Fire Emblem: Three Houses Review: One Of The Switch’s Best Games Ever


The Setting: A World of Intrigue and Conflict

Fire Emblem: Three Houses takes place in the fictional continent of Fódlan, a world steeped in rich history and plagued by political tension. The continent is divided into three major powers: the Adrestian Empire, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and the Leicester Alliance. Each power is ruled by a different noble house, and their constant power struggles create a captivating backdrop for the game.

The game is set in Garreg Mach Monastery, a prestigious institution that serves as the headquarters of the Church of Seiros. The Church, led by the Archbishop Rhea, plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of power in Fódlan. As a professor at the monastery, players have the opportunity to interact with students from each house and participate in both academic and combat activities.

The world of Three Houses is filled with intrigue and mystery. As you delve deeper into the story, you’ll uncover hidden secrets, political conspiracies, and personal vendettas that threaten to tear the continent apart. The game’s narrative is masterfully crafted, with each choice and interaction contributing to the overarching plot.

What sets Three Houses apart from other games in the Fire Emblem series is its emphasis on character development and world-building. The game allows you to form deep connections with the various characters you meet, learning about their backgrounds, hopes, and fears. The world feels alive and immersive, thanks to the detailed lore and the interactions you have with NPCs. You’ll find yourself engrossed in the political struggles of the houses and invested in the growth of your students.

Overall, the setting of Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a compelling tapestry of political intrigue and conflict. It provides a rich and immersive backdrop for the game’s engaging story and characters. Whether you’re new to the series or a long-time fan, the world of Fódlan will captivate you and keep you coming back for more.

The Three Houses: Meet the Main Characters

Fire Emblem: Three Houses introduces players to a diverse and memorable cast of characters, each hailing from one of the game’s titular three houses. These characters not only play pivotal roles in the story but also provide unique perspectives and abilities that greatly enrich the gameplay experience.

The Black Eagles, led by Edelgard, represent the Adrestian Empire. Edelgard is a strong-willed and determined leader who seeks to create a new world order. Her house consists of characters like Hubert, a loyal and calculating strategist, and Dorothea, a talented songstress with a mysterious past.

The Blue Lions, led by Dimitri, hail from the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. Dimitri is a noble and earnest prince who seeks to restore his kingdom’s honor. His house includes characters like Dedue, a loyal and stoic retainer, and Felix, a talented and quick-witted swordsman.

The Golden Deer, headed by Claude, represents the Leicester Alliance. Claude is an affable and charismatic leader who harbors a desire to uncover the truth behind Fódlan’s mysteries. His house comprises characters like Hilda, a cheerful and cunning noblewoman, and Raphael, a gentle giant with a passion for strength training.

Each house offers a distinct and compelling story arc, showcasing the characters’ personal growth and their interactions with one another. The game allows players to get to know these characters intimately through support conversations, which delve into their backstories, motivations, and relationships with other students.

The Three Houses also boast a robust roster of side characters and faculty members at Garreg Mach Monastery. From wise and enigmatic figures like Rhea, the Archbishop, to eccentric and lovable personalities like Manuela, a former opera singer turned professor, these characters add depth and charm to the game.

The character development in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is top-notch, as each character feels distinct and well-rounded. Whether you’re making tough decisions in battle or engaging in heart-to-heart conversations, you’ll find yourself invested in the fates of these characters, forming emotional connections that enhance the overall experience.

So, get ready to embark on a journey filled with relatable and multifaceted characters as you lead one of the Three Houses to victory.

Strategic Gameplay at Its Finest

Fire Emblem: Three Houses delivers a tactical gameplay experience that is both challenging and rewarding. The game follows a turn-based combat system where players strategically position their units on a grid-based battlefield to engage in battles with enemy forces.

Each unit in the game belongs to a specific class, such as archers, mages, or knights, and has its own unique set of skills and abilities. Deploying the right units and utilizing their strengths and weaknesses is crucial to success in battle. The game encourages players to think strategically, considering factors like terrain, weapon types, and unit positioning when planning their moves.

One of the standout features of Three Houses is the introduction of the “Divine Pulse” mechanic. This ability allows players to rewind time and undo their actions, giving them a chance to correct mistakes or try different tactics. It adds an extra layer of strategy and mitigates the frustration of making irreversible errors in a battle.

