Watch This Before You Buy Fire Emblem: Three Houses

With the release of Fire Emblem: Three Houses
just around the corner, the franchise has another chance of making it big in the mainstream. Here’s everything you need to know about the
latest entry in this tactical RPG series. Fire Emblem: Three Houses releases exclusively
for the Nintendo Switch on July 26. This marks the first time the franchise can
call a mainline console home since Radiant Dawn came out on the Nintendo Wii in 2007. For more than a decade, the series has only
been on handhelds, primarily the Nintendo DS and 3DS. This will be the first time we’ll officially
see Fire Emblem in true high definition. July and August are devoid of any other strategy
title releases, but the game definitely has some competition to worry about. It releases the same day as MachineGames’
Wolfenstein: Youngblood, a spin-off title of that popular franchise. And just a week before, on July 19, Marvel:
Ultimate Alliance 3 – The Black Order launches exclusively on the Switch. The first title in the franchise, Fire Emblem:
Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, came out for the Famicom in 1990. If you haven’t heard of it, we don’t blame
you. The game was only available in Japan, and
to this day, Nintendo hasn’t officially released it worldwide aside from a remake, Fire Emblem:
Shadow Dragon, which hit North America in 2009. The first time the West saw anything related
to Fire Emblem was in 2001’s Super Smash Bros. Melee, when Marth and Roy joined the fight. In 2003, the West finally saw its first proper
Fire Emblem game: The Blazing Blade. Since then, most of the games have come out
internationally, but sales simply haven’t flourished. The franchise was on the chopping block. But then Fire Emblem: Awakening ended up being
a smash hit on the 3DS, eventually selling almost two million copies by December 2014. Fates, the next title, had the biggest US
launch in series history. Fire Emblem is the tactical RPG. Developer Intelligent Systems essentially
invented the genre. Players control an army of up to 20 or more
soldiers. Each one occupies a tile on a grid-based map,
moving around to attack enemies. Some maps have extra objectives, like saving
a hostage or escaping the area, but more often than not, it’s all about army versus army. “So there are conditions and challenges to
every battle.” “Yes.” You can equip each unit with an assortment
of gear, like different swords, axes, staves, and tomes, depending on their class. However, each character has certain strengths
and weaknesses to always keep in mind. For example, if you have flying units, you’ll
want to keep them away from archers, who absolutely shred their wings. And here’s the emotional kicker: if a unit
dies, you lose them forever. Recent Fire Emblem games have a mode that
takes away permadeath, but many fans believe they’re not really playing Fire Emblem if
they use it. Three Houses is the 16th Fire Emblem game. Luckily for players new to the series, there’s
no obvious ongoing narrative. You won’t miss any major plot points. If you have played previous titles, you might
catch some references you’ll appreciate. And yes, some of the games do directly build
off each other. For example, Blazing Blade takes place before
Binding Blade, and Radiant Dawn features a save transfer mechanic so you can continue
the story from Path of Radiance. Plus, hardcore Fire Emblem fans will tell
you that some of the games are set in the same universe. Colloquially called the Archanea Series, games
including Awakening and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia all take place in the same world
at different times. Nonetheless, Three Houses hasn’t made any
clear references to past games, and the continent of Fódlan seems new. In Three Houses, you’ll play as the newest
professor to join the Officer Academy, nested within the walls of Garreg Mach Monastery. The continent is broken up into three nations:
the Adrestian Empire, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and the Leicester Alliance. The monastery sits in neutral territory at
the center of the three, maintaining the peace. In the Officer’s Academy, students from the
three nations study under their respective houses: the Black Eagles, the Blue Lions,
and the Golden Deer. These are the students you’ll interact with
and teach throughout your time at the monastery. Eventually, there will be a five-year time
skip, at which point all three nations will be at war. What sparks the conflict hasn’t been revealed
yet, but the situation will challenge players with the emotional toll of war. Some of your former students could become
enemies, setting an intriguing backdrop. Toward the beginning of the game, you’ll have
to choose your house, and by extension the nation you’ll side with after war breaks out. Throughout the game, you’ll interact with
the characters from your nation the most, teaching them, molding them, and leading them
into battle. That also means roughly two-thirds of the
cast will become your enemies. “You’re not just choosing the students who
you want to teach. You may be choosing which side you want to
take in, oh, I don’t know, an impending war!” Three Houses gives you three different ways
to play the game, almost begging you to play it three different times. You can make your experience a little more
modular, as you can convince students from other houses to join yours. By earning their respect through various means,
you can essentially create an all-star team, regardless of national boundaries. Perhaps the best part about this decision
is that it makes your experience quite your own. Your friends might choose a different house
and convert different students, creating a whole different experience. Fire Emblem games are known for having a plethora
of characters. Three Houses is no different. Edelgard leads the Black Eagles, but she plays
double duty as the axe-wielding princess of the Adrestian Empire. The blonde-haired Dimitri plays a similar
role for the Blue Lions, as he’s also heir to the Faerghus throne. Claude leads the Golden Deer, and he’s likewise
in line to lead the Leicester Alliance. The staff members of Garreg Mach Monastery
also play key roles. The most important character would likely
be Rhea, the leading archbishop of the church. This green-haired woman invites your character
to the monastery in the first place, sparking your grand adventure through Fódlan. Another key character is a mysterious, time-bending
amnesiac named Sothis, who lives in your brain. She saves your character from death in the
