Review by velmarg
Reviewed: 01/21/03 | Updated: 01/21/03
The Best SNES game you never played.
Fire Emblem is a strategy role-playing series that is worshipped in Japan, but ironically never made it to the states. The series' popularity over here began with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, for the Nintendo Gamecube. Fire Emblem 6 is supposed to come over here sometime, but it's really not set in stone.
Arguably the best in the series, Fire Emblem 4 could be considered revolutionary for its character interaction. Combine that with an awesome story, enthralling strategic gameplay, some impressive graphics, and the greatest theme song for a video game EVER, and you have yourself a classic that most people have probably never even heard of.
For a SNES game, Fire Emblem 4 features some pretty impressive graphics. Character portraits are well drawn in the anime art style, each having their own distinct look. The overworld map is less than stellar, but when combat ensues, the game switches to a Fire Fantasy-esque looking screen, and the two characters that have clashed duke it out. Some of the spell effects are spectacular, and most of the sprites are decent looking as well. Overall, the graphics are good for the time.
The game shines in this department, not just for the controls themselves, but for the interface and setup. Scrolling through your troops (and you'll have many) is a breeze, and moving them across the battlefield is a cinch.
Yes, if Fire Emblem is known for one thing, it's the theme song. It's just beautiful. Fantastic. The best ever, in my opinion. The other music in the game is alright, but it's that killer theme song.. I tell ya, if I weren't so self-conscious, I'd listen to the damn thing in a walkman. Sound effects get the job done, but it's the theme song! The theme song! Ragh! 10/10 just for the song.
For a SNES game, FE4 is deep.. Very deep. Maybe deeper than any of the second generation Final Fantasies ever were. Character interaction is all up to you, since most character will only talk to eachother if they're standing next to eachother. Since most people playing this have the game emulated and won't have an instruction manual, this can lead to a lot of missed dialogue. Gameplay in and of itself consists of you moving characters across the map. They move along a large grid, their capable distance depending on the type of unit(ie: mounted units can move further than foot units). When two units of opposing sides come together, they engage in combat. The combat screen (which is really just for show, since you have no control over it) is an option, and you can have the units to a little sprite duel on the world map if you get tired of it. Strategy becomes a major factor later in the game, and it can get difficult, which is a good thing in this genre.
Not so often does a game like this have excellent role play, but FE4 delivers here especially. In the middle of the game, the characters that were paired up have a child, and these children are the characters for the second half. Needless to say, there are tons of combinations, and there's a good chance you'll never play the exact same game twice.
One of the best games I've ever played, Fire Emblem 4 is the best game in the series that invented the strategy RPG. Anyone with even the slightest bit of interest should look into emulating or somehow getting this game. It's an experience that rivals the games of today. A perfect 10.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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