News Article

Talking Point: Fire Emblem: Awakening - The Big Casual Mode Debate

Posted by Andy Green

Classic or Casual - which mode do you play?

Fire Emblem: Awakening is finally available in Europe after a couple of additional months of waiting. The series itself is now 23 years old, and is arguably one of the more 'hardcore' franchises that Nintendo owns.

One element Fire Emblem is known for is its punishing levels of difficulty, which has never shown any mercy towards the player. Making a tiny mistake often leads to several hours of gaming being washed down the drain. It can be frustrating at times, but it's this ruthless nature that keeps many coming back.

However, Fire Emblem: Awakening breaks from tradition a little in that it features a Casual mode — known as the Newcomer mode in Europe — which makes the game easier by removing permadeath; we'll come to that shortly. Of course, it's only optional and though many may call it gaming heresy it opens up the series to more people, which can only be a good thing.

The recent Nintendo Direct presentation also revealed a new mode for Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, which gives the player extra hearts and items that make the game less difficult than it was on the Wii. Again, the original mode will be included but people who were intimidated by the Wii version now have the opportunity to get involved.

It's easy to see how people may be put off from a game like Fire Emblem, considering how unforgiving it can be. For example, the series is known for its permadeath feature, which removes characters from the game completely should they kick the bucket in battle. It's an ingredient the series has become famous for and creates more of a connection with the characters you're commanding.

Permadeath has been the cause of many a reset console over the years. It can be a frustrating feature but it also offers an extra element of strategy to the game. When playing without it in the Casual mode, in theory, you can throw a character into certain doom as a way of distracting the enemy, allowing him or her to perish and helping you reach victory. Once the battle is won, that character would then return to action with barely a scratch on them.

So is that cheating, or good design to allow less experienced players to enjoy the game?

Indeed, the development team even argued about its inclusion, as was revealed in the Iwata Asks interview from a few months back. It appears that at the beginning of development some members of Intelligent Systems were ardently against the new mode, but were talked around as the process went on.

However, it's clear Casual mode still keeps project manager Masahiro Higuchi awake at night, as in an interview with 8-4 he had the following to say:

Well...I still think about it. It's that nuance... If someone dies, you can't just go and resurrect them like in other games. You need to think more carefully about the value of the lives you're controlling in the game. It connects with the difficulty level, too - it makes you work your way through the game very carefully, which I think makes each victory all the more exhilarating. It's one of the charms of Fire Emblem, which is probably why adding Casual mode generated a fair amount of controversy [within the team]...

It may feature a Casual mode, but Fire Emblem: Awakening still offers extreme difficulty levels, with lunatic being the hardest. It should be said that many of the development team at Intelligent Systems haven't cleared the game in lunatic, so there's a challenge for you. Naturally, Higuchi has managed it and he wants fellow Fire Emblem veterans to join him in playing the latest game on the hardest setting.

The inclusion of Casual mode does undoubtedly enable more players to get on board. Sales of the game in North America have been impressive to say the least and, although we'll never really know, it would be interesting to see if they would be matched if Casual mode was not included.

Even Higuchi was turned in the end, as he said in the 8-4 interview:

While permadeath is a part of the series, it's also something that I think kept a lot of people from trying the game. That's not good for us, if people don't even pick it up to see what kind of other things we've put into the game. And in the end we did get a lot of feedback from people who tried [Awakening] because of Casual mode, so in that respect I'm glad it's there. But I still play in Classic mode myself.

Many players could play through Fire Emblem: Awakening on Casual mode then brave Classic mode afterwards. This gives the game a bit more longevity and allows players to ease themselves into classic Fire Emblem style of gameplay. Or it's possible to play in Classic mode and still manipulate the system, as a soft reset (L+R+Start) will reboot the game and you can start the mission again. Considering the fact that you're told how to soft reset in the included basic controls booklet, the developers clearly expect you to use it on occasions.

What are your thoughts on the inclusion of Casual mode? Is Classic mode the only way to play, or is Casual mode an equally good way to experience the game? Tell us know in the comments section and let your voice be heard in the poll below.

Do you play - or plan to play - Fire Emblem: Awakening in Casual (Newcomer) or Classic mode? (296 votes)

Casual mode for me


Classic all the way


I'll use both in multiple playthroughs


I haven't decided yet


Please login to vote in this poll.

