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Is Radiant Dawn worth playing?

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Is Radiant Dawn worth playing? I’m nearing the end of PoR so I just wanted to know. The price of the game isn’t the issue (using usbloader gx because its not like Nintendo made it easy to find/buy one) I’ve just haven’t heard the greatest things about it. Things like a convoluted story and bad writing (can’t possibly be worse than Awakening and Fates’ writing.) Bot to mention the terrible ‘supports’.

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Well if you want the complete Tellius experience I would say yes. As of the story imo it has some of the same flaws are Fates (questionable story development, plot magic, characterization to some people. etc), but to a lesser degree. As for the quality of the story, that would depend on how much did you like Path of Radiance, and taste for an ambitious story . As for the supports, it does hurt the newcomers to the game, and the returning cast feels lacking for so characters. But there are base conversation to put a band-aid to the wound. But the only way to fully know is to try it yourself.

Edited by Jingle Jangle

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49 minutes ago, Hopeofdespair said:

Is Radiant Dawn worth playing? I’m nearing the end of PoR so I just wanted to know. The price of the game isn’t the issue (using usbloader gx because its not like Nintendo made it easy to find/buy one) I’ve just haven’t heard the greatest things about it. Things like a convoluted story and bad writing (can’t possibly be worse than Awakening and Fates’ writing.) Bot to mention the terrible ‘supports’.

...the fuck???

Tellius Saga is one of the best stories in the entire franchise.

Unless you just absolutely hated PoR and have no further desire to learn anything more about the Beorc/Laguz conflict or the Mystery of Lehran's Medallion or the political machinations of Daein and Crimea and Begnion.

hell yes; play radiant dawn

Edited by Shoblongoo

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RD's writing is better than Fates and Awakening most certainly for most of the time. Things do go downhill at a certain point, but they get better after that. And it is generally considered some of FE's better writing in at least one of its Parts. The plot is ambitious, whether one likes RD or not in narrative is dependent on whether you think the nadirs outweigh the zeniths or vice versa. Most consider it better executed than Fates though. PoR vs. RD as the better Tellius game is a debate of simplicity vs. ambition.

Gameplay is different with the Part system. The difficulty is hardest at the beginning, with things otherwise being pretty standard for FE. Multiple Parts forces you to use a few more units than you normally do. Balance issues do arise with a few glaring flaws, but that's the case in any FE.

Since you're playing it at no cost, go ahead and try.

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Honestly, you'll find haters for all FE games if you look in the wrong places (i.e. anywhere you find more than three FE fans), especially when it comes to the story. I think I've seen arguments against every game on this forum and why it has the worst story ever, so don't take those too seriously. RD specifically has a somewhat unusual structure in that the PoV switches between several groups of characters, but it's still a FE story. There are certainly points where you mustn't think too hard how that particular plot point works, but I don't think it's convoluted - it's usually pretty clear what the characters' agendas are - I can think of one exception and it's deliberate and will be unveiled before long.

Support conversations are indeed minimalistic (to use a more neutral term), but characterization and character interaction is mostly moved to base conversations. Still, many characters are mostly blank sheets, although not Shadow Dragon levels of blankness. The advantage is that every character can support every other character, which I find neat from a pure gameplay perspective.

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You know--I don't want to get into major spoilers, and I know I'm in the minority here.

But I don't think the Blood Pact was bad writing. I think it was utilized appropriately to advance the story, and well-integrated into the broader web of world-building and character interactions around it.

I often hear it compared to the "don't talk about it or you'll disappear" Curse of Valla, in Fates (THAT was bad writing). I don't find the comparison fair.

The Curse of Valla in fates was a random fuck-off plot McGuffin that just came out of nowhere to fill an obvious hole in a bad story. And you couldn't point to anything to justify it because there was no world-building around Valla or Vallite culture or Vallite magic and technology. 

Tellius Saga is written to a level of detail where you can look at the Blood Pact and say: Yeppppppp. That's totally something a Begnion Senator would do. Bastards.

...And then its presence in the story serves to explain and flesh-out not only various individual relationships between characters, but a;sp political relationships between nations.  Like it isn't just a random excuse for characters to pursue an otherwise inexplicable course of action that never receives any higher level of serious treatment by the writing (i.e. the Vallite Plot Curse)

It never bothered me when I was playing the game, and I was surprised when I first started visiting this site to see there were so many in the fanbase who thought it ruined the story of FE10.

Edited by Shoblongoo

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It is. Even if its not the best Fire emblem its got tons of unique stage ideas that you won't see in other games.

Things like small armies of NPC allies joining you, you needing to rescue a green unit that the enemy can kidnap and carry out of the map which leads to a game over, infiltrating an army camp to set tents on fire and release the horses, having to take out mages and balista's on your side of the map so your allies can advance on the other side of the map and so on.
Even something conventional as defend mission are a little bit more special. Elincia's gambit is my favorite of such missions. 

The thing about the story is that the flaws come from the very same source as its strengths. In some case this leads to the game being to big of its bridges and failing like the bloodpact but in other moment this ambition means the game can really nail that sense of scale and flesh out every faction involved in the plot.

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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To echo others, yeah, play Radiant Dawn. Personally I think it has the best story in the series by a clear margin, and had my favourite gameplay until Conquest came along.

19 minutes ago, Shoblongoo said:

It never bothered me when I was playing the game, and I was surprised when I first started visiting this site to see there were so many in the fanbase who thought it ruined the story of FE10.

Yeah, I completely agree. (Spoilers for more thoughts since hey this is a thread started by someone who hasn't played the game yet...)

Spoiler

I think a lot of people get hung up in the mechanics of the blood contract being fantasy nonsense, but I think that's missing the forest for the trees. The blood contract is essentially the fantasy equivalent of a nuclear bomb being planted under Nevassa, a concept which should not be that hard to grapple with, and the character actions which happen as a result are interesting, which is what matters.

Was the blood contract the only way to set up a clash between two sympathetic opponents? No, of course not; you could find other idealogical or political ways to accomplish it. But Radiant Dawn deserves a lot of credit for setting up that clash, ensuring that RD's story feels a lot more mature and interesting compared to the good-vs-evil standard FE fare (certainly including PoR, for all that PoR is one of the better-executed pieces of standard FE fare until the last quarter or so).

 

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It is my favorite FE so yes I would say play it.  The story has problems in parts and the supports are not that good, but the gameplay is great.  If you like PoR then it is worth playing, but if you don't like PoR then don't bother.    RD was my second FE game after SS and it is the game that truly made me a FE fan.  

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RD is awesome. The gameplay is some of the best in the series, imo. And the story is pretty good, imo (though PoR is a bit better there). There are issues with the availability of some of the characters (ignore Tormod and his party...seriously. What was IS thinking with them?), and as you pointed out yourself, the support system is just wtf, but otherwise, the game is awesome!

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Free tip: Every FE is worth playing except maybe the first two (they've aged pretty badly, so you need to set yourself up for bad NES interfaces)

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If it's not your first FE game and you have played FE9 as I can read from your OP, then definitely yes.

Gameplaywise it's improved. More maps with new mission objectives, new mechanics, better bonus experience system and better skill system.

The story isn't built straight as you can already see that this game is divided into parts and groups.

Speaking of the groups. They have a total different difficulty. The first group features the "weakest" lord with the toughest enemies, so earlygame can be quite rough. Thankfully quick battle save exists on easy and normal where you can save at any time.

The main issue of FE10 is that not everyone is as easily usable as they were in FE9 because of plot reasons. 

And to unlock everything you have to play this game a second time and fufill certain conditions in FE9 (automatically requires using FE9 transfer datas).

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I completed the game yesterday for the first time and while the writing is debatable at times I think that the gameplay is easily some of the best FE has to offer. I say some because there's one part of the game that made me drop the game for at least a month.

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On 11/12/2017 at 9:21 AM, Hekselka said:

 I think that the gameplay is easily some of the best FE has to offer. I say some because there's one part of the game that made me drop the game for at least a month.

...I sorta had the opposite reaction. The writing I found to be the best in the series, and a gold-standard yet unequaled in any of the new games. (And this is Tellius saga in general rather than PoR or RD individually; I view it as one incomparably deep, incredibly well-developed presentation of setting and cast and beginning-to-end storytelling spread out over two games. Rather than as two separate stories)

Gameplay-wise, howevr, I felt there were some places where it fell short.

