Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - Rise of the Deliverance Pack (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Rudy Lavaux 05.06.2017

Review for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - Rise of the Deliverance Pack on Nintendo 3DS

The onslaught of downloadable content for the latest entry in the Fire Emblem series on the Nintendo 3DS continues after the game's second full week on the market, this time in the form of more actual plot-related content, expanding the story of the main game and shedding some light on what happened right before Alm rose to the call of the Deliverance in his grandfather's stead. This is a radically different kind of content than what the previous DLC packs got players used to, and is probably the preferred use of DLC that some will like to see. How good or worthwhile this turns out to be, however, remains to be seen, as Cubed3 plods through and provides readers the details of what they can expect should they wish to make a purchase. Such potential buyers should continue reading to find out more.

The fourth DLC pack to be made available since Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia came out two weeks prior, Rise of the Deliverance is a collection of four maps, each purchasable separately. Each of them covers some events that took place right before the start of the game and act as some sort of pre-prologue. In the main game, some of the events that surround playable characters and how they came to be involved in the Deliverance (the militia that looks to free Zofian lands from Rigel's invasion) can already be experienced through Mila's turnwheel, using memory prisms found in dungeons and such. These four DLC maps are there to tell more about the backstory of some of the more important playable characters in the game, but also some that are otherwise not playable at all in the main scenario, such as Fernand.

As such, however, this also means that these maps need to be played out right off the bat, without any previous training. In other words, it's up to the player to make the most of what he or she starts out with in terms of equipment, but also pre-set stats on the characters that are made playable in those short stories. There is precedent in the Fire Emblem franchise, going all the way back to Fire Emblem: Shin Monshou no Nazô on the Nintendo DS, which contained additional prologue backstories that shed some light on events right before the start of the main game, which themselves were ported scenarios from the Broadcast Satellaview system, known as Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga, which acted as some sort of standalone prelude to Fire Emblem: Monshou no Nazô for the Super Famicom and released on cartridge several years prior, so it's not exactly a first for the series at all.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - Rise of the Deliverance Pack on Nintendo 3DS

There are four playable maps in this pack: Battle of Zofia Harbour, Outpost Rescue, Flight from the Ruins, and Siege of Zofia Castle. Battle of Zofia Harbour has the player witness some events between Clive, Fernand and Slayde before the King's assassination, giving more information on the relationship between those characters and more backstory on Fernand, as they have to free a harbour from rebellious traders.

Outpost Rescue follows Forsyth and Python under the commandment of Lukas in the Deliverance during events that took place right before the beginning of the game, as Desaix's pirates have taken the Southern outpost and they have to rescue imprisoned Deliverance soldiers. Flight from the Ruins follows Clair and Mathilda, before the main events of the game unfolded, as they try to escape from Terrors inside some ruins in which Clair tried to collect a sacred ring for herself. This is an escape map where the player, rather than trying to win against an opposing army, must reach some exit tiles without dying along the way.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - Rise of the Deliverance Pack on Nintendo 3DS

Lastly, Siege of Zofia Castle takes place as Slayde's army tries to capture the Zofian Royal Castle from the hands of the Deliverance, right after Desaix assassinated King Rima. This one gathers together all the playable characters from the other three maps and has them trying to defend a certain position within the castle's walls: three tiles of terrain that enemy units absolutely must not be allowed to occupy, lest the player loses the battle altogether, all while fighting to stay alive.

The biggest advantage that these maps have over the previous waves of DLC is that they set no prerequisites before they can be enjoyed, as in they can be played at any point in the game and they will be just as enjoyable all the same. They are challenging, sure, but do not require the player to have made previous progress or level grinding to be enjoyed. Rather, the biggest part of the challenge stems not from the fact that playable units start out weak, but also that they are not allowed to die at all, since they later join in the main story and it wouldn't make sense for them to have died before the main game even started.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - Rise of the Deliverance Pack on Nintendo 3DS

Another thing that goes in their favour is that they do add to the main experience, by expanding what is already a captivating story, giving more elements that help understand the motivations of each character. Lastly, but certainly not least, some of these maps unlock new memory prisms, otherwise not accessible within the game, when they are cleared, as well as other special bonuses in the form of character specific items, like Clair's Lance, for example, which are more permanent, useful bonuses to obtain, as well as some exclusive support dialogue between characters.

Now, of course, like every piece of DLC in the world of gaming, the question will be raised as to whether or not they should have been included within the main game itself from the get-go, but that's an entirely other debate altogether, and doesn't affect whether this DLC pack is good or not. What is on offer here is definitely interesting and constitutes probably the best use possible of DLC for a Fire Emblem game: expanding the game's backstory. The question of pricing, however, is hard to elude. Once again, the perception of value of DLC will be different with each player, but it does seem rather pricey to this reviewer that little bits of extra story should be priced as high, compared to the amount of story that the player gets for the price of the full game.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - Rise of the Deliverance Pack on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

While it is, like most Fire Emblem DLC on 3DS, on the pricey side, this is up to this point by far the best value in terms of DLC, offering precious insight into the backstory of the characters that players will have grown fond of, as they take them from the status of weaklings to the status of liberators of the Kingdom of Zofia. Not only that, but it gives the precious opportunity to take control of characters whom within the main game are never controlled directly, but also unlocks permanent exclusive special weapons and scenes through support dialogue and memory prisms. All of it perhaps doesn't truly amount to enough for the price that is asked, but this is still better value for money than the previous three DLC packs. Now, all that remains is the upcoming package of exclusive playable characters from the Fire Emblem Cipher trading card game, to be made available at an as-of-yet undisclosed date.

Developer

Intelligent Systems

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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