Fire Emblem has gone from down-and-out strategy series to one of Nintendo's crown jewels, and its recent surge in popularity has predictably had a positive impact on its creator, Intelligent Systems.
Prior to the launch of Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates on the 3DS – the former of which is credited with restoring the gaming public's interest in the series – the Japanese studio employed 130 people. As of January 2020, that figure has swelled to 169 staff – the highest level it has ever been at the company.
Of that total, 68 people are employed as graphic designers, while 63 are programmers. 14 are listed as 'planners' (the Japanese term for designers), while 10 are working in 'sound creation'. Hardware engineers total 4, and admin staff – including accounting and sales – amount to 10 people.
It's interesting to note that this growth in staff has also resulted in a rise in the number of female employees at Intelligent Systems. Since 2018, 31 percent of the total staff are listed as female.
More staff naturally means more cost, but thankfully Intelligent Systems' capital has risen accordingly, so that's not a massive issue. Back in 2011, the company's capital was listed as 23.9 million Yen. Fast forward to 2017, and that figure rose to 90 million Yen. We'd assume, given the success of Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the enduring popularity of Fire Emblem Heroes, the figures will continue to head in the right direction in 2020.
So, when are we getting that Advance Wars sequel?
I wish they'd grow another bloody Advance Wars game.
Well I just hope it doesn't lead them to straying too far from the strategy battle side of things and into the social sim stuff. That's where pretty much all of the innovation has been in Fire Emblem in recent years.
It's fine as it is, but I wouldn't want them to go any further in that direction. Get back to improving the battle aspects in future games please.
@coderkind the real question is when a real Paper Mario game will come up? 👀
So what are the 158 or so who weren't working on Three Houses doing? Koei Tecmo did most of 3H.
I'd love a new AW, but I'd want whoever designed Fates Conquest on it. I wouldn't trust the map designers of any other modern FE, if they're different people.
@Tykut interesting it looks like an increase to me
It looks like the percentage has increased between 2011 and 2020. Graphs, especially those with large graduations, are a little difficult to generate precise figures from but overall head count in 2011 appears to be 130 employees while 2020 appears to be 170. 30 were women in 2011 and 50 in 2020. That means women were about 23% of the workforce then and 29% now. Not explosive growth, and it dipped to 21% in 2015, but it's something...
Oh Fire Emblem...I keep going to the eShop to look at that nice 33% discount and swiftly leaving again.
Because I know that if I let temptation get the better of me, I will be up 'til 4 in the morning coddling my tiny, digital, murder darlings.
And frankly, I can't do that anymore, my body and mind can't take that anymore. I'm too damned old.
Kids! House! Wife! Work!
I can't add Fire Emblem to that mix; a figurative fifth wheel hammered onto my squeaky figurative carriage on my personal figurative Oregon Trail.
But I want it, god how I want it.
Maybe just a taste, I can always quit if I want to...
Glad they are doing well, but I do hope that at some point this will translate to another "classic" FE game. I don't mind the Hogwarts murder simulator, it's a decent game in it's own right, but it's tonally even more off than Awakening/Fates + challenge, that was always an integral part of the series in my book, is no longer existent.
It almost feels if Awakening -> Three Houses pushed FE in a similar direction like SMT: The spin-off overtaking the mainseries in a way, if you want to consider 3 Houses a spin-off.
I love Persona, but I'm also bloody starved for SMT V. Persona is super dandy and all, but sometimes you want something else than a highschool demon slaying simulator. I just love the tone and atmosphere in SMT. P5 felt like a course correction to the lightheartedness and downright goofiness of P4, which was already a bit at odds with P3, but still ... Nocturne none of these games are.
FE and SMT were always stand-outs for me, precisely because they were not jRPGs drowning in fan service, anime tropes, moe and waifus. Please don't take that away from us With Mist Walker gone and Tri-Ace pretty much gone as well ... there is very little left for jRPGs fans appreciating a tone different from Highschool of the Dead.
I wish I could share the happiness, but as far as I'm concerned modern FE (Everything since Awakening) has been just one disappointment after another, there is still some fun to be had but it's a far cry from what the series used to be. Not to mention the disappearance of Advance Wars.
Hopefully with their continued growth, they'll be able to make new games with the strengths of both the old (stronger, more challenging gameplay) and the new (well-written characters that aren't the main character).
@Ralek85 wasn't echoes more of a traditional fe game?
Makes me wonder how fast we will hear about the next Fire Emblem project they are working on, as we know DLC is probably done for Three House from this point on. A port or remake of an older game? 3DS game? Or a new game, just curious on what is next
Take a break with Fire Emblem for a couple years and bring us an Advance Wars sequel!!!!
So... Codename Steam on switch?
While it WAS a remake of an old game, Echoes remade Gaiden, which was and still is one of the least traditional games in the series.
@Gasarakii There's datamines showing data for 2 more DLC patches in 3H, so either they got scrapped or they're coming later on. Personally I think if we get anything more this year it'll be around April 20th, since it's the 30th Anniversary of Fire Emblem.
Absolutely and I absolutely enjoyed it. Sadly though, it was not exactly a "new" game in the FE franchise, more like a remake. Also ... not sure it did all that well. So compared to Awakening and Fate (which subjectively received all whole lot more of advertisement and subsequent media coverage) it might have been the final nail in the coffin for FE games, that are not about waifus
I thought Thee Houses was pretty mediocre.
If success means more fan service tea parties and bathing suit dlcs than I want the old Intelligent Systems back.
I look forward to whatever the bulk of them have been working on since echoes!
Maybe we will find out this year!
Interestingly, only ~17 Intelligent Systems staff members worked on Fire Emblem Three Houses.
