Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation (Nintendo 3DS) Second Opinion Review

By Rudy Lavaux 22.05.2016

Review for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3's three-part complete survey of the rich and deep experience that Fire Emblem Fates provides comes to a close, delving into Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation. Birthright was the easier, little brother aimed at newcomers, easing them in on the Fire Emblem experience like Awakening did before it. Conquest, on the other hand, was the big brother, looking down, offering a grand adventure full of complex mission objectives and little in the way of help for those who struggle with cunning strategies to overcome any obstacles. Both were like light and dark; opposite sides of the same coin. However, what if the coin landed on its edge? This is sort of where Revelation comes in. It comes midway through both of the other scenarios, not matching the story, but taking key elements from the gameplay, aiming right down the middle. Cubed3 strongly recommends the previous reviews before moving onwards, with a look at Birthright first, followed by Conquest.

Despite being designed in a very peculiar fashion as a three-way game, for all its new content, new tweaks and ideas, Fire Emblem Fates plays like any other Fire Emblem release, and simply expands on what was done in Fire Emblem Awakening before it. It uses the same control set-up where the player still cannot control things through the title screen, as in the Nintendo DS instalments. The top screen features the action in full stereoscopic 3D and the D-Pad/Circle Pad and buttons control the action through menus displayed there. The 3D works just as well as before, with graphics appearing a little richer than they did in Awakening, and although this may not seem like a lot, the weirdness of character models having no feet has gone, since they do have them now! The bottom screen can, at will, display different sets of information about the battlefield, such as details about the selected enemy or ally unit, mission objectives, and general information about the state of the battle, and so on.

A few tweaks were added to character data, such as displaying the total of all numeric stats added together giving the character a rating value, making it easier to sort them and figure out which have the highest sets of stats overall at a quick glance, although naturally other things such as skills matter in determining a unit's power level. It is, nonetheless, a useful feature to get a general idea of how well a unit will fare against opposition. Battles unfold in a very similar turn-based fashion and being able to battle in twos returns from Awakening with additional tweaks for good measure. It is now possible, upon having several ally units surrounding the active one, to pick which one will bring support in the battle before initiating an attack. In Awakening, the game would automatically select the nearby unit with whom the active one had the highest relationship level, regardless of the power of that unit or how useful that unit would prove in battle.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

Now, though, the choice is left to the player, which is indeed a great addition. It did not break the enjoyment to be had in Awakening, but opening up more possibilities for gamers is never a bad thing. Skills also make a great return and this time around there is a much larger variety of them to choose from with some very interesting effects that make those from Awakening seem generic by comparison and certain characters have some skills with very unique and over-the-top effects. Awakening was notorious for allowing re-classification party members fairly easily to aim to teach killer sets of skills making them almost invincible.

This time around, however, re-classing characters works in a significantly different way. Indeed, it is only possible to change to the basic class of a spouse, or that of any other person with which a friendship level of at least an "A" rating has been achieved, likely in response to some fan outrage that the re-classing system found in the previous title made it far too easy, especially since opportunities to rack up experience points were in abundance. Fire Emblem Fates is, thus, comparatively harder in that regard, no matter the version being played through. The one thing where this is most interesting for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation is that unit types from Hoshido and Nohr can be mixed up more. Since Revelation, more than the other two paths, allows the recruitment of characters from both sides, it offers the most possibilities to obtain characters that mix skill types from both kingdoms, which is undoubtedly a great advantage, beyond being able to hear some delightful dialogue never witnessed in the other versions between characters from Nohr and Hoshido, since some of them will here come to band together.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

A lot of that dialogue will actually take place in one location, returning from previous episodes, although vastly expanded upon: the hero's base. Up until then, it was merely referenced to in previous games or showed up as a menu where the hero would access its own forge and set of shops, set up his equipment and manage his inventory. In Awakening, this was referenced to as the Barracks, where some characters would walk up to the lead and share some information, bring an item found lying around, or would gain certain temporary boosts to their stats for the upcoming chapter. Now, however, as was mentioned in the Conquest review, it's been made into its own location where even battles can take place. Moreover, the hero can freely explore it and customise it! It will be up to the player to use points earned by completing chapters to populate the place with all sorts of buildings, from shops to even a prison where enemy units captured using certain skills can be sent to be hired or recruited later, which sets a new precedent in the series. Indeed, even certain boss characters can be recruited that way. The base also incorporates the hero's private quarters.

This location allows the hero to freely alter its hairstyle and, at regular intervals, he will be allowed to invite a befriended character into those for a private conversation, some of which will increase the affinity between the two. If the invited person is the hero's spouse, some additional actions are possible, too, using the microphone of the 3DS. Some more functions existed in the Japanese version involving the touch screen and the face of said characters and have made the headlines due to their censoring in the American and this here European version. The base is vast, and different styles of buildings can be added to it, depending on which version of the game is played. Three styles for both Birthright and Conquest, each reminiscent of the civilisation to which the hero pledged allegiance. However, in this game, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, all six are available, opening up possibilities even further.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

Exploring the base is more than simply moving around the hero's sprite in a classic overhead view. Other playable characters can be seen around the base, chatting together, and can be talked to. At any moment, gamers can press a button and see the surroundings from a 3D third-person perspective, offering a nice view of what has been created. The hero's base is also where all the different usual functions, profile information for StreetPass, and so on, can be managed. Indeed, like so many other 3DS titles, Fire Emblem Fates naturally includes a StreetPass function. After setting up a player's profile to be shared with people StreetPassed, it is possible to gather those people armies in a save file to measure up against them. Battling those rewards with gold and experience, offering yet another way of building up characters... although not in Conquest. In the latter, those fights yield no rewards whatsoever beyond personal gratification. A regular multiplayer mode, online and offline, is also present, allowing for fighting friends or strangers over the Internet, with or without the help of special items, where the player uses presets of trained characters from any of the save files to build teams of five characters to face off against others. This being completely separate from the saved games themselves, they don't yield any experience points or gold.

At the end of the day, whichever version is chosen to begin with, Birthright or Conquest, all three are worthwhile. They are all great games, all highly recommended, but it's hard due to this one offering such shocking insights on the plot and offering so much of what gives both other scenarios their uniqueness, not to have a preference for Revelation. This one strikes such a perfect balance that it ranks even higher than the excellence of the other two. Therefore, whether newcomers start with Birthright or veterans start with Conquest and finish either of those and look for more content to sink their teeth into, Revelation is indispensable.

Screenshot for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Offering both a decent challenge, with a bit more opportunity for experience grinding, and all of the features found in both other versions, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation manages to strike a perfect middle ground, bringing more difficulty to the table than Birthright, but perfect to entice newcomers who finished the easiest scenario to try a little harder to see more of the story while getting more accustomed to relying effective strategies over character building. It has varied mission objectives, a gripping story quite unlike anything seen so far in the Fire Emblem world due to the lead finding himself shunned from both his families and fighting against all odds, and is a thoroughly enjoyable experience throughout. In fact, had the game not given any choice of scenario and been based solely on this, it would already have made for the perfect Fire Emblem title alone, so it is a bit of a shame that this scenario is impossible to select by default for those who only want to grab one of the three. For others, though, considering it can only be selected after playing one of the other two, it will fit nicely as a second scenario to work through, all the more so for those who are not yet quite ready for the high challenge of Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest.


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   


Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.