Fire Emblem Three Houses - Nintendo Switch GOTY Contender?

It’s interesting you bring this up, I’d been wondering about it in the back of my mind for some time now. There was a recent video that talked about these characters as though they were an “initial” cast of characters, so maybe you get more named characters over time?

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But that can’t be right - the 30+ characters (24 of which are students) are all fully voiced and have a lot of story/dialog/etc. already. I guess you must be able to recruit generics or something in case you are playing with Permadeath?

I doubt I’ll play with permadeath this time and I doubt I’ll miss it that much, especially with the injury system Three Houses is introducing. It was interesting in theory, but in practice it was always unsatisfying. Beyond the complaint upthread about enemies seemingly trying to kill your units rather than winning the map, that there was little mention or consequences of losing a character was frustrating, especially since FE endeavors to be more RPG than strategy game. Even if a character’s child, lover, or sibling died in front of them, they carry on as if nothing happened. Character development was never a strong suit for the series, but since you’re spending more time with characters this time that might change. Perhaps for the worse, but either way it’s going to be extra annoying to have someone die 60 hours in and for the rest of your party to act as if nothing happened.

Is Jagged Alliance still the best example of handling that well?

Probably? To be fair to Fire Emblem, most tactical games with permadeath for party members use generic disposable characters rather than ones ostensibly fleshed out in cut scenes and by party banter. I can’t really think of any off the top of my head that attempt this aside from the ones mentioned. Maybe one of the Tactics Ogre games, but even then, I’m pretty sure that once a character is in your party they no longer factor into the plot or have further character development. I remember it being hard to get one of your characters killed in those, so probably not.

Valkyria Chronicles has named characters, but they don’t have dynamic narrative interactions with other characters (they have some minor in-mission status effects when near characters they like / dislike).

Hidden characters are recruited by meeting certain criteria in missions (e.g. have character A do X in a mission to recruit character B), but there’s no additional interactions after that.

TONS of preview coverage went live this morning. This Era thread has collected them all for our convenience!

So I went to the fire emblem subreddit to try and find more stuff, but that place is on literal fire right now because apparently they are very not happy with the gay male supports that have been revealed in the past day.

jfc

In other news, intro cinematic is interesting, and I like the menu music (nice piano/organ arrangement at the end of the second video).


And IGN has skills and stuff for many characters, and I think a full class list (though details are only in video form, bah!)


There look to be some potentially interesting builds (still don’t know growths though), e.g. this girl looks to be a mage that can end up in the Mortal Savant mage/swordmaster hybrid class.

I was curious as to what you meant by this and it is not what I was expecting. Evidently, there are only a few gay male supports, but it looks like every female can be ‘romanced’ by a male. I think the romance stuff is the bane of modern of Fire Emblems, but if they’re going to cater to the straight-male fantasy of “I can have any woman I choose” why shouldn’t the same be true for gay men? It’s hardly a deal breaker for me, but I understand why people are upset.

The in-game reel that shows off the classes (with a brief description and the like) has been posted by IGN, and it looks great.

Some of the classes have horses that seem to defy the laws of physics, but it looks cool so there is that. A lot of these classes mean little to me, as I’m not the hardest core of Fire Emblem fans, but there are some that seem just amazing and some great classes I plan to aim for.

Because male players are not emotionally able to handle the idea that any of the male characters could possibly be gay.

Pox upon all shippers basically. Everyone being up for grabs in the first place is shit since it turns characters into checkboxes / exists only for pandering to the audience’s blank slate protagonist.

Pairings should be a limited set of “canon” ones, aka making it an actual part of the character’s…you know…characterization.

Also I’m pretty sure there would not have been a firestorm if the “right” characters were available for gay romances. Bane of modern FE indeed, though I suppose FE would be a dead franchise without it.

That sure is a whole lot of classes.

I’ve seen enough to be interested. I’ve bought a ton of games for my switch, but nothing has really held me for any length of time yet.

So…, this is a RPG with TBS combat? Do I have that vaguely right?

RPG lite.

Historically, the series has featured a tiered upgrade system. You could level up to 20 in whatever class a unit was. But you could find a special item that could switch them to the upgraded version of their class, starting over at level 1 (but with much higher stats). You wanted to wait until 20 because stat growth from leveling was important. Later games added skills you could equip on characters, that impacted character performance in a variety of ways.

Combat was historically a rock (sword)-paper(spear)-scissors (axe) affair. With another triangle for magic, and bows > fliers. Advanced classes often granted the ability to use different types of weapons. When attacking, whatever weapon you used was your “type” for the next turn so once you got the ability to use multiple types of weapons you sometimes needed to think hard about switching and when. The game also featured a purely garbabe durability system for gear. This was mostly just tedious between battle bullshit.

This game is dispensing with all of that to some degree. Sounds like there are 3 or 4 tiers of classes where you start out very basic but start specializing as you go up, and you can apparently switch to previously used classes whenever you want (and there’s no need to worry about maximizing experience before switching).

The series then went sort of nuts with marriage, and children (and being able to “fuse” classes/skills in offspring), and such. There’s no dialog trees in the classic RPG sense or anything like that. It’s a fun series, though.

More of a TBS with strong RPG flavor, but character interaction and levelling is prevalent for sure.

One thing I really like and plan to use after the honeymoon period wears off is this - what it looks like to play with the flashy zoom in animations turned off.

A common criticism of the series is that it feels more like a puzzle game than a strategy game. That’s probably true to an extent, but then every strategy game is a puzzle if you get reductive enough. A good comparison in this regard might be the old Panzer General games, but, even then, FE has more strategic elements between battles, especially this one from the looks of it.

It was definitely true of the earlier games in the series - in the SNES games you can effectively get into permanent lose conditions if you didn’t level up the right character a certain way by the last few maps even if you managed to keep your units alive.

The past few games have been quite accessible, although you can still ramp up the difficulty quite a bit by playing ironman

The extra for preordering is that something that everyone feels is a must have? I plan to buy digital so not worried about getting a cart to arrive from Amazon etc (which I could see as one reason to preorder)

edit:
my spellcheck said something nonsensical

There aren’t any pre-order bonuses, outside of some sort of physical Pin or something from Gamestop stores.

Game really wasn’t on my radar until I read Scott’s epic post, and heard the hype from the most recent waypoint podcast. Interest piqued!