm only into chapter 1 so far in Echoes, but I've played Gaiden.

I love it so far. The game does a great job with story, dialogue, presentation, visuals, music - and the additions to Gaiden like revised dungeons and actually having a story are quite nice.

The core gameplay and map design is very much based on Gaiden. It seems to be hit and miss, map design is a rather mixed bag, and it's rather different than Awakening or Fates.

I can only speak from having played Gaiden but knowing what the gameplay and maps will be like for the rest of the game, I'd say it'd be worth it. But then again, I really liked Gaiden.

1 hour ago, Tolvir said:

If you go into it with the concept of SoV, gameplay wise, being a RPG with strategy elements thrown into it, rather than a strategy game with RPG elements thrown into the mix that FE is typically known for, then you will be fine in terms of gameplay expectations.

 

This is a good way to explain it. It feels more like an RPG with strategy elements than a strategy game with RPG elements.

Kind of what Zelda II was to the Zelda series, but to a lesser extent.

Edited by Xaos Steel Wing

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I second the above statements. This has a whole lot of heart thrown into it, and the dialogue is genuinely one of the best efforts that intsys has put out. With all the annoying quirks that is linked with gaiden, the 3ds mechanics does a lot into mitigating its functionality issues. 

Hell, I don't even mind most of the maps. They're not terribly long, and it does place emphasis on unit positioning and utilising their skills, while racing to take advantage of the map's key points of interest before any the group on the wayside arrives. This is clearly not a popular opinion though so its just a matter of how your views on tackling chapters go and take this comment with a grain of salt.  Also, traversing the map and completing these levels honestly reminds me of super mario world for whatever damn reason.

Don't get the season pass if you're thinking of dlc. Take a look at the content and pick whichever ones seem most worth your money

Edited by lbrasz44

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I think it's worth it. I've thoroughly enjoyed my experience so far. I currently have around 48 hours (give-or-take) and I'm on the final act, which I think is a pretty fair amount of time. (Then again I'm kinda slow so lol)

The story is great, the presentation is great, the voice acting is great and the music is amazing. As far as map design, I like it because sometimes I like the simple designs, even if others don't. I also enjoy the gameplay quite a bit, but that's just me. Though I must say, act 5 did have 2 of my favorite maps. I really enjoyed them a lot...

I'd say it was worth the $40 and I'd definitely recommend it. (Plus it seems like you can do some interesting challenge playthroughs as far as replay-ability is concerned - that and some achievements can only be obtained if you did certain things by the time you finish the main story.)

Edited by SuperIb

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If you really care about presentation... go for it. But my god the gameplay is easily some of the worst I've ever seen; if you really care about gameplay... save the money for something else.

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It's worth $40. The presentation is fantastic but a lot of the gameplay feels archaic. Your opinion may differ but I don't find any of the DLC worth purchasing, to say nothing of that outrageous price tag.

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I wish I had never bought it, to be frank.

Its boring and the story is predictable(though that sort of a Fire Emblem thing).

The maps really do suck, and there is not a single thing that can compensate for that. The dungeons are maybe the only worthwhile thing, but they're scarce and even they cant escape eventual piss poor design. 

Maps that aren't boring, are so absurdly..absurd that they're frustrating. 

On top of that, the art direction is the most bland thing ever.. And the cutscenes are pretty ugly. 

I can't fault anybody for liking SoV.. but it really wasn't for me. I will say, the voice acting is AMAZING, so if you'd like to just hit x and sit back, then it's probably worth watching a playthrough. The writing is also good, but like I said, predictable and boring. 

Plus, the characters somehow get..samey? After a while. I don't know how to properly describe it. Its like, a good portion of them can't manage to stand out amongst the crowd. 

At the end of the day, as an artist, I'd rather take worthwhile visuals over an amazing story..and SoV has neither of those. So, no, in my opinion, its not worth it. 

everything i just said is obv subjective, so, disclaimer? 

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I am always surprised by the super polarized opinions of the game.

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Overall, I've been happy with the game, but there are some things you won't figure out unless you're one of those players who has to try absolutely everything or you look at the Hints and Secrets part of this site's official Echoes page, like the fact that you can turn Celica's startup weapon, the Golden Dagger, into a special weapon that's apparently her signature, the Beloved Zofia, or the fact that you'll have to use the Merchants to finish all the little sub quests(send Rion Shield to Alm and I think send Gossamer Hair to Celica but don't quote me for that one), so expect to do a lot of digging around and trying out weird things if you're a completionist type of gamer. Now a breakdown of the game, because why not.