beginning, after which she lends you her time-manipulating powers. Your character becomes a professor at the
Officer Academy, and that’s more than just a title. It actually translates to gameplay. Every week, you set your students up for success
in battle through various tutoring mechanics including seminars and lectures. This expands on the class progression system
that Fire Emblem has had for years. Now, any character can become almost any class,
as long as they qualify for it. For example, if you want Linhardt to be a
cavalier, just train him in horse riding. If you need an archer, you can train Ferdinand
in using a bow. This makes your army far more modular than
in preceding games. Aside from your tutoring them, you also have
the opportunity to befriend the people you meet at the monastery. By interacting with various students and colleagues
in the academy, the world of Three Houses comes to life. Between lessons, you can grab lunch with your
students, learning more about them and their lives. Keep in mind, though, that these students
could die in battle at any moment. If you lose a unit, it’s even worse when you’ve
gotten to know them over lectures and lunches. “We have the strength to scale the walls between
us. To reach out our hands in friendship so we
can open our true hearts to one another. That’s how we win!” Three Houses also features a fully realized,
3D version of your home base. You’ll run around, seeing other people living
their lives in the monastery, a mechanic that may be familiar to fans of the 3DS entries
in the series. These friendships mean something on the battlefield,
too. Whenever two units fight beside each other
on the battlefield, their relationship grows stronger. When these relationships hit certain milestones,
the units’ combat stats will boost, increasing their likelihood of survival. They’re pals, so they wouldn’t want to lose
each other in battle. Any of your units can befriend any of your
other units; you don’t have to be involved, so there’s a strategic reward to fostering
friendships. If two characters work well together, bolstering
their relationship will only make them better. Out of combat, you’ll see them have cute conversations
with each other. Nintendo also confirmed that romantic relationships
would return in Three Houses. “After the five-year jump, you can even pursue
a romantic relationship with someone.” These pairings would have the strongest bond,
translating to some of the best combat bonuses available. For the first time in the series, each unit
can have a battalion assigned to it. These groups of soldiers provide backup to
your talented characters, and you can actually see them on the battlefield when the camera
zooms in. They provide passive bonuses to units’ stats,
like +3 physical attack or +1 to your hit chance. Each battalion also comes equipped with a
Gambit Skill, which can only be used a certain number of times per combat. These powerful abilities vary in their effect,
but they seem to have incredible useful bonuses. For example, one can increase the number of
spaces your units can move in that turn. Another can boost your damage for that round
of battle if you need some extra punch. Pairing friendly allies together on the battlefield
can multiply the effect of a Gambit, making it stronger. Every character can equip multiple Combat
Arts, and each one comes with special effects for different situations, making certain characters
excel against specific enemy types. For example, some Combat Arts do more damage
to archers, turning your unit into a powerful archer deterrent. Veterans might recognize the mechanic from
the previous Fire Emblem game, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. However, this time around, arts deduct your
weapon’s durability rather than your character’s heath. When a weapon’s durability reaches 0, it breaks. So you’ll have to weigh your options. “You can’t just spam the combat arts. You have to be very strategic about how you
use them.” The Weapon Triangle was a core tenet of Fire
Emblem combat that’s been around since the fourth game in the series. Depending on what weapon your unit uses, it
could have an advantage or disadvantage against other weapons. Generally speaking, swords beat axes, axes
beat spears, and spears beat swords. Longtime fans know these relationships among
weapon types like the back of their hands. With Three Houses, Nintendo and Intelligent
Systems decided to throw it all out the window. This bold decision turns Fire Emblem on its
head, and in a way, everyone has to grow accustomed to this new aspect of battle. You might be worried that the lack of a Weapon
Triangle would leave a strategic void in combat, but the Combat Arts fill that hole nicely,
promising more complex layers of depth. Some press outlets got to see Three Houses
at E3, which resulted in many articles about the drastic changes to the series. Eric Van Allen, news editor of US Gamer, mentioned
that this upcoming game is the biggest of the series. Yet the essence of the game remains distinctly
Fire Emblem. He wrote: “While the weapon triangle is no more, you
still have the grid, combat forecasts, and units to move around and smash into each other. There’s even an option to skip all the instructing
and school-life stuff, if you’re so inclined.” Meanwhile, Javy Gwaltney, associate editor
at Game Informer, found that Intelligent Systems was challenging the identity of Fire Emblem
by introducing new mechanics. For the most part, he believes these risks
will pay off for the franchise: “I came away from that demo highly impressed
with what I saw and confident this entry in an already well-loved series will be something
special.” For North American Fire Emblem fans, the “Seasons
of Warfare” edition might be up your alley. For $100, you’ll get a steelbook, an art book,
a calendar, and a sound selection CD along with a copy of the game. Japan gets a similar special edition, simply
called the “Fódlan Collection.” This box comes with everything in the “Seasons
of Warfare” edition except the calendar. European fans can keep an eye out for the
Fire Emblem: Three Houses Limited Edition. It’s largely similar to the “Seasons of Warfare”
edition, but instead of a CD, you’ll get a USB stick with a design on it. And there won’t be a calendar. Instead, there’s a set of pins representing
each house, available in the US as a GameStop pre-order bonus. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more SVG videos about your favorite
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90 thoughts on “Watch This Before You Buy Fire Emblem: Three Houses

