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The wait for the return of Fire Emblem to home consoles was long and taxing, but fans were rewarded with the release of Fire Emblem: Three Houses on Nintendo Switch. Right as the menu screen loads, the familiar Fire Emblem theme greets players and a wonderful tactical adventure is soon underway. Having three different student bodies to choose from, each with varied personalities and eventually their own unique branching stories, Three Houses delivered on multiple facets. There is no lack of characters; each has their own quirks and preferences, and, in the role of a new instructor, players are able to shape their growth. Adding the ability to recruit members from other houses, the great freedom to mold the house is one of the many perks this game offers.
The replayability that Fire Emblem: Three Houses provides is initially daunting, yet highly satisfying. One can play with classic permadeath options, or relaxed with the newer casual mode. There is no wrong way to play Three Houses, and with the recently announced DLC, a new house is on the way, with more bonds to be formed. Three Houses offers a rich new world with strategy segments on and off the field of battle and makes it incredibly easy to enjoy one of the greatest entries from this long-running series.
With Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark, 6 Eyes Studio created a high-quality homage to Squaresoft’s timeless classic Final Fantasy Tactics. Players take on the role of Kyrie, a captain of the Arbiters, the organization sworn to uphold the law and preserve peace in the land of Teora. The game features a well-written and lengthy narrative that begins with bringing a brutal murderer to justice and only expands from there. The combat system also holds its own, quick to pick up and play but loaded with customization options. Rounding out the package are great visual and musical production values. Far from a mere clone, Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark stands proud as the worthy runner-up for the year’s Best Tactical RPG award.
by Ryan Radcliff and Pascal Tekaia