Review by AJ_Garamonde

Reviewed: 05/11/05

Fourth Times A Charm? More Like A Gem!

I've played the SNES since its release (almost 15 years ago, I feel old!). I've tried every game possible and knew the library was running thin. But, through the power of emulation, I came across without a doubt the greatest game I have ever played: Fire Emblem 4.

Why this was not released in North America I cannot understand. But what I do understand is that this game is second to none. Best of all, this game is the brainchild of Gumpei Yokoi, the mastermind with Nintendo/Intelligent Systems, a man known for his creativity and original concepts. Of all his concepts, I can safely conclude this was his best.

Here is why:

Graphics - 10/10
From the maps to the character portraits, FE4 excels. They are very colourful and well-detailed. The anime character portraits are all well done; despite some palette swapping between enemy characters, a good majority of the portraits are not duplicates and each represents the personalities of the characters well. The battle scenes are to die for; the animation is excellent (I love when mounted characters charge or lunge at their foes on horseback!). This game has great visuals and will not disappoint.

Sound - 10/10
Both the sound effects and the music are top-notch. There are plethora of many different sound effects to be heard; there are many different sounds, for example, for attacking with a sword. Magic spells, critical attacks, the clanking of armor, it is all a treat for the ears. The music is just as great and outperforms the sound effects. Each mission has catchy tunes you will more than likely be humming for days (like me); the enemies even have their own music when they attack! The instrumentaion is excellent and never sounds out of place. Without a doubt, FE4 has some of the greatest music you will ever hear.

Gameplay - 10/10
Now we're talking! The crowning acheivement of FE4 is undoubtedly its gameplay and replay value. This isn't a game you will put away once you beat it; you will pick it up again for one primary reason: character pairings. Male and female characters can fall in love with each other and have children you can play as later in the game. Some pairings are better than others so be wary who falls in love. The difficulty is up there in difficulty, though it is not unfair; strategy will be key to winning missions (distractions, enemy weaknesses, and especially protecting archers and mages from death). This game will keep you busy.

I don't give out perfect scores for games often, but this is what this game is: perfect! Find a copy today!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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