@Ralek85 Fair ‘nuff, but I see Three Houses as a interesting evolution for the series. The problem may not be the added social aspects, but rather some of the cardboard character interactions and dialogue. I actually think the social systems interconnect well with the more traditional combat gameplay, but the monastery can be a little boring sometimes because the writing can be a bit bland and robotic. Also it takes a considerable amount of time for the intriguing aspects of the plot to get their hooks into you when that should’ve been there in the opening 2 hours. So yeah sometimes it seems like you are just interacting with spreadsheets and numbers with anime faces attached to them, instead of really feeling like you are developing emotional bonds with the story and characters.
But I still think it is one of the best Switch exclusives and took a risk with the formula that mostly paid off. Hopefully the next one they will step their writing game up a little more though.
To be fair, while Awakening (and later games) are a departure from the exact old formula, one can't deny the success they've had with these changes (as opposed to the decline pre-Awakening was about to bottom out on).
I think it comes down to: would you rather the series be alive to fight another day (with a massively renewed fanbase), or, a series that might just be dead and forgotten in the discount pile of a used game store?
Apparently the new Fire Emblem business model works wonders in terms of company capital.
@Echostory - Cannot deny that success, it opened it up so much more to the common gamer. But there is still at least the "Echoes" remakes, that they spoke on being a series they revisit, so there is that.
That being said, I am going to my corner and weep in Advance Wars, that's never coming back.
Advance Wars with Fire Emblem waifus will sell a lot.
Please give us a proper advance wars its been too long. I bought project STEAM if that sways them.
Now if they could give us a new, truly amazing Paper Mario and Advanced Wars games, that’d be great.
I hope not everything from Fire Emblem.. Fire Emblem has limited level up.. you have too choose which pawn you're going to level up. There is no free battles to gain more levels before you progress. IMO most studios delivered the better Fire Emblem experience with free battles in it. To me Fire Emblem is just pure tactial game.. I call a game RPG if there is truly a freedom to level up as much as you like early in the game. As a player I should be able to make such choices... well with that said
@Alucard83 The last four Fire Emblem games allowed you to play optional maps to level yourself up, starting from early in the game.
@Kitchener Just get it or don't. It's the best thing on Switch anyway.
Make critical pieces of art and be left in mediocrity. Sell yourself out to mainstream halfhearted works and become rich and famous.
There is a music world analogy around here 🤔
An old school Paper Mario sequel would be nice.
FE: Three Houses certainly had the turn-based strategy I love about the franchise, but I admit the whole school aspect of it kind of got in the way after awhile. The campus is sprawling and it takes forever to cover everything and make sure to speak with everyone, and even then it's all too easy to miss a critical opportunity that might lead to a recruitment.
Don't get me wrong; it's still a fine game. But it just doesn't feel the same as Path of Radiance or Radiant Dawn. Those had their own "bonding conversations" and hidden goals, but it was the remarkable storyline with its deft handling of subject matter as mature as racism, slavery, and genocide that elevated it above Three Houses in my humble opinion. Plus those cutscenes never lasted long enough to really intrude on what seem to be a greater number and variety of battles and maps which make up the real meat of the gameplay.
If I have one major complaint with Three Houses, it's simply that too much of the emphasis was centered around the school and monastery as opposed to the battles. Both the theme (Trails of Cold Steel and numerous other JRPGs have had a school-centric theme) and the numerous "busy work" tasks made to draw out the play time (Cooking Meals, Tea Parties, Fishing, etc.) feel derivative and tacked-on. Sometimes less is more, and I hope that future installments of Fire Emblem will go back to being leaner and meaner, focusing more on the great strategy and storytelling that made the franchise great before it was even popular.
@coderkind, Agreed with regard to Advance Wars. The Switch would also be an ideal testbed for adding a fully featured multiplayer mode.
I don’t know if modern FE games have changed, but I remember the weakness triangle system being as simple as an iOS 5 cent game.
In my opinion FE doesn’t even come close to the battle system of Advance Wars .... and I think it’s due time for another one of those.
FE feels like the new popular kid on the block who just became a little annoying due to his popularity.
Came on here to comment on the need for new Paper Mario and/or Advance Wars games. Already covered I see.
If they’ve grown so much, maybe they can finally make that sequel to one of the greatest tactical strategy games ever: Advance Wars: Dual Strike, heck port the first 4 games to Switch too (though I don’t know how the Dual Screen would be compensated for).
@Kitchener you can do it, 10 minutes at a time, I believe in you! That said, I’d love for Oregon Trail to be ported to Switch by Hamster in their Arcade Archives series or something..
@NotTelevision I dunno, yes and no. It was obvious that something needed to change, and they took the series in an interesting direction with Three Houses. Some of it worked, some didn't in my view. I think the monastry was for instance kinda pointless indeed and hampered the gamings pacing quite a bit.
Really though, all of that aside, my main issue - and that is why I originally mentioned Persona - is tone and atmosphere. My favourite FE is still Path of Radiance. I often compare it to Berserk, though obviously it is not nearly as (grim-)dark as Miura's work, it still dealt with serious themes, such as racism, pretty much right away and most characters felt more or less like mature individuals, caught up in a series of serious conflicts with meaningful stakes.
The sense of being part of band of mercenaries, slowly but steadily getting involved in all kinds of important affairs worked quite well to communicate those stakes, the gruesomeness of war and so on and so forth.
I just feel, that tonally Three Houses does not work at all, or if it does it takes way, way too long to get to that point. It is just so odd to be in Hogwarts at one point, then to be on the field of battle slaugthering dozens upon dozens of humans and then ... well, back at Hogwarts literally haging out with your fellow butchers having tea time and - depending on the character - discuss how to deal with teen-angst.
