Fire Emblem Three Houses - Nintendo Switch GOTY Contender?

It’s okay Ike - you’re just not that good at romancing teens.

I bought a Switch just to play this game. I don’t regret it, though I suppose I’ll have to buy more Switch games to justify it in my mind eventually. I haven’t owned a Nintendo since the 64 which I barely played so I’m sure I’ll find something.

Halfway through my third playthrough now, and they just released a new difficulty. They called it Maddening difficulty and I hope it lives up to the name as the only complaint I have is that I’d never played a Fire Emblem game before, started on Hard, went to classic for the second playthrough, and yet have not lost a character to permadeath thanks to the perhaps overly generous number of divine pulses I get.

So just a heads up, new difficulty is here. Enjoy!

Any thoughts on the New Lunatic difficulty?

I’m going to try it when I do my second run, but I found Hard to be fairly easy so I don’t expect it to be crazy.

Anyone have opinions on the season pass? There are a couple interesting items in the recently released third part, but it still seems to mostly consist of borderline cheats with aux missions that give stat boosts and extra resources.

Season pass are usually bs, but this one takes the cake: it’s the part of the game you can most sense Koei’s touch (that and the tea groping).

Thanks, please keep me posted. The difficulty has been the one thing keeping me away from the game.

Maddening difficulty. I started it, and decided I’d rather finish my 4th playthrough on hard before I tried it. I want to get all 4 stories first.

It is significantly harder, at least in the beginning which is all the farther I got. Experience gains are heavily slashed, you’re going to be well behind the curve in levels in the beginning and will probably have to stick to a small crew because you can’t spread out the xp. Because you don’t have the levels you miss a lot more often and the enemy hits more often, and harder.

I’m not sure if you get caught up towards the end or not as I only did perhaps 5 or 6 months before I decided I wanted to see the stories play out first and then got distracted by other games. From what I played though this was exactly what I wanted out of the difficulty bump so I will eventually get to it.

Thanks Outlandish! It feels more like the issue is leveling up too quickly and the game getting easier as you go. Would it be best for me to start on Hard/Classic allowing NPC’s to die?

Damn that sounds great.
I’m stuck after a dozen hours in my stupidly boring playthrough, with basically a cast of demi-gods taking on civilians.
Only once someone had been remotely in danger, and that might have been during the tutorial.
To add insult to injury, there is a difficulty option in the options which only states “nope, can’t change it!”.

Hard/Classic is what I played, but I still found it terribly easy. I’d never played the series before and the only person I lost was in the first tutorial because I didn’t know magic would hit so much harder than an arrow ;P And since it was the tutorial deaths weren’t permanent so I didn’t fully lose them either.

The game gives you so many of the rewinds that it just doesn’t really matter. Maddening seems to be aptly named, but if you’re good at the game and want a challenge it’s probably the only choice unless you make some house rules and stick to them.

I found the last three levels of the Black Eagles on Hard/Classic really challenging. I think that route is 4 months shorter, and I didn’t do non-story battles, so I reached the end severely under leveled.

Yeah, the slower leveling makes a huge difference. I used to like to rotate different units in and out per month, but now I mostly stick with the default house units. For me—doing my second playthrough after doing the first on hard—the difficulty in maddening is a bit erratic, ranging from easy to impossible without losing some units (I play casual, so the biggest thing here is that they miss out on valuable exp). For example, the first mission after the time skip I found exceedingly difficult without losing people. On the other hand, the battles against the black knight have been a bit easy. The latter could be because I’m playing as Blue Lions and Dimitri with the knight-killer lance one hits most anything mounted. I have been avoiding doing the auxiliary missions though, so spamming them could soften the difficult curve a bit.

For a first playthrough would hard/classic without aux missions be a good way to avoid the lack of difficulty?

Are the aux missions important for the story?

I don’t do auxiliary missions, haven’t managed to recruit much people either, and just taking the normal team on one makes them really strong. I think you’d need to “disperse” to make it challenging. As for what you lose not playing side missions, it all depends on your attachment to those characters. I can’t suffer them, so it makes it easy to skip all the side stuff.

edit: not using the superfluous rewind could make it challenging in a way, but there are somevery occasional cheap shot you probably won’t see coming on a first play.

There’s a difference between the auxiliary missions (which are generic beat-the-bad-guys type stuff on a rotating selection of mostly bland maps) and character-based side missions that are called paralogues. I recommend skipping the former, but some of the better (and more challenging) battles are paralogues. They’re not important to the main story, but they do flesh out the characters a bit more. I always try and do the paralogues, time permitting.

Also, you’ll notice on the mission selection screen that the end-of-the-month story battle always has a recommended level. You’ll want to make sure not to let your characters exceed that if you’re looking for a challenge. In fact, staying a few below might be better. However, if you’re playing with permadeath, there’s probably a limit to how low you can go here if you don’t want to lose all your students. Definitely keep multiple save files so you don’t get stuck at the end of the month under-leveled and unable to grind for more, which I don’t think would be a problem, but just in case.

Sounds like a lot of work somebody at Koei or Nintendo should have been paid to do :O

You can’t actually get stuck underlevelled. Unless they disable it for the new difficulty, you always have the option to restart the battle while keeping XP, so you can always grind out of it if you need to.

Even so, I think they biased towards overlevelling the player on the original difficulty settings because they were scared that players messing up the time management would cause them to bail on the game, no matter how much it was their own fault.

I mean, you’re not wrong, but I think Nintendo really wanted this to be a crossover success rather than appealing to the weird mix of grognardy tactical-types and JRPG/anime fans that Fire Emblem usually appeals to.

That’s good to hear, but also sounds a bit tedious to play through should it happen.

I will say another reason to consider playing casual over classic is that it lets you experiment with different difficulty-adjusting house rules without much consequence.

I’m sorry, what? I Play on Hard and have lost one battle (A paralogue) and it just booted me to the start screen? Did I miss something?

Anyways - This is damn fun! I’m at…47 hours or so, Black Eagle house and really enjoying the game, tea parties aside. Its everything a tactical game should be! I am very unfamiliar with the japanese games which this seems to be, but are there others as good as this one?

It’s possible it only works for main story battles or that it only can be manually selected by using the menu option to give up, not if you actually lose. I never actually lost outright so I don’t know.

Most of the other games in this series don’t have the rewind, which for me at least is the killer feature that took it from “frustrating and tedious” to “really fun” even if they did get a little too generous with it later in the game.