  1. Black Eagles will be the first house for me!
    Also, this is a really well made video! Explains everything quickly and efficiently. Awesome job!
    I'm going to share this with my friends, you're a lot better at capturing the appeal than me.

  2. 2:51 A bit more on the games with continuity.
    Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (FE1)/Shadow Dragon(FE11) → Mystery of the Emblem(FE3)/New Mystery(FE12) → Awakening(FE13) + Gaiden(FE2)/Shadows of Valentia(FE15).
    Genealogy of the Holy War(FE4) → Thracia 776(FE5).
    Blazing Blade (FE7) → Binding Blade (FE6)
    Path of Radiance(FE9) → Radiant Dawn(FE10).
    Sacred Stones(FE8).
    Arrows mean straight up "continuity". Plus means "same universe". Upward slash means "remake".

    On a side note, Dex, you mispronounced "Sothis". So-this. Just soften the "th".
    Also, weapons that "break" don't break like they did in older games. They enter a more "dulled" version, where they deal much less damage (and probably other things, like probably being unable to do critical strikes).
    On the note of "no weapon triangle". It's not as direct as in past games. Instead, it comes back in the form of skills. If you've played Fates or even Heroes, you should be familiar with these skills.

    Also, if you're interested in the special edition, good luck. They're almost always perpetually sold out because Nintendo really didn't announce it was in pre-order after the direct all the way back in February, