When I wrote my first impressions of Three Hopes, I was talking about a new Fire Emblem Warriors that looked uglier but could be more fun. That feeling comes and goes for the rest of the adventure, as there are some really good ideas for the first FE-based Musou, and a fair bit of filler as well. Of course we come from the adaptations of Attack on the Titans, Persona, One Piece … but above all Hyrule Warriors: The Age of Cataclysm, which serve as references for how Koei Tecmo and Omega Force spend them when it comes to much more bringing the modern warriors into their original series, and perhaps that’s why, despite their somewhat chaotic start, I had triple hope for the long-term experience.
The simple verdict? I think it improves on the first Fire Emblem Warriors by focusing a lot more on specific stories and characters and being closer to the SRPG systems of the Intelligent Systems franchise, but also that it gets a little lost along the way and those stories are not just as attractive as those in the base game.
The plot is sometimes reminiscent of that of the original Three Houses in a more remote/gloomy and sometimes more literal way, although we’re talking about an alternate history with some pretty radical twists. This, which should give fans a kick, may take some confusing detours, but who are we to say in the midst of multiverse fever. I chose Claude von Riegan back then because I liked his character and his gold embellishments, but this time I chose Edelgard and the Black Eagles you know why
To continue with the comparisons, while The Age of Cataclysm didn’t really dare to canonize a Breath of the Wild prequel at all, it did provide believable bits in its timeline. It’s more of a what-if here (the protagonist was now the villain) in the vein of Marvel and many others, but it’s a bit lazy to include some of the alternatives. It’s as if the script and dialogues don’t quite engage, as if they’re second-tier (something FE itself is far better at camouflage) as if the narrative couldn’t be effective no matter how loud, long and confusing it gets . . Is it that the communion that Omega Force had with Nintendo and Atlus didn’t happen here? And most importantly, what’s so fun about changing the personality of heroes that fans already loved because of their looks?
Of course: what you get with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, which you will not find in the Zelda Museum or many others, is a game with trains and heroes, yes, but much more “Errepegero”, with a series of problems of progression and pure and simple strategy to consider. There are many other specialties, specific effects, perks (both weapons and characters), classes, efficiencies, supports, and commands that turn the tide of battle. It might feel overwhelming for the first few hours, but that’s it, much more than these stories, that gives the game its Fire Emblem flavor, as you really feel like you’re leading troops on the battlefield from an interactive dashboard . .
Looking for the next group of soldiers to punish or show kicking around the map is still a bit rough on camera and animation, and maybe that won’t improve until a new generation arrives from Musous, but the dynamic itself is snappy and the result, spectacular. It’s also a nice touch that the pre-combat phases of preparation take place in 3D, with a scenario to explore and characters to interact to gain support. Personally, we also love the battle map, with that retro style and those easy-to-identify squares, and finally, the graphics of the menus deserve a special mention, with a finesse and clarity that surpasses the rest.
Reclaiming the “Ugly”, while the artistic approach doesn’t look as good as the flatter one chosen for The Age of Cataclysm, the truth is that the game performs quite well over the long run, even when fighting hundreds of minions. This at least keeps the game intense and fluid when it gets as monotonous as any Warriors. Perhaps, as we suggested in the impressions for the opposite reason, it helped that the developers of ω Force participated precisely in Three Houses. So why do you see Regulin in dialogue and other off-map scenes, like the prep, networking, and errands mentioned above?
The other problem is that the missions themselves are the same as the storyline: the content is too stretched out and the battlefield lacks a bit of frequency and variety. The Age of Cataclysm also suffered (workaround: I put a lot more tough bosses on the map), but Three Hopes doesn’t find the alternatives that Three Houses found to make the experience more dynamic.
In conclusion, Nintendo has released its own Game of Thrones with the latest main installment of Fire Emblem, a series that is already the first line and has reached millions of fans. So it would be nice if it included voices in Spanish in the future, a treatment both Zelda and her musous are already receiving and suffering from the FE and her family. Three Hopes could turn all that fiction into some kind of Dynasty Warriors, given the similarities to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but its lack of charisma and excessive pomp and straw muddle things up a bit. That yes, fans get a good dose of combat adorned with many RPG systems, and find in it the best tribute to their beloved series for many, maybe too many hours.