User Score
6.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 578 Ratings

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  1. Jan 22, 2023
    7
    Fire Emblem: Engage is a solid strategy game that offers enjoyable battle mechanics, thanks to the addition of Emblem rings and Break mechanics. However, the game falls short in other areas, particularly in the story and character design. While I haven't completed the game yet and have only played around 20 hours, at this point, I can say that the overall experience is lacking in depth andFire Emblem: Engage is a solid strategy game that offers enjoyable battle mechanics, thanks to the addition of Emblem rings and Break mechanics. However, the game falls short in other areas, particularly in the story and character design. While I haven't completed the game yet and have only played around 20 hours, at this point, I can say that the overall experience is lacking in depth and fails to live up to the standard set by previous entries in the series. In my opinion, the game is worth playing for the battles alone, but don't expect much in terms of a compelling story or engaging characters. Overall, Fire Emblem: Engage is a decent way to pass the time, but I hope that Nintendo puts more effort into storytelling and character design in future games. Expand
  2. Jan 21, 2023
    6
    A step forward for the series in the technical aspect, but in the story and the sense of it they are 2 steps back, the cinematics many times do not make sense in relation to the gameplay, they feel very random at times and sometimes with zero coherence, in general, it cost me much more to play it than the last games like three houses or echoes.
  3. Jan 21, 2023
    6
    When viewed in the context of the entire franchise, Engage is a disappointment that represents a regression rather than a progression in quality.

    Whilst containing an admittedly interesting new battle system, it fails to reach the heights of games like Thracia and Conquest and will seem utterly unremarkable to long-time fans. Furthermore, whatever pleasure is granted by the battle
    When viewed in the context of the entire franchise, Engage is a disappointment that represents a regression rather than a progression in quality.

    Whilst containing an admittedly interesting new battle system, it fails to reach the heights of games like Thracia and Conquest and will seem utterly unremarkable to long-time fans. Furthermore, whatever pleasure is granted by the battle mechanics fails to compensate for the lacklustre nature of the game in all other areas. Alear wanders through a generic world of forgettable characters trying to obtain macguffins whilst nothing interesting or of note occurs. It is a plot and world so generic and formulaic that one wonders if they fed the previous scripts into an AI and generated it mechanically. Plot beats range from mind-numbingly bland to hilariously overdramatic and forced: Engage is a game that seems to want emotional pay-off whilst giving you no reason to care for the characters it establishes.
    Characters are regression to the shallow tropes of Fates which feel poorly thought out and like there was no underlying intention to them other than to pad out the roster. Beyond some exceptions such as Diamant, they range from non-entities to Jar Jar Binks level irritating presences that have one personality trait and will repeat it for hundreds of lines of dialogue. The music is serviceable but the most generic of the post-Awakening Fire Emblem games. Character design is awful; it is ironic that despite being so flashy and outrageous, none of these characters will stick in the player's mind once they go off-screen.

    It would be interesting to see the break and emblem mechanics in a game that knew what its identity was.
    There is no artistic vision or cohesive idea underlying Engage: it is a bundle of elements of poor quality slapped together on top of a gameplay system that whilst may be impressive to players whose only prior experience was Three Houses, fails to come even remotely close to being the best of what the franchise has to offer, or to make it worthwhile suffering through the other aspects of the game.
    Engage, by all metrics, is at best an average Fire Emblem entry, and at worst a cynical, soulless product with an identity crisis.
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  4. Jan 22, 2023
    5
    Massive step backwards from Three House's. Very mediocre predictable plot with extremely cringe dialogue and boring supports.
  5. Jan 22, 2023
    5
    I try really hard to like it, with is all colorful but empty cast, and it's bland story without any taste. Yes the gameplay is really good, but the lack of love that was given to the story, the lack of emotion and depth is very overwelming for me. Heck, even Fates manage to give us three better stories than this title. A huge step back, for better gameplay... To bad.
  6. Jan 23, 2023
    6
    Worst then 3 houses. Better graphics but that's it.
    Buy it online with heavy discount.
  7. Jan 22, 2023
    6
    Seems to be a big step back for the series. The people praising it for being more like the older games seem to forget that it was a failing series before the more modern changes. A fun spin-off or side game but if this is future of series I would be very worried.
  8. Jan 24, 2023
    7
    I admit that this work is better than the previous work, both in terms of gameplay and map design, but the character creation, character modeling and plot design of this work make me very disappointed. I mean, if you just enjoy srpg game, you will probably like ENGAGE very much, but if you also value the shaping of plot and character relationship, then you may be a little disappointed.
  9. Jan 25, 2023
    6
    One of the best Fire Emblems in technical aspects like gameplay, animations and sound coupled with probably the worst in story and characters. What a waste.

    Pity for the technical team aswell to have their good work ruined by such a big failure of the writing team.
  10. Jan 27, 2023
    7
    A graphically excellent, mechanically sound and relatively enjoyable game with an insultingly simplistic story. Characters mostly have the depth of a kiddie pool, and most look like rejected Genshin Impact designs.

    Fans of Three Houses will be utterly baffled and disappointed by Engage's astounding lack of narrative depth - its story is pure schlock, and its characters range from
    A graphically excellent, mechanically sound and relatively enjoyable game with an insultingly simplistic story. Characters mostly have the depth of a kiddie pool, and most look like rejected Genshin Impact designs.

    Fans of Three Houses will be utterly baffled and disappointed by Engage's astounding lack of narrative depth - its story is pure schlock, and its characters range from marginally charming to repulsively one-note. However, the good elements may manage to carry you through the eye roll-inducing cutscenes (which can be skipped, thankfully).

