Fire Emblem Fates is interesting because it’s split into separate paths: Birthright and Conquest for casual and hardcore players respectively, and Revelations, a neutral path that features characters and mechanics from both paths and the true ending to the story. Unlike Pokémon, where the version split rarely does more than determine which exclusive Pokémon you have access to, these are three very different games, and thanks to how the DLC was structured, Fire Emblem fans effectively get access to three full sized games for the price of two if they choose to go all in.
So that has me wondering about player investment. If you’re a Fire Emblem superfan and you’re on board to play all three titles, how much effort are you going to put into grinding support levels, gaining experience, and aiming for a specific class/skill builds? Would you put the same amount of effort and care into each version or are you playing through Birthright and Conquest as practice runs first, and then going all out on Revelations?
My original plan was to only play through Birthright and Revelations, because I haven’t played an FE game in a really long time, and the last time I did, I got my ass handed to me continously, and then ramp up the difficulty and close up unexplained plot points by playing Revelations. If by some fluke I’m still in the mood for more Fire Emblem afterwards, I’ll probably play through Conquest as well.
Once getting past the first few chapters, it became abundantly clear to me that sticking to the main storyline in Birthright would give my characters sufficient experience to coast through the game, so I didn’t really spend very much time with all of the game’s systems during my playthrough. I never even bought a new weapon for the entire game and have no idea how the weapon upgrade system works, because I never felt the need to, and didn’t want to get burnt out before playing Revelations.
Finding Birthright a bit too easy on Normal, I’m tempted to bump the difficulty up to Hard for Revelations, and then really optimize everything I can during that playthrough, because I’ll probably need it more then. I want it to feel more satisfying to beat, so that in the event that I do get burnt out and don’t want to approach Conquest just yet, I’ll at least have accomplished something as opposed to coasting through the entire game.
But it’s just a weird situation to be in. You rarely have three distinct games in a series launch on the same day and have gamers scramble to get through all of them before the statute of limitations expire and discussing plot spoilers on Twitter becomes an okay thing to do. I suppose if I really want to invest into my characters, there’s nothing keeping me from playing the games over again at a later date, but with so many games coming out, what are the odds?