Will you - or do you - use the soft reset in Classic mode? (261 votes)

Never, if a character dies then it stays that way


Sometimes, depending on the character/situation


Always, because I don't want to lose characters


I didn't know there was a soft reset option


Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (126)



FantasiaWHT said:

My first playthrough was hard classic. It's pretty brutal, and sometimes in a VERY cheap way. I HATE the mechanic of having a monster that appears on the map on one turn getting to move right away, because you can't always anticipate where and when they will show up, meaning learning how to beat battles becomes a frustrating exercise in reloading multiple times and making it slightly farther each time before some surprise ambush kills a weak character.

Anyway, I plan on playing through next with a normal classic and a self-imposed ironman (no reloading ever, unless a main character dies of course). Then I'll finally tackle the insane difficulty, but on casual. Maybe then I'll try it insane classic.



Lin1876 said:

I've started with Normal Classic, because I want the true Fire Emblem experience despite being relatively new to the series.



invmat said:

When my game is delivered, I will play in "half casual / half classic"-mode, meaning: resetting whenever somebody dies, but with the ability to save and restart anywhere. And that means I'll have to chose "casual".



sgotsch said:

Dont get the people who vote "Always, because I don't want to lose characters".
Did you choose this answer, because you are planning to play the Newcomer Mode? If not, just do it, should save you some time. ^^



Leandro said:

My first playthrough was on hard classic. I beat it with no loss. Now I'm playing on lunatic classic, I haven't even lost one character and I also haven't let one villager die in the paralogues. Now I'm on chapter 25, I'll probably beat it today!



Haywired said:

I can appreciate hardcore FE fans thinking it's a bit sacriligious, but I welcome the casual mode. I find that I don't particularly enjoy playing Fire Emblem games because I'm so on edge, spending so long pouring over every single decision and every possible outcome of each decision, terrified that a bad move may screw me over later down the line, that I don't actually have much fun.

But I was wondering; the first Fire Emblem game I played was Sacred Stones and I really enjoyed it (and, having sucked at Advance Wars, reassured me that maybe I'm not completely useless at strategy games!) but then I heard that Sacred Stones is like the easiest Fire Emblem game. Certainly the two others I've played since (Radiant Dawn and Shadow Dragon) seemed quite a bit harder and more frustrating and I thought "Oh, maybe I don't like Fire Emblem as much as I thought..." So, can anyone tell me, were those two particularly hard ones or are they more the series' standard?



GamerZack87 said:

Gah! I voted for the wrong option! I guess that's what happens when you check websites while half-asleep. D:



AJTsuki said:

I've been playing this game since it's NA release and being comfortable with SRPGs, I had no problem playing on Classic. However, if you aren't use to strategy games, don't worry about the "Fire Emblem Experience" and play the game on Casual mode. I guarantee you will restart battles because a favorite character gets taken down. You'll have far more fun and play through it faster on Casual. Once you have beaten it on Casual, you will want to play it again anyway. Play it hardcore then.



suzzopher said:

I'm playing on classic mode, I will soft reset if a tactical mistake by me causes the loss of a unit, just as I have always done in the series and games like Valkyria Chronicles. I won't reset losing a unit if they are lost due to me not levelling them correctly for example. But if I move them to the wrong part of the battlefield by mistake I shall.



Einherjar said:

It will depend on what type a playthrough i want to do. If i wanr a 100% run, i quess ill use that feature to not loose any characters. If i want a "simple" story run, ill deal with dead characters. Thats one of the thuings, that makes fire emblem unique.



Lions said:

Casual mode for me (for the first play through). I'm married with a 2 yr old. My free time is just too valuable to have to replay battles over and over again cus I lost someone. Yes yes heresy. blah blah.



Giygas_95 said:

I WOULD use classic mode if I had this game. I'm tempted to get it, but at the same time I hesitate because of so many other good games I want to get eventually like DKCR 3D, ACNL, M&L Dream Team, and Lego City (both versions).



Peach64 said:

Permadeath but reloading when a character dies for me. I don't consider it cheating. I want to keep everyone alive, and this way I'll still be trying my hardest to keep them so, but if I turned permadeath off, I'd have no incentive.



Wii_Win said:

On classic, with soft resets, you must beat the whole chapter without anyone dying, but you get as many chances as you need.
On casual, you just need to beat the chapter without Chrom or MU dying.

Pretty big difference.