This already felt at odds in Awakening, but Three Houses really magnifies the issue ten-fold for me.
The game just feels tonally all over the map, plus jumping between those "moods" at a rapid pace, so it never felt coherent to me. It felt like the game was made up of separate parts, that connected to each other, sure, but were not cut from the one same cloth.
The way the game was structured, with long stretch of time, you commited to busy work (like running around in the pointless monastry), literally doing school work of sorts, and selecting missions without much or no story relevance from a "menu", instead of natural story progression chosing for you, underlined that feeling for me.
The game constantly lacked urgency. Nothing seemed to happen at any natural, given pace. It was so odd to have a story emergency on your hand, but then ... you went on to do some gardening and having lunch and doing some training missions for a couple of weeks, and THEN you get to the "good" stuff.
It felt like padding and time wasting, but even worse, it killed the games sense of immersion and place for me. That and the inconsistent tone, meant I only connected with (some) characters, but never with the world, the conflicts or the resulting motivations. All of that felt incredibly arbitrary and far away and really contrived, ultimately meaningless.
Things got better, I feel, later on, but in view, it was too little, to late.
There were other issues as well, like the severely limited difficulty, the A.I., which as far as I can tell, underwent some radical changes. Probably due to the implementation of casual mode, which made an A.I. whose whole purpose is to score just that one character kill at all cost, kinda meaningless.
I don't hate the game, I don't even dislike it, but it's more like Persona 4 to me. A game that is really at odds with it's prequel, even it sequel and definitely the main series it sprung out of. It still is a good game, and insanely popular for sure, but it never clicked with me. I just like the dark and broody atmosphere of virtually anything SMT ever made, better than P4. I hated Teddy, still do, and the random dungeons had also worn out their welcome by the time P4 released.
P5 fixed virtually all my problems with P4. As amazing as P5 is though, it cannot and should replace SMT as such, as SMT Nocturne and V/V:A were amazing games in their own right and completely different beast - same goes for Digital Devil Saga of course.
Like I said, that is my real problem with Three Houses. It feels like a killing blow to "classic FE". I'm not one of those people blaming Persona for the death of SMT (even though I am kinda annoyed that they dropped the SMT lable with P4 and now P5), seeing as SMT is very much alive, with a whole lot of 3DS games and SMT V already announced - even though we have heard nothing of it for years now.
FE though ... classic FE feels dead. Remakes aside, I think the last "classic" FE game released in the west must have been Radiant Dawn in 2007. Now that was 13 years ago.
I dunno, I still haven't given up hope obviously, but at this point I am very much disappointed that Nintendo could not even be bothered to give us an HD remaster of PoR/RD for Switch, with some proper fanfare, so that fans post-awakening can have a chance to even try their hand at "classic FE" on the Switch.
Unlike Persona, I just don't feel all that invested in FE that is super obsessed with waifus, harem/breeding and other anime tropes. The combat is still somewhat fun, but the rest ... meh, there are billions of games out there catering to the folks into this stuff, but darker, more mature takes on the genre are getting increasingly rare.
Again, I point to personally favourites of mine, like Lost Odyssey, Vagrant Story, Resonance of Fate and such. These were by and large far, far, far removed from any anime teenie high school drama - and so was Path of Radiance. I wonder if the audience has shifted or if we all kinda regressed or if there is a deep desire for a different kind of escapism ... dunno, but it feels like a general trend for these types of game to be somewhat infantile, if you will.
I say that as someone who throughly enjoyed Tokyo Mirage Session #FE and even double-dipped on the Switch. Still, I need more than one variety of jRPGs to keep my interest up. I really hope that we will soon get some news on SMT V and that this game can deliver in that regard.
PS: I feel like Ocotpath Travel had the right idea more often that not in that regrad but sadly, I could never quite get on board with the game's structure either, seeing as it had a similar problem in the way it never quite flowed right due to the way each story was separate and dolled out in small chuncks. The sense of a sweeping grand narrative, a consistent world and clear motivations and conflict never materialized there neither.
Shout out to Crimson Shroud, which was just proof-of-concept on the 3DS, but showed that japanese developers have not forgotten that there are settings outside of high schools and characters that are not more-or-less angsty teens.
Awesome! One of my favorite devs and I am very happy to see that female recruitment has gone up.
You do know that they've remade the older games right? Shadow Dragon, New Myster, and Echoes? Nintendo/IntSys are nothing like Atlus. They don't forget what's got them to this point. The problem with Atlus is that spin-offs have taken over the main series of SMT while FE has been going stronger through every release since Shadow Dragon DS. The only FE spin-offs are TMS and Warriors (and Heroes I guess). None of which have even come close to eclipsing the main series in popularity. Nintendoes what Atlusn't.
Exactly. This is what many people don't even realize. FE is successful BECAUSE of the more "approachable" style of modern anime-like things. Awakening was the game that would've determine if the series got cancelled and look where we are now.
Admittedly, they did go too far with Fates and it put a lot of people off but only because Awakening was successful and they figured people would want more. They messed up a bit. But with Three Houses they reeled it back in and made things more wholesome this time around. It's not a "kawaii-desu" cutesy creepy game with implications of family getting too close. It's a game about war with great characters. Nothing more.
@JR150 That's my point though. 3 Houses is the game, that has started to feel like a spin-off to me, since it is significantly removed from the 'core games', not to say, has introduced a new core experience altogether, while also employing a vastly different tone.
And yes, I enjoyed the remakes, esp. Shadows of Valentia, but they are still just that: remakes.
