Fire Emblem Echoes Review in Progress Part 2: 3DS Features
I have twenty some hours on Fire Emblem Echoes now. While a full review of Echoes is still a little ways off, I wanted to provide our readers with even more insight into this new game for 3DS. In Part 2 of my Review in Progress, I will talk about Fire Emblem Echoes’ 3DS features.
All of the gameplay for Fire Emblem Echoes takes place on the top screen. While this means that there is no touch screen controls for battles, it also means that the game has 3D. As I mentioned in my previous Review in Progress article, Echoes looks stunning in 3D. The zoomed in battles and exploring dungeons especially look good. I also thought the grid gameplay and the overworld map have a nice sense of depth to them while in 3D.
Unfortunately, the animated cutscenes are not in 3D. I’m not sure why not. This was definitely a missed opportunity since the animated scenes look fantastic and would look even better in 3D. In the end, though, the trade off of having all the gameplay on the top screen is worth it. That said, just because all of the gameplay is on the top screen doesn’t mean that the bottom 3DS screen wasn’t used at all.
The touch screen in Fire Emblem Echoes is used in and out of battle. Before attacking an enemy in battle, the player can access the stats of the individual characters in their group, see what the mission objective is and view other mission stats, issue commands, check previous dialogue, and use the turnwheel to turn back time. All of this accessed by using the touch screen. The controls are perfect here and its handy having all of that on the bottom screen.
When the player attacks the enemy, you’ll see the HP and name of who’s fighting on both sides and be able to pause or fast forward the battle. Its a very simple display and doesn’t distract you from watching the battle on the top screen.
Out of battle, the bottom screen is used to tell you about places on the map, used in various ways via the games menu, and provides a map while exploring dungeons. In all, the bottom screen is used a lot in Fire Emblem Echoes and put to really good use. I especially love the map on the bottom screen while exploring dungeons!
Finally, I want to talk about the downloadable content (DLC) offered for this game. To access the DLC eshop, you have to go to an in-game menu and the game will direct you to use the touch screen to look through the DLC. The touch screen interface here is simple and easy to use. There is a lot of DLC on offer for Fire Emblem Echoes. To buy it all, you’ll be paying $44.99 (USD). That’s a lot of money. Is all of the DLC worth that much? To be honest, I have no idea. No DLC was provided to us for review. I did, however, purchase one of the cheaper DLC.
I got the Astral Temple for around $3. This DLC is a new dungeon to explore. I thought it was good, but I was disappointed that the DLC had no end boss.
Instead of being its own unique challenge with an end point, the dungeon is a place to explore, collect weapons, and build up your people. Its a good piece of DLC, especially since the weapons seem random each time you play the dungeon, though it is pretty simple in the end.
I have to wonder how the rest of the DLC is. Are all the extra dungeons as simple as the Astral Temple? How challenging are the extra maps? How good are the DLC characters?
I doubt I’ll ever get all of the DLC, but I would like to get more. I think if you love this game, then you’ll probably want to download at least some of the DLC!
Fire Emblem Echoes continues to be a good game so far. I’ll be back on Wednesday to tell you about the game’s soundtrack, voice acting, and sound effects.