Gameboy Advance
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Fire Emblem is a strategy role playing game in the vein of the old Shining Force games (or Final Fantasy Tactics for younger gamers). The game plays out on medieval battlefields (called chapters). Each battle allows only a certain number of players from your side. Every member of your team gets a turn, and then the entire enemy team gets a turn. One unique aspect of Fire Emblem is if any member of your team dies in battle, they are gone for the rest of the game (with the exception of the game tutorial, a.k.a. first ten chapters). The game has three main characters (two lords, and a lady); if any of them die in battle you go back to your last game save. The game employs a triangle of weapons system. This is swords are stronger against axes, axes are strong against lances, and lances are strong against swords. The magic system employs a similar triangle. Anima magic is strong against light magic, light magic is strong against dark magic, and dark magic is strong against anima magic. Fire Emblem also only allows you to buy more, or better gear from shops while fighting. Just like every other strategy RPG out there, Fire Emblem employs a varying degree of fights. Fog of war is present, keep someone alive for so many turns, defeat all the enemies, and defeat the boss are all present and accounted for.

How does this Game Play?

The game plays well. It definitely has earned Nintendo?s seal of approval. A better question would be can you learn everything this game throws at you. The strategy is extremely deep in this game. You will literally spend hours on some battles. The one quip I have with this game is you can not save inside a chapter. It can be frustrating to spend an hour fighting a battle, only to make one mistake, and have to start from the beginning of that chapter. A save inside the level, and then ability to restart from that exact point would have been beneficial.

How engaging is the story?

The story is pretty engaging, even if some of the elements still make no sense to me. You spend a lot of time, and effort hunting these legendary weapons, which are touted as the only thing that can kill dragons. I found those legendary weapons to not only be useless against the end boss, but they allowed the end boss multiple hits that would kill any character in one turn. With that said, the story is one of a man consumed with evil, and is trying to engulf the entire world in a war. You play characters who are doing whatever they have to do defeat him, and keep the world safe.

How are the Graphics?

The graphics are really good in this game. The battle fields have the characters looking pretty simple and small. Once units attack each other, the graphics are enlarged, and look a lot better. When conversations are done between characters, their upper bodies are shown in nice graphic detail.

How is the Sound and Music?

The sounds are accurate to what different weapons sound like. The music fits the fantasy theme. I found the music to be pleasing, but then I like that kind of music. It all depends on your personal tastes.

How appropriate is this game for Christians?

This is a hard question to answer. There is the good vs. evil element of the game that can be used to justify the game. There is a separated married couple realizing they were both being selfish, and reconciling. The game shows evil as something that consumes the one following it. I have a couple of problems with the game as well. You control characters who perform black magic as well as light magic, and nature based magic. The legendary weapons are acquired by going to an altar, then communicating with one character?s dead ancestor. That dead ancestor then puts his power into the weapon, and notifies his alive descendant that the weapon will bond with him. The main evil guy in the game has people sacrificed so he can steal their quintessence from them. There are two characters who morph from dragon form to human form.

Overall & Conclusion

Fire Emblem has a lot going for it. Strategically there is an enormous amount of depth. There are a couple of bothersome parts to the game. How much it bothers you personally is your decision. I would hate for you to be surprised by the questionable elements as I was. You can now make your own informed decision. God bless you, and thank you for taking the time to read my opinions.

Final Ratings

Game Play A Sound A- Graphics A- Interface A Appropriate C-

Overall 89%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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