Sorry you feel that way but it's not a spin-off. It's a legitimate game in the series that decided to evolve on the formula with social aspects as a teacher. It's still Fire Emblem. You don't have to like them, no. Nor do I think every FE title after this needs to have it. But it's still mainline Fire Emblem.
But I would very much rather a game series seek to improve and evolve rather than stay the same and drown in stagnation. Looks at Pokemon and New Super Mario games With Three Houses being the best selling game so far, of course it'll be recognized. It won two game awards. And hey, fans of the classic era can play the classic games and remakes. That's the whole point of them considering us Americans never got a lot of the OG titles. Heck, the Ashen Wolves story was made without the social system specifically for the longtime fans in mind. So yeah. They're still miles ahead of what Atlus does as they pretend to care about MegaTen only to push Persona in everyone's faces instead. Not to mention a Paper Mario title might be coming soon as well, so don't trip.
@Ralek85 I'm totally with you on the SMT thing: I fell in love with IV (still one of my all-time faves), so it disheartened me a little to see Apocalypse go in a more Persona-esque direction; don't get me wrong, the gameplay additions in Apocalypse were fantastic (especially elemental affinities and stacking skills), but the tone went from "OMG the twist at the beginning and oh it's so serious and morally gray and OHMYGOD HOW I LOVE THIS GAME" to "hey, remember IV? Go play around in that setting with a bunch of anime kids doing anime kids stuff". Yay.
So my worry about V is that it follows in Apocalypse's footsteps, especially seeing how much success P5 had.
And yeah, I wanna play Persona, but I don't want SMT to become Persona 2: But Lesser 'Cause It Doesn't Sell As Much, I hope they keep the SMT identity because there really isn't anything else like it on the market.
@westman98 I didn't know that! Who was responsible for developing it then?
Intelligent Systems employees managed high level positions (director, producers, lead designers, etc) on Fire Emblem Three Houses. Most of the grunt work was handled by Koei Tecmo (their name appears in the game's credits).
The fact that so many Intelligent Systems employees didn't work on Three Houses makes me think they were working on something else, ala Paper Mario.
I'm glad Intelligent Systems is doing well. I've enjoyed almost every game from them I have played.
It would be nice if, since FE is doing well, they could either revive Advance Wars, or just give us a collection of the GBA/DS games on Switch and then if that does well (and my guess is that it will) then revive the series.
No disrespect to it's fans, but personally I'm glad the Famicom/Advance Wars series is dead - Fire Emblem is WAY better in my opinion. Old school or new school, doesn't matter to me - I love them both equally. The more Fire Emblem, the better.
@westman98 uh, I didn't know that! Weird that Ninty and IS would let "strangers" handle such an important IP, but then again they were already entrusted with both Zelda and FE musous.
@JR150 Well, I always told people, that permadeath and a difficutly curve lending meaning to said permadeath, were an integral part of FE. This is no longer so. That is just one instance where the game has fundamentally shifted from the traditional experience. In Awakening this was an afterthought as - outside the gamebreakign DLC, which also killed the ressource management aspect of previous titles - was still intact, esp. the A.I., which as I said worked towards permadeath not victory. That is also no longer the case in Three Houses.
The school activities are also entirely new and as far as actual playtime goes, a heavy focus is put on them. The list goes on, with a strong focus on bonding and social interactions OUTSIDE of combat, which previously were absent or very limited and occured during combat scenarions, mostly by having characters fight close to each other.
Hell, I would say Three Houses is 100% a spin-off in anything but name, as large parts of the core gameplay have been significantly changed and a major focus has been placed on previously inexistent parts.
It makes sense as well, seeing as it is first non-pure-handheld game in almost 1,5 decades following in the shoes of an alread significant shift in the series, aka Awakwning, which in hindsigt, like I said, feels almost traditional by comparsion.
I will therefore always consider Three Houses a spin-off, esp. if it turns out that we will never again get another traditional FE game with a focus on tactical combat, strategic ressource management (exp, items and such), permadeath and a story about warfare - without a focus on teenagers and bonding/breeding.
It's like Persona dropping the SMT moniker in name. It is still a SMT spin-off! No matter whether the name given acknowledges this or not. The facts are indisputable.
@clvr Persona 5 in particular is an absolut blast. I might actually go for Royal and replay it, despite it'S length and my inhuman backlog. I'm also looking forward to Scramble, which looks surprisingly good and more P5 is always weclome - at least for now ^^ Hell, top this off by me just waiting for another Persona Q2 sale on 3DS to get my hands on even more Joker-and-Friends time ... I even own a bunch of P5 collectibles and certainly the amazing soundtrack.
Having said all that, Persona should not be the be all and end all of Atlus. The combat used to have such a breath of niche content, as a publisher and developer, to offer to players, that it would be a shame if they truely became the Persona-Company. I also firmly believe, that this would result in Persona sooner rather than later becoming stale.
I wish they would at least put the same kind of marketing effort in other SMT projects as they do for Persona and most of all put "Shin Megami Tensei" back on the Person box. It is INSANE that people play and love Persona, without even realizing that it is part of a universe/franchise that is much older and much, much bigger than Persona - yes, some folks play and love Persona and still have ZERO knowledge of SMT.
It just bugs the hell out of me, esp. seeing how much of Persona is ripped straight out of SMT still, the least of it the demons, their design and fusion system, the skills and such.
I haven't played any of the other Fire Emblem games so I can't really debate you in that regard. However, by that logic does that make Breath of the Wild a spin-off just because it plays differently and has unique mechanics compared to other Zeldas? Does that make Odyssey a spin-off just because it plays differently and has unique mechanics compared to other Mario titles? Does that make Resident Evil 7 a spin-off just because it plays differently and has unique mechanics compared to other Resident Evil games? Does that make Final Fantasy XV...you get the point.
