neon941's Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) review

The breakout game of the series

Fire Emblem 4: Geneology of The Holy War is the 4th title in the Fire Emblem series and the 2nd to be released on the SNES (after the remake of Fire Emblem 1 and it's sequel Fire Emblem 3) and is hotly debated to be the best game in the Fire Emblem series, even after the release of the more recent Fire Emblem titles.

Fire Emblem 4 took full advantage of the SNES's capabilities with rich colours and huge maps. It lacked the sharper and even more richly detailed maps and sprites of it's sequel Fire Emblem 5, but for the time this was a great looking game. The battle animations in this game are different than the modern GBA successors, in this game your two characters actually get a small battleground to battle it out in and they actually jump and run all over the place attacking and dodging and using their special moves which actually look awesome when they activate. The sprites actually look cool, but dated by now, still you can see an element of character design in them. Character portraits and designs look very good, you'll probably be hard pressed to find a character whose design you don't actually like.

The sound in Fire Emblem 4 is as great as you'd expect it to be on the SNES. Things obviously don't sound 100% realistic, but you can certainly tell what's happening just by the sounds and none of them sound annoying or arcady, it's really just right. The Music in this game is epic, every track really stirs up your emotions and is used perfectly in every aspect of the game. Music really seems to fit the mood very well, which is needed for when your characters talk to each other or find themselves in emotional moments and there are a lot of them before this game ends.

Not much to say about gameplay in this other than it's very easy to pick up and takes a very long time to master. It's the usual Fire Emblem system of mixing strategy elements with RPG elements. There's the rock, paper, scissors system where certain weapons give people a huge advantage over others. You level up your characters as the story goes on and they become a more usful and cohesive army as things go on. Major differences in this game are the repair system where you can maintain a persistant inventory on your characters by just repairing their weapons before each battle, this really gives your characters just a little bit more identity because weapons that they use truly seem to belong to them. The other big aspect is the fact halfway through the game you get all new characters and how good they are depends on how you've played the game up to the halfway point, this just adds a whole new aspect of strategy to the game when in the first half of the game you're having to think about the next generation and then you have to get used to your new army in the second half of the game.

The Story of Fire Emblem 4 is really epic and moving, if a little strange in some parts. The plot really starts off simple and as you go through you sort of gain more insight as to what's going on across the continent. Things always seem manageable and it's a fairly simple story in that it's easy to pick up, but complex in some of the issues that are involved. Your characters often face conflicts in their minds as to whether or not they're doing the right thing and there are plenty of messages about love and war and all the topics the story covers. There's a huge plot twist in the middle as well that really makes you cling to the game for the second half. All in all it's just really immersive from start to finish. You'll probably want to play through multiple times just to hear the story, just like when you find a book you really love and end up reading it through about 10 times just because you get so lost in it everytime.

All in all, Fire Emblem 4 is just a game that almost anyone can appreciate, especially fans of the genre and if you don't like this kind of game then you're just missing out on something special. If you get a chance to import this game or aqquire it by some other means then you're a very lucky person and you're going to enjoy the experience this game gives for a long time to come.
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Other reviews for Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)

    A game of epic proportions, and a turning point in the series. 0

    If you're a fan of strategy RPGs, this is one of the games your collection can't do without. The grand scale of things in this game is just breathtaking, whether it be the colossal maps (sometimes spanning an entire country) or the endless number of enemies you face. Where to start, where to start. For the sake of the review, I'll start with gameplay. As I said before, the game is just epic. The maps you explore will always take up about 20 screens, with the exception of the prologue. In the s...

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