With Nintendo making a 3ds conference later today there are plenty of games that people want to see announced today. One such game is Fire Emblem Awakening. With the game already released in Japan people are ready and hoping that the game will be announced this E3. Usually I would review something like this, but I'm not ready to do that just yet. Instead since I have no idea when a review will be coming I will instead give you a preview of my hands on time with the game. Be cautious this could go on for a while.

I don't want to get into the story because I want to save that part for the final review whenever it shows up. Instead lets just jump into the game. When you first turn on the system your treated to a nice opening cinematic. Compared to past Fire Emblem cinematic this one is much more smooth. If you notice that the characters look different it's because this tie they're done by the artist behind No More Heros. Moving along it's time to start your game. You start off with difficulty. Then you can pick if you want to turn off the permanent death. For the sake of getting through this game and getting a review out I went with easy and turned off permanent death. For Fire Emblem fan I would recommend you turn on classic mode and play on at least normal. However, don't feel bad if you turn off perma death as it can make a battle far less stressful. No longer do you feel worried about moves you just made or feel cheated when an enemy archer somehow manages to pull of his 1% critical hit.

Sure they Look different from past Fire Emblems but the result is still amazing

Next is your created character. Creation options aren't bad but they are in no way good. You choose from a select few things. Height, hair style, pre made face, hair color, and the sound of your voice. Sadly you can't pick your class. My dreams of using my created character as an assassin were quickly dropped. Instead your what's called a strategist. You can use magic and swords making for an interesting combination of close range and "long" range. After your character is finished your thrown into more video and your first ever mission. If you ever played a Fire Emblem the first mission is always the epilogue. It's also the level that tells you exactly what to do and when to do it. Go to square X, Attack enemy Y, Heal yourself, Pull of a critical hit against the boss. This time the Tutorial is on the bottom screen allowing you to do whatever you want. It's a small change but not having to be told every turn what to do is a plus in my book. Finish the chapter and your treated to another video that has some story and you move on to the meat of the game.

You start off with some dialogue and are then handed your first units. You given your created character, the Lord, a cleric, and your overpowered paladin. Then you start your first mission. New characters are handed to you at a fairly quick pace. In fact when you start the first mission your handed a cavalier and a archer right off the bat. Here is when Fire Emblem get very familiar. One new feature added to battle is a double attack. While not 100% reliable that it will happen there are 2 ways you can pull this off. One is having units stand in adjacent squares, this give the attacking unit bonuses to their stats as well as having a chance to pull off a double attack. The other is putting 2 units in a group. This is kind of like when you could have a paladin pick up another unit in previous games and carry them around. Only this time the second character joins you in battle. When you do put 2 units together you will see 1 unit up front and 1 unit behind them. You use the front units stats so putting a slow character behind a paladin means you will have good movement, or putting a cleric behind a knight means the cleric wont get hit until the knight is gone. The same way you can do a defensive block where a character will block for another which results in no damage to either. This happens the same way but is much more uncommon.

Your main character of the game Chrom.

Outside of battle there is also a lot you can do. Generally a side mission will show up after 2 main missions, but there are also a lot of mini skirmishes that you can do. You can also do things such as promote your character. In this game promotions are a little different. There are 2 items this time: one that promotes and one that demotes and they can be used on anyone. Promotions can be given to anyone over level 10 and usually they have 2 choices as to what they want to become. Demotions is a little different. It's not really "demoting" as it is changing their class however it starts them back at level 1 and usually results in negative stat gains. This is for when you have a unit you don't use anymore and trying to give him a new class that he can use and can help you in battle. For you created character you can put him/her into whatever class you want now. A quick tip is to demote your fighter to a barbarian, this way you can promote him to a berserker fairly early in the game.

As for new stuff added while out of battle there is a couple that come to mind. Character can now marry each other which adds another layer to battle. Characters do this by talking to each other or helping each other in battle. Married characters seem to be in sync almost always. They are very likely to pull of double attacks and are more likely to defend each other in battle so you have incentive to play match maker. Secondly, is spotpass characters. These are characters from other games be it other people with Fire Emblem, or just classic characters from older games. You can fight classic characters anytime resulting in you having them join your party.(please note this is different from the paid DLC which include Lords from past games but also actual side story based missions.) Other created characters will randomly appear on your map.

For now I'll leave with that. If I had to give you a quick opinion on the game I'll say this. It's probably one of the best if not the best Fire Emblem I have ever played. For now We'll have to wait and see if a U.S release will happen(It could happen tonight). I hope you look forward to reading my full review of Fire Emblem Awakening coming soon!

Just Who is this mysterious character??