Although Fire Emblem Engage has just been released, players are still talking about the game that was released 4 years before, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Its characters, story-telling, gameplay, and visuals made the game so memorable that it will be difficult for newer Fire Emblem games to surpass it.
It’s difficult to tell if Fire Emblem Engage will have the same long-lasting relevancy, especially since it goes back to many of the tropes and gameplay elements that were typical of other entries in the franchise. Although it improves on a lot of things that were present in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, there are many aspects that make Fire Emblem: Three Houses the superior game.
10 Three Houses Has No Crossover Characters
One of Fire Emblem Engage‘s main appeals is that it has multiple protagonists from other Fire Emblem games. While this is undoubtedly an enjoyable part of the game, players aren’t seeing the real and original character, but an apparition with the same personality. Including these characters also takes some of the spotlight away from the new characters the game is trying to introduce.
Introducing crossover characters would have been more damaging to Fire Emblem: Three Houses since the game has so many characters. Thankfully, the game knew that it needed to focus on the students, since piling even more characters on top of an already impressive roster would’ve proved too overwhelming.
9 Players Have More Time To Get Attached To The Characters
Players have much more time to get attached to the characters in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Fans can talk to the Fire Emblem Engage characters in the Somniel and immediately after battles, invite them to tea, share a meal with them, and see their support conversations. However, players can do all these things and more when they’re their professor in four different routes.
Byleth has multiple scenes with the students that allow them to interact as a group, but Byleth’s ability to spend their free time with whoever they want helps players grow attached to the other characters in Three Houses. Even the items that the students lose and the presents that they enjoy helps the player get a sense of what each student is like.
8 Byleth Has Better Character Designs Than Alear
When Alear’s designs were released to the public, they were ridiculed to no end. The split between blue and red hair straight down the middle made this design stand out from the rest of the Fire Emblem characters, but it also looked unnatural.
Fans were quick to compare the character to Pepsi, or various brands of toothpaste. Byleth’s Three Houses designs are far better, relying on a black outfit with pink trim, using colors much easier on the eyes. The colors of the outfit also match the protagonists’ two separate hair colors.
The characters seem overbearing at first when Alear wakes up in Fire Emblem Engage. They continuously refer to her as the Divine Dragon and treat her as though she were royalty. A bit of Alear’s discomfort may be experienced second-hand by the player.
Byleth is met with uncertainty due to their mercenary background, poker face, and unknown origins, but they gradually gain the trust of the people around them through their repeated interactions. Despite being a silent character, Byleth’s character growth is strongly apparent, as they prove more adept at showing their emotions after bonding with their students.
6 The Experience Changes Depending On Which Route Is Chosen First
In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the player has a uniquely different experience depending on which route they choose first. Their choice of house can affect which characters they’ll be surrounded by, and in turn, this influences how the player views the events of the game and the other houses.
It’s an experience that isn’t easily replicated, as the player carries the experience and opinions of their first run when they try out the other routes. This makes Three Houses feel special, as there is no “correct” route to take, and the player’s first major choice shapes the way they perceive the game.
5 Fire Emblem: Three Houses Has Matchmaking
Sadly, Fire Emblem Engage doesn’t involve any matchmaking. Even if the player ships some of the characters, they can’t do anything about it other than maxing out their support rank as much as the game allows them to. Only Alear can get an S-rank support with a character of their choice.
Part of what made Fire Emblem: Three Houses so enjoyable was being able to nudge two characters together. Many of the romantic support conversations were sweet, and seeing them get happy endings after a hard-fought war was a satisfying conclusion to the game.
4 The Story Flows More Smoothly
The story of Fire Emblem: Three Houses has its own rhythm, in which the player spends the month planning lessons and activities in preparation of the month’s big event. The difficulty and scale of these events ramp up over time, but each action that Byleth takes has a purpose.
In Fire Emblem Engage, the player doesn’t feel the constraints of a time limit. While this may lead to a more laidback game filled with casually doing the activities whenever the players feel like it, this doesn’t fit the overall tone of the story. The player can talk to another character, who is wearing casual clothes, and listen to them talk about the urgency of stopping an invasion of their kingdom before proceeding to spend time with the animals.
3 Three Houses’ Character Deaths Hurt Much More
Byleth takes on the role of teacher and commander, and thus can be considered responsible for their students’ safety. The students trust her so much that they defer to her as their primary strategist, even though Claude has a brilliant mind and Edelgard has difficulties relinquishing control.
Some deaths may occur during a player’s run, which can hurt even more if Byleth isn’t able to use a Divine Pulse to turn back time. While the deaths of Alear’s allies are tragic too, they don’t sting as much as seeing a young student fall after putting so much faith in their teacher.
2 Three Houses Doesn’t Have Just One Correct Route
Fire Emblem: Three Houses has remained relevant for so long because of the ongoing debate about which of the three houses is the best one to side with. The game doesn’t explicitly say which side is right, allowing players to draw their own conclusions.
Three Houses isn’t about defeating a single villain either, but more about doing what needs to be done in order to make the world a better place. Each house leader succeeds at improving Fodlan life in their respective routes. The fact that people still discuss Three Houses years after its release speaks volumes about its quality.
1 Three Houses’ Opening Cinematic Leaves More Of An Impression
Fire Emblem Engage‘s opening cinematic opens during a climactic battle, where the protagonist is rushing through enemies as their allies fight to clear them a path. It’s a glimpse of the main characters of the game, as well as the Emblems that the player will have access to.
However, it doesn’t have the emotional punch Fire Emblem: Three Houses‘ first cinematic delivers. The camera zooms over a vast battlefield filled with warriors locked in battle. When Rhea confronts Nemesis, the battle feels much more intense and incredibly well-animated. Rhea moves with the ferocity and desperation of someone who had lost everything, and the raw emotion leaves a much stronger impact.
NEXT: 10 Times Fire Emblem Games Broke Their Own Rules
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