    Overall: A narratively disappointing game with lots to enjoy on a mechanical level.
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  11. Jan 27, 2023
    7
    I have mixed feelings about this game. Part of me was very satisfied with the return to classic Fire Emblem form. It got rid of the awful school setting, the overwhelming amount of character relationships, and painful social management system. It’s back to the tried and true classic gameplay tied in with a story that’s relatively straight forward. This game introduces a few new ideas, butI have mixed feelings about this game. Part of me was very satisfied with the return to classic Fire Emblem form. It got rid of the awful school setting, the overwhelming amount of character relationships, and painful social management system. It’s back to the tried and true classic gameplay tied in with a story that’s relatively straight forward. This game introduces a few new ideas, but none of them are really game changers. The exploration post game adds some unique flavor to this game, but truthfully these types of changes don’t make any difference to me. Regardless, it was miles better than the last game.

    Unfortunately the Fire Emblem formula is really starting to feel a bit dated. This gameplay was very fun throughout the 3DS years, but it has not really grown much since then. Each Fire Emblem release is beginning to feel like the same game with a new gimmick and new story. It no longer has the allure that it used to have. I enjoyed this game for about 10 hours, but then I hit a wall where I realized that the series needs something because it’s no longer pulling me in like it did before. Great game, but you have seen it all before.
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  12. Jan 26, 2023
    5
    Gameplay and technical aspects 9/10 + story and characters 1/10 = 5/10 overall
  13. Jan 27, 2023
    5
    Graphics are so much better, cel shaded sort of Style is nice, but good lord the design, story and characterization have run straight off a cliff. I'm confused as to why the characters are walking one dimensional tropes, and why they look the way they do. I'm aware Awakening and Fates get some flack for the same issues, but honestly I'd still take their writing any day over this. As it isGraphics are so much better, cel shaded sort of Style is nice, but good lord the design, story and characterization have run straight off a cliff. I'm confused as to why the characters are walking one dimensional tropes, and why they look the way they do. I'm aware Awakening and Fates get some flack for the same issues, but honestly I'd still take their writing any day over this. As it is now- my desire to play more is entirely none-existent despite the gameplay being just as fine as it always is. Expand
  14. Jan 28, 2023
    6
    Fire Emblem Engage has amazing combat and could possibly be one of the best in the series IF the story was better. This game also taught me that yes, there can be too many mechanics in video games. I've gotten to chapter 16, and I just find it so hard to pick up the game due to the story being so bland, and all the mechanics just clogging up the screen. If you are looking to get into FireFire Emblem Engage has amazing combat and could possibly be one of the best in the series IF the story was better. This game also taught me that yes, there can be too many mechanics in video games. I've gotten to chapter 16, and I just find it so hard to pick up the game due to the story being so bland, and all the mechanics just clogging up the screen. If you are looking to get into Fire Emblem, I wouldn't recommend this game. I'd recommend Three Houses instead. Expand
  15. Feb 2, 2023
    6
    Fire emblem engage seems like a step back compared to most fire emblem games from the last decade. The writing is atrocious and the characters are shallow. I have heard some people compare it to older games, but that is only true with the game play. Emotional moments in the story miss their mark because they feel unearned and occur before the player becomes invested. The stakes justFire emblem engage seems like a step back compared to most fire emblem games from the last decade. The writing is atrocious and the characters are shallow. I have heard some people compare it to older games, but that is only true with the game play. Emotional moments in the story miss their mark because they feel unearned and occur before the player becomes invested. The stakes just aren't there in this game because the writing is aweful. I used to pre-order every fire emblem game, I think I will wait for the user feedback in the future. I'm surprised by how inflated the critic score is. Expand
  16. Jan 31, 2023
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While it is a standard Fire Emblem game (i.e. combat and strategy, turn based, story heavy), it lacks something that the recent Fire Emblems had.

    You don't feel a connection with characters and are forced into building bonds that you can get completely done within the first couple battles. The conversations are not really... interesting? The characters are pretty static and do not provide any real reason to have them on your main team other than possessing the rings and using said rings. Maybe the main goal was to have you focus on story and battles than marrying and getting close to a character? I don't know. But I miss the option to get closer and have choices when talking to the characters.
    The home base of the game is built around you upgrading your main weapons, buying weapons you need, enhancing your abilities, and... polishing your rings. (Yeah, I couldn't believe they put that in but not choices?)

    It is at best...
    The orginal fight style, turn-based strategic Fire Emblem game... but cash grabbing at the fact it introduces some newer characters from recent games (Three houses, Awakening), but a lot of old ones too. Which if you haven't played the older ones (1990 to 2007), you won't know a single Emblem Ring Character.

    If you like the strategy part, it's great for you. If you like the character development, making bonds with the characters (even as a player), then I suggest you wait for this game to have its price lowered, even if its adding to your game collection.... just wait.
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  17. Feb 4, 2023
    5
    I will start off by saying that I have only every played Fire Emblem Three Houses. I loved that game, I replayed it multiple times. I didn't really like this game and I am not going to be replaying it. Due to the story being so linear, there is no reason too.

    The gameplay is definitely a step up. I liked weapon triangle and how the characters moved. I liked the different maps for each
    I will start off by saying that I have only every played Fire Emblem Three Houses. I loved that game, I replayed it multiple times. I didn't really like this game and I am not going to be replaying it. Due to the story being so linear, there is no reason too.

    The gameplay is definitely a step up. I liked weapon triangle and how the characters moved. I liked the different maps for each NEW part of the story. However, I didn't like revisiting the same maps again and again to farm resources. The story is okay, nothing new or exciting just meh. It's a linear game with no meaningful choices. Lots and lots of plot holes and things that just don't make sense.

    The outlandish character design wasn't that big of a deal for me. What did bother me the most was the absent storytelling. The support/bond conversations really don't mean anything. Moments that should be sad weren't. The characters are either boring or annoying. I really didn't care to learn anything more about them after getting the supports past a C. Not that their supports told us anything much more about them anyway. I got everyone to A and it was a waste of time.

