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Gramork

Which version to play.

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Hey all, I have some questions about which version of Fates I should get. I've played Awakening, SoV and Sacred Stones, so im not exactly a Fire Emblem wizard, but I would like to get another one and Fates is just the easiest to get. Ive heard people say that you play Conquest for the gameplay, Birthright for the story and Revelations for something between that? Is that an accurate assessment in this board's opinion?

While im on the subject I will say that while I like good story, I can look past suboptimal writing if the gameplay is good. So if its true that Conquest has better gameplay, what exactly do people mean by that? Also I do not have the time to invest in getting and beating all three, so I am really just looking for people's thoughts on which they consider the best value for their money.

Thanks for your time.

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Personally, I would play Birthright first, then Conquest. Birthright introduces Fates' mechanics quite well, and it's a pretty solid game IMO, with most units being far more unique and fun to use than something you'd get from the GBA games. Plus, Hard actually provides a pretty decent challenge that isn't too taxing. I haven't played Conquest yet, but I feel like I could confidently recommend Birthright to someone trying to get into the series or a more relaxed experience than Conquest.

Story-wise...I am a lot less hard on Fates than most here and consider it to be overall in the top half of FE stories*...But that's an unpopular opinion, so perhaps set your expectations low.

*Admittedly, this is also majorly because Fates has a ballin' soundtrack to accompany it.

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In terms of story progression, it's probably best to play Birthright > Conquest > Revelations. Birthright definitely has the better story, but Fates is kinda infamous for having the worst writing in the whole FE franchise but IMO, I actually enjoyed it and quite like Corrin. That being said, Birthright is your average good vs. evil story and pretty inoffensive as an introduction to Fates as a whole. Birthright is also great to get your feet wet in FE because it was designed to introduce new players to the series with it's simple gameplay. Maps tend to be a little more open, some lack enemy variety (ie. maps with only flying enemies or maps with only Faceless), and most of the time the goal is just to rout the enemy.  That being said, that doesn't mean some maps aren't challenging.

Conquest is considered to have better gameplay mainly because of the bigger challenge that it poses and the fact that several maps introduce goals that aren't just "Rout the Enemy" or "Defeat the Boss," such as (the infamous) chapter 10, chapter 15, and chapter 21. Also, some maps are just genuinely really difficult because of the map design, like in the Kitsune chapter where you cannot attack the enemies on certain turns and the Mokushu chapter with all the ninjas. The game also limits your resources, so extra maps for grinding are absent and gold is really limited as well. Conquest can be fun due to its challenge, but personally, I found it kinda stressful at times but that's just me LOL.

Revelations is hard to understand if you haven't played the other 2 campaigns, and it's DLC only so you can't really get it as a standalone game anyway. In terms of challenge, it's definitely in between the other 2, but almost every map has its own "gimmick"--like a pseudo-fog of war map in chapter 7, breaking ice to reveal enemies in chapter 10, stealth mission in chapter 24, etc. I personally enjoyed Revelations, despite what many say about it, but if you're only going to play one route, it shouldn't be Revelations mainly because it's designed to be played after completing the other 2 campaigns.

When considering the cast/characters, both routes have pretty fun casts. Can't say if one is objectively better than the other. Since you played Awakening---no spoilers but---3 characters in Conquest may be very similar to some Awakening characters HAHA. However, in terms of gameplay, Birthright/Hoshidan characters (from what I noticed) tend to have better speed and resistance, but several lack defense (ie. Hinoka, Kaden, Kagero). Conquest/Nohrian characters are the opposite, as very few have a decent speed stat and several lack resistance, but compensate with high defense (ie. Xander, Keaton, Beruka).

My personal preference is Birthright over Conquest, but I'm almost 123491023% several would say otherwise LOL. Birthright gets flack for being too "easy" but honestly, it isn't even that bad and is definitely worth the shot. However, if you want more of a genuine challenge, Conquest is the way to go.

Overall, whichever campaign you choose, Fates as a whole just offers really solid gameplay. The pair-up system is significantly more refined than in Awakening and IMO has the best and most open class system in the series. Corrin is a fun unit to play around with since the builds are endless and allows for great replay value.

Edited by LJ_Tenma

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Well, I wouldn't say Birthright is "bad" in terms of gameplay, it's just that Birthright is an easier path than Conquest in terms of map design and certain restrictions the latter has.  Both games more or less have all the same bells and whistles, but Conquest has more interesting maps and objectives than Birthright.  Birthright does have some good maps though still.  Birthright is definitely the path that is the most like the other games you described (especially Awakening, playing Birthright will probably feel like playing Awakening with cool new features and improvements), so that's a big part of why I'd recommend it above the other paths.