As the game progresses, players can train their units and customize their abilities through a robust class system. Units can be promoted to advanced classes, acquiring new skills and enhancing their potential on the battlefield. This progression system allows players to tailor their units to their preferred playstyle and strategic approach.

In addition to the main story battles, Three Houses also features optional auxiliary battles and paralogues, providing additional opportunities for players to gain experience, resources, and build relationships among their units. These optional battles often come with unique challenges and rewards, making them a valuable addition to the overall gameplay experience.

Furthermore, the game introduces the concept of battalions, which are groups of soldiers that can be assigned to units. Battalions provide various bonuses and special attacks, adding another layer of strategy to consider during battle planning.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses successfully blends its intricate tactical combat with a captivating and immersive narrative. The engaging gameplay mechanics, coupled with the challenging battles and thoughtful decision-making, make it a standout entry in the series.

Whether you’re a seasoned player of the Fire Emblem franchise or new to tactical RPGs, Three Houses offers a strategic gameplay experience that is both accessible and satisfying for players of all skill levels.

Bonding and Relationships: The Heart of the Game

Fire Emblem: Three Houses places a significant emphasis on the bonds and relationships between characters, making it a core aspect of the gameplay and storytelling. The game allows players to form deep connections with their units and other characters through various interactions, conversations, and events.

One of the ways in which bonding is fostered is through support conversations. By spending time with their units and engaging in conversations, players can increase the support level between characters. As support levels grow, characters develop a stronger bond, unlocking new dialogue options, bonuses in battle, and potentially even romantic relationships.

These support conversations are beautifully written and provide insights into the characters’ personalities, pasts, and motivations. They allow players to delve into the inner lives of their units, witnessing their growth, and building meaningful connections. Whether it’s a heartwarming conversation between old friends or a bittersweet exchange between rivals, these interactions add depth to the game’s narrative and make the characters feel more relatable and human.

Beyond support conversations, Three Houses also gives players the opportunity to interact with their units through various activities at the monastery. Players can invite units to share a meal, participate in training exercises, or even host events like dances or concerts. These activities not only provide valuable stat boosts for the units but also offer moments for bonding and camaraderie.

It’s not just the player’s relationship with their units that is important, but also the connections between the units themselves. As players deploy their units in battle and fight alongside each other, their support levels can increase organically. This adds a layer of strategy, as units who have high support levels can perform powerful joint attacks and assist each other in critical moments.

The emphasis on bonding and relationships in Three Houses enhances the immersion of the game and adds emotional weight to the choices and consequences players face. It’s a reminder that battles aren’t just about winning or losing; they’re about the relationships built along the way and the impact they have on the characters’ lives.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses excels in creating a sense of camaraderie, friendship, and even love among its characters. These bonds are the heart of the game, elevating the overall experience and making it more than just a tactical RPG but a journey of personal connections and growth.

Aesthetics: Stunning Visuals and Beautiful Music

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is not only a triumph in gameplay and storytelling but also a visual and auditory delight. The game’s stunning visuals and beautiful music work together to create an immersive and captivating experience for players.

The visual presentation of Three Houses is a testament to the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch. The character designs are intricate and diverse, with each unit having their own distinct appearance and personality. From the regal attire of the nobles to the rugged armor of the warriors, the attention to detail in the character designs is truly impressive.

The environments in the game are equally breathtaking. From lush green landscapes to imposing fortresses, each location is meticulously crafted, immersing players in the world of Fódlan. The game’s art direction perfectly captures the medieval-inspired aesthetic, with intricate architecture, colorful vistas, and atmospheric lighting that bring the world to life.

Accompanying the gorgeous visuals is a soundtrack that is nothing short of phenomenal. The music in Three Houses is a captivating blend of orchestral melodies, soothing ballads, and epic battle anthems. Whether it’s the solemn and melodic tones of the monastery’s choir or the adrenaline-pumping beats during intense combat sequences, the music elevates every moment of the game. Composer Takeru Kanazaki and the team at Intelligent Systems have truly crafted a score that enhances the emotions and atmosphere of the game.

