Saturday, January 23, 2016

Fire Emblem Fates and the Two Versions - How It Works

If you're living in the US, then the newest entry in the Fire Emblem series "Fire Emblem Fates" is almost here. The game has been popping up in the news lately, with it's censorship concerns and all, but what a lot of people may not know about it is how it's two versions work. Well today I hope to clear up any confusion you might have, and possibly teach you something that'll make deciding which to go with easier.

So, first of all, what is Fire Emblem Fates? Well to put it simple, it's a Nintendo 3DS tactical role playing game that is a part of the long running Fire Emblem series. In in, you command an army of units as you try to capture bases, defeat powerful bosses, and clear out enemies in your current location. Each unit in the game is a unique character with their own personality, skills, and classes to choose from, and there is also a relationship system in place where characters can become close to each other and gain bonuses for it. It's a pretty deep fantasy style strategy game, but it's also one that has a wide verity of difficulty settings so that nearly anyone can jump in and play. But, what about the two different versions? Well..

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright -

The "first" version of Fates is called Birthright. Without spoiling too much of the story, this side of the game is where your main character, an avatar you can customize and name yourself, decides to choose his/her path based on birth. In other words, the avatar sticks with the kingdom they were "born" to be with, and that will set the main story into motion (as both versions stories will be the same up until this point). Once on this path though more than just the story will change.

Birthright is a lot more similar to the previous title Fire Emblem Awakening. Here you have a world map, and you'll have access to other features that will make the game generally easier. Rather than constantly going forward, you can revisit old maps and summon enemies to fight, you can take on extra battles in the new "My Castle" feature (which is a feature that allows you to build a base, and interact with your characters) to gain extra experience points, and you'll have access to characters that will not be recruit-able in the other version of the game. Basically if you're the type of person who prefers to take it easy in these types of games, then Birthright would be the version to start with. Yes, start with.

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest -

Rather than following your birthright, Conquest is the version that has the avatar allying with the rival nation. Once again the story will be the same up to a specific point, but once you reach the Conquest story, everything changes (and I don't mean just the characters).

While Birthright follows the style of Fire Emblem Awakening with it's world map and more relaxed gameplay, Conquest goes back to the series' roots. This story is a linear path that will take you from location to location, and all experience will be tied to the main story quests. Sure, you can still practice battle against teams in My Castle, but you will no longer gain the EXP from them meaning EXP in general will be a resource you'll have to manage. For example, if you allow one character to kill most of the enemies in a mission, that character will have an advantage over the rest of your team, and the others will quickly become under powered due to the lack of enemies to fight. This makes the game much harder, and forces you to decide between who you should actually use to kill, and who should be on the sidelines as backup. In other words, if you're a long time fan who misses the good old days of Fire Emblem being a challenge, then this would be your starting place.

Fire Emblem Fates DLC, Downloadable Version, and Special Edition -

Now, let me make this clear. The game is being released in two versions, but these versions are not true "versions." They are actually two completely different games, and they are both worth playing. Birthright is the version best suited for beginners and Conquest steps up the challenge, but in general you'll want to play both before moving onto the final story -- which I'll be getting to shortly. The thing is though, buying these versions on their own aren't your only option. In fact, there are multiple ways you can buy Fire Emblem Fates, and below is an easy to follow list to help you decide which path you want to take in buying these.

1. Buying the physical and DLC. If you buy a physical copy of the game, the other game's story can be bought as DLC at a reduced price. Doing so will actually be to your advantage since some character data can be shared between save files, but the down side is you will be limited on your number of saves in general. You'll have enough for each of the three paths, but that's it.

2. Buying the downloadable version, choosing a path, and then buying DLC. Basically the downloadable version of this game isn't a "version" but a complete game that allows you to choose which path to take, and then buy the other paths later. The moment you pick a side is when you choose which version your download is, and then when you want to play the other side you'll have to buy it just like you would with the physical.

3. Buying the special edition, and never worrying about DLC. Basically this version of the game (which is harder to find sadly) is the complete package. It costs more but it comes with both story paths, and the third download only path already built in. If you can get a hold of it this would be the best way to go, but again it's a special edition and may not be an easy thing to find.

Of course you could also buy two physical copies of Fates, but that's only something I'd recommend to a collector. Buying two physical copies will not give you the bonuses of having your save files on one game card, but it's really up to you if this is something you want to do or not.

The Revelation Chapter -

Besides the two versions, Fates has a 3rd final path that can only be bought as DLC (or in the special edition). In this path the avatar chooses neither side, and walks his/her own path. In this "version" of the story, you'll have access to the world map and most of the features from Birthright, but it'll also be a harder game with many similarities to Conquest. It's a middle path that takes the middle ground in every way possible, and is meant to serve as the final full game's final story. Basically if you liked Fates enough to go through the other two games, then this is the final entry you wont want to miss.


So, as you can see Fire Emblem Fates isn't a short game. While many may think that each version is just a slightly altered story, the truth is Fates is three full games. Each version has its own unique story, characters, and gameplay, and because of that all three are worth going through. If you're thinking about buying Fates you should start with the version that suits you best, but you should know that you'll need to play the others as well if you want to complete the full story. It's a three part game, and one that is sure to last you a very long time.

For more information, feel free to check out Nintendo's Official Website: http://fireemblemfates.nintendo.com/

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