I get what you're saying but saying "3H isn't a real FE" completely devalues and undermines the work that went into making this game. Not every single game in a series has to play identically to each other in order to be considered part of the same series. Double Dash is the only Mario Kart game that features 2 characters per kart and it's still Mario Kart. If you don't enjoy Three Houses compared to other FE titles that's fine. But it's a false equivalence when you compare it to Persona. Persona has the demons of SMT and nothing more. It's a spin-off by very definition because it's meant to be a completely separate game and appeal to a different audience altogether. Three Houses while altering itself compared to past titles is meant to be the next mainline entry and appeal to veteran FE fans as well as newcomers. And it sounds like it just didn't hit the mark for you personally, which is fine. You don't have to like everything.
But again, claiming it isn't a real FE title and acting as if it's not good enough for anyone (when loads of people have said it's the best thing to happen to FE) just kinda disrespects what the developers set out to do with this game. And if you didn't mean it that way, I apologize, but that's how it sounds. At the end of the day, it's the 16th game in the Fire Emblem series whether you see it as such or not. Classic/Permadeath Mode and Hard/Maddening(Lunatic) are still there for old fans to enjoy. So I'm not sure what else to tell you. Bonds and Support conversations have always been a focus of the entire series anyways so...just because the main cast is younger it's bad? I don't get what you mean. Everyone becomes an adult once the timeskip hits so yeah. Not sure what else to say. ¯(ツ)/¯
A new Advance Wars would be nice.
@Bobb It makes me quite sad to hear that.
Fire Emblem: Awakening, Fates, Three Houses, Codename: S.T.E.A.M, Pushmo and even the latest Paper Mario games...They're all experimental and risky, they couldn't tell for sure they would succeed, until they did or didnt. But they went for it.
Yet you have people downplaying these, and harkening back to when the company was really playing it safe as possible as an artistic peak. Shoddy journalists asking about Advance Wars during the codename: S.T.E.A.M reveal or a "real" Paper Mario as if the latest are too different to count.
Where's the creativity in slopping out a repackaged version of what people already liked? That's the music industry.
And you know what's sad? That self-destructive thinking is exactly what has led to the Pokemon series becoming a stagnant shell of its former self because Sword/Shield are being constantly hammered with criticism on ways to improve the series but it sells millions upon millions so why improve?
Meanwhile Fire Emblem has always been experimental in its approach and yet it's nowhere even close of dreaming to selling half the numbers Pokemon does. For an SRPG it's doing great of course, but it just shows you what the priorities of the average, everyday consumer are. They'll accept whatever comes no matter what and there's nothing we can do.
It's only through "bad" games like Fates and Sticker Star or revolutionary games like Awakening and STEAM that companies can actually aim to find a balance and strike exactly what the consumers really want without becoming the same tired old thing. That is why Three Houses has gotten overwhelmingly positive reception while Sword/Shield have gotten overwhelmingly negative reception online. The New Super Mario Bros., FIFA, Madden, and Call of Duty series suffer the same problems as well.
I never played Advanced Wars, but I got the impression that everyone is in the game is happy happy joy joy, while attacking with tanks and other war machines killing many people?
@Ralek85 SMT was only used in the title in the west to sell the game better.
They both use demons/personas, but they aren't like each other beyond that, other than 5 adding in negotiations.
Pokemon is a SMT spin off too.
@Ralek85 the aspects that make Persona Persona is why people like it more than SMT. SMT no longer needs to be added to the title to help sell it. If anything, is expect SMT V to be "Persona: Shin Megami Tensei V".
@JR150 you're a bit wrong about BOTW. It's essentially a new open world game that has LOZ stuff thrown in it. I would have said Nintendo should have made it a separate IP, but then it wouldn't have sold as well, nor would it have taken the hype from HZD at that time.
That being said I dont think simply copying past formulas is good either. Nintendo had been trying to recreate the success of OoT for 15 years and failing. However that leads me to a different thing: why depend on consistent franchises? Why not just make a game when you have the fresh idea and not retire them instead of the obligatory release every few years? Sort of like what they did with Pikmin or F-Zero (I actually think F-Zero is dead, and with Wipeout in an unknown situation, maybe the entire genre is dead).
@Trajan Persona audience are mostly casuals who never played another Atlus game, the big sales of Persona 5 proved it. So their opinion about other Atlus games has the same value as the Pokemon fanbase.
@Trajan Persona is a SMT spin-off. That has nothing to do with Pokemon or it's mechanics. It was originally part of SMT (just like for instance Digita Devil Saga) and uses not only SMT mechanics, but actual assests and designs.
My point was not that SMT help Persona sell games, but the other way round: SMT is and always was a niche franchise. Persona, having overcome that niche, could help sell SMT games. Maybe people only like SMT Persona, for the specific Persona aspect ... maybe not. I actually know a quite a few people who enjoy a whole lot of SMT games outside of Persona, plus Persona.
Given the similarities that still exist (certainly in terms of underlying mechanics and design/mythology) and the general excellent quality of all SMT games beyond Persona, it would hardly be a surprise for some Persona-fans to find joy in something like Digital Devil Saga or say Devil Survivor.
The latter in particular has a very similar vibe to Persona in many regards (and is incidentially also a sRPG like FE ^^).
I think Persona's underlying theme of non-conformity is well taken, but looking at P5 ... I dunno, it feels a bit done-and-done. SMT games feature a much broader thematic palette, with various religious and philosophic themes through-out, that coudl definitely entice - esp. older - Persona players, who look for something similar, yet different, if you catch my drift
10 minutes at the time?!
You don't know what Awakening did to me.
Oh the grind, oh how I grinded. -ground?