DreamyViridi said:

When I get the game tomorrow, I'll be playing Casual mode, probably on Normal. Permadeath put me off Scared Stones for months the first time I played, but I understand now it's a big incentive. I'll try classic mode after beating Casual. I'm one of those people who wants everyone alive, so I would soft reset a lot.
I have a forum discussing permadeath moments if anyone would like to share theirs.



chiptoon said:

I don't get this debate. I think its great to have casual modes. We want people to play games don't we? I'm not sure what mode I'll play this in, if I ever do, but I know my girlfriend prefers playing games just for fun. Challenge puts her off, so this might allow her and the millions of people like her to enjoy the game. She only recently started gaming, and so far has only finished Layton and the Curious Village and is nearing the end of Luigi 2. More varied difficulty means more gamers!



Boukman said:

I play classic mode, but I reset when someone dies. I just hate it when you saved someone or invested a lot of time and effort in upgrading them to see them die. One gets involved with the characters. Me being the tactician of the sheperds also gives me the feeling of being responsible for these people. I don't want to send them to their deaths. That is very clever gamedesign.



Vampire-Jekyll said:

The way I see it, if I'm going to play classic and just reset every time a character dies, I might as well just play on casual. It saves time and prevents frustration.



Wilford111 said:

I want the "true" Fire Emblem experience. If I ever get this game, I'll be playing on Classic.



Kyoto said:

Hard mode, classic with soft-resets. Got to punish myself whenever I make a stupid decision or when I'm not thinking things through enough. Happened a lot of times this morning already



AyeHaley said:

It's funny how people claim they are awesome by playing classic yet they soft reset. Why not play casual if you're going to reset after death anyway?



HeatBombastic said:

@sgotsch I play classic mode, and I soft reset when someone dies, and especially when I make a stupid move. I've been soft-resetting throughout the whole series since I'm a vet. Sometimes I don't reset when someone dies, it depends on what mood I'm in. The reason I soft-reset when someone dies is because it adds more challenge, I get too attached to the characters (even in Shadow Dragon :/), I've been doing that in every Fire Emblem game before-hand.



HeatBombastic said:

@AyeHaley Soft-resetting is bad? Is it so wrong to save a unique character like Donny, save a character you've grinded so much, or save your marriage partner?



HeatBombastic said:

Look, us soft-resetters don't play casual because the incentive and challenge isn't there. Punishing yourself for making mistakes leads to better strategy elements!



neumaus said:

Normal casual. I paid for the game, so I'll play it however I want. Why people think they have the right to dictate what I do with my posessions is beyond me. It's as if they're genuinely offended that I spent my money in a way that suits me.
My money, my game, my preferences. Simple.



ricklongo said:

I'm about to play the final chapter, and one of my favorite characters (Ricken) just died during a paralogue. It was painful and sad - especially since his wife Maribelle had died some quests before. And yet it made the experience much more meaningful.

Which is to say, classic mode all the way for me.



NImH said:

@AyeHaley the strategy is different. The article explained how people on casual can just sacrifice characters to accomplish the win. On Classic Mode, you must preserve the lives of your precious characters. It's a far more rich experience.
@HeatBombastic I completely agree.
Classic Hard Mode all the way!



Knuckles said:

I play Classic, but I made a profile on Casual, but I play it like Classic. Mainly because I have all 3 save slots filled, so I'm using the 2 "temporary saves", as 2 extra save slots.



rjejr said:

Whether you personally want to play it "Classic" or "Casual" I can never understand people complaining because an "easier" mode is put into a game they play. I can understand if there is no choice and the entire game is easier like Ninja Gaiden where you would hate it, or if the gameplay changed entirely from permadeath to no death, b/c then you can aruge it's an entirely different game, but options? To me all games should have easy, normal and hard modes, and if they don't it's just the developers being lazy.



NImH said:

@neumaus relax. This discussion is about what you prefer. Getting all offended makes you seem insecure about playing on casual. I just can't stand spoilers @ricklongo !!! DANGIT
Bragging Casual players do bug though.



1958Fury said:

I'm not a hardcore gamer and I have nothing to prove to anyone. I'll play whatever I find most fun, which is probably casual.



ricklongo said:

@NImH - Don't worry, those aren't spoilers. You have (almost) complete liberty in the game to marry whoever you want. That's just what happened in my particular game.

And yea, I absolutely hate spoilers as well.



Darel18 said:

I reached level 16 in lunatic-classic mode without any help, then I bought the Map-pack that includes money and experience... I got tired of that level <_<



FullbringIchigo said:

while i will be playing it in the Classic mode the addition of a choice of mode does make the series more open to other's who do not have much experience with this type of game while still catering to the fans of the previous games



AJTsuki said:

@HeatBombastic But there's really no challenge with soft reset either, it just extends the game. I mean, play the game however you want, you paid for it, but playing a scenario over and over just to get the result you prefer is not a challenge, just a slog. Losing characters actually made the game better for me. It made the narrative feel like it had consequence, especially if I lost a character that I spent a lot of time with.



