Several Recommendations: Fire Emblem, Warriors

Have I told you to play Fire Emblem lately?

I actually had a pretty productive day, working on The Alchemist of Middlesbrooke and my drawing of the Lyte Brigade as a group. However, none of that productivity directly translates to anything bloggable, so I’m falling back on my time-tested, uh, fallback plan of re-posting some old recommendations.

There’s actually a degree of logic behind this one beyond “Oh no! I need to post something!”

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes comes out on Friday, which means is going to be a long week.

Incidentally, the latest (and presumably last) trailer is here:

So, it seems as good a time as any to re-hype Fire Emblem and the Warriors games — not, of course, to be confused with 1979 cult classic The Warriors, itself inspired by actual Classic (definition 5) the Anabasis of Xenophon.

The crossover isn’t exactly surprising at this point. Koei Tecmo‘s flagship series is the Warriors games, they’ve done Hyrule (and the sequel) and Fire Emblem Warriors with Nintendo, and they also handled most of the development of Three Houses.

If you’re interested, Nintendo has put out a demo for Three Hopes. It’s a surprisingly large amount of content for a demo and the progress carries over to the full game.

But, uh, word of warning first: play through Three Houses before you play Three Hopes, even the demo. Several huge twists in Three Houses are revealed fairly casually in just the opening cutscene of Three Hopes.

The rear spoiler of a car.
But, seriously, we’re talking spoilers at least this big…

Photo by Gru00e9gory Costa on

Now, since Three Hopes is a sequel to (or at least an alternate timeline of Three Houses; the exact details of the plot are still a little unclear at this point), let me focus on the Three Houses section of my Fire Emblem recommendation.

Three waterfront houses in a row, reflected in water.
Hate to burst your bubble, but it’s not this literal…

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on

The gameplay is probably the best and purest distillation of the traditions of the series, combining elements from both the older and newer games. The story, like in Fates, is divided into multiple routes, but delivered in a single game.

Overall, the story of Three Houses is probably the most intelligent and mature a Fire Emblem story has ever been. The simplest way to describe it is that it’s Fire Emblem‘s version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Like in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, none of the three factions are clear bad guys or good guys (the non-playable faction that are bad guys are the bad guys for everybody else), and most of the emotion of the story comes from people who used to be friends coming into conflict to realise their ambitions for the world.

Three Houses is my favourite Fire Emblem and is, by orders of magnitude, the game I’ve played the most on my Switch. I’m stoked for the opportunity to revisit the world and characters in Three Hopes.

My full recommendation is here:

On paper, Warriors is sort of the opposite end of the spectrum of Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem is a turned-based strategy game. The Warriors are hack-and-slash games that are frequently derided by critics for being facile and brainless.

I love them, though.

You press a button, your character slams his sword into the ground, which causes an explosion that sends eight people flying.

Koei describes the gameplay of the Warriors games as centring around “one vs. a thousand” combat. You’re a superhero running wild through crowds of regular dudes and occasionally throwing down with other superheroes.

Recently, the games have done a lot more to emphasise the importance of tactics and managing the battlefield, rather than just plowing through the enemy.

For such a simple premise, it’s proven shockingly versatile. The flagship of the Warriors series (at stated, itself Koei Tecmo’s flagship) is Dynasty Warriors, set in 2nd and 3rd century China. The second most prominent sub-series is Samurai Warriors (16th and 17th century Japan), which have crossed over several times in Warriors Orochi (Ancient China vs. Feudal Japan vs. World Mythology, essentially).

There are also been several based on various anime and video game series: One Piece, Gundam, Heroic Legend of Arslan, two Dragon Quest spinoffs, and the aforementioned Hyrule and Fire Emblem Warriors, which all put an individual spin on the basic premise of “press button, punch eight people into orbit.”

My full recommendation is here:

Again, I’m stoked for Three Hopes.

It’s probably not distinct enough from either the overall Fire Emblem or Warriors games to merit a full recommendation on its own, but I may add a section to one of those posts. At the very least, I’ll probably write a follow-up of some sort after Friday.

My full list of recommendations is here:

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