    If you like a game that has great gameplay mechanics and a meh story is fine. Then pick this game up. If you are like me and the story is very important to you too. Don't waste your money or wait till it goes on sale.
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  18. Feb 6, 2023
    7
    I was really looking forward to this game. Even if the wedding features weren't expanded, I played it. I was really disappointed by the fact that Griss couldn't get the necessary A support with ring. disappointed
  19. Feb 6, 2023
    5
    Fire Emblem Three Houses was my first FE game. I loved it. I played every route on all three difficulties. I did the same with Three Hopes. I'm almost at the final battle of Engage and I cannot wait to be done with game. I doubt I will ever play Engage again, and I'm seriously regretting purchasing the DLC bundle. The story just does not work for me. I do not care about any if the character.
  20. Feb 7, 2023
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm about 10 hours into the game and am writing this now because I don't think my opinion will change: Fire Emblem Engage is mechanically strong, but creatively a new low. A more detailed breakdown below.

    +Gameplay - the battles are decent. The weapon triangle is fun and the break mechanic is an interesting addition, even though I think it serves the AI more than the player, but this is fine. An effort was also made to make the battle maps varied, although to be fair I have not seen all of them yet. The win objectives are a bit plain though and are usually either rout or defeat boss. There are also quite a few mini-games, which are passable, but nothing compared to ones like in the Yakuza series.

    +Graphics - an overall improvement on FE 3 Houses. The lighting and colour palette are much better and the animations are more fluid. I feel the menus are a tad convoluted though, it feels a bit like I'm operating a spreadsheet over a game at times.

    +/- Soundtrack - honestly I didn't really notice it one way or the other, so I guess it is ok. Definitely not as impactful or memorable as FE 3 Houses though.

    -Story - it's the generic fantasy template of collect the X things to defeat the conveniently colour-coded evil Y. That's not an issue on its own because many games manage to implement this template well, but Engage is definitely not one of them. This game is incredibly lazily written and it really shows in how little of an effort it makes in developing characters.
    A benchmark for this is the "parental figure" that is in basically every FE game who is usually scripted to die so the protagonist can mature. In FE Path of Radiance, said parental figure acts as a mentor, advisor and integral support to the protagonist and their group. Roughly a 3rd into the game, they are killed under mysterious circumstances and their death both shatters the group and furthers the plot in a significant way. A similar, albeit weaker form exists in FE 3 Houses.
    Now here's FE Engage's variant: our protagonist has amnesia so they don't remember their parent. Roughly 1 hour into the game the parent shows up in the plot in a somewhat awkward reunion scene. The next in-game day, the parent is killed and our protagonist has a tearful death scene over what is basically a complete stranger to them. It's so bad and pointless that I would argue the story would have been better without the parental character existing at all. There are many more examples of poorly written, ham-fisted character interactions like this one in Engage but I'm not going to list them because that would be doing more work than the writers did.

    -Art Design - With the release of 3 Houses I had thought that Fire Emblem had finally escaped the underage waifu pit that it had been stuck in for the past decade. Sadly, it appears to have dug itself back in and arguably even deeper than before. Characters look like overly sexualised v-tuber avatars whose average age is somewhere in middle school. This appearance is incredibly jarring in a game about war and conquest, where the average soldier is twice their size and wearing armour instead of a cosplay costume. The implications are also somewhat haunting: is our protagonist leading an army of child soldiers who are so psychotic that they have no qualms about casually murdering hundreds of designated "baddies"? This dissonance and the sexualisation of what clearly are minors makes me so uncomfortable that I'm not sure I even want to tell anyone that I played this game.

    -Launch-day DLC. I understand wanting to advertise the season pass, but they could have also made these cosmetics later and put more polish into the base game.
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  21. Feb 4, 2023
    5
    Great gameplay and the ring mechanic is great but goddammit the story is awful
  22. Feb 3, 2023
    5
    fire emblem engage is definitely one of the fire emblem games of all time..
  23. Feb 3, 2023
    7
    Fire emblem engage brings interesting new mechanics and fun new ways to play the game, but falls far short in terms of storytelling and characterization which is especially disappointing after previous entries have demonstrated that they are capable of telling a strong story with interesting characters.

    Gameplay: 8/10 Starting with the best part first, the gameplay of engage is a
    Fire emblem engage brings interesting new mechanics and fun new ways to play the game, but falls far short in terms of storytelling and characterization which is especially disappointing after previous entries have demonstrated that they are capable of telling a strong story with interesting characters.

    Gameplay: 8/10
    Starting with the best part first, the gameplay of engage is a refreshing return to the roots of fire emblem after being what I believe was the weakest part of the previous entry, three houses. Engage introduces a lot of interesting new mechanics like breaking, smashing, and secondary classes that change the way the game can be played and allows for the player to form interesting strategies and approach each situation in many different and creative ways. The new emblem system, despite being disappointing from a narrative standpoint, also allows give players even more avenues to approach the game and experimenting with different pairings of units and emblems was wholeheartedly enjoyable. What's keeping Engage from getting a full 10/10 in this category from me is that I'm not a huge fan of the new primary class system locking units to only one weapon type in their base class, and although emblems can make up for that fact it was very confusing trying to figure out exactly how proficiency and the weapon system works. Additionally, gameplay balance is somewhat lopsided making some classes are miles better than other and some units completely overshadowed by others that are introduced just one chapter later.

    Story: 4/10
    To put it nicely, the story is uninspired. To put it a little less nicely, the story is a mess of poor writing, undeserved character moments, clichés, and dialogue that somehow manages to drag on for too long while providing no content. The overall story plays out almost exactly as you would expect it to from minute one; you can tell as soon as you meet them which characters will die and how it will advance the plot. On top of all that, instead of starting the story as an amnesiac tactician, a boy from Ram village, or other similarly mundane roles, you start of the game playing as the divine dragon, worshipped by everyone across the continent. This makes it so that most character interactions take a similar course and our character sees very little development throughout the game. After all, how much higher can you take a character who starts of the the literal god of the land?
    Lastly, the worldbuilding was poorly done and the world itself feels very small, despite spanning an entire continent with four theoretically interesting countries. We spend very little time exploring the potentially interesting landscape, hopping from town to town or various locations of interest like in many previous titles. Instead we traverse through countries in one or two steps, going from castle to border to castle again, rushing to meet the next bland, predictable, story beat.