…removing game mechanics like the ability to check enemy range and weapon triangle is not a good way to improve difficulty on the higher games and just makes the game less fun to play. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Increase difficulty by buffing enemies—giving them higher stats and more skills and greater numbers—not by knee-capping the player.

…no game should ever again have characters as overpowered as the Laguz royals for anything more than just the final boss fight.  It completely gimps Part 4. And then letting you bring all of Tibarn, Naesala, Caeneghis, and Nailah to The Tower is just overkill to the max—yeah, you can choose not to bring them if you want to challenge yourself. But use the resources the game gave you and intended for you to use, and any semblance of difficulty the endgame is supposed to carry to make you feel like it’s a desperate fight-to-the-finish is gone. They murder everything. 

…mastery skills for tier 3 units were not well designed. With every skill essentially just being a straight chance to OHKO from the damage multiplier—forget any other effects they’re supposed to have because anything getting hit when they go off just instantly dies—they fail to differentiate the classes or add extra strategy elements to the game, in ways that high-level class skills would later do in Awakening and Fates.  They were just sort of—there.    

***

That being said, there’s a lot of really cool gameplay things PoR did right and that no other game ever did (or did as well). Things I wish they’d do again in some of the newer releases.

…A path split where you actually get to choose how your army gets divided up—who joins which party—rather than the game deciding for you: These units join Party A and take Route #1. These units join Party B and take Route #2.

…high-ground advantage on terrain and ledge-guarding as a game mechanic.

…the ability to reward units that cap out their high-growth stats early with the bonus exp level-up mechanics.

…best use of green units in the series. (the gameplay itself helps tell the story in the ways that armies of green units are integrated into some of the more grandiose battles)


Like I’m not gonna say the gameplay is bad. Its incredibly fun to dive into even all these years later and its high-points are things that no other fire emblem game has ever done better.

But to me, it felt like the gameplay had more noticeable holes then the writing. (again—there was never any point in PoR or RD where I felt that the writing was bad. But that’s just me.)

This Gameplay is the best  in the series but gods above--give me the strength to suffer through this writing was my reaction to Conquest. (and from what I understand, a more common sentiment among the fandom)

Edited by Shoblongoo

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Yes. It's a very flawed game, but it hits some incredibly high high notes. It's probably my favorite FE released in English.

It's especially worth playing if you have played PoR.

The writing is head and shoulders above Fates and Awakening, but it has some typical FE stumbling blocks. Like everything else in the game, the writing also hits some impressive high notes, despite the occasional fumbles. But the "supports" do indeed blow chunks, and don't expect to get much out of the Dawn Brigade in terms of defining character traits and development.

Edited by Slumber

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1 hour ago, Shoblongoo said:

...I sorta had the opposite reaction. The writing I found to be the best in the series, and a gold-standard yet unequaled in any of the new games. (And this is Tellius saga in general rather than PoR or RD individually; I view it as one incomparably deep, incredibly well-developed presentation of setting and cast and beginning-to-end storytelling spread out over two games. Rather than as two separate stories)

Gameplay-wise, howevr, I felt there were some places where it fell short.

Maybe I should first clarify. When I judge a FE game on the merits of gameplay I mostly look at how challenging the game is at the normal difficulty (which is the difficulty I played on), how varied the maps are and how balanced the units are around the chapters (both our units and the enemy ones) and I feel like the challenging and map part RD did very well but you make some good points...

1 hour ago, Shoblongoo said:

…removing game mechanics like the ability to check enemy range and weapon triangle is not a good way to improve difficulty on the higher games and just makes the game less fun to play—don’t fix what isn’t broken. Increase difficulty by buffing enemy—giving them higher stats and more skills and greater numbers—not by knee-capping the player.

I actually talked about the Tellius games with someone while playing through them and remember the guy telling me about this and I absolutely agree with what you say and I remember being baffled at this design choice.

1 hour ago, Shoblongoo said:

…no game should ever again have characters as overpowered as the Laguz royals for anything more than just the final boss fight.  It completely gimps Part 4. And then letting you bring all of Tibarn, Naesala, Caeneghis, and Nailah to The Tower is just overkill to the max—yeah, you can choose not to bring them if you want to challenge yourself. But use the resources the game gave you and intended for you to use, and any semblance of difficulty the endgame is supposed to carry to make you feel like it’s a desperate fight-to-the-finish is gone.

