If you’re looking to grab yourself a bargain today then look no further than US retailer, Best Buy. The retail chain is currently selling the critically acclaimed Fire Emblem: Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS for a mere $14.99. If you haven’t already purchased the game then you should read our review, right here.
Nintendo’s immensely well-received Fire Emblem Awakening has apparently shifted over one million units. This is the first time that the franchise has managed this impressive feat. Fire Emblem Awakening actually broke 1 million units sold a while ago, if digital sales are taken into account. Nintendo has previously said that 30% of the initial sales of Fire Emblem Awakening were digital. Clearly this is great news, as Nintendo stated that they may ditch the series if the game didn’t sell over 250,000 units in North America.
Thanks, N-Dub Nation
In the U.S. alone, Fire Emblem Awakening sold more than 240,000 copies. If the game’s sales were meager, it could have been the very last entry in the Fire Emblem series, according to one of the game’s producers, Hitoshi Yamagami. Fortunately, for fans of the series, Nintendo isn’t retiring Fire Emblem just yet, as Intelligent Systems and Atlus are currently working on a Wii U crossover role-playing game between the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei worlds.
Hitoshi Yamagami: No doubt. Truth be told, sales are dropping. The sales manager of Nintendo, Mr. Hatano, told us that this could be the last Fire Emblem. Due to this progressive descend on sales, they told us that if the sales of this episode stayed below 250,000 copies, we’d stop working on the saga. I remember when I came back from the meeting and told the team “My God, what are we gonna do?! The end has come!”. Our reaction was clear: if this was going to be the last Fire Emblem, we had to put everything we always wanted to include. That’s how this new project was born!
The thirteenth game in the Fire Emblem series brings a staggering amount of heart, courage and strategy to the tactical role-playing game – and it pulls it off with an undeniable, phenomenal finesse.
Fire Emblem: Awakening sees the main protagonist Chrom – Great Lord of Ylisse – lead a group of trustworthy fighters known as the ‘The Shepherds’ through a treacherous journey to discover the fate of the fantasy realm. The game hinges on events from both the future and the past, planting the player’s Avatar directly in the middle of the action, strategising the way to victory or doom against the game’s antagonist Grima; a fell dragon awakened to bring destruction to the future lands of Ylisse.
As you begin your adventure, your chosen Avatar will meet Chrom and his band of soldiers and he or she quickly establishes a firm friendship with the group. Like any other Fire Emblem game, victory lies in strategising but it also requires a smidgen of luck. Teaming up with another Shepherd allows your characters to trigger critical attacks in dual strike mode, which can give you the upper-hand when a battle is turning most sour. Those partnerships in battle also allow for extra events to strike outside of the main storyline. By building the relationships high enough, players can secure marriages and even children between characters, which can be utilised in later battles. The perfect fusion of stimulation and RPG genres creates another astounding level of depth to the game, giving the player such satisfaction from the unfathomable bond between characters.
When planning for the battles ahead, the player is presented with a grid – the enemies scattered on various parts of the board, while your own Shepherds congregate in a group formation. When the combat finally ensues, the visuals are simply stunning, with the 3DS enhancing the sharpness, depth and clarity of the characters’ detail beautifully. There are also plenty of weapons to choose from, which vary in degrees of power, ranging from magical spells to deadly bows and swords.
An abundance of side quests and enemy battles keep you occupied when needing a break from the main storyline, and also serve a great purpose of giving your characters some healthy experience if you intend to level them equally. These separate battles also give you a chance to stock up much-needed money for the more difficult battles ahead.
Above all, Fire Emblem: Awakening is a game intended to keep you hooked for hours at a time, but it doesn’t just do that, it keeps you on the edge of your sofa, bed or kitchen counter for days on end. It’s a game with real heart and that is, ultimately, why it is so wonderfully mesmerising.