Replaying missions over and over and over again just to make sure every single character was an over-leveled murder god.
Oh how smugly I would snicker every time my apex predators wiped the battlefield with their opponents.
But that's the nice stuff...
Awakening turned me into a hard core eugenicist, Mengele would be proud (I suppose he is, but I've never been to Argentina and I can't find him on Facebook... oh my, I'm sure Mengele loves Fire Emblem).
Sure, I played for 10 minutes. Then 10 more right after that, and after that....
Fire Emblem is bad for me.
@glaemay That argument makes no sense at all.
@Ralek85 Yes but gameplay wise SMT is basically a dungeon crawler. Persona is often the same way, but with the social elements added on top. I like both series, but I would be lying if I said I liked SMT anywhere near as much as Persona. Persona is RPG comfort food.
As soon as BotW 2 is released, assuming it will follow suit on the design choices of it predecessor, I would definitely consider BotW a spin-off to classic Zelda.
That will absolutely hold true, if Nintendo does not abandon the legacy of previous Zelda games and creates more games in the vein of OoT/ALttP. What is the point of calling two games that share a common name, but play utterly different "Zelda", when this clearly refers to a particular "genre" and not just a named franchise.
If I tell someone who liked Ocarina of Time, they should go play BotW because it is a "great modern Zelda game", basically OoT to the Switch, they MIGHT come away super disappointed, because BotW in large part plays very, very little like OoT. It's only a name then, no longer a label.
That has no bearing on the quality of the game. One could argue that SMT Peronsa does alot better (certainly in terms of menu design for instance) than SMT - on a very objective level. Persona still is and always will be a series of spin-off games to SMT, which has strong similarities but also diverges significantly in other areas.
Hell, to me BotW is much more dissimilar from OoT than Persona is dissimilar to SMTV/:A for instance.
You are completely wrong about Persona though. Persona shares alot more than the demons, and many art assests in that regard, particularly the older games with 2D assests. It shares the combat by and large, as well as the elemental weakness system, turn-based combat, the dungeon crawling, 3rd-person perspective, the whole skill/spellcasting library ...
The differences arise in theme, audio-visual design and the whole socializing aspect outside of combat.
I cannot follow your argument, that I devalue anything. I appreciate BotW and Persona very much, maybe in some regards more so than their mainseries counterparts. I certainly love everything about Persoan, besides the potential to narrow SMT down to this one series, and by that virute killing of half a dozen other great series of SMT games/spin-offs. You make it sound like I hated Three Houses. I don't. I just like other FE games vastly better and I dislike the way they gutted many of the games many appeal features.
Also, and that is not meant to sound high-minded, I would highly suggest you try your hand at some FE games of yesteryear. You might just come to love them as well, maybe even more so. You might notice then, that even elements like support conversations have in fact not always been a focus of the series. In fact, they were not even always part of the series at all. That is just ... well, not sure what to tell, other than that is the way it is/was ¯(ツ)/¯
In fact, while the system was mostly present, it was not only Awakening that it even remotely become a strong series focus. Like I alluded to earlier that in itself was already a rather significant shift, but it was not that severly felt, because the underlying mechanics did not really change to accomondate that change - unlike in Three Houses.
It might be the best Thing to happen to FE for a variety of reasons: It not only kept the series - that was pretty much doomed from what I can tell before Awakening alive and well - and beyond that pushed to a level of popularity it had never before seen. It also changed the game up so much, that it could now appeal to folks who previously had zero interest in the game. Other reasons might apply as well. I also think many people never played another FE game or only started with Awakening. That is not a criticism, but from that personal point of view, Three Houses seems like logical progression, bascially an enhanced version. If I liked Awakening for what it was and what previous FE games weren't, I would certainly LOVE Three Houses as it goes all out on those aspects.
Still, the latter in particular is a subjective viewpoint. The changesa are dramatic, that much is clear, but we all can and obviously disagree if the are for the better or the worse.
Lastly, you are wrong in saying, that veterans can simply enjoy the game as it is as well. I already tried to explain that the changes this time around went much, much deeper. The difficulty scaling is just no longer there, the A.I. has been reworked, permadeath has no meaning, as you simply won't die no matter what if you have any experience with series (outside of some random mistakes or intentionally killing yourself off, which is obviously possible).
The moment-to-moment combat dynamic is completely different. That is aggravated for instance also by the new forecasting system in place. All in all, like stated above, it is hard to explain how different even the combat works now, and that is not even accounting for the dramatic removal and simplification of the system itself, aka the Weapons and Magic triangle, which for (most) FE games was an absolute corner stone of the system that very much informed your tactical choices. It's just completely gone.
I dunno .. it's ludicrous to pretend the games still play the same for veterans. Looking at a Youtube video, you might think they largely do, but that is only the most superficial aspects of what USED TO BE a rather deep and challenging game about STRATEGIC and TACTICAL choices.
I only talked about the tactical side of things, but on the ssssRPG (strategic) side many changes were made as well. I won't elaborate, because if you are unfamiliar with the series, I don't think it will really help sell the rift between pre-Awakening games and Three Houeses, but suffice to say that by making the game more welcoming to newcomers and a broader audience, here as well significant changes were employed.
The worst thing I can say about Three HOuses and that is a criticisim I cannot ignore, is that it was made a helluva lot easier. Easier to understand, get into, but also master and ultimately beat. I don't think it was would be objectively wrong to say the game was dumbed down.
And no, the patched in Madness difficutly could not redress all these problems, not in the slightest. I just found it boring to be able - just a couple of hours in - to run through the map with one or two characters, without much of any effort to plan my moves ahead of making them.
