If you’ve got a Nintendo 3DS and you haven’t played Fire Emblem: Awakening, then there might be something wrong with you. It’s one of the finest handheld strategy/marriage simulator games to ever grace a handheld, looks gorgeous and pretty much saved a doomed franchise thanks to its gripping story and deep gameplay. A sequel was naturally greenlit after Fire Emblem: Awakening hit the big time, and it sounds like this particular entry in the franchise is going to be even more inviting to new players.
According to Famitsu magazine via Gematsu, Fire Emblem If will introduce new modes to make the game that much easier. Or less emotionally sadistic, as losing Tharja in a campaign with the infamous permadeath mode in play was my Tali moment on the 3DS. Phoenix Mode will revive any fallen units on the next turn, while Casual Mode will revive temporarily deceased allies once a battle has ended. They’re not dead, they’re merely pining for the fjords!
In addition to all that, weapons can now be used without having to worry if they’ll break down or not. In Awakening, weapons could only perform so many strikes, which placed an emphasis on economic management of your resources before each battle. I’d spend several minutes before each battle checking that I had enough swords, bows and spears in my caravan which were obtained easily enough throughout the game.
Another new feature will be seen in the way that royal characters use their Dragon Pulse ability to alter the battlefield. Such ideas being floated around include earthquakes, destroying a mountain or messing with bridges. Should be interesting to see if that adds any depth to the gameplay in light of the new beginner-friendly modes on offer.
Fire Emblem If is out in Japan on June 26. A Western release date still needs to be set.
Last Updated: May 14, 2015