A new DLC map for Fire Emblem Awakening was released today in North America. The map is called Summer Scramble, costs $3 to download and contains a censored image, as discovered by NeoGAF users. The above image is of in-game character Tharja posing provocatively with her rear end being covered by either a curtain or a cape. The same DLC map in Japan displays the uncensored, original version of the image.
Not only has Fire Emblem: Awakening jumped straight into the UK charts at number three, but the game’s release has also seen a considerable increase for the Nintendo 3DS console sales. The latest RPG strategy based game has given the 3DS a boost in sales by a staggering 49%. Of course, this is partly due to the limited edition 3DS XL bundle launched alongside the popular title, which accounted for 31% of all UK hardware sales last week. Did you pick up Fire Emblem: Awakening over the weekend?
Exploding into the UK charts after its release on April 19, Fire Emblem: Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS is certainly standing its ground. It was pipped to the post by its tough competitors Injustice: Gods Among Us – which is to be released for the Wii U in Europe later this week – and Bioshock Infinite. In fact, Fire Emblem even bested Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon by debuting two places higher than our favourite green-suited plumber, which originally climbed in at number 5. But Luigi is still hanging in the top 10, taking a firm footing in at number 8. Here’s the lowdown on the all-formats chart:
Top 10 UK All-Formats Chart
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us
2. Bioshock Infinite
3. Fire Emblem: Awakening
4. Tomb Raider
6. FIFA 13
7. Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2
8. Luigi’s Mansion 2
9. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14
10. Far Cry 3
Fire Emblem Awakening has arrived in Europe and Australia at both retail and the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS. In the strategy role-playing game, players assume the role of a tactician to aid a prince named Chrom, who is also a leader of a militia known as the Shepherds. To help you decide on whether you should purchase the game, check out our Fire Emblem Awakening review, or download its free demo from the Nintendo eShop.
Nintendo has explained why characters in Fire Emblem Awakening have deformed feet. Well, apparently, the designers of the strategy role-playing game ultimately decided it wasn’t necessary for characters to have fully-featured feet. In a developer interview, the game’s art director, Toshiyuki Kusakihara, said that, because in-game characters primarily use handheld weapons for combat, he and his team felt it was OK to exclude some detail in their feet.
… We have to ask a question a lot of the fans are wondering — what happened with the feet? (laughs)
Toshiyuki Kusakihara:(Laughs) Well, they’re there…they’re just…omitted a little bit.
The idea was to add a unique sort of deformation to the characters. As for why it ended up like this… At the start of the project, we weren’t entirely sure how many bones and joints we’d be able to use in each character model. As it is now, there’s a joint at the knees, and then there’s nothing below that for the ankles and the feet. This makes it a bit easier to apply animation to models as well. We found out afterward that, with the 3DS, we had more than enough CPU strength available to flesh out the models a bit, add real ankles and so on. We were like “Well, if there’s a next time, maybe there’ll be more ankles…” (laughs)
We thought we could make it something that would work well with the characters, but now I’m not so sure. (laughs) So it’s hard to give a real reason for it, but…well, I think it’s kind of cute, though! (laughs) Isn’t it? They look like they’re wearing high heels. Aren’t high heels the big fashion these days?
Did you get any feedback about this from Japanese players as well?
Kusakihara: Yeah, some people focused on the feet a lot. (laughs) I think if this was a game that involved people kicking and such, we would have put in real ankles. Instead, you’re using handheld weapons for the most part, so we figured we could sort of omit some of the detail down there…
Fire Emblem Awakening launches later this week in Europe and Australia, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS. If you’re still unsure of whether you’re going to purchase the game, to help you decide, check out our Fire Emblem Awakening review.
European fans of Fire Emblem: Awakening will finally get their hands on the RPG game next week, but until then Nintendo has launched a new puzzle panel in the 3DS StreetPass Mii Plaza. North America received the same puzzle panel back in February when the game was first released, but now Europe can join in on all the action. All you need to do is click on the SpotPass notification and you’ll receive your first puzzle piece – maybe it will help ease the wait until April 19.