LordJumpMad said:

Classic Mode.
On Hard.
Never Soft reset.

There is no room for weak minions, only the strong shall live!



R-Moss said:

Well. I love Fire Emblem, but Awakening is totally overrated. Even the classic mode is casual. Easy game. No fog of war. No strategy. Only grind and DLC (these kill the game).

A good game. But the worst Fire Emblem.



SkywardLink98 said:

@AyeHaley Because after a couple chapters in Casual I realized I wasn't thinking strategically, just turtling characters that'd get me a game over if they died. I was throwing characters like Kellam to enemies equipped with Armorslayers or Hammers just to distract them knowing I'd get him back for the next level.



sweetiepiejonus said:


Exactly what I was thinking. I know there are always going to be the elitist bunch who have to impress faceless members of forums but I wish more people would play games for fun. I will play Fire Emblem titles on Classic but I'm not going to insult someone who plays Casual.

Just as how I like to play Ninja Gaiden and I honestly don't care if I'm not hardcore because I don't play Ninja Master mode. I don't even play Hard.



sinalefa said:

If i get this game, the reason is the casual mode. Great reviews dont hurt either.

The classic option is still there, so they are not dumbing down the core game. I hope more franchisesand companies do the same to include more players, so more people support good games like this



Dpullam said:

I really don't see how there can be an argument about this. If you don't like casual mode, then don't play it. It is as simple as that.



Aqueous said:

@Andy - Lunatic is actually the second hardest difficultly, if you beat it you unlock Lunatic+ which is even more challenging,

Myself 'm playing Lunatic+ on Classic, I always soft reset, I've so far beat the game on Lunatic classic, while soft reseting. I kind of need Frederick alive for early chapters and I like treating it like a chess match and everyone of my guys is a king, since losing them reduces strategic options and plays every time I lose someone.



Hunter-D said:

Just finished Chapter 3 of this stunning game.

I'm playing Classic Mode on Hard difficulty. The feeling you get from successfully pulling off a well-planned strategy is great, I missed FE.

It's very nice to see the devs trying to open up this series to newcomers, options are a great thing indeed but improving the accessibility of your software is perhaps the most important concept.



Bulbousaur said:

Already had my Sumia die twice because of archers on the first side-mission where you recruit Donnel because I forget ranged attacks go through thin walls (which I think is stupid by the way). I'll probably try to do that chapter after I do a few others. Playing on Classic Normal, and this game is pretty darn difficult already... Still like it a lot though



Klimbatize said:

After finishing my current Lunatic+/Classic playthrough (using soft resets), I'm going to replay it on Lunatic/Classic with no soft resets. I know the maps well enough now where I can anticipate where reinforcements will show up and what strategies work for each map. I am sure I will lose several people along the way, but I'm interested to see how far I can get.



DarkKirby said:

My problem with Fire Emblem games has never been permanent death for characters, it was how many characters have developed, unique personalities, but the difference in strength between many characters is VERY clear, even those with similar roles. The difficulty of the game often assumes you ditch characters as soon as you get one who can do their job better. With limited resources, training weaker characters wasn't even an option. So using the characters you liked rather than the ones that were obviously superior was almost impossible, since as I said, the game's difficulty assumes you're just using all the best characters.



V8_Ninja said:

The more options the better. As long as the game makes clear that the default options are true to the series's tradition, then I don't see how anyone could be hugely upset over this.



nothankyou said:

Plain and simple: Hard is 99.9% impossible on classic if you want to keep all your characters. I appreciate a challenge, but when I have to reset my game every 5 turns because of a critical hit or re-enforcements, it's just not worth it. I'm probably just going to play Normal with Classic.



Klinny said:

I've been playing on Hard difficulty and soft resetting most of the times I've lost characters.

I still find classic enjoyable and challenging despite resetting. For me, I enjoy that if I'm on a tricky map, I can decide whether it's worth it to me to let a character die in order to complete the map easier, or reset in order to try again. I also like having to decide whether it's worth it to try and level up a weaker character with the risk of having them die on me, and thus having to start over again.

I chose this option because it's what I find the most enjoyable, and I hope everyone is having fun regardless of what mode they're on, and whether they reset or not. If you're having fun, you're playing the game right



Zodiak13 said:

My home copy is set on classic normal. My work/away copy is on casual mode normal. I enjoy the casual mode a lot more than I thought, much more relaxing, lol.



paburrows said:

Casual all the way, I'm used to games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Advance Wars and I'd rather enjoy a game rather then being all stressed out about losin g characters. To each their own though.