    Characterization: 5/10
    The characterization of this game was what I was most disappointed in, as Three Houses has shown us how good it could potentially be. Instead it feels like the characters in this game are flatter and more one dimensional than fates or even the GBA games. Most support conversations in this game are all very samey and do very little for actually fleshing out the characters, often consisting of nothing more than both characters tossing compliments back and forth.
    The characters in this game lack a lot of the spice and quirkiness that made more memorable characters from other games so endearing, like Ingrid laying into Sylvain for his horniness, Seteth's overprotection of Flayn, or even Annette's singing. There are some characters that do toe the line of being interesting, but even in those cases they seem to always take the safe route and make them just another affable agreeable clone who tries their best to help everyone.
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  24. Feb 3, 2023
    5
    Story is pretty bad even by fire emblem standards. I try to listen to it for a bit but almost always end up pressing start to skip it all. Dialogue is quite ... cringe for lack of a better word, helps to put the language to Japanese.

    Characters are all pretty bland, and have pretty bad same face. MC worship gets annoying too. Gameplay is pretty good - about what you expect from a
    Story is pretty bad even by fire emblem standards. I try to listen to it for a bit but almost always end up pressing start to skip it all. Dialogue is quite ... cringe for lack of a better word, helps to put the language to Japanese.

    Characters are all pretty bland, and have pretty bad same face. MC worship gets annoying too.

    Gameplay is pretty good - about what you expect from a fire emblem game, same with the music.

    Also, maybe more of a minor gripe but I did not like the UI in this game compared to other Fire Emblem games.

    I enjoyed it well enough but found it hard to be motivated to play more than a few maps at a time, definitely one of my least favorite Fire Emblem games that I've played
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  25. Feb 7, 2023
    5
    Incredibly bland story and protagonist. Good game mechanics. They balance each other out (I guess?)
  26. Jan 25, 2023
    5
    The gameplay itself and the technical portion of the game is pretty good. The return of the weapon triangle works really well and the general feel and flow of the combat is a genuine step up from previous entries.
    Graphics have been improved quite a bit as well; the general quality of the models and maps is very high, however, the design direction sometimes feel a bit too clean and
    The gameplay itself and the technical portion of the game is pretty good. The return of the weapon triangle works really well and the general feel and flow of the combat is a genuine step up from previous entries.
    Graphics have been improved quite a bit as well; the general quality of the models and maps is very high, however, the design direction sometimes feel a bit too clean and sanitized, making the world feel too plastic and artificial at times.
    The real problem and why this game utterly fails is the story. The plot feels like it was generated by AI with the most predictable twists and most soulless characters. Even though the gameplay was fun, the poor quality of the story keeps stopping me from actually wanting to play it. And that really sucks.

    Fire Emblem has always been about the perfect ratio of a good story and good combat, in Engage it feels like half of it is missing.
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  27. Jan 25, 2023
    5
    If you played 3 houses then this is a major improvement in terms of graphics and perfomance. The animations are even improved, the combat and the mechanics are great. Music is also a let down, I haven't heard a single song that caught my attention. However the story and characters are god awful. I have never played a Fire Emblem where I didnt like a single character until now. TheIf you played 3 houses then this is a major improvement in terms of graphics and perfomance. The animations are even improved, the combat and the mechanics are great. Music is also a let down, I haven't heard a single song that caught my attention. However the story and characters are god awful. I have never played a Fire Emblem where I didnt like a single character until now. The main character Alear is the most boring and bland protaganist I have ever played with, I honestly would have preferred him/her to be silent. The dialog is terrible, the story is so uninteresting that I started skipping halfway through. The English voices arent bad but their dialog is what ruins everyone, they all seem dense, naive, weak, overly kind. The MC is the Divine dragon or whatever and everyone respects him to simp levels and he doesn't deserve it. TLDR, story and charcters are so bad that it actually ruins the game, im afraid what they would do to a remake at this point. Expand
  28. Jan 26, 2023
    5
    Gameplay is fun. The story and characters are soulless. Feels like a mobile game but it’s a full priced Nintendo game.. yikes
  29. Jan 24, 2023
    7
    The gameplay is truly great!

    This story and the characters, on the other hand, not so much. I won’t dwell on this. It is what it is… I did not like it.

    Personal skills are basic and some just don’t fit what the character does best. Decent map designs.

    It is FUN to play. If you already like FE you’ll find something to like here if you can get past the writing .
  30. Jan 24, 2023
    5
    The Good: -Visually, the game is crisp and colorful, and the battle animations are smooth and dynamic.
    -Gameplay is as solid as it’s ever been; happy to see the return of the weapon triangle. From a purely tactical perspective, the engage mechanic adds a nice layer of strategy to the battles.
    The Bad: -The characters are *incredibly* bland, generic, and flat out forgettable. Support
    The Good: -Visually, the game is crisp and colorful, and the battle animations are smooth and dynamic.
    -Gameplay is as solid as it’s ever been; happy to see the return of the weapon triangle. From a purely tactical perspective, the engage mechanic adds a nice layer of strategy to the battles.

