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Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Review (Switch)


With the success of the likes of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Persona 5 Strikers and, in fact, 2017’s Hearth Emblem Warriors on Nintendo Change, it ought to come as completely no shock to anybody that Omega Pressure, the developer behind the long-running Warriors franchise, is intent on persevering with to serve up extra zany crossovers that blend its spectacular Musou mayhem with facets of whichever collection it occurs to be teaming up with this time round.

The primary Hearth Emblem Warriors was a principally profitable melding of Warrior’s signature mass brawls and the relationship-building and technique components for which Clever Programs’ tactical RPGs are greatest recognized. Now, some 5 years later, we’re being handled to a follow-up that takes the whole solid of the massively well-liked Hearth Emblem: Three Homes and flings them headlong into hack-and-slash battle. Is it principally extra of the identical? Nicely, sure — Musou gonna Musou — however crucially this second chew on the cherry fixes the primary recreation’s greatest flaw by offering a twisting, turning narrative that is an enormous enchancment over the serviceable however uninspired story delivered in 2017.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Review - Screenshot 1 of 6
Captured on Nintendo Change (Handheld/Undocked)

Kicking off in an alternate universe/timeline to that present in Three Homes, Hearth Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes sees you assume the position of a model new character, Shez, simply as they put together to face off towards Three Homes protagonist Byleth (don’t be concerned, all of it will get defined). This opening battle sees you undergo a humiliating defeat and head off to lick your wounds earlier than becoming a member of forces with Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude in an opportunity encounter that leads to your being invited to hitch one of many recreation’s three homes and setting off on an all-new journey.

It is on this alternative of homes — whether or not you determine to run with the Black Eagles, Blue Lions, or Golden Deer, and the assorted paths you will journey down consequently — that the sport’s narrative facets see most of their enhancements. There’s an entire lot occurring right here, with all the principle characters that followers will little doubt expect to see getting loads of stage time as pompously overwrought politics (there’s loads of bended knees and behooving on this one), burgeoning relationships, rivalries and extra all play out over the course of a strong marketing campaign that ought to take you a great 30 hours to see by — and that is only for one home’s route by the motion. Phew!

Sure, the place the unique Hearth Emblem Warriors felt a little bit anaemic when it got here to the story aspect of issues, right here you’ve got bought a veritable feast to get tucked into and it is all backed up by a plethora of methods and actions that you will take pleasure in between battles which let you spend a number of high quality time with the members of whichever home you’ve got sworn allegiance to. You may get to wander away on non-public expeditions in an effort to enhance relations with whomever you fancy, make dialogue decisions, hand out presents, take pleasure in “help conversations” and even head out into the wilderness on brief little journeys that see you converse, reply questions and make jokes all whereas shifting the digicam round freely to have a great outdated take a look at the present object of your affections. You simply cannot beat a great outdated chinwag.

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Captured on Nintendo Change (Docked)

In fact, that is nonetheless a Warriors recreation and so all of those relationship-focused facets feed straight again into the ass-kicking motion on the coronary heart of the whole lot, with improved relations and the time you are taking to domesticate them main to higher efficiency on the sector of battle. You did not suppose you had been simply making associates for the sake of being good, did you? Get a grip, mate.

With out wanting to enter an excessive amount of element, and for worry of spoilers that may wreck the get together considerably for you, expensive reader, we can’t converse rather more on the story aspect of issues right here, aside from to say it goes to some thrilling and dramatic locations and there is loads of shock appearances, shocks, damaged allegiances, heel turns and all that tasty stuff thrown in for good measure.

A lot of candy content material to get enthusiastic about for Hearth Emblem followers, then, and that is all earlier than we get to speaking concerning the nice massive bloody scraps. Sure, in case you’re coming to this one as a Warriors fan, you’ll not be dissatisfied both, as Omega Pressure has completed a top-notch job, not simply in layering on a number of suitably Hearth Emblem-esque technique components, however in delivering an action-packed spectacle that runs impressively easily throughout its greatest battles — though we did discover a little bit of slowdown right here and there while wandering round your encampment between fights.

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Captured on Nintendo Change (Docked)

As was the case within the first Hearth Emblem Warriors, battles right here differentiate themselves from different Musou efforts by providing you with the chance to pick out and direct your get together of protagonists each earlier than and through face-offs with some fairly partaking real-time tactical enjoyable. A pre-scrap map enables you to browse your present roster of fighters and icons on the display will change from blue to purple and again as you go, indicating whether or not or not characters are a great match-up for the sorts of enemies you are about to sq. off towards. This all works into the sport’s returning weapons triangle system the place swords, axes, lances, bows, and so forth have strengths and weaknesses over each other, offering one other good little wrinkle of technique.