Expa0 said:

I'm playing classic-hard. I'm at chapter 8 or 9 iirc and alrady lost about nine characters including my precious jeigan, Frederick. I do soft-reset though if I feel the loss is too great.



WingedSnagret said:

I've played on Classic Normal three times, and always reset if someone gets killed. They just made the people too loveable for me to allow actual death. I do plan to (finally) stop being a wuss and attempt Hard though.



Klimbatize said:

Yeah, I'm glad they included both options so more people could play the game. Nothing wrong with more options.



Kirbic said:

I intend to play Hard Classic once I get the game. But I have no issues with an easier mode being included and don't really see why anyone would, especially given how much soft reset is used anyway by Fire Emblem players.



Phantom_R said:

For the first time ever, I'm playing a Fire Emblem game with no resets (Sacred Stones). It helps that my Vanessa somehow got 12 defense by level 10, but it's actually really fun. After losing some of the characters I use every time I play, it really has made me care more about them! I definitely recommend playing "real" Fire Emblem when playing for fun once you've gotten the hang of things.



Squashie said:

If I'm honest, I'm actually playing through it in Casual at the moment and It's really good fun!



real_gamer said:

Had the game for a while here in the USA. I'm playing it on hard and I love the challenge and one thing I hate is that when I'm playing a level and I am almost finish and somehow a enemy defeats a character, it is pretty frustrating to start the whole level all over. I welcome the casual mode because it takes away that frustration.



Klunk23 said:

Classic. No comptetition. When I got the game bak In febuary I barely even glanced at casual. The possibility of units dying adds suspense, makes me think, and really helps create the illusion of the characters being real. I do reset almost always. In previous fire emblems there have been characters that have died near the end of a level and I did not feel like reseting so I just kept going. Ussually I'll reset.



DerpSandwich said:

There's never anything wrong with including an easier difficulty. The more hardcore players can ignore it, and in the meantime more players are able to get into the game. I've actually passed on games many times because I heard of the brutal difficulty and I just don't have the time (or the patience) to try over and over again. It's just a good thing in my opinion.



Hong said:

I play only on Lunatic/Classic. As someone who has been playing since the Super Famicom era, the game is easy enough as it is.

That said, I wholly welcome additions to the game to make it more accessible to others. Why not? Not like they are harming my play experience. Now, if Casual became the series standard, then I might be a bit upset, but it's not so I am okay.



Aerona said:

I think Casual mode is great! As long as it doesn't interfere with the typically hardcore FE experience, then why not let people enjoy the game the way they want?



cmk8 said:

Mine got delivered today, and I'll be playing casual. I just don't have the time to play through "properly", I refuse to lose characters so end up resetting a lot and it takes ages. My 2 year old daughter and my work just won't let me play for that long!



navonod18 said:

Well lets be honest, a lot of people didn't have there eye on the Fire Emblem series until now, and even though classic mode only would be great for staying true to the fans, it wouldn't be a smart sales tactic to knowingly create a game that doesn't "welcome" the new comers that are not as hard core as the original fans. If you are a new comer, I would suggest playing classic mode if you really want to know what Fire Emblem is about. I'm glad there is a choice though IMO



TheRavingTimes said:

After playing through merciless difficulty setting in Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon I've grown adapt to spawning enemies that get to move on the same turn.



OrionLee said:

I've been debating with myself for the past half-hour which mode to choose (having never played a Fire Emblem game before). I eventually chose classic on normal difficulty, because the permadeath is what makes a Fire Emblem game (so I've heard!)



lightbringer said:

I've always gone Classic. I mean, FE9 is when they added the option, no?

As for FE13, the game was way too easy that it forced me to eventually choose Lunatic/Casual. Wasn't till playing on that difficulty that I actually was challenged.



Doma said:

I'll admit that in the past, i used to constantly reset when something didn't go to my liking. Many hrs were wasted... I honestly don't have the time for that kind of BS nowadays.

I've played through enough FEs now to know what's up, so i'll start with Classic – Hard, no resetting. If they die, so be it. I don't like the idea of playing casual at all. Without the challenge/satisfaction, these games just wouldn't be as enjoyable.



gsnap said:

I played on hard/classic, and even that only requires thoughtful tactics for maybe the first half of the game. The game isn't very well balanced. The game encourages you to use the relationship system, but after a certain point your characters are so overpowered that it doesn't matter if you're on classic or not, you just shred through everything.



