Review by Baldo

Reviewed: 08/15/01 | Updated: 06/19/02

FE4, the greatest game ever?

Fire Emblem 4 is the greatest strategy/RPG game, and perhaps the greatest overall game, I have ever had the privilege of playing. I cannot understand why the good people at Nintendo did not decide to ship this game to the Western world.

Gameplay - 9/10

The game plays out on a tile map, in which you maneuver your units through forests, down roads, and over mountains. Terrain is also a deciding factor when it comes to battle. For example, a unit in the forest will be much harder to hit than a unit standing in an open field or on a road. The computer AI in this game is astounding. The computer can and will wipe the floor with you on numerous occasions, especially when you first begin playing. Saving is a key component to getting through the game without losing any characters and it’s very difficult to revive a fallen comrade. The love system in this game is probably its most attractive (no pun intended) aspect. The love system leaves the game wide open to changes, greatly enhancing the replay value of this game. The only drawback in gameplay is the fierce AI.

Story - 10/10

Unlike other strategy games out there that concentrate almost solely on gameplay, Fire Emblem 4, while being no slouch in gameplay, endeavors to create a wondrous plot line. Simply put, FE4 has the best story for any strategy game that I have ever encountered on any gaming platform. You become immersed in an entire world filled with love, hate, revenge, deceit, treachery, and hope. Each of your characters has his/her own unique disposition. At the start, the player controls Sigurd and his band of rag-tag fighters as they fight for a just cause. In the second half of the story, the player controls Sigurd’s son, Selis, as he leads the second generation of warriors that is comprised chiefly of the sons and daughters of the first generation characters. All the elements of a classic novel are incorporated into this strategic video game.

Graphics/Visual Effects - 8/10

What can I say? We’re dealing with a Super Famicom game so the graphics are not going to be the best. On top of that, its an RPG/Strategy, which are not known for their graphics. But let me say, they are definitely good for its time. The maps are beautifully colored and the battle scenes are very well done. The character sprites in battle scenes should, however, have been designed to more closely represent the characters that are fighting. The major characters also have their own icon, which shows a picture of that character's face, on the status screen and these icons are gorgeously rendered. My only qualm with the icons is that some of the lesser enemies that you oppose are designated with icons that are identical, except for some colors, to the icons of another enemy in a different part of the game. In other words, there were not enough icons created to assign each character with their own. Its not a major problem, but it does appear odd to be fighting an enemy in Chapter 5 who looks exactly like the one you defeated two chapters earlier.

Audio - 10/10

The melodious music in FE4 provides a perfect backdrop for the game. Themes cover almost everything, from the world map screen to conversations to the castle music. All of the music is very well done.

Replay Value - 10/10

Since you can manipulate the love system in the game differently each time you play, the possibilities are nearly endless. You should never tire of playing this one. I would recommend playing the game through twice, but even with two turns through, you will have not experienced everything.

To Be or Not to Be?

Well, renting this game is almost definitely an impossibility, unless your local video rental store rents out Japanese imports with the proper conversion device. You might be able to score this game online at an auction site, but the odds are definitely stacked against you. Even if you do import, your still left with the language barrier, unless you happen to comprehend Japanese. The game is LOADED with important text, so I would suggest emulation and translation. The story is just such an important part of this game that you don't want to miss out on it. This game is a definite MUST HAVE!

Overall - 10/10

Despite the graphics, which have always been second in strategy/RPG games, this is an excellent game. This is my absolute favorite game of all-time. Get it today!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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