    The Bad:
    -The characters are *incredibly* bland, generic, and flat out forgettable. Support conversations are either so short or so shallow that even those don’t help flesh the characters out.
    -The voice acting, while not necessarily bad, is noticeably lower quality compared to Three Houses and Echoes.
    -The cutesy, ultra-anime style is just not my thing. Hard to take the characters and the world seriously when all the females look like 12 year-old vtubers. You can especially notice it with the emblem characters. Their faces look so child-like compared to their original designs.
    -The plot is basic to the nth degree. Honestly don’t think they could have come up with a more dull, hackneyed, and uninspired story if they tried.
    -The music is okay, but not up to the Fire Emblem standard.
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  31. Jan 29, 2023
    5
    It's not as engaging as Three Houses. It's more streamlined, which is actually a good thing in my view as Three Houses had a fair bit of bloat, especially with the repetition inherent in the game design for that one, but it doesn't have the same character. Indeed the characters range from mediocre to awful, and the plot is uniformly poor. I also hate the character design in this one - theIt's not as engaging as Three Houses. It's more streamlined, which is actually a good thing in my view as Three Houses had a fair bit of bloat, especially with the repetition inherent in the game design for that one, but it doesn't have the same character. Indeed the characters range from mediocre to awful, and the plot is uniformly poor. I also hate the character design in this one - the blue and red motif inparticular annoys me at a fundamental level.

    Fire Emblem still hasn't reached the heights it achieved with Awakening. Engage isn't 'bad'; it's just not great, and when you've played past entries and know just how great the series can be, that makes it a difficult one to review with any objectivity. If you're a series newcomer, maybe you'll give this a bit more leeway than I am, but I honestly can't see anyone being blown away by this regardless of your past with the series.

    My advice would be to go and pick up Fire Emblem: Awakening if you want to see the series at its' best in the modern era.

    Full Disclosure: I haven't completed this game, I'm around 15 hours in, but I've basically lost interest at this point and felt comfortable scoring it.
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  32. Jan 28, 2023
    5
    The combat is good but the story is awful. Idk how they can have such a massive and good story in 3 houses then go to this. Feels like a b team made it whole the main team is working on the next ambitious one.
  33. Jan 23, 2023
    5
    Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of my favorite games on the Switch and probably my favorite FE game. I even really enjoyed the Dynasty Warriors spin off game that came from it while not really being a big DW fan. So, coming into this, I had some pretty high expectations. And, while the gameplay has taken some pretty good steps forward, the story and characters absolutely kill any interestFire Emblem: Three Houses is one of my favorite games on the Switch and probably my favorite FE game. I even really enjoyed the Dynasty Warriors spin off game that came from it while not really being a big DW fan. So, coming into this, I had some pretty high expectations. And, while the gameplay has taken some pretty good steps forward, the story and characters absolutely kill any interest I have in continue playing it.
    Starting with the gameplay, the biggest addition are the Emblem Rings. Major upgrades for characters that have the "soul" of most of the previous FE games protagonists in them, even from games that have never seen a western release. They offer a ton of options for characters to upgrade their abilities and become a huge powerhouse on battlefield, even if it's not till right before the end of the game do you have the full compliment of rings at your disposal. There's also a new break mechanic that lets you, or your opponent, smash the current weapon they're holding so they can't retaliate for a little bit. And healers can now be used as offensive units as they're now all martial artists, allowing them to smash the bow, tome, and dagger weapons instead of just standing back and healing all the time. There's definitely enough here to definitively say that the gameplay has taken a step forward and, because all characters now move much more fluidly on the battlefield, things are much smoother then they ever have been before and that's very nice.
    However it's the story and characters where the game is truly let down. The story is an extremely generic "kill the evil dragon" fantasy type story, which is a huge downgrade from the political and religious intrigue from the previous game. Each character is either good just because or evil just because and it became extremely boring when I had to sit through an almost endless amount chapters that never went anywhere except to introduce yet another trope-filled character that had zero personality other then what it's trope said it had to be. There are way too many characters here, so many that it will be virtually impossible to level more then your standard 8-10 characters on a playthrough. But the biggest let down in the main character, Alaer. Even though they are a literal God in this universe, and are treated as such by each character who interacts with them, even the bad guys, they are about as boring and pathetic as possible. Giving them a voice might have backfired cause they were just so annoying the entire game. I played as the male character so it might be different with the female character, but I absolutely despise them.
    I was let down by this game. While I really like the gameplay, and that's the only reason I'm giving this game the score I am, the story and characters attached to it are just so bad it's beyond saving. There's no reason to replay this game after completing the main story and, even with an expansion pass, I can't see myself ever coming back to this game. This is such a setback for the Fire Emblem franchise. While I don't see it being the last one, this one left such a bad taste in my mouth that I don't know if I'll be coming back to it.
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  34. Jan 25, 2023
    6
    A Fire Emblem game that sacrifices everything the series has in service of combat and mass-market appeal. If this is your first Fire Emblem, you might greatly enjoy it's expressive combat, beautiful colour direction, and high production values. Maybe even getting interested in the prior games via the Emblems. If you're a returning Fire Emblem fan though, you can very well be disappointedA Fire Emblem game that sacrifices everything the series has in service of combat and mass-market appeal. If this is your first Fire Emblem, you might greatly enjoy it's expressive combat, beautiful colour direction, and high production values. Maybe even getting interested in the prior games via the Emblems. If you're a returning Fire Emblem fan though, you can very well be disappointed by the absolutely hollow story, ill-fitting character designs, sorry excuses for Supports/Bonds, and constantly reminded of the better games that came before it via the Emblems.
    Fire Emblem Engage tries to capture a broader, outside audience, completely forgetting what made both the veterans and the 3Houses crowd like it in the first place.
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  35. Jan 25, 2023
    6
    Just how do you guys manage to post your reviews here? Yet again, I had a lengthy review written for a game, yet again this site won‘t let me post it for no reason.