While I don't really disagree I'm actually somewhat happy those units were in part 4. They didn't have to show up in Endgame till the very end of the tower but god am I glad they were there to make part 4 somewhat more bearable. Part 4 is actually the part I meant when I said I dropped the game for a month. The maps are just too big and have too much reinforcements and I finally 'lost it' in the 

Spoiler

Desert map where everyone moves very slowly and enemy units spawn behind you.

So while I don't disagree with you that they shouldn't have been available I'm personally glad they were.

1 hour ago, Shoblongoo said:

…mastery skills for tier 3 units were not well designed. With every skill essentially just being a straight chance to OHKO from the damage multiplier—forget any other effects they’re supposed to have because anything getting hit when they go off just instantly dies—they fail to differentiate the classes or add extra strategy elements to the game, in ways that high-level class skills would later do in Awakening and Fates.  They were just sort of—there. 

Yeah, you're not wrong. My Shinon never managed to put anything to sleep with his Deadeye because he killed them before he had a chance to. 

 

1 hour ago, Shoblongoo said:

That being said, there’s a lot of really cool gameplay things PoR did right and that no other game ever did (or did as well). Things I wish they’d do again in some of the newer releases.

…A path split where you actually get to choose how your army gets divided up—who joins which party—rather than the game deciding for you: These units join Party A and take Route #1. These units join Party B and take Route #B.

…high-ground advantage on terrain and ledge-guarding as a game mechanic.

…the ability to reward units that cap out their high-growth stats early with the bonus exp level-up mechanics.

…best use of green units in the series. (the gameplay itself helps tell the story in the ways that armies of green units are integrated into some of the more grandiose battles)

Yes, I feel like a lot of things they did in RD they should give another chance. High-ground gave another layer to strategies in some maps and made things a lot more exciting. Green units were indeed a lot better handled in these games. In most FE games they feel like they're babysit units but in Por/RD they were done well.

 

1 hour ago, Shoblongoo said:

Like I’m not gonna say the gameplay is bad. Its incredibly fun to dive into even all these years later and its high-points are things that no other fire emblem game has ever done better.

But to me, it felt like the gameplay had more noticeable holes then the writing. (again—there was never any point in PoR or RD where I felt that the writing was bad. But that’s just me.)

I do understand all your points but honestly I feel like aside from some odd design choices RD had a lot of defense maps, some finish map in X amount of turns, kill the boss, escape and even destroy supplies map that were all done well and kept you on your toes without seeming cheap. Some of these maps were made even more interesting by giving them side objectives and I'm a sucker for those. 

And as for the writing in RD, personally most of it didn't really bother me as much as it does some people. I still enjoyed the story and it's probably one of my top 3 favorite somewhere between Genealogy of the Holy War, Por and Radiant Dawn but then again

Spoiler

Micaiah getting possessed by Yune didn't bother me because I ended up liking Yune more than Micaiah by the end of the game. 

 

1 hour ago, Shoblongoo said:

This Gameplay is the best  in the series but gods above--give me the strength to suffer through this writing was my reaction to Conquest. (and from what I understand, a more common sentiment among the fandom)

Haha you and me both. I like Conquest a lot for its gameplay but it's also the only FE game I've played where I'm mashing the start button every time the dialogue starts so I'll be sure not to experience the story again which is a damn shame because the game itself is a lot of fun.

 

 

 

Edited by Hekselka

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People used to criticize RD's story a lot, but ever since Fates and Awakening I've seen a lot more praise for it. Back when it released, I thought RD had both the best story and gameplay in the series. Its gameplay is now beaten by Fates, but I still think it has the best story (to be fair, the Tellius Saga as a collective is what makes it great, but I think RD is the better of the two).

So yes, I think it is most certainly worth playing.

On 11/11/2017 at 3:19 PM, Shoblongoo said:

But I don't think the Blood Pact was bad writing. I think it was utilized appropriately to advance the story, and well-integrated into the broader web of world-building and character interactions around it.

