Fire Emblem: Awakening vs. Birthright (Intro)

Already read the introduction? Click on the links in this sentence to view the character comparison, storyline comparison, or game mechanics comparison once the posts are up.

In one of the superscript notes from my last post, I made mention of the fact that I wanted to talk through my thoughts on Fire Emblem: Birthright after getting the game in February. While I’m a bit concerned that a lot of my readers who used to read will likely get bored by this, I feel like the few that stuck around will at least humor me in reading this post (and the coming ones, as you’ll see below). On top of that, hopefully there will be some new readers who discover this blog because of this discussion.

My first experience with the Fire Emblem video game series came via the Game Boy Advance release of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones while I was in college. I’ve long been a fan of RPGs, visual novels, and choose your own adventure games, so the Fire Emblem series seemed right up my alley. While I didn’t play The Sacred Stones many times[1], I got back into Fire Emblem in a big way when I was between jobs in 2011, when I played Fire Emblem: The Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 via an emulator to kill time around applying for jobs and writing for NaNoWriMo.

My favorite game to date in the Fire Emblem series was the 2012 release, Fire Emblem: Awakening[2], for the Nintendo DS. To date, I’ve put far too much time into Awakening[3], but it’s because I really love the characters in the story.

In February of this year, Fire Emblem’s 14th edition in the series, Fire Emblem: Fates[4] was released. Fates was the first edition of the series that was split into three different games based on the story path you wished to follow. I chose the Birthright path/game because of its similar play style to Awakening, though most people I know who also got Fates purchased either the Conquest or Revelation routes. I’ve put in a decent amount of playthrough into Birthright since purchase[5] and as a result, I have some pretty strong opinions on Birthright — and by extension some of the larger Fates storylines and the characters therein — in comparison to Awakening.

Since I know this post is going to get long — as I was plotting out the character post, it was over 1,000 words before I finished talking about Awakening — I’ve chosen to break this analysis down into a few different posts. You’ll find links to each post both near the top of this post and below as I write them. I’ll be comparing the Awakening edition of the Fire Emblem series against the Birthright edition of Fates. Depending on how this goes, I may end up taking a deeper look into Conquest or Revelation, but we’ll see.

As for the content I’ll be covering, there will be three main areas that I’ll be examining: characters, storyline, and game mechanics. I was tempted to talk about game and character art in its own post, however it’s pretty clear that the Fates trilogy blows Awakening out of the water in most areas when it comes to art, so I feel safe skipping that. The next post I’ll do (hopefully I’ll have this out by the end of this week) will be the character comparison, followed by the storyline comparison post, then the game mechanics comparison post.

Are you a fellow Fire Emblem fan? Check out the post links below and provide your commentary. Fellow gamer that hasn’t played Fire Emblem? Perhaps you’ll enjoy the nerdy in the coming posts. Don’t care at all but love me and want to drive up my page visit and comment counts? That’s awesome too. I like you all.

Awakening vs. Birthright posts
Character Comparison
Storyline Comparison (TBA)
Game Mechanics Comparison (TBA)

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