It's not what I wanted from FE. That is not really "my issue" though, because that "want" was informed by a dozen previous games. It's not a personal projection. It a core appeal that held true even for Fates still. It just came to me as a surprise, that after more than two decades, the game was a different beast entirely.
I can understand how you would feel calling Three Houses a spin-off was silly elitism on my part as a "veteran", but ... if you look beyond the superficial back-of-the-box blurbs and a screenshot, it must be obvious to anyone, that under the hood much has changed, new parts are there and other crucial parts are entirely gone.
IF you will: It is still a car, sure, but it no longer uses combustion engine but an electric one. It still serves the same purpose, looks the same or similar, but in many aspects, the characterisics are changed all the way and for good. Not sure if that is a better comparison, but it's the best I can think of right off the top of my head
Seriously though, I highly recommend a game like Shadows of Valentia on the 3DS, which is classic in many ways, but also modern and even unique to FE in others (like the 3rd person dungeon "crawling" elements for instance). Or try some of the Virtual Console games available on the WiiU if you have one around. Or just an emulator for some of the GBA titles.
Best of all get your hands on a copy of Path of Radiance for the Gamecube and give that a shoot. It still is my favourite in the series, I feel the world building ,writing and characters, not to mentioned the not (sorry to call it that) "dumbed down systems" plues the console-level presenation, make it easily the best of the bunch. It still is rather accessible with a digestiable difficulty and by the end it will play not unsimilar to THree Houses. Ike will be a one man army. It just won't happen 5 hours in, but rather 25 hours in.
It's also a much shorter, better paced game, with little to no filler content. YOu will never wander around the monastry having - what I felt - rather meaningless chit-chat dialogue with teenagers.
All I'm saying is: Try it, you might quite possibly absolutely adore it! It still is modern enough to not feel retro, while also not having a design compromised by the Must-Appeal-To-Everyone mindset of this day and age. It is very light on anime b**bies though
@Trajan Outside of combat/dungeon crawling, Persona is much different and those aspects take up a much larger part of the game/are barely existent in classic SMT. That much is true, but still, all these other parts, as I said, are very much informed by SMT and some are straight up carbon copies. That is zero criticism towards either, just an objective observation.
I'm not sure which series I enjoy more. I really loved P3 and P5, but was only lukewarm on P4 Golden, because it no longer felt SMT in terms of the game mood. It was just to light for my taste. Too many jRPGs do that already. Equally SMT Nocturne is still an absolute series high-point, but it lacks many modern conveniences, that made for ultimately a better experience.
SMT V was pretty good, but the combat - due to their 2D nature - felt incredibly stale and static. P5 did a much better job in that regard. I hope SMT V can follow suit here.
I dunno, I love both parts equally I guess. Sometimes I am in the mood for one, something for the other. I also really loved Mirage Sessions which was super goofy for a SMT game, but it just embraced that and rolled with it all the way, why possibly having the best and most entertaining combat in all of the seires so far, certainly the most dynamic presentation.
Hell, in all of jRPG'ism, MIrage Sessions combat might be the most fun I had watching turn-based combat, normally somewhat dull, play out.
THat is outside of Resonance of Fate of course. Nothing will EVER beat Resonance of Fates in terms of flashy and unique turn-based combat. It's godhood in that regard will forever be left untainted
Seeing as how YouTube and the internet in general is merely a small portion of the core audience and combining that with the fact that Three Houses is the best selling game in the series, I'm not sure if it's so easy to say that FE veterans dislike this game. If they did, then it wouldn't have sold so well. The average consumer simply plays games, not every die hard fan has a YT channel. And what you like vastly differs from what others do. No offense but neither you nor anyone on YouTube speaks for every single fan at large so it's not possible to label this game as "old school FE fans won't like it." Maybe you personally think they won't, but there's probably loads of people that do. Hence why it's at nearly 3 million copies sold.
Otherwise, fair enough. I haven't played any of the other titles so I can't comment further.
New advance wars please (or even to start with a retro collection!)
@Ralek85 I don't think 3H is about waifus. You can't marry until late game. There are lot of inovations regading battles, such as battalions, gambits, combat arts and monsters. I'm playing my second playthrough on maddening and it is A LOT fun.
Remarkable how they’ve turned it around. I actually really like the new games. I think the series needed the change. If I have any complaints, it’s that 3 Houses has almost too much going on, but otherwise it’s a fantastic game.
Very positive development that more female players eventually translates to more female job applicants of suitable skill. :9
Exactly. It's not a waifu sim or anything of the sort. You're a teacher teaching students. You're literally raising an army of overpowered soldiers so they become powerful men and women by the end of the game. How is it hard for people to understand? This is a war game, through and through.
@JR150 Well, except for the fact, that buying a game and liking a game, not to mention loving a game, are hardly the same. I do like the game, but I do not love it. Also, I like it more for what it is than, as you put it, just the next game in the venerable FE series. As such it is deeply flawed in my eyes. Viewed on its own merits, it's more than fine.
Point being though, I bought the game Day 1. And I still feel about it just the way I describe. How many folks bought it and feel exactly the same? I dunno, but how in the hell would I really be disappointed by a game I never even bought and played.
Sure, I could have borrowed it or such, but then I probably never cared all thhhhaaattt much in the 1st place. I want FE to succeed. That is one part why I bought, and why I'll never regret it. What i really want though is for all of FE to succeed. Not just this spin-off, but not a spin-off called THree Houses. I do not want Persona to go away, not in billion years. But I want ALL of SMT to be alive and well, to some degree or another.
Simple as that ... incredibly hard as that Cheers!
