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This Is The Best Order To Play Fire Emblem Fates

by Javy Gwaltney on Feb 17, 2016 at 05:05 AM

Fire Emblem Fates is out this week and the number of purchase options for these games sure is confusing. Luckily, we’re here to lend a helping hand and explain what each copy contains and even make some suggestions on which one you should get depending on your experience with the Fire Emblem series.

Fire Emblem Fates is split into three versions: Fire Emblem: Birthright, Fire Emblem: Conquest, and the special edition of the game that contains both copies as well as Fire Emblem: Revelations. Revelations is a DLC campaign that’s essentially another full length game. If you don’t own the special edition, you’ll need to buy Revelations when it’s released on March 10 if you want to play it. Now, as someone who's played both Birthright and Conquest, I'd argue that you don't need to get both to experience "the full story" unless you're a diehard Fire Emblem fan or just enjoy one so much that you want the other. Each one operates as its own epic saga that can stand separate from the other game. Though there are huge differences between the two versions, it basically comes down to your preferences for artstyle and genre leanings.

So, which one should you play first? Well, that involves answering a lot of questions, so let's get to it.

Is this, or Awakening, your first Fire Emblem game? Are you more of an RPG fan than a hardcore strategy enthusiast? Do you love traditional adventure stories that pit heroes against seemingly insurmountable odds? Do you like ninjas?

If any of this applies to you, go with Birthright. Birthright is easier than Conquest since the game lets you grind for experience points to boost your level, and battles are generally a matter of clearing the battlefield of enemies or defeating a single target. If you’re tired of the medieval trappings of the series, Birthright embraces a feudal Japan aesthetic, replacing rogues and paladins with ninjas and samurai. If you want more details on Birthright, you can check out our review here.

Do you love a challenge and do Ironman runs of XCOM regularly? Have you been a fan of the series for years, beyond Awakening? Do you prefer darker, complex stories to straightforward adventures? Is Medieval Times your jam?

Conquest takes off the kid gloves and will beat you into the ground. Where Birthright is content to let you grind your army into an unstoppable force of destruction, Conquest wants you to squirm under its thumb, removing challenge missions from the game so that your success depends almost entirely upon your abilities as a tactician. Most maps include objectives beyond simply clearing the field, like seizing a specific point on the map from enemy control. For those who yearn for a true challenge, and are partial to medieval fantasy, Conquest is the way to go. Be sure to read our review if you want more details.

I like all these things! I want to go back and forth between them!

Good news then…if you bought the special edition. Revelations, a full-length DLC campaign, lets you have units from both kingdoms and lets you grind for experience. However, if you didn’t grab the special edition of the game, which comes with all three campaigns installed on a single cartridge, you’ve gotta wait until March 10th to purchase and download it off the eShop. It’s worth noting that Nintendo recommends playing Revelations after you’ve played one or both of the other two campaigns.