Equally impressive is the voice acting in Three Houses. The game features a strong cast of voice actors who bring the characters to life with their performances. Each character’s voice is distinct and matches their personality, making the dialogue and interactions feel natural and engaging. The voice acting adds an extra layer of depth to the game’s storytelling, further immersing players in the world and bringing the characters to life.

The combination of stunning visuals, beautiful music, and top-notch voice acting creates an atmospheric experience that draws players into the world of Three Houses. It’s a visual and auditory feast that complements the gameplay and narrative, making it a truly memorable experience.

From the moment you start the game, you’ll find yourself captivated by the artistry and attention to detail in the visuals and transported by the evocative music. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a testament to how aesthetics can enhance the overall enjoyment of a game and create a truly remarkable experience.

Replayability: Multiple Paths and Endings

Fire Emblem: Three Houses offers a remarkable level of replayability, thanks to its multiple paths and endings that provide unique and engaging experiences for players. The game allows you to make choices that significantly impact the story, leading to diverging narratives and different outcomes.

At the beginning of the game, players must choose one of the three houses to align with. Each house has its own story route, providing distinct perspectives and character interactions. This choice not only determines the events and battles you’ll experience but also influences the relationships and dynamics among the characters.

This branching storyline creates a strong incentive for multiple playthroughs. By choosing a different house in subsequent playthroughs, players can uncover new storylines, character arcs, and secrets that they may have missed before. The game offers a wealth of content that can be explored from different angles, giving it immense replay value.

Additionally, Three Houses introduces a unique time-skip mechanic, where the story jumps forward several years, altering the relationships and dynamics among the characters. This time-skip adds another layer of intrigue and depth to the game, as players witness the consequences of their choices and how they shape the world of Fódlan.

The choices players make throughout the game also influence the relationships and support levels between characters. By prioritizing certain character interactions and support conversations, players can unlock new endings and special moments between the units. This dynamic encourages players to experiment with different character pairings and explore the various relationships that can evolve in the game.

Furthermore, Fire Emblem: Three Houses offers a New Game Plus feature, allowing players to carry over certain progress from previous playthroughs. This includes bonuses like increased professor level, support ranks, and renown points, providing additional incentives for multiple playthroughs and experimentation.

With its multiple paths, diverging storylines, and varied character interactions, Fire Emblem: Three Houses offers an incredibly high level of replayability. You’ll find yourself compelled to experience the game from different perspectives, unravel new narratives, and deepen your bond with the characters.

Whether you choose to align with the Black Eagles, Blue Lions, or Golden Deer, each playthrough offers a unique and fulfilling experience that showcases the depth and breadth of the game’s storytelling. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a game that truly rewards multiple playthroughs, ensuring that you’ll always find something new to discover and enjoy.

The Verdict: A Must-Play for Switch Owners

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is undoubtedly one of the must-play games for Nintendo Switch owners. With its compelling storyline, engaging gameplay, rich character development, and stunning aesthetics, it is a standout title in the tactical RPG genre.

The game’s intricate narrative, set in the politically charged world of Fódlan, keeps players engrossed from start to finish. The choices you make and the relationships you cultivate have meaningful consequences, making for a dynamic and immersive storytelling experience. The multiple paths and endings add replayability, providing ample opportunities to delve deeper into the game’s world and uncover its hidden secrets.

The strategic gameplay in Three Houses is a true masterpiece, with its tactical battles, character customization, and class progression system. Every battle requires careful planning and consideration of unit strengths and weaknesses, adding depth and challenge to the game. The addition of the Divine Pulse mechanic and optional battles further enhance the gameplay experience, offering flexibility and varied content for players to enjoy.

The heart of Fire Emblem: Three Houses lies in its emphasis on bonding and relationships. The support conversations, events, and activities at the monastery allow players to forge meaningful connections with the diverse cast of characters. These interactions add emotional depth and make the game’s world feel alive and vibrant.

Visually, Three Houses is a feast for the eyes. The intricate character designs, detailed environments, and atmospheric lighting create a visually immersive experience that showcases the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch. Combined with the beautiful music and top-notch voice acting, the game’s aesthetics further enhance the overall enjoyment and immersion.