For the DLC, I would've said only get the Cipher DLC because 4 extra characters, but it turns out Silver and Gold marks are fairly annoying to reliably build up without the corresponding DLC maps, so I guess those are good. The OverClass stuff is probably best ignored if you don't care about taking everyone as far as they can go, unless there are certain characters you really like using. The Deliverance Pre-Game Maps didn't really jump out at me, but apparently you unlock special Support conversations between characters that don't normally have them otherwise by getting those maps. The beginning EXP level is honestly kind of redundant because Shrine Dungeons are usually a more reliable way to farm EXP anyways, but I haven't tried the harder one so I can't say how redundant it is.

As for the gameplay, yes, the maps are rather basic, but the Terrain factors in more than I expected with almost everything you or your enemies are physically capable of standing on giving some bonus(there's even a dodge bonus for standing on TILE), making it still interesting for those looking for a challenge. I actually also really like how simple only being able to carry one item makes it while still bringing a challenge - you can't just hand your guy a Brave weapon(there isn't one like how Awakening/Fates did them), a Killing Edge(that's what Echoes' Brave Sword does), and an Elixir and have him single-handedly beat six straight fights like how you could in Awakening and Fates if you did it right, but on the other hand if you can find the right weapon for each Unit everything can be made really easy really fast. Overall, it's kind of meh if you're looking for a real challenge, but there are plenty of ways to challenge yourself, like do a run where you don't use any of the Villagers(forcing Alm to start off with nobody but Lukas on his team and making Celica skip Atlas, who's fairly reliable) or a run where you don't use any provisions whatsoever, so in the end I'm willing to overlook any issues. Probably my only issue with the maps is the ever-present all-maps-are-rout-maps curse that most newer FE games suffer from(seriously, not even ONE defend or seize map as far as I've got).

The conversations are amazing, and I honestly am having trouble continuing my Awakening Support Log Completion because Echoes got me hooked on the full VA stuff, so that could be a problem if you're someone trying to do that in Awakening or Fates. With some exceptions (coughLeon=Niles+TharjacoughRIPFaye'sHeartcough) I found myself really liking almost all the cast. My only real problem character-wise was the lack of an Avatar-esque character(showing that I started FE with Awakening, haha) because I realized I missed having a character with every Class available through some method or other, plus I found out I wanted to marry all the Whitewings, so yeah. The lack of marriage also kind of throatpunches the replay value as well as you can get just about everything done the first time through, really a completionist is probably only going to be replaying it once so you can get the other of Deen/Sonya and so you can send Kliff and Faye with Celica and see if they have any Supports there. The cutscenes are unfortunately a frustrating mix of great and weirdly choppy-ish, so that's a downer, but I think they used a different studio for the cutscenes and if that's the case that would explain why they feel so different from the cutscenes in Awakening/Fates.

Edited by SoulWeaver

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If you play FE because of the story, definitely yes.
It has a deep plot and very interesting supports.


If you play FE because of the gameplay, no.
Echoes is not a classic FE game, but rather a SRPG with FE elements to me.
It has a very simplified battle system (no weapon triangle, infinite weapon durability).
The map design is poor for the most part. (it's still a remake of FE2)
Very most of the mechanics from FE2 were overtaken. Since I don't like them because they feel outdated to me, I have a very hard time to get into the gameplay.
I never had the motivation to playthrough FE2, and after playing Echoes I even feel like less to do it.

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1 hour ago, lordcorrin said:

On top of that, the art direction is the most bland thing ever.. 

You should put a trigger warning in your post next time.

Anyway, to OP. Yeah, the games worth it. The only area it really falls short on is the map design as they were ripped straight out of Gaiden. It's the best in a long time in terms of story, dialogue, characters, artistic design, voice acting and enjoyment.

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It's a great game, probably one of, if not the best FEs released. Great presentation, great battles, great music... the list goes on.

Only some of the dlc is worth buying. If you need to get good money/exp, the fledgling Exp map is all you'll realistically need out of all 6 grinding maps, and the 4th tier classes are fairly unnecessary additions, albeit looking badass as hell, so getting all of those is a personal choice. The best things the dlc gives is in the form of the Free Gifts anyways. 

