User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 85
  2. Negative: 1 out of 85

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  1. Dec 3, 2014
    9
    The Tower of Valni!

    If there was one beef I had with the first Fire Emblem on GBA in America, it was the leveling of my characters. The Tower of Valni addressed this in such a wonderful way. No matter which characters you took with you in the main chapters to battle, the Tower of Valni made it possible to max each character's level before continuing to a challenging chapter. Also new to
    The Tower of Valni!

    If there was one beef I had with the first Fire Emblem on GBA in America, it was the leveling of my characters. The Tower of Valni addressed this in such a wonderful way. No matter which characters you took with you in the main chapters to battle, the Tower of Valni made it possible to max each character's level before continuing to a challenging chapter. Also new to the series are the skirmish battles around the world map, which weren't necessary to advance in the story, but good for leveling characted and testing out new strategies.

    -The gameplay is as addictive as ever. Nothing new added to the series here as you can still plot out your moves and see the odds of success before each battle. You can also see your enemies range of movement during each turn giving a great advantage over deployment. Characters can encourage one another on the battlefield by using the talk command between two compatible characters. However, I did not take advantage of this feature as much and it's definitely not necessary, just a useful tool at times and if you're looking for extra dialogue.

    -The Story is very memorable, although the dialogue can get to be a bit tedious at times and you may find yourself wanting to skip ahead. It won't take you on any kind of emotional roller coaster of sorts.

    -The cast of characters are plentiful. Which is necessary as character permadeath is still here, and if you lose one of your favorite characters in battle, it can be a devastating thing to experience. Sacred Stones balances this well as many times, you will get caught off-guard by enemy reinforcements, and if you've spent over 45 minutes on one chapter, getting close to the end and one of your characters die; you have a choice to press forward or start that chapter all over again. It's sometimes a hard choice to make.

    -The amount of content is incredible, not only will the Tower of Valni make you invest hours upon hours of gameplay, all the while improving your troops, but the skirmishes and the after game content is incredible, not to mention the two paths that can be chosen in the middle of the game. If you want to go back and experience the other main characters separate path, you have that option to play it all over again.

    This is a classic in the Fire Emblem series and not much can be said in the way for areas of improvement. If you're a strategy RPG fan and a fan of a good story, definitely play this game.
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  2. Oct 20, 2014
    10
    Fire Emblem is a tactical turn-based RPG that hasn't been replicated in any other series and is quite unique. Now this series has been made from the NES era all the way till now with its newest addition, Fire Emblem: Awakening. The evolution of game play is more noticeable from the switch to NES and SNES to the Gameboy Advance. That means that some are just glossed over while others becomeFire Emblem is a tactical turn-based RPG that hasn't been replicated in any other series and is quite unique. Now this series has been made from the NES era all the way till now with its newest addition, Fire Emblem: Awakening. The evolution of game play is more noticeable from the switch to NES and SNES to the Gameboy Advance. That means that some are just glossed over while others become more popular due to timing. Sacred Stones suffers from this same problem.

    Sacred Stones is a stand-alone game in the series and arguably the darkest of them all. The story is centered on the continent of Magvell which is ruled by several monarchies and political systems. The politics enveloping the land is just a small side-story of the entire game with its numerous sub-plots. The story develops in a depressing manner as the themes of death and loss constantly rear their ugly head each turn. This allows the player to feel ultimate triumph and at the same time melancholy as you see the destruction of lands and people around you. These mixed feelings make you ask questions while at the same time gives you some understanding of the time period. Like all the games before it, once you lose a character they will be dead for good and in this one some scenes are lost through said loss. The story changes and hinges on your ability to keep your allies alive which is an awesome feeling.

    Evolution wise it came right after the game changers and was the last on the GBA era of Fire Emblem games. While the maps in previous FE games were just for helping you place where you are in the story, in Sacred Stones it is more than that. This time you move around the map by your own volition and enter the chapter when you feel you are up to the task. This map didn't stop there; you had monster encounters, buying of weapons on map, and even challenge areas for the end game. It featured duels against other people as you choose your best units against theirs. If that wasn't enough, it added monsters unique to the game such as Centaurs, Skeletons and more.

    Now the nuances; this game has a large cast of characters that like most Fire Emblem games don't get much time to flesh out. In the past two titles, they added in support conversations for characters if you took the time to do them. I found that they perfected them in this game since each one allowed you to see sides of your unit you didn't know and allowed some sort of depth beyond the nameless face.

    It introduced crossroads in classing up units. Every unit had two choices to choose between. If you were a knight, you could either become a general or a great knight. As well as having the three units who could class up twice, this was an addition to the game that allows the player more choice than the past ones. Despite this being an interest road to go down, they ruin it later on with the overuse of this game mechanic.

    The OST has some of the more memorable songs for myself including the gentle ones like Lyon's theme and the dramatic encounters with a powerful opponent. It made it that much more satisfying as you finally finished off those who did you wrong. Graphics wise its not really different from the other GBA Fire Emblems. The only things to point out is the awesome opening and the ending boss' design.

    This game was a masterpiece and allowed Fire Emblem fanatics and new-comers a story to get enveloped into and to feel for. It adds onto the previous additions and makes further advances. Even though it was glossed over, Fire Emblem Sacred Stones certainly holds up, even to today's standards of handheld games.

