It's rather hard to believe, but Fire Emblem If will be releasing in Japan on 25th June. This is made all the more surprising because relatively little is known about the game at this point. Here's a quick breakdown of what we do know so far:
- The story will follow the war between a 'good' kingdom (Hoshido) and an 'evil' kingdom (Nohr)
- At least in Japan, there will be two versions; one following the storyline of Hoshido, the other following the storyline of Nohr
- The storyline of the other version will be available as DLC
- A third, neutral storyline will be released sometime after launch
- Digital copies will allow the player the choice between the two kingdoms, but once a side is picked, it won't be changeable.
- Choices made by the player will have a greater impact on the story than in past entries
- Nohr will be considered the harder campaign, with more difficult and varied mission objectives and fewer opportunities to acquire gold or EXP for characters
- Hoshido will be the easier campaign, offering an experience more alike to Fire Emblem: Awakening
- Pair Up will return from Fire Emblem: Awakening, though now there are new variations called Attack Stance and Guard Stance.
It's a fairly safe bet that Nintendo will devote some time to revealing more details about this in its E3 Digital Event, but for those of you that don't want to wait until then, Famitsu just confirmed a few more details about the game in its most recent issue.
One of the biggest announcements was the reveal of the new 'Phoenix Mode', which will be included to help ease in newcomers to the series. While Classic Mode will feature permanent death for characters and Casual Mode will have temporary death that lasts for the rest of the battle, Phoenix Mode will allow fallen characters to rejoin the fight in the next turn. Another important addition is the 'Dragon Pulse'. The Dragon Pulse will be a technique usable by members of the royal family on either side that will enable them to drastically change the landscape, such as by building bridges, causing earthquakes, or flattening mountains. Also, in a move to shake up series convention, weapons will no longer have limited uses; emphasis will be placed on using the right weapon in the right situation. In regards to the player character, customization options will be more robust than ever and the player's starting class will be 'Dark Prince/Princess'.
What do you think of the changes being made? If Nintendo opts to do a dual release in the West, which version will you be picking up? Share your thoughts in the comments below.