In terms of story...  Really, it's all down to individual tastes and preferences.  I'd personally say that Conquest has a fairly terrible story because it seems like the main characters do everything in their power to mess things up amidst a very clear and obvious threat to peace and prosperity, and Birthright... well, is no magnum opus, but is at least fairly bog standard in story and thus is the least offensive path.  Some would argue Revelation is the worst story of the three, as it kinda makes the other two paths seem moot and pointless.  But at the same time, if what you really care about in a story is emotional impact and pure drama over whether the events in the story make actual sense or not, then it's a great story for you.  Again, it's really down to personal preference.

I will say that a good chunk of the characters are enjoyable, and they're quite varied, so there's probably some among the lot that you'd enjoy.

I'll just say no matter what, if you are limited on time and only want to play one or two paths, don't pick Revelation.  It's a path you only want to play after beating the other two paths.  And gameplay-wise it's probably the worst.  It gets some points for bringing together the majority of the other two paths' casts together and allowing you to use damn near the entire game's roster, but the maps are very tedious - they take upwards of 50+ turns to beat each.  The bad thing is the maps aren't particularly difficult, they're just long and occasionally frustrating (well, I frequently get frustrated by them, but I don't have a lot of patience left when it comes to video games).  And as I said before, some would argue it's the worst story of the three.  I personally disliked Conquest a bit more, but I thought there were things in Revelation that were really dumb.

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In terms of gameplay, I would say that Conquest has a lot more going on. It has more map gimmicks, more enemies with skills or special weapons that you need to account for, and so on. I don't think that inherently makes it better, per se. It largely depends on your personal tastes. For me personally, I prefer Birthright, because I found Conquest to be a little bit too busy and a little too bloated. There was just a bit too much going on and it added an extra layer between me and my tactics that I didn't really enjoy. However, I know that other people really enjoy all the extra bells and whistles and find that they add to the experience, so your mileage may vary.

In terms of story, I didn't really enjoy either of them. Birthright's is probably a little bit better than Conquest's, but definitely not to the point where it's a game that I would recommend playing specifically for the story.

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10 hours ago, Gramork said:

Hey all, I have some questions about which version of Fates I should get. I've played Awakening, SoV and Sacred Stones, so im not exactly a Fire Emblem wizard, but I would like to get another one and Fates is just the easiest to get. Ive heard people say that you play Conquest for the gameplay, Birthright for the story and Revelations for something between that? Is that an accurate assessment in this board's opinion?

While im on the subject I will say that while I like good story, I can look past suboptimal writing if the gameplay is good. So if its true that Conquest has better gameplay, what exactly do people mean by that? Also I do not have the time to invest in getting and beating all three, so I am really just looking for people's thoughts on which they consider the best value for their money.

Thanks for your time.

As a disclaimer (that I haven´t seen yet in this thread): I think you need to own either BR or CQ, to get REV, as Rev is exclusively digital.

 

Hmmm, the main differences between BR and CQ lie in the map design and unit design.

In BR enemies also tend to be on the weaker side of things, with very little in the way of skills – I´d take a wager that almost any CQ map has more skills in itself than the entirety of BR (tbc: this is exaggeration). There is kind of a difficulty spike around chapter 14 or 15 – that´s where promoted enemies turn up and these do hurt. So, to compensate for weaker enemies, BR throws a whole bunch of them at you. BR bosses are all around a joke – some of them get weaker throughout the game.

That´s where BR unit design comes in. A lot and I mean a LOT of BR units are frail. Sure, many of them are geared towards being glass cannons, and should have little trouble dealing the damage, but those who can tank are few, or come late (by BR standards, which is chapter 13) and may have to rely on certain weapons or are otherwise just really, really bad units. And a good few units have weird growths and/or are in classes that don´t really go with these classes.

The maps themselves are okay, I think. There´s usually another goal on the map to fulfil but coupled with many weak enemies the experience is a modest one.

 

CQ is a different animal altogether. Enemies in this game (not all but many and to which degree depends on the difficulty) have skill sets, designed for specific purposes. Your stats? Debuffed. Your HP? Lose 20-40%. That archer over there? Counter, baby. Named enemies can and will fuck you up to a degree that even flex tape won´t fix. On top of that CQ tends to give a few enemies per map effective or otherwise special equipment, to reverse the WT or be effective against a certain weapon type or even magic weapons. You didn´t look at the enemies inventory? That´s a reset. Didn´t look at their skills? That´s also a reset.