    Then again, pretty much everything you need to know has already been written many times here. Just read the reviews that give a score between 4 and 7. Everything above or below is fanboying or hating.
  36. Jan 28, 2023
    5
    I'm not big fan of Fire Emblem, but Three Houses was one of the best tactics in which I have ever played.
    Fire Emblem Engage much worse, than Three Houses. First of all absolutely stupid plot, characters action like imbeciles, in one moment I thought that story was written school girl as homework fanfic.
    Gameplay interesting, graphics also on high level, but all other aspects awful
    I'm not big fan of Fire Emblem, but Three Houses was one of the best tactics in which I have ever played.
    Fire Emblem Engage much worse, than Three Houses. First of all absolutely stupid plot, characters action like imbeciles, in one moment I thought that story was written school girl as homework fanfic.
    Gameplay interesting, graphics also on high level, but all other aspects awful realised.
    For me Fire Emblem Engage is 50/50, but Three Houses better and Tactics Ogre: Reborn much better.
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  37. Jan 28, 2023
    6
    Gameplay is fun. The story and characters are soulless. Feels like a mobile game but it’s a full priced Nintendo game.. yikes
  38. Feb 4, 2023
    6
    Well the combat is great. I feel something is a bit off. The weapon triangle sometimes seems to be in effect and sometimes seems to be in reverse. Some noticeable RNG too. This would usually spoil it for me but it is to a level that is just about acceptable. It certainly isn't as bad as Awakening for randomness.

    So if you like chess, this strategic battle part is great fun. Downers
    Well the combat is great. I feel something is a bit off. The weapon triangle sometimes seems to be in effect and sometimes seems to be in reverse. Some noticeable RNG too. This would usually spoil it for me but it is to a level that is just about acceptable. It certainly isn't as bad as Awakening for randomness.

    So if you like chess, this strategic battle part is great fun.

    Downers though are many. The God damn awful voice acting. If you thought Bernadetta was bad in 3H, she might have been topped here. Scripting equally as bad. Just poor dialogue. And as another reviewer said on the use of Divine Dragon (your character). If I never hear divine and dragon used in a sentence ever again, it will be too soon.
    Colour scheme is bad too. That kind of imposing lilac feel.

    I love Fire Emblem and I love Sword Art Online (not popular opinion, I know) and to me this feels like a very bad Sword Art Online but with unbelievably annoying characters and some good classic FE battles. If you can put up with the cringe and I mean shockingly abysmal cringe, then you'll find great battles.

    Although the VA in 3 Houses is just as bad, and I do recommend swapping to Japanese. I recommend 3Houses over this all the way. I also recommend Radiant Dawn, if you have a Wii, or WiiU around. If you have a spare £325 then go 3 Houses, Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn and forget about this.
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  39. Feb 2, 2023
    7
    This is my least favorite FE game. There isn’t anything bad about it, just a pretty standard story with obvious twists. And a lot of small gameplay and mechanic changes that I don’t personally like. And after the massive deal that was 4 stories in 3 Houses I kinda feel cheated by getting just one story. In a positive note with only wave 1 dlc the dlc has already proven itself to be theThis is my least favorite FE game. There isn’t anything bad about it, just a pretty standard story with obvious twists. And a lot of small gameplay and mechanic changes that I don’t personally like. And after the massive deal that was 4 stories in 3 Houses I kinda feel cheated by getting just one story. In a positive note with only wave 1 dlc the dlc has already proven itself to be the best FE DLC to date. Already leagues better than 3 houses’ dlc imo. If you buy the game I recommend picking up the dlc as well. But if you are picking between this and 3 houses, 3 houses is the better game. Expand
  40. Feb 2, 2023
    6
    one of the worst stories I've ever seen in a video game, with the most boring characters
    the game is fun, but the story is unforgivable
  41. Jan 24, 2023
    5
    Fire Emblem Engage is an embarrassment to the franchise.
    It's not a 0/10 but it's definitely no higher than a 7 purely based on what it represents for the series. In the pre-Awakening games FE settings and stories took themselves seriously and were played straight. Starting with Awakening this changed to childish tongue-in-cheek self-parodying. Fates and Awakening were games for young
    Fire Emblem Engage is an embarrassment to the franchise.
    It's not a 0/10 but it's definitely no higher than a 7 purely based on what it represents for the series. In the pre-Awakening games FE settings and stories took themselves seriously and were played straight. Starting with Awakening this changed to childish tongue-in-cheek self-parodying. Fates and Awakening were games for young children, with embarrassing, cringeworthy writing and dialogue and half assed generic plots. This likely stems from the fact that they no longer have the writing talent they once had. You're not going to squeeze a Genealogy of Radiant Dawn out of the current writers.
    However, Three Houses, the previous entry, attempted to recapture the magic of the older games by telling a serious, complex story that took itself seriously tonally and didn't cowardly retreat into self-satire to deflect from its deficiencies. Three Houses was not a perfect game, but it was a step in the right direction to restore some amount of dignity to the franchise.

    With Engage, we now have all of that getting thrown into the trash in favour of a retreat into the shallowness and obnoxious tone of the Fateswakening era of games. The lead scenario writer, Nami Komuro, was even the main scenario writer for Fates and Awakening! Why did they bring back a writer who was universally panned? Who knows. Again, perhaps it was because they simply lack the talent that they used to have?
    I'm not surprised that Engage has received an immense amount of backlash for its tone and style. When people say "return to form", they really mean "return to Fateswakening", but the fanbase has moved on since then. People who once assumed FE was always childish and camp realised they were wrong when 3H attempted to tell a serious story. Expectations have been raised, people don't want a Saturday morning cartoon format anymore, they want real stories to get them invested in real characters.
    If this game came out in 2014, I'm sure people would have been fine with it. But it's not 2014 anymore, and people expect more from their FE games outside of their gameplay. The shallow cope perpetuated by people who had only played Fates and Awakening that "FE stories were always bad" has been thoroughly debunked and nobody is falling for it anymore. They can be good, it's just that the modern developers are lazy.

    The gameplay mechanics are alright. Not good enough to make up for how the game fails in every other area. It could have the best gameplay in the franchise and it would still feel like a slog due to how childish and boring every other aspect is. It's also ironic that this is a series defined by perma death and making you feel an attachment to the units, when the average player wants to see every character from Fates, Awakening and Engage killed off for being a constant irritating presence.