    Story: 10
    Gameplay: 9.6
    Sound: 9.5
    Visuals: 9.5
    Overall: 9.6
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  3. May 24, 2014
    10
    My favorite game in the entire series. Fun gameplay that improves on previous entries. Memorable characters that you will find yourself restarting the game for, so as not to lose them. An opportunity to strengthen characters at the Tower of Valni which helps if you're struggling. And lastly, fantastic replayablility seeing as you can have a completely different team that you focus on inMy favorite game in the entire series. Fun gameplay that improves on previous entries. Memorable characters that you will find yourself restarting the game for, so as not to lose them. An opportunity to strengthen characters at the Tower of Valni which helps if you're struggling. And lastly, fantastic replayablility seeing as you can have a completely different team that you focus on in each play through. Its easy to pick up and play even for newcomers to the series, I would strongly recommend it Expand
  4. Jul 13, 2013
    7
    The only problem with this game, its the items to make the promotions, you need to think very smart and pick your favorite characters. But still fun and the choices of histories are great
  5. May 21, 2013
    8
    Great fun. Nice gameplay, great story and very, very addictive. Hard and infuriating when you lose a great unit, but still one of the best strategy games I have ever played.
  6. Feb 5, 2013
    10
    After the relative success that was Fire Emblem (Rekka no Ken, to be precise), Nintendo decided to release it's successor, The Sacred Stones, in the west as well. And, let me tell you this, it was the right decision.
    The game's art style is a bit darker than before, and the story is a bit more straightforward than Rekka no Ken's story was. The cast of characters has also been reduced,
    After the relative success that was Fire Emblem (Rekka no Ken, to be precise), Nintendo decided to release it's successor, The Sacred Stones, in the west as well. And, let me tell you this, it was the right decision.
    The game's art style is a bit darker than before, and the story is a bit more straightforward than Rekka no Ken's story was. The cast of characters has also been reduced, allowing for a deeper view on each character this time around. Gameplay wise, this game plays exactly like it's predecessor. The only notable differences are special class skills that some classes inhabit, and, most importantly, the world map. The world map feature allows the player to visit shops freely after clearing a certain chapter, and it also grants access to what most people would call training grounds: The Tower of Valni. It allows the player to go through it over and over, thus training your units. This can be used to make the game easier, or to level up characters post-story. Concerning difficulty, this game should be a good one for beginners, as it is a bit easier than other Fire Emblems, not only but also thanks to the Tower of Valni mentioned earlier. The replayability is, as one would expect knowing the franchise, very high. Not only can you continue playing after beating the story (to unlock certain characters, for example), but there are also two main routes to follow the story on. One has to play the game at least twice to get to enjoy all chapters, which could tick some people off, but shouldn't be a big deal, as this game is very addicting.
    To conclude, the game is one of the best in the franchise, and one of the best games for the system as well. It manages to be absolutely "Fire Emblem" while adding some spice with some small changes and attracting new players that are easily frustrated by the other installment(s). If you own a GameBoy Advance or a Nintendo DS/DS lite and are at least remotely interested in turn-based strategy, this game is a must have.
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  7. Jan 23, 2013
    10
    Amazing game. I was a bit skeptical at first, but when I finally got to play it through the 3DS Ambassador Program, I was floored. This game is addictive as hell! The replay value is definitely strong in this one.
  8. Dec 30, 2012
    10
    Tenouttaten!
    Truly the best game I've played.The story is well written,the graphics are well done and the game play is superb.With 2 to 3 characters of every class and each character being individual statistic-ly and personality wise,each play through is different and fresh.Amazing
  9. Oct 21, 2012
    9
    Pretty damn good. I still prefer most of the other games, but this is still well done. The characters don't have AS MUCH life to them, but they're still great.
  10. May 27, 2012
    9
    One of the greatest RPG games I've ever played! Amazing storyline, interesting battle animations and fantastic music as well. This is a must have for RPG lovers!
  11. Feb 11, 2012
    10
    The game is one of the most addicting original gameboy games I have. Everytime I go on vacation, I always pack my DS and this game. I have gone over the campaign multiple times, on different modes and various challenges and tasks for myself. The campaign is well thought-out and thrilling, and the graphics can definitely satisfy your eyes. Even in 2012 you should buy it, as it is worthThe game is one of the most addicting original gameboy games I have. Everytime I go on vacation, I always pack my DS and this game. I have gone over the campaign multiple times, on different modes and various challenges and tasks for myself. The campaign is well thought-out and thrilling, and the graphics can definitely satisfy your eyes. Even in 2012 you should buy it, as it is worth every single penny. Expand
  12. Nov 10, 2011
    9
    Definitely a weaker entry after the absolute masterpiece that was Fire Emblem, but manages to be good on it's own. It's a good entry on the series, but i find the Tower of Valni being more of a con than a pro, it makes the game just too easy. That's more or less what'r wrong with it, the rest is superb. more classes, more things to do. It's great.
  13. Jul 13, 2013
    0
    The only problem with this game, its the items to make the promotions, you need to think very smart and pick your favorite characters. But still fun and the choices of histories are great
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. One of the deepest and enjoyable games I have played in sometime, let alone the fact that is on the GBA.
  2. Offers a lengthy, rewarding, thought-provoking experience that truly makes you feel as though the decisions you make, waging one exciting battle after the next, carry serious consequences.
  3. If you can handle a strategy game that'll ruthlessly punish you for making even minor mistakes, pick this up the next chance you get.