(Quote cut for space)

Nice to see that there are actually people like me who weren't at all bothered by the Blood Pact. I can see why people dislike the concept, but in execution I thought they worked it in very well. You can tell that it was in the plans since PoR even though that game never brought it up.

2 hours ago, Shoblongoo said:

…no game should ever again have characters as overpowered as the Laguz royals for anything more than just the final boss fight.  It completely gimps Part 4. And then letting you bring all of Tibarn, Naesala, Caeneghis, and Nailah to The Tower is just overkill to the max—yeah, you can choose not to bring them if you want to challenge yourself. But use the resources the game gave you and intended for you to use, and any semblance of difficulty the endgame is supposed to carry to make you feel like it’s a desperate fight-to-the-finish is gone. They murder everything.

I don't agree with this one, though. You only get one each for the part 4 routes so, while they're all great, they can't exactly solo the maps they're on, and you'll actually struggle a bit in Endgame with just them because a lot of the enemies there attack at range. Plus, thematically, it makes perfect sense. The leaders of all nations are joining together to save their continent and the strongest of each tribe is made the leader, so they should feel very powerful.

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To be honest, despite the laguz royals, I thought lategame RD was more challenging than the lategames of the other FEs released in English at the time. At least in RD, enemies keep gaining stats so you don't end up facing a mob of enemies with awful hit rates and attack speed like in the GBA games and PoR to a lesser extent. Dragons in particular stick out as having just beastly stats; there was nothing like that in FE7-9. Also,

the final bosses having giant AoE attacks made them far more dangerous than the likes of Nergal, Lyon, or NM Ashnard who sit there awaiting their demise.

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8 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

To be honest, despite the laguz royals, I thought lategame RD was more challenging than the lategames of the other FEs released in English at the time. At least in RD, enemies keep gaining stats so you don't end up facing a mob of enemies with awful hit rates and attack speed like in the GBA games and PoR to a lesser extent. Dragons in particular stick out as having just beastly stats; there was nothing like that in FE7-9. Also,

The nice thing about Part 4 pre-final being all routs is that it gives you some time to bash everything in with your favorites, something you can't really do in the prior parts.

I think the maps in P4 are problematic owing to the length of RD catching up to it and things being a little rushed at the end in map design. But it wouldn't take too much to make some of the maps better.

Another issue may arise from unit stat caps differing from something like Archsage Ilyana having a 30 Spd cap, while Raven King Naesala has a 50. With no Wary Fighter and no Awakening/Fates levels of cap-transcending stat boosters in one form or another, it's a little hard to program what is too tough and too easy. 

 

6 hours ago, Florete said:

I don't agree with this one, though. You only get one each for the part 4 routes so, while they're all great, they can't exactly solo the maps they're on, and you'll actually struggle a bit in Endgame with just them because a lot of the enemies there attack at range. Plus, thematically, it makes perfect sense. The leaders of all nations are joining together to save their continent and the strongest of each tribe is made the leader, so they should feel very powerful.

The Laguz are explicitly said to choose leaders based on strength, while the Beorc don't. This is just being reflected on in the gameplay, Elincia starts kinda weak, Tibarn is godly out of the gate.

And having done most of a draft run of RD, I tried soloing part of one P4 map with Ulki and another with Naesala- I spent way too many turns picking off annoying 2 range foes on the player phase. 1-2 range helps massively, if not in survivability, then at least in making maps go by faster.

 

Spoiler
9 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

the final bosses having giant AoE attacks made them far more dangerous than the likes of Nergal, Lyon, or NM Ashnard who sit there awaiting their demise.

It would've been nice if Numida and Valtome got AoEs, or Ashera's mega ranged single target spell, it make them more threats. And it make their maps a little more interesting. Numida's is terrible being pure sand without differentiation what if we fought in Stefan's Branded Village?. It could be justified as part of Ashera's blessings. Or some other magical gimmick to strengthen them.

On the plot side, RD did decently with the bit side character focus during pre-Final Part 4. It was able to compensate for the lack of actual major plot developments prior to the Tower.

Although Kurthnaga getting over his pacifism and joining the fight for 4-4 with Ena would have been good from a gameplay perspective since adding together all the reinforcements the map has over 100 foes. Though this is a gameplay nitpick admittedly, and nothing compared to the easily correctible Tormod & co. issue.

 

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