    It's honestly quite sickening to see these shallow and obnoxious characters dragging around the ghosts of old FE characters, attempting to beat nostalgia into the audience. All they do is serve as a reminder of how good Fire Emblem once was, and how good it could still be, if anybody currently working at Intelligent Systems cared as much about the history of the franchise as the random people they hired from Koei Tecmo for Three Houses. Sad.
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  42. Jan 22, 2023
    5
    Poor modeling and script. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the character design, but the 3D modeling.
    In terms of game system, it loses the degree of freedom and plot depth in the previous game, but it does not completely delete these contents. Instead, there is a semi-finished character plot and main story.At the same time, item collection is also annoying, you have to go to
    Poor modeling and script. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the character design, but the 3D modeling.
    In terms of game system, it loses the degree of freedom and plot depth in the previous game, but it does not completely delete these contents. Instead, there is a semi-finished character plot and main story.At the same time, item collection is also annoying, you have to go to every corner of the map, after every battle!
    What is commendable is the combat system, adding the weapon restraint system, canceling the durability of weapons and so on. This is at least a good sign: players said the previous game's training system was too boring, so they simplified it; weapon durability was bad, so they removed it. I think the production team is at least listening to the players, which is why I gave it a 5.
    I think this one just serves players who are familiar with Fire Emblem from the previous titles, it shows the main characters from previous generations, maps and music from previous generations, and maybe they will reset the previous titles afterwards. But I don't think it's a passable Fire Emblem.
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  43. Jan 24, 2023
    5
    The directer had no idea what he was doing. It was his first FE game and he wanted to make it for people who don't play FE while also making it an homage to the history of FE. Does that sound smart to you?

    Look it up he's incompetent.
  44. Jan 23, 2023
    7
    El juego en si es una gran evolución en lo que respecta a la saga, pero peca de ciertas falencias. Después de llegar al capitulo 12 mi experiencia la puedo resumir:

    LO BUENO - La música del juego es increíble. - La guarida que se va ampliando de forma orgánica tras cada capitulo o extra. - El diseño grafico que le saca la potencia a la consola. - El sistema de Engage o anillos que
    El juego en si es una gran evolución en lo que respecta a la saga, pero peca de ciertas falencias. Después de llegar al capitulo 12 mi experiencia la puedo resumir:

    LO BUENO
    - La música del juego es increíble.
    - La guarida que se va ampliando de forma orgánica tras cada capitulo o extra.
    - El diseño grafico que le saca la potencia a la consola.
    - El sistema de Engage o anillos que aporta versatilidad.
    - La traducción en español no presenta modismos.
    - Las animaciones de batalla y los diversos escenarios de combate.
    - El sistema de combate que mejora el movimiento y se siente mas dinámico.
    - No presenta tantos problemas técnicos.
    - Si tienes los amiibos es la oportunidad de darles un uso y su recompensa vale la pena.
    - Logra un equilibrio justo entre novela visual "simplificada" y juego estrategia.
    - Misiones extras y con buena dificultad.
    - El tablón de donaciones y sus recompensas.
    - La torre de los retos que es un modo seudo online bien decente.

    LO MALO
    - Su historia es bastante Meh! y si lo comparamos con sus entregas clásicas queda debiendo.
    - Se simplifico de sobremanera el sistema de relaciones.
    - El sistema de romances poco trabajado. Si lo comparamos con Awakening o incluso Fates que aportaban al desarrollo de la trama.
    - El protagonista a veces entra en su modo emo y cuesta tomarle algo de seriedad a lo historia.
    - Somniel esta desaprovechada, con personajes NPC estáticos y con 4 poses básicas: Mirada muerta, nadando, sentado y ejercicio. El único que se mueve es Somnie que aporta algo de vida a la base.
    - Personajes poco carismáticos, si lo comparamos con Three Houses que es su entrega mas cercana.
    - El diseño del protagonista que parece sacado de algún juego fandom de juego móvil.
    - Que el primer DLC de pago este disponible día 1. No costaba, dar la opción de importar partida guardada de Three House para desbloquear a Claude y otros.
    - Algunas escenas de relaciones que dan cringe. Del estilo poder de la amistad o pasado trágico no tan trágico XD.
    - Es bastante fácil crear un personaje roto que rompa el juego. ( Trata de variar el uso de anillos a máximo relacion 5 sino el juego es un paseo hasta en difícil.)
    - La granja esta desaprovechada y no justifica su existencia.
    - Si vienes de la saga clásica, los modelados de los personajes te decepcionaran un poco. Parecen sacados del Genshin o de una biblioteca de Vtuber.
    - Uno que otro mini juego que no aporta mucho y le quita la inmersión.

    En conclusión, el juego cumple pese a dar la sensación de parecer una entrega menor de la franquicia. Muy a pesar de lo soso de su historia, personajes planos y momentos de vergüenza ajena. El juego se compensa bien por su apartado jugable, animaciones y un rendimiento notable en la consola.