As soon as you’ve got chosen your most popular crew setup you possibly can dive into battle correct and get busy utilizing all the standard flashy fight arts and magic, vital rush assaults, highly effective accomplice specials, Awakening-boosted frenzies, and extra to tear your enemies to absolute shreds in timeless Musou vogue. You may as well pause a combat at any level to individually direct members of your crew to grab particular strongholds, go on all-out assaults towards a selected boss who’s simply wandered into the fray, or defend some hapless particular person — or group of individuals– who want shepherding to security. Most of what is right here when it comes to the fight aspect of issues shall be acquainted to anybody who’s performed 2017’s effort (or any of those Musou crossovers, actually) however now there’s extra in the way in which of character-specific abilities and assaults that give the entire thing a pleasant shot of selection that makes sticking with. Levelling up and strengthening your favorite characters really feel way more worthwhile.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Review - Screenshot 4 of 6
Captured on Nintendo Change (Handheld/Undocked)

On this observe, one other space during which Hearth Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes improves upon its predecessor is in how simply now you can swap any character’s class, coaching your fighters up in a number of disciplines, or all of them in case you fancy, and switching them round as you see match. We will not go into an excessive amount of element on the assorted courses or particular skills included right here, however for sure this aspect of issues has been bolstered with extra ranges to work by, and the observe of really unlocking courses and branching off to specialize in each is way extra easy this time round. All of it makes for a recreation that feels slicker and provides you extra freedom to take your favorite Three Homes characters and switch them into the warrior you need, whether or not that be a terrific massive lumbering armoured knight, a dual-wielding grasp of swords, or a wyvern-riding axe fiend.

The bottom camp is one other side of 2017’s recreation that makes a return this time round and right here it is bolstered by much more methods to strengthen relationships, enhance weapons, promote and purchase items, prepare, prepare dinner, run errands and chores, decide up rewards, and increase all your services by a number of ranges on extra ability timber and stat-heavy menus than you possibly can shake a Killer Lance+4 at. There actually are loads of distractions and shifting elements to busy your self with and it makes for a recreation that strikes a high-quality stability between all-out Musou motion and downtime the place you possibly can soak in all that beautiful character-driven Hearth Emblem goodness.

In fact, in case you hate the considered spending time taking a look at numbers, choosing out weapons, and equipping all the perfect doodahs between scraps, you possibly can select to play the sport in a “fast and environment friendly” mode that dials again the pre- and post-battle stat crunching. You may as well press ‘Y’ to optimise your roster’s tools within the “convoy” space earlier than fights, so there are many corners to be reduce in case you’re extra of a straight-up fighter than a lover of prep work.

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Captured on Nintendo Change (Handheld/Undocked)

Talking of recreation modes, identical to the final entry — and consistent with the spirit of Hearth Emblem correct — you possibly can select to play this one in both Basic or Informal, along with your most treasured characters both returning to the fray after demise or being subjected to irreversible permadeath relying on the way you rock. We ran with permadeath engaged and had a number of robust losses alongside the way in which, however there are such a lot of cracking characters right here, so many additions to the line-up because the story strikes alongside, that there is all the time a top-notch alternative ready simply across the nook. Protecting permadeath turned on actually does infuse the entire thing with a pleasant little bit of stress, too — you will end up desperately rallying across the battlefield to protect your pals at factors — so we reckon that is the way in which to play in case you’re searching for most drama.

With nice massive action-packed battles that see you direct your squad round busy maps stuffed with cannon fodder foes and executives plucked from throughout Hearth Emblem: Three Homes, plus the power to name in battalions of employed goons, summon help to your trigger, recruit defeated enemy commanders into your ranks and extra, the motion right here is as frenetic and strategically absorbing because it’s ever been in a Musou mix-up of this type. Take all of this slick hack-and-slash battling and pair it with a much-improved story, a number of alternative to have interaction in relationship constructing, levelling up, enhancing services, forging, cooking, coaching and extra, and you have a Warriors recreation that is actually exhausting to seek out any main fault with.

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Captured on Nintendo Change (Handheld/Undocked)

In fact, it is not a wholly flawless endeavour by any means and, if we should get damaging, the stability between battles and downtime early on — up till round chapter 5, exactly — feels a little bit off, with loads of lengthy conversations that then flip into fights that are simply far too brief and straightforward to blast by, however this imbalance kinds itself out as soon as the story actually will get going. Oh, and if we’re being choosy we may additionally level a finger on the truth the sport continues to be introducing model new mechanics over 10 hours into its marketing campaign, which may get a bit a lot. These small points apart although, we would be exhausting pushed to seek out a lot else to complain about right here.

Hearth Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, in abstract, seems like a strong enchancment over its already fairly spectacular predecessor. It is a recreation that manages to strike a fantastic stability between all of the drama and technique of Clever Programs’ collection and the continuous hack-and-slash mayhem that Omega Pressure is thought for. With good efficiency in each docked and handheld modes — aside from a little bit little bit of noticeable slowdown while wandering round camp — nice use of HD Rumble to offer assaults some satisfying oomph, and many flashy specials and screen-shaking strikes to drag off as you flatten hundreds of foes at a time, it is a massively addictive and entertaining effort during which followers of each Hearth Emblem and the Warriors franchise ought to discover lots to get pleasure from.

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