Fire Emblem Clash feels like a smaller scale tactical JRPG

There are two types of Fire Emblem players: those who gravitate toward social mechanics and those who prefer turn-based tactical combat. After a guided demo, it looks like Fire Emblem Engage might cater more towards the latter. While the sim’s social aspects are still intact, there seem to be far fewer outdoor activities in the hub area than in the three houses. You spend much of your time in the hub outfitting your party members, unlocking new combat skills, and preparing for the next battle. In this way, Fire Emblem Engage feels like a more focused, long-range tactical JRPG series.

Fire Emblem Engage follows a similar structure to other recent Fire Emblem games. Your time is split between tactical tile-based combat and a hub area where you can interact with other characters. On the battlefield, Fire Emblem Engage brings back the traditional weapon triangle that the series has become famous for. Swords beat axes, axes beat spears, spears beat swords. Tapping into the weapon triangle causes a break, preventing the defending unit from reacting in that skirmish. Weapons outside the triangle such as crossbows, daggers, and spellbindings are weak to physical attacks. As much as I enjoyed Three Houses (played nearly 200 hours of it), I missed the traditional gun triangle. In previous games, specific weapons gave distinct strengths and weaknesses that forced me to think carefully about my party. Reintroducing the weapon triangle could make for a more balanced experience, especially for those who might have felt the three houses were a bit too easy.

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