    En fin, debes darle una oportunidad si te gustan los Rpg Tácticos y si quieres que valga la pena juégalo en difícil.
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  45. Jan 23, 2023
    5
    Graphically this game is superior than Three Houses. That's really obvious but there is still a lack of Fire Emblems essence. This game lacks of many spells seen in other games. I think Radiant Dawn is really spectacular visually speaking. Compared to 3H, Engage look much better. But 3H was superior in other areas. Each character had unique critical hits. Or at least they vary from oneGraphically this game is superior than Three Houses. That's really obvious but there is still a lack of Fire Emblems essence. This game lacks of many spells seen in other games. I think Radiant Dawn is really spectacular visually speaking. Compared to 3H, Engage look much better. But 3H was superior in other areas. Each character had unique critical hits. Or at least they vary from one character to another in the same class. On Engage there is also a lack of weapons. For example, there are many fewer tomes than 3H. They look much better on Engage but they have almost dismantled the game from mages! Another step backwards has been the critical hits animations. In older FE characters used to spin their weapon, specially bow users. They don't do it anymore which is a turn down considering the potential of bow classes in this game.
    Finally I would say this feature of fusing with an old emblem doesn't look cool at all. It doesn't feel like a Fire Emblem game. They should be self-sufficient. Why Intelligent System didn't focus more on developing new characters and animations instead of recurring to past ones? I still hope many of this issues will be addressed in the upcoming DLCs
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  46. Feb 8, 2023
    7
    It's a step forward in terms of the combat, presentation, look, etc.
    But the story, dialogue and relationship systems are a step back from Three Houses.
    Ultimately I like this gameplay loop quite a bit! Yet I find myself not caring as much about most of the characters in previous games. As A 'classic FE fan' I really have a lot to love, and it might even be my favorite combat system...
    It's a step forward in terms of the combat, presentation, look, etc.
    But the story, dialogue and relationship systems are a step back from Three Houses.
    Ultimately I like this gameplay loop quite a bit!
    Yet I find myself not caring as much about most of the characters in previous games. As A 'classic FE fan' I really have a lot to love, and it might even be my favorite combat system... but I have enough complaints to keep it from rising to my favorite FE game overall.
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  47. Feb 7, 2023
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. As a die-hard fan ever since shadow dragon. This entry to the series feels like a huge step back.

    Lets start with the positive first.

    Gameplay
    The gameplay is still top-tier and in my opinion the combat is probably one of the best in the entry. I like how fast the character's animation move compare to 3 house the combat was very slow and stiff. It brings back the old classic fire emblem from the 3DS entries. Both the characters and environments are very colourful and well design. I like how they removed the weapon durability because in 3 house that was annoying. The ring pair mechanic is also not bad in this game. They do add some parts of the duo features from awakening/fates but in a more balance way.

    Now to the Negative. As a Huge fan, I have to be honest because I love this franchise and wish the next entry can succeed.

    Story and characters
    Now if you take a step back and look at the 3DS titles. This game copies both fates and echoes. The character setting are too similar to fates. For example at the start Queen Lumera dies in which fates has the same setting. As you progress on the story. Eash Kingdom has sibling , fates has the same setting, especially the main character. They are the same, but the engage is a weaker version of the fates version. You can't even transform into a dragon. They also didn't bother voicing the leveling part where the characters has unique dialogue like only one stat up. This maybe little detail, but little details counts. This can show how much love and passion the developers really went through to make a game.

    World Map
    If you look at the World map. Both engage and echoes has map travelling which I really like. Back in Awakening when you travel around the world. Theres area where you can purchase special weapons which is a nice touch. In Echoes they improved the formula with dungeon traveling and in some village you can explore the area and recruit characters and weapons. In Engage there is none of that. What I'm trying to express is. In past fire emblem series. As you progress through the story you unlock side maps/quest and characters at the same time. You get that feeling of exploration and the game reward you with a character. Its true you still unlock characters in engage, but most of the characters are unlocked in the main story which it feels linear and the side map are just bond expansion.

    Map
    By all means the map is not bad, but the unit placing is. Back in 3 house when you play through a map. There is optional activities, which is cool. For example you can choose to defeat the death knight or not, but in Engage there is none of that. I really do appreciate they can let us explore through the battlefield after the battle, but the exploration are nothing compare to echoes and the characters are just placed there idily like an object. Why not add some animation to the characters like walking, investigating and group discussion.

    Classes
    This time the classes system are just weird. In Engage they segregated the weapon category of the same class into multiple class that are the same. In all the Fire Emblem series. The advance class can wield more than 1 weapon. For example the great knight in battle can wield both sword, lance and axes at the same time, but this time in engage a great knight can only wield 1 weapon in battle, however if you want to switch the weapon you need to switch the class each time before a battle which is called great knight axe, great knight lance or great knight sword. This is egregious. How can they mess this up so badly?

    Skill
    This happens in 3 houses as well. They need to animate all the skills that is ability based. Back in awakening, there is animation for Ignis, Astra, Luna and sol, this makes the game feel engaging, but none of that in the current switch generations.

    Conclusion
    This is a huge disappointment. Is not a bad game, but a lot of the features that makes the game great are taken a way, especially many of its small details. The reason why I gave it a 6 instead of a 4 is because the gameplay is still fun.
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  48. Feb 8, 2023
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I think the problem with Engage is that so much of the character dialogue early doors focuses on the topic of staring or being stared at, it's very strange. On top of that there is the waking up interaction which leans into it, fanboy characters that can't help but stare, being stared at while you sleep. It's such an awkward mess. The game is a good time but it's story and characters leave a lot to be desired. I found myself skipping dialogue after a while. It does pick up right toward the end by by then you've played over 95% of the game already. Expand
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 105 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 105
  2. Negative: 0 out of 105
  1. Feb 8, 2023
    95
    Fire Emblem Engage is one of Nintendo's best games in years, and a much more polished release than Fire Emblem: Three Houses which I loved. While it suffers in its story compared to recent releases, it is still an essential for tactical RPG fans. It also happens to be a gorgeous game that shines on the OLED Switch display.
  2. Feb 6, 2023
    90
    Fire Emblem Engage is a solid entry in the franchise. It’s easily the best Fire Emblem game from the modern generation (awakening onwards). I enjoyed my time so much that I’m already returning for my second, more relaxed playthrough on maddening. It’ll take a while.
  3. Feb 6, 2023
    71
    Fire Emblem Engage features familiar excellent gameplay with copious ways to customize your team. However, the story is rather dull, and the large roster is hurt by the limited character depth. There's plenty of tactical RPG gameplay to enjoy here, but it feels like a light step back for the series.