So, it's been one week since my nerd out about the launch of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Which means that I've had roughly a week to savour the game every moment that I've been able to spare! For once, I'm really enjoying sitting around waiting for the toddler to go to sleep... as that means that I've got some serious time with the Switch and Three Houses!
It really is a game that is just beautiful to play... you know the sort where you just take your time to explore and discover... savouring every conversation and drinking in every cut scene. Every character is fully voiced, which makes for delightful interactions, which meant that I am mostly playing with a Bose QC-35 headphones to get the full enjoyment. Initially, I was just playing it wired... but then I remembered that I had a spare bluetooth audio transmitter in my box of tricks... so, I've been playing it unwired with full audio enjoyment! (As an aside, it was a serious oversight to launch the Switch hardware without bluetooth audio... hopefully something that they fix in the next revision).
After a week of fairly solid (for a parent...) playing time... I'm still well within the Academy period where the main character is a professor at the Monastery. Interestingly enough, the only character that is unvoiced is the protaganist.... which does make for a bit of a weird experience. I really do wish that they had voiced over Byleth.... although it might have been a late decision due to the voice actor being a bit of a dick!! Anyway, I'll be definitely playing more runs of this game with the other houses, so if they re-patch the voice over, then I'll probably get it in later play runs!
I'm playing with House Black Eagles for my first run... I really got hooked by their leader, Edelgard... who appeared to be the more interesting choice compared to the other two. However, I gather that all of the houses have some pretty interesting twists in their stories. Already, the Edelgard/Black Eagle storyline has taken a pretty dark turn....
So far, the combat has been pretty interesting but not too challenging... however, things are starting to warm up a bit, as the mechanics have been mostly been explained and I think the game is starting to release the brakes on the tactical part of the challenge. The RPG and stats are deep... but it is a touch confusing at the start... I'm following roughly the builds that are suggested by the characters themselves. You can really customise to your heart's content... but you do run the risk of nerfing your characters if you aren't careful.
The training and "activities" (gardening, fishing, cooking... dining... tea parties) all add some flavour to the game. All of it is pretty optional, you can skip them and do auto instructions... but you are missing out on a great deal if you do that.... but if you are only here for the tactical combat, then by all means... I wouldn't suggest it though.
... and the reason for that... is that there is some pretty good character and relationship development as the game progresses... I'm getting pretty attached to my "units" or students... it's something quite different to other games like X-Com where they are essentially nameless cannon fodder... however, I'm starting to suspect that they are building up the connections to the characters for some serious heart-breaking down the line.... but I can't help it, I'm getting attached to these guys... and I'm hoping I can shepherd them through the coming calamity!
I've heard some reviews describe Three Houses as the perfect Hogwarts simulator... and in many ways, I can't really disagree with that! There really is a sense of that in this game... however, I think things are going to get pretty grim soon... and I don't think Harry Potter will be able to hold a candle to that.
This is an amazing game... one of the best (if not THE best) game currently out on Switch... and one of the few games that have lived up to the pre-launch hype!
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