Zaphod_Beeblebrox said:

The only idiots in this discussion are the ones saying other people are playing the game wrong. That includes people on either side of the casual/classic fence.



KAHN said:

if i had the game, i'd play classic. this mode makes me want to think harder when i play. i feel smart when i do something right.



neumaus said:

@NImH Thanks, but I don't need you telling me to "relax". I was calm to begin with. Had I filled my post with vulgarities and excess punctuation then yes, your "relax" would have been warranted.
And I don't appreciate being indirectly called "insecure," either.



QBertFarnsworth said:

I don't think this game is selling well because of the new "Casual" mode, I think it's doing well because they did a better job of marketing it and because it's been getting rave reviews. I've been playing Nintendo systems for over 25 years and this was the first Fire Emblem game I played, and I did so because review after review said that this game was a reason to own the 3DS.



ouroborous said:

never played fire emblem before this, the beautiful graphics are what hooked me in, that and the general hype around the series i suppose, well, and the demo was fun.
its casual mode all the way for me, ive been playing games since NES and have beaten my share of impossibly hard ones and see no point in breaking my back these days when there's an option that makes alot of games more fun to play (at least on the first go through), i earned my stripes long ago. i'd say its wonderful that theres a casual mode for situations just like this. same goes for etrian odyssey, the fact that party death in casual mode just zaps you back to town seems entirely fair to me.
but hey, if you didnt really start gaming until PS2 or 3, then by all means, go all hardcore and earn your stripes, either way, its nice and good that there's an option.



waterlava said:

casual because 75% of my characters would be dead. Mainly because of the counter skill.



Captain_Balko said:

I've played a couple FE games, and I've enjoyed all of them. However, the fact that characters die permanently didn't add to my experience - it just made me reset a whole bunch of times to the point of intense frustration, or occasionally, I'd yell "SCREW IT" and just let the character die. I was very happy that Awakening included a casual mode, and I immediately chose it. I generally being stressed out by games, so casual mode made Awakening a much more enjoyable game (for me, at least).



crumpledpapyrus said:

It's classic for me, though I've always slammed the reset button should anyone perish. I leave no man or woman behind!



BakaKnight said:

All agree about the permadeath keeping players away, it did that to me for years honestly ^_^;

But not long ago I found Radiant Dawn for Wii and tried it for see if Awakening could be a game for me.
RD is such an hard game that my experience in TRPG was useless even in normal mode XD but once I accepted to learn slow in easy mode I loved it ^O^

Even the permadeath I realized how important they are! The battlefield is really dangerous and you are forced to ponder each move so carefully @.@; RD would be a completly different game without them!

So I will surely play awakening in classic mode with a normal difficulty, for me it's the perfect setting for have fun and be challanged without having a MAX level of frustration coming ^_^

Maybe I will also make in parallel a casual mode game just for be able to play more carefree when I want some easy-going game on the train and such, but my main game will be classic all the way



Mr_Video said:

@Haywired Actually, Radiant Dawn is considered one of the hardest games in the series. Shadow Dragon is pretty balanced, but the character balance kind of felt a little off. So I wouldn't say they're the series norm. If you liked Sacred Stones, then I'm sure you'll enjoy Awakening.



garfreek said:

I'm really glad they put in a casual mode, i've become stuck halfway through them all because I couldn't find a way to let everyone survive (and I refuse to kill my teammates!)

Skipped the ds game, but definately getting this one ^_^



Geonjaha said:

I play hard on classic, and I don't restart unless I actually lose. I've lost a few units so far - but if I didn't play the way I did I wouldn't find as much challenge and risk in it.

I really don't mind that they added a casual mode - it's a single player game and people have the right to play it how they like. If this brings in people who wouldn't have otherwise bought it then it's great.



Dizzard said:

As much as I love a challenge....I'm the kind of person who will fret and worry about the story/game being worse off because I lost a character. So I'm not sure what I would do because I would just keep replaying battles to keep everyone alive.

Permadeath is quite hit and miss for me. I enjoy it more when it's in a highly survival orientated game (zombies or nuclear fallout) or sandbox games where you make up your own story but less when it's in a story driven game.



Henmii said:

I will play in Newcomer mode, simply because I don't want to lose characters! I know that's sacrilege, but that's the way it goes!



Emaan said:

My first playthrough, I played Classic - Normal, and I reset whenever I could.



