FEDA Remake: Emblem of Justice - Reader Retroview  

For Everyone Desiring Altruism
by JuMeSyn

30-40 hours
Click here for scoring definitions 

   FEDA on the Super Famicom is a worthwhile tactical RPG with several interesting facets to its makeup. Apparently its developer, Yanoman, felt that the game warranted further exposure for the CD era. Thus the FEDA Remake came to be for the Saturn. Despite the emphasis upon its being a Remake, not a great deal has changed in the game. That does not change its worthiness for the tactical title seeker; it is merely a bit puzzling.

   FEDA possesses a combat engine reminiscent of chess, rather than the usual mechanism of either agility-based actions or the player's side taking its turn followed by the enemy. Akin to chess where the player has the fortune of being the white side, the player will move any unit followed by the enemy moving any unit. There is a difference from chess; each unit on both sides must take an action before any from either side can act again.

Lots of giants roaming the land today; beware minor earthquakes. Lots of giants roaming the land today; beware minor earthquakes.

   Beyond this interesting combat system the tactical action is rather similar to Shining Force, which fits when Yanoman featured quite a few programmers who had worked on the original Genesis title. Magic is rather less effective than in Shining Force, and each character has at least one special attack. 100 experience points means a level-up for a character, and to help that along completing mission objectives will net every character on the player's team bonus experience. Money is gained by completing missions also.

   Mission objectives are integral to the rank the player attains in the game. By following objectives the player will garner a law rank, and by ignoring objectives in favor of killing everything in sight the player will skew toward chaos. Rank determines the ending, but more important to the bulk of the game it determines which characters will join the party. Some characters join and stay regardless of current rank, but others will only join if the player is law/chaos. Should the player's rank alter too much, these characters can and will leave permanently. Attaining a high law rank is not insanely difficult, but leaving some enemies alive when the mission is to reach a certain area on the map can be challenging.

   The most basic forms of interaction have some issues attached to them, unfortunately. Battles are very smooth; there are no difficulties here. Shopping is fairly straightforward and the effects of weapons can be viewed prior to purchase, but with quite a bit of extra canceling and confirming necessary when navigating the menu. Equipping accessories is also something of a pain, as it must be done during battle and cannot be done outside of it. Changing items between characters is the biggest pain of all, for it requires an item to be deposited into the group storage and then redistributed to the proper character (this can be done during battle, also, but that is typically not the time such a concern occupies the player's mind). Aside from these irritants interaction is sufficient.

Is that stud coming? Is that stud coming?

   Visuals during the majority of the FEDA Remake are unchanged from the SNES incarnation of the title, save by the utilization of the Saturn's considerably larger color palette. The combat animations have been redone nicely, though with fewer frames of animation than would be considered optimal. The music has been re-recorded to take advantage of the Saturn's audio abilities, and a few new compositions have made their way into the mix. FEDA does not possess the best music I have ever heard in an RPG, but it is aurally pleasing and frequently unique.

   The single largest alteration in the Remake would have to be the insertion of passages with voice acting into the game, changing portions that were formerly text-only into something different. These portions could be considered FMV of a sort, though the poorest I have ever seen. While the seiyuu do good jobs (save for Rasetsu) the visuals bring to mind old PC titles with still pictures that substituted for animation. These sequences truly are that awful, with the lip movements not even syncing correctly to the words. These portions cannot be skipped, meaning the player will more than likely be bored at having barely any action to follow onscreen. The beginning and ending FMV does better at including genuine animation, but is still nothing exceptional.

   FEDA's story is essentially unchanged from the original. Brian Stelbert has an attack of conscience when his unit is massacring the inhabitants of a village, and strikes out against his superior officer. For doing so he is confined to the brig, where his friend Ain MacDougal assists him in an escape. These two flee the imperial patrols and run into elements of the resistance, which they eventually become a very important part of in the effort to tear down the overbearing presence of Emperor Cobalt's unpleasantness. As the story is in Japanese, many players will have difficulty understanding its finer points - fortunately a GameFAQs guide has an encapsulation of the text's essence. This guide will be very useful in attempting to follow mission guidelines also.

   FEDA is not an easy game, though it can be a bit easier if the player wishes to solicit a chaotic reputation by marking time on maps killing everything. Later enemies possess very powerful skills and will relentlessly target Brian and Ain, the loss of either meaning Game Over. The game can probably be completed in around 30 hours by rushing, though more time will probably need allotment. As to replay, using either a chaotic or a legal team will significantly alter the experience of the player. There appear to be roughly six endings dependent upon finishing rank, also.

   The FEDA Remake is hardly the Saturn's finest tactical title, but setting the bar too high does a disservice to the game. This is a worthy game for a seeker of quality tactical combat. As to those who experienced the game on the SNES, the changes are probably not great enough to necessitate a new purchase (though this title is quite cheap on eBay). FEDA Remake is probably the better version of the game despite its shoddy animation sequences, but not by a margin great enough to force one who already owns the original to seek it.

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