Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Brandon (Michael) Howard 21.03.2016

Review for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation is the third and final entry in the trilogy that Nintendo has released as the series' 14th instalment. Providing a more balanced look at the conflict between Hoshido and Nohr—through both gameplay and story—it attempts to bridge the gap between the two vastly different armies embroiled in the war. Through this tale, many new truths come to light, revealing the true nature of the strife that engulfs the world.

Presented as the third choice offered early on in Fates, this path leaves the player-created avatar siding with neither faction and an outcast to both. Unlike the other routes, this one has the cast of characters starting out very small, but it eventually grows to encompass nearly every character from both of the prior campaigns. It's really amazing to see such a massive roster, but with the sheer number of characters that join up, it does get a little overwhelming at times.

Unlike Conquest, where each character is necessary at one point or another to complete the campaign, it's practically impossible to use all the units thrown into the army this time around. Considering most maps only allow the deployment of around ten characters, a lot of them will eventually get pushed to the wayside. While it's definitely possible to bring them up to speed with the side maps borrowed from the Birthright campaign, it's never a requirement.

Revelation tries to provide a balance to the extremely contrasted difficulties of the other two games in the trilogy. While the maps have a bit more complexity than those in the Hoshido campaign, they're not always challenging as much as they are tedious. Some maps simply pile on obstacles that end up being a pain to clear, and even on the infrequent challenge maps, the amount of resources handed out this time trivialise the difficulty. In an ironic way, the actual strategy is actually the least balanced in this iteration, providing a much less coherent experience than its forbearers.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

Despite that, there are some new experiences that are still worth having. A fair share of the maps have been pulled from the other campaigns, so players of either should feel right at home tackling the challenges, albeit at different points than before. There are several new maps in this route, but the overall length in chapters remains the same, and, with the amount of borrowed maps, there isn't an exceedingly large amount of content in the way of actual story missions.

The major draw is definitely the continuation of the plot that connects all three games. Both of the prior campaigns had tons of hints that there was more going on behind the scenes, and by bringing the leaders of both groups together to work as one, more of the overall story finally comes to light. It's still extremely heavy-handed at times, and the plot progresses at a really odd pace. There isn't a lot of time to develop any of the individual characters because of the rate they join up with the army, so most of them only get a single chapter in the limelight before making way for the next trio of characters to join up in the next chapter.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

That's not to say that they have just a few lines of dialogue. The support conversations between the characters are even more robust than in previous entries, as there's a much, much larger pool of characters to draw from. While conversations from the other two campaigns are still around—aside from a fewthat have changed for this specific storyline—there are lots of new options for interactions between the two armies that were former enemies. It is a very welcome addition, inserting tons of new dialogue and fresh marriage options for the cast.

Even with the wealth of new interactions across army lines, the story hasn't gained any appreciable level of nuance. Revelation sets up its main premise right off the bat, and then spends the rest of its time convincing everyone in the world of the looming threats. The first two-thirds of the storyline are entirely focused around recruiting the avatar's families from both Hoshido and Nohr, and the last third rushes to reach a conclusion. It answers several questions present from the two prior storylines, but ends up leaving several questions dangling in a way that feels completely unsatisfactory.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

The way that Fire Emblem Fates has set up its plot, spread across three separate games, ultimately ends up detrimental to the overall narrative. While the plotlines of Birthright and Conquest are mostly self-contained and coherent, they're extremely black and white, and they definitely feel incomplete on their own. While the events of this entry help resolve some of the hanging threads, it still is a very messily executed chain of events. It's definitely a unique take on storytelling for the series, but one that has ultimately had its impact lessened by its presentation.

Regardless of the overall unsatisfying plot, the writing is still an enjoyable experience. The characters are still well fleshed out through support conversations, and there's a lot to like about them, making it worthwhile to invest the time into seeing all of them through. Despite a few minor gripes with the translation process, on the whole Nintendo Treehouse did an excellent job with the localisation, and there's an absolutely staggering amount of dialogue to read through. It's certainly got a lot of compelling stories to tell, albeit in a very roundabout way.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Despite its flaws in narrative presentation, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation is far and away the definitive experience for people who have fallen in love with the characters of the trilogy. It provides some new challenges for those more engaged in the strategy aspect of the series, but it doesn't have the fine tuning needed to set it apart in this regard. It brings to rest a lot of the questions raised in the storyline, but it asks its own questions, and these never really get resolved. While there may be DLC in the future to answer these, it still leaves behind a slight feeling of disappointment. Regardless, it's a worthy entry to the series, and one undoubtedly worth replaying time and time again, just to revisit old friends.


Intelligent Systems







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 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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