TheAdza said:

I'll be playing in the so called casual mode. I don't even know if I will be picking up DKCR3D because as much as I enjoyed the original on Wii, it was just way too hard for me that I gave up and never completed it. I don't think having extra lives is going to change it. Having levels that dont rely on memory (mine cart stages) would make it easier for me and far less frustrating. While I don't want games to be a walk in the park, if a game is too irritatingly hard, I wont finish it, and I wont buy into the series again. Same if a game is too easy. I really wish just about every game had an easy, medium and hard mode. There are so many games that I give up on because they get too hard.



TheHeroOfLegend said:

I chose casual because Im a newbie at the Fire Emblem series. Plus I dont want anyone dying. Allies: Gotta hire them all! ALLIES



Jaz007 said:

I haven't played my copy I got at launch yet, but when I do I plan to play it on casual. I feel I will enjoy the game more and it will open up more stratagys for me to use. I think it was a great option to include. Both for newcomers and as a new feature for those who think it might be more fun without permadeath. I think I might use casual when I'm on the higher difficultys too.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I really don't see the problem with giving people the option to play a game on an easier difficulty if they choose to, everyone should be able to pick the level of difficulty they want.

In all honesty most of the complaints seem to be from those that see it as the games they like are being tainted, as if they equate games becoming more accessible to a plague. People play games to enjoy them so I find this mindset that if a game doesn't "punish" you enough or if someone doesn't play it the "right" way they're doing it wrong just plain silly.

Getting more people buying and enjoying games is how we get more from our favorite series, so these sort of options are a good thing.

Fire Emblem is still challenging enough without Perma-death, more often than not your out numbered 2:1 with a small pool of options for each class so you still need to manage your resources effectively. Personally, I only soft-reset to save important characters (first play-through) or when I know I'm already screwed.



Intrepid said:

I play on Classic, and I soft reset, but I didn't know about L R Start. I always just hit Home, closed the software, and restarted it!



Bragoon said:

Wow, lots of comments.
I have no problem with people playing on Casual. I tease my brothers about it, calling it "Weak mode", but I really have no problem with it. If it helps to introduce new people to one of my two favorite franchises, I'm all for it. I play on Classic mode, and as long as the option to play that way is there, I'll be supportive of the series.



Jeremyx7 said:

Do I play Casual Mode? Never! Do I think it's a great idea for those who are new to the series? Most definitely!

Casual Mode is a great idea from Nintendo/Intelligent Systems to attract many newcomers to get into the series. But for those like myself who truly love a good tactical suspenseful gaming experience...classic is the answer.



Wyvernqueen said:

I play both (I have 2 files currently). Casual is for experimenting with Relationships without them being destroyed. Classic for the challenge I love.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Mr_Video Wasn't Radiant Dawn hard mostly due to the fact you couldn't grind levels but they threw you into situations where you had different characters available (compared to the ones you had been training/promoting)?

I haven't played the game in awhile but that kind of comes to mind.



MagicEmperor said:

This is my first Fire Emblem game, so I'm playing it with training wheels. You may look at me in disgust, but I need practice.



Iggy said:

I think the casual mode is a great idea I'm sure they gained a lot of new fans with the new mode. I've played a lot of RPG's and even though this is a SRPG I've never felt so heart broken when one of my favorite characters dies. I reset if its one of my favorite characters or one that I've spent a lot of time training. If its a character I don't like I'll throw him/her under the bus.



kespino20 said:

@MagicEmperor This is my first game too so I'm playing Casual Normal just so I can get used to the mechanics. I will play again in classic mode though...then hard...lunatic.... ARGH I dont have enough time!!



Alienfish said:

One of my big gripes is that you can't simply save the game during a mission and then reset if a risky maneuver fails so you can try it again. You could always do this in the console games.



JuliaHR said:

I just got the game yesterday and I thought I would play it "the FE way" so I started normal classic (My first time playing FE).
But when I lost a character I would always just restart the DS, so I ended up switching to casual mode. When I complete the game I'll try again on normal classic. I'm really glad they added the option to play casual!



Chozo85 said:

Casual mode for me. I've never had the patience to replay missions just to keep all my characters alive. I finished Sacred Stones but lost quite a few characters on the way and was only just able to finish the game with what I had left. It became more stressful than enjoyable because I thought I would have to restart the entire game. I don't understand the people who suggest that playing on casual mode is 'cheating' when they freely admit to reloading the system if one of their characters dies. This is no less cheating than playing on casual mode as far as I'm concerned. In battle there are no second chances.