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The game is worth it by all accounts.

 

as for the DLC, I can vouch for at least lost altars, Rise of the Deliverance, and Cipher Companions. Lost Altars adds skills and increases the stat caps as well as Alm's overclass being a particularly important connection to Awakening, Rise of the Deliverance adds Memory Prisms and Support Conversations to the main story; Fernand is also a playable unit in the maps added, and cipher Companions adds 4 new units total to the maingame chapters who all have full compatibility with support convos and full voice acting. Einherjar these are not, they're more akin to anna from Fates.

 

Gold and silver marks are absolute hell to grind without the grinding maps though, and more importantly, Undaunted Heroes gives you the starsphere; not the same starsphere that's currently broken over in Archanea but hey that's a different topic.

you can use this Valentian starsphere to increase the growth rates of any unit by 30% across the board. This kind of power can basically fix even Nomah if you wanted, and is a very VERY potent item indeed to have whenever you're grinding.

 

At that rate, id strongly advise just getting the season pass since you can shave a few dollars off compared to buying the last 3 packs and the other two later.

if you insist on not getting the "season pass" (which honestly is identical to the map packs of Fates and Awakening), then get Losf Altars, Rise of the Deliverance, and Cipher Companions. Nonetheless, Silver/Gold Marks and particularly the Starsphere are good incentive to actually get the grinding maps as well and at that rate you might as well get the season pass, which I feel is worth every single penny.

 

on that note, I also want to direct you to the Alm and Celica amiibo 2 pack; it has some of the more interesting uses of the amiibo and I can see why in the US NoA only released them in a bundle; they work in tandem. The dungeons the amiibo unlock are also a slightly less reliable but more cost effective way to grind marks if you just want to get the three packs on their own, and we all sort of know the amiibo are gonna be used in either warriors, FE16, or both anyway so might as well get them now.

 

tl;dr, Season pass is worth every penny and I'd advise getting the amiibo 2 pack of Alm and Celica on top of that, but you can do without the season pass and just get LA, RotD, and CC in a pinch without missing out on too much (aside from the amiibo stuff and eventual stat porting to the future FE games like with wolf link in Breath of the Wild). The only fully useless DLC pack I feel is Fledgling Warriors which doesn't hand out the starsphere itself, but it helps you get Silver Marks and the starsphere shards you need to complete the starsphere quest and if you get 4 of them you might as well at that point I feel.

Edited by Hero of the Fire Emblems

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1 hour ago, lordcorrin said:

I wish I had never bought it, to be frank.

Its boring and the story is predictable(though that sort of a Fire Emblem thing).

The maps really do suck, and there is not a single thing that can compensate for that. The dungeons are maybe the only worthwhile thing, but they're scarce and even they cant escape eventual piss poor design. 

Maps that aren't boring, are so absurdly..absurd that they're frustrating. 

On top of that, the art direction is the most bland thing ever.. And the cutscenes are pretty ugly. 

I can't fault anybody for liking SoV.. but it really wasn't for me. I will say, the voice acting is AMAZING, so if you'd like to just hit x and sit back, then it's probably worth watching a playthrough. The writing is also good, but like I said, predictable and boring. 

Plus, the characters somehow get..samey? After a while. I don't know how to properly describe it. Its like, a good portion of them can't manage to stand out amongst the crowd. 

At the end of the day, as an artist, I'd rather take worthwhile visuals over an amazing story..and SoV has neither of those. So, no, in my opinion, its not worth it. 

everything i just said is obv subjective, so, disclaimer? 

Hey, look on the bright side. At least this time around, you only had to purchase the game one time.

Last time, IntSys not only had you buy a game with bland and awful character designs and samey characters with a bad plot, they had you buy the game two more times with promises of more great maps, more great and deep characters, and answers to all the questions the plot had... and then failed to deliver in every aspect of that, with awful gimmicks and bad maps and an even more awful story and one note characters! (Birthright and Revelations)

And then they had the gall to put the answers to SOME of the mysteries of the stories behind more DLC... and even then that didn't answer all the questions!

Huh? No, I'm still not bitter about Fates  Why do you ask

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Easily worth the 40 bucks. Amazing characters, great art and story, perfect sound track, gameplay is fun, and you can do so much with it.