And then the maps. Disclaimer: Unless you play on the highest difficulty from the get-go you shouldn´t have major problems. A good few of the maps look hard when you look at them the first time. They are hard. Some of them play like a puzzle. Others are straight forward. Many times, enemies will be in formations that can be difficult to break – you´ll have to either find a way to go in far enough to have them attack on EP (and survive) or get into a position to wipe them out on PP.

But the nice thing about CQ is, that it gives you what you need to overcome these things. I´ve played myself into a corner often enough – the games versatility on the map itself offers a lot of choices. Is unit A too weak? Give them a STR Tonic. Too slow? SPD Tonic. Or pair them up for bigger stats. You will however have to learn how the Pair-Up system works in Fates for CQ – playing without it is possible but it makes things a lot easier. I mentioned effective weaponry – if you select a vulnerable player unit and an enemy holds a weapon strong against this unit you´ll have a [!] showing up. Almost every map has multiple ways to approach them, some just requiring another strategy, other letting you interact with the map itself (to a certain degree).

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19 hours ago, Gramork said:

While im on the subject I will say that while I like good story, I can look past suboptimal writing if the gameplay is good. So if its true that Conquest has better gameplay, what exactly do people mean by that? Also I do not have the time to invest in getting and beating all three, so I am really just looking for people's thoughts on which they consider the best value for their money.

There's a lot more to look for, and think about, in Conquest versus Birthright. Stuff like rare skills and weapons on the enemies, particularly on higher difficulties. Also, Conquest has more diverse map objectives (Birthright, like Awakening, is mostly "Defeat Boss" or "Rout Enemy").

Between the two of them, I'd say Birthright's story is tolerable (not good), while Conquest's is a total farce. Revelation, by the way, has an even-possibly-worse narrative. Gameplay-wise, Conquest is more challenging and mentally intensive. Whereas, Birthright and Revelation are much more "chill" experiences. It all boils down to what you're looking for.

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I'd say get Birthright if you want something chill, Conquest if you want a challenge, and Revelations if you're really into babymaking

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22 hours ago, Benice said:

Personally, I would play Birthright first, then Conquest. Birthright introduces Fates' mechanics quite well, and it's a pretty solid game IMO, with most units being far more unique and fun to use than something you'd get from the GBA games.

Even though I like Conquest the most of the three in terms of gameplay, I agree with this.  I recommend playing Birthright first to get a good understanding of Fate's mechanics.  This is coming from someone who has played each route several times (has over 1,600 hours worth of play time), and has played Birthright first.

Edited by FailWood

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You don't play any of Fates for the story. The story is trash in all 3 routes.

If you're only going to play one route, go with Conquest. Even Fates haters tend to agree it has great gameplay, and the three different difficulty options are very well-balanced, offering exactly what they say at a good curve.

There is, however, a potential argument for Revelation. It is considered the canon route and you can recruit almost everyone from the other two routes, so you do have a lot more options as far as who you want to use and you get all their supports as well. The game itself suggests you play Revelation after the other two routes, and while I understand why, I don't think it matters that much; it's not a sequel, it's its own story, it just reveals things that are only hinted at in the other routes, but the story is so trash anyway that I honestly recommend you don't consider story at all when making your decision. The big problem with Revelation is that its gameplay design is often very questionable, with multiple maps just being really poorly planned out.

Birthright is good for what it is, and if you ever feel like playing more Fates I say go for it, but I would never recommend it to someone who only plans to play one route unless it's going to be their first FE experience.

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The story is terrible no matter what route one plays or in what order. It has no pacing, the script is as cheesy as it gets and the overall storyline makes no sense.
That being said, play Conquest. It is an engaging, challenging puzzle. I have played about twenty campaigns.

Birthright, like Awakening, is a turn-based RPG on a grid; there are no tactics involved. Unlike Shadows of Valentia, it at least has some map design, but the enemies are so weak and generic that one will not notice it.

If you decide to play Conquest, try it on Hard. There is no variation in enemy stats between Hard and Lunatic, the difference lies in the enemy skill sets and enemy formations, and most of what you do on Hard will be valid on Lunatic. Normal, on the other hand, teaches you nothing.
Choose Hard Casual if you feel that the difficulty is more than you are used to. If you go Classic, pay attention to the enemy skills and embrace the resets.

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