LordessMeep said:

@gsnap - THIS. My first playthrough was Normal/Classic and I abused the hell out of the support system. On my second playthrough of Hard/Classic (attempting to do it w/o grinding), I tried to not use the supports as much so that every character could get an even growth and the first party won't soak up most of the experience. Unfortunately, Chapter-5 had me stuck with units dying within the first few turns so I had to rely on supports. D: It's an extremely fun game but, like you said, the challenge peters out towards the end, especially if one grinds a lot.

My first time playing a FE game and I am really thankful for the Casual mode, though I've never played it. A more accessible game means more players means more FE, and that doesn't feel like a bad thing.



Late said:

Classic-Normal. If someone dies then they stay dead. I don't really understand resetting. I thought many say Fire Emblem is great because of the permadeath and still they want their characters to stay alive (reset if anyone dies). It's pretty weird if you ask me. It doesn't really tell anything about player's skills as anyone can beat the game using reset with a little trial and error. Most of players who do that could easily beat the game without resetting. Resetting may not sound so weird to others but I find it really weird and boring way to play. But if someone enjoys the game that way, I have nothing against it. It's not by business. I'm just glad they enjoy gaming. I'm just saying I don't enjoy playing Fire Emblem like that.

I'm happy there is a Casual option for them who just got into Fire Emblem. There is no reason not to include it. Makes the game easier to approach. And I think it would be a great option for those who get annoyed by constant resetting.



Romeo said:

sorry, but that is SO dumb lol
people playing in classic mode and then resetting.... only to say afterwards that they've finished the game in classic mode

you can just play casual mode then, makes no difference

classic = character dies and that's it.

really, i don't get it
saying casual mode is for noobs and sucks, but your classic-playthrough is just another version of the casual mode



Mr_Video said:

@Ernest_The_Crab No, the difficulty didn't have much to do with being in control of completely different units every couple of chapters, it was actually a lack of balance in the difficulty levels. The game's normal mode is practically the equivalent of the other series entry's hard mode. I to this day still haven't been able to get past Part 1 on normal mode.



Nintendawg said:

Some people really need to get off their high horse (no pun intended).
There are many ways to separate the men from the boys, but gaming isn't one of them.
The fact alone that the game developers allow you to reset the console and start the mission anew renders their own argument about adding to difficulty and suspense null and void and proves that they only included "permadeath" to feed certain individuals' ego in their quest to become more "elite" and "legit" than everyone else. And that's just petty and ridiculous, to say the least.
It would only make sense if there wasn't a way to cheat this "permadeath".
As it stands now, it's plain dumb.



AJWolfTill said:

Playing Classic Hard, each level has take me at least half a dozen attempts to get everyone through alive. I may attempt the easier difficulty and accept character deaths on another playthrough.



uximal said:

I love the classic mode, It's interesting just how you loose a character and you actually feel sad especially if you had purchased new weapons and or maybe upgraded to a new class...I actually didn't know there was a soft reset.
I remember playing Fire Emblem :Radiant Dawn on Wii and its one of the most difficult fire emblem in the series, I completed the game with most of my favorite characters dead.



thatoneguy4419 said:

I'm a pretty noobish Tactician, so Casual Mode all the way. Plus, all the characters seem to leave a lasting impression on me, so even if one of them does die, it would probably keep me up at night.



mullen said:

For the 2 modes, I think it has been mentioned in the dialog at least twice (one is friendship upgrade, another is dlc), that the debate of which one values more: achieve overall victory, or make everyone alive. Also, I refused to think that soft reset for classical mode is cheating or equals to casual mode: I just consider it as that whenever your unit dies, game over, so you need to reset. Therefore, the game forces you to consider how to save every single unit instead of just think about how to defeat enemies, and you can't use sacrifice as strategy.



Drawdler said:

It makes the game accessible to more people, and is optional, so it can only be a good thing! This is my first Fire Emblem game, and I'm glad that they added Casual mode. I will play through Classic in the future.



sweetiepiejonus said:


Good point. If you think about it, it's easier to just let your characters die than it is try again and prevent them from suffering the same fate. I typically try to repeat my moves to try and recreate the same situation. Even though I had just started I could have just let Lissa die but I wanted to try again to protect her this time. Not because I was attached to her but just because I saw it as a challenge.

But if that means I'm not hardcore, so be it. I'm not that concerned with being accepted by the elitists.



Pokefanmum82 said:

casual mode all the way for me. I have three young kids and don't have time for a lot of gaming. I think it's great that they included this mode. I don't think I would have bought it otherwise. But props to those people who can play it with permadeath on and on the harder difficulties. It's just not for me.

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