In regards to dlc, money dlc is super nice. If you want to max stats for post-game, you probably want both of the temples (you only need the last one technically but you'd have to level your units enough to where max stats may be harder to get without overclass. If you have both, you can solo the first one with a mercenary that can villager loop). Cipher DLC is 4 characters and it's the cheapest DLC so that's definitely worth it imo. Grinding DLC really isn't necessary since you can just grind in dungeons. Enemies attack you in dungeons (versus them not initiating in grinding DLC) so if you're wanting to solo grind one unit, it's much easier to dungeon grind. If you're grinding your whole team, the dlc map is kinda nice for quick autobattle-esque grinding but that's it.

 

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8 hours ago, Vorena said:

I am always surprised by the super polarized opinions of the game.

I can't see how anyone would be surprised when Gaiden was never really a game that the fan base seemed to look back on fondly and Echoes is very faithful to Gaiden.

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The map design isn't garbage, and regardless of what you thought of Gaiden, Echoes is probably the best Fire Emblem game since Thracia 776.

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While this isn't a unique comment, Echoes is definitely my favorite Fire Emblem since Radiant Dawn.

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I mean, having been introduced to the series with Awakening, and after the... mess that was Fates, having just started Act four in Echoes, I can say it's already infinitely better than Fates was. And while Awakening's story wasn't as bad as Fates, Echoes is still vastly more interesting and compelling.

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Don't get why this game gets any sort of hate. It's a real refreshing return to older FE, with gaiden mechanics taking the forefront.
Honestly i have nothing bad to say about this game, mostly because everything that people seem to have a problem with (cantors, maps etc) I don't mind at all.
I'm not being like some sort of guy who glazes over the bad stuff, it just really doesn't rub me the wrong way like it does them. Maybe it's because i enjoy rpg elements so much? idk
But to its pedigree Echoes is a nice treat to anyone who really like fire emblem for what it is. It at times can be a different take on fire emblem, but honestly some of the old mechanics of Gaiden really should be in every Fire emblem (bowrange for example is a welcome change, it makes your archers and enemy archer feel like threatening enemies that require counterplay to combat/Also weapon skills)

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I'd say it depends on what you like, I know things like the gameplay and the maps are not for everyone. They can feel pretty archaic and annoying sometimes, especially lategame, I don't dislike the gameplay until act 4, but I can see why people might not enjoy it at all.

The story is a lot more compelling than some of the others, and the writing, for the most part, is well done and the voice acting is phenomenal. I'd say weigh what you'd like more, and go from there, and see if it's something you'd enjoy first. Maybe watch a bit of it?

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While the gameplay may seem archaic, I do not mind it at all. Sure, it can be improved as some maps and enemies can be rather problematic, but so far I have not found anything to be unwinnable on Hard Classic. I'm rarely, if ever, use Phantoms and don't really grind and I am clear out maps on my first attempt without too much trouble (I think I had just three maps where I had to call upon on Mila's Turnwheel), 

If you can get past the archaic gameplay or do not mind its mechanics (I see the problems, but they do not bother me as much as I thought they would - Teleporting Witches and Cantor Summoners, maps with a lot of downtime and not much maneuverability, etc.), Fire Emblem Shadows of Valentia has the best presentation of all the Fire Emblem titles, period. The music is amazing, the voice work is top-notch, the art is beautiful to look at, and the animations and class designs look awesome. It has proper character interactions and world building, and these characters are actually people instead of gimmicks (save for Faye and some of the new additions).

The base game is definitely worth the purchase. As for the DLC, while I plan on getting everything, the most value would likely be the Deliverance pack as it has more story content. Also, the Cipher pack may be interesting to pick up since it features original characters from the trading card version of Fire Emblem, and I hope to see those short things voice acted and slightly story driven as well. The Overclass is a neat extra toy while the other two packs just make it easier to min-max your teams (Money, EXP, and Items - Easy Mode & Hard Mode).

TLDR:
- If you value story and presentation and can bear through "outdated but functional" gameplay, purchase Echoes.
- If you value pure gameplay and strategy, Echoes may not be the title for you due to its outdated and "flawed" mechanics.
- I personally love Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, and it is probably my now favorite Fire Emblem title. Gameplay wise it is still easily beaten out by Fates: Conquest and the Tellius games, but the presentation wins me over. I don't think I can experience a new Fire Emblem game without voice acting since Echoes did such an excellent job with it.

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