@JR150 I never said it was a waifu sim or just about waifus. It's just that until Awakening waifus were not really a concern in FE games. And I am not just talking about mechanis here, but also simple things as character design. Three Houses in that regard deeply leans on a whole host of anime tropes, to a degree games pre-Awakening really didn''t.
As for the innovations, sure, but I just wish they would have mattered more. Did you continue to use the gambits and combat arts? Becasue frankly, I didn't, I just stopped. I did not see the point outside of rare instances like those beast encounters for instance. Mostly though, it was simply not necessary on hard (haven't really gotten into Maddening yet, so maybe it's a different story there). For everything else there were all kinds of things, but certainly not integral. Active skills are also not that innovative and as far as the tactical deepth goes, certainly the aforementioned challenge, they just did nothing to fill the gap left by the removal of the triangle. I am not hung up on the triangle, but just throwing in a bunch of skills that slightly altered certain attacks did not feel satisfactory to me personally.
Again, I stopped using them 95% of the time, and I did just fine. Ignoring the triangle 95% of the time ... that would not have worked out in previous games, I can say that much with absolute confidence. Sure, there were ways late game where the triangle was kinda obsolete or an afterthought, but never even remotely to that degree.
On a more positive note, I did like the battalions. FE games always told you, you were a leader of soldiers ... but there never were any soldiers to be lead on the field of battle. It is neat to see that be visualized for once and I like the idea, that provide bonuses and such. That part I kinda felt was like a big improvement on previous games. Partly due to a more powerful system of course, allowing for such display, but still, they did not have to implement it, but they did.
A change for the better in that regard. I just wished they had done more with them. I did not feel battalions were really integral on a tactical level. Again, they were not really needed from what I can tell from my time with the game. YOu could probably ignore them pretty much entirely if you really wanted to. That to me is always problematic when it comes to these types of games. Systems that are there, but that quickly start to feel optional ... problematic if they are supposed to be the ones to provide deepth to the experience. But so it goes.
@RaphaBoss Through and through? I cannot deny that this is possibl my fault ... but for at least the 1st 20+ hours, the tought that I was playing a "war game through and through" would not ever have crossed my mind. Ther is only so much Hogwarts tea time with cute anime girls I can engage in before my mind set drifts to a kinds of places, none of them are WAR!!!
Also, you guys don't have to "defend" Three Houses or your enjoyment of it. It is a very fine game. As I said, I just don't feel (and doubt I will be convinced otherwise) that it is a particularly fine game by FE series standarts. Taken on it's own, and I say that trying to supplement my whole spin-off point, it stands strong as unique take on the idea of what a game under the FE umbrella can be and do. Much, oh so much, was lost in the translation, but the result is still something very much worthwhile.
If you are ... uhm unburdened by the past, it might be even an incredible experience. I imagine anyone playing a remaster of a cult classic, even if the remastered is incredibly flawed, will have a blast. While a veteran might only be able to see those flaws ... not just different strokes/tastes then, but very much different perspectives.
@Ralek85 yeah it's kinda sad that all pf the success P5 made wasn't translated in interest towards SMT as a whole.
Atlus could've put out other SMT games to ride on the enthusiasm among the general public, yet they just milk P5 with a gajillion P5-related games.
Idk about you but I always make use of battalions and combat arts whenever possible. Knowing fliers can travel far but are weak to bows and don't get defensive tile advantages and that armor is strong to melee but weak to magic as well as breaking monster armor is all important. You may not find these mechanics important to you yourself personally and that's fine. But the average person can enjoy anything about this game. I certainly do. But don't claim that the deeper mechanics can't be enjoyed just because you yourself don't.
@JR150 If I really don't need the mechanic to succeed, it is definitely not important And yeah, I would say if that goes for me, it goes for anyone.
As for enjoyment, I dunno to be honest, I never thought about whether they were more enjoyable than standard attacks. That consideration never crossed my mind. I think I find them all equally enjoyable. It's not an action game after all, so it's really just me watching play out an animation.
I think I was probably forgoing using these active skills to not completely crush and burn any challenge the game had to offer. But don't quote me on that. I just forgot all about them a couple hours in and since they were not needed to do what you do ... yeah. Don't know what else to say. Hardly an afterthought to me, maybe not to others.
Objectively necessary they were not though.
@Ralek85 Yes, ditto, what You said, every fricken word. Thank You. I could not have said it better myself. oh and I loved Lost Odyssey.
@SyFyTy I'm currently replaying LO on the X1X on the side. It's a really nice experience. The game overall runs buttery-smooth compared to the 360 version, no tearing, and the load-times are greatly diminished.
I still find large parts of it hauntingly beautiful, memorable and often touching. The game had scale AND hearts in spade, without leaning into melodrama. The dream sequences still stand out to me as the most honest and heartfelt writing in a jRPG, even though or because they were ripped out straight of literature. Still they fit percetly with the game's mood.
Have you ever played Crimson Shroud on 3DS or Resonance of Fate btw?
@Ralek85 Playing on Maddeining forced me to spam so much combat arts ( enemies can double you easily, and you need the boost in hit and MT of combat arts), that I had to get new weapons on the second chapter. maddening forces you to learn how to use battalions, wich one fits your caharcter's role with stats and invite students to rise their charm stat( or else you will always miss). It also encourages you to invest in supports and position your units to actualy hit a good AoE gambit. By learning character's traits you can have perfect tea times easily, but only if you know the characters well enough. Normal dificult is like easy dificult, i'm afraid the base game was too much focused on casuals, not complaining though, the game sold well. Enemies on maddening have brake skills, so weapon triangle is important.
@RaphaBoss Great to know! Wish it had been available from start, but maybe I'll start over at some point, but as with DLC in general, I rarely get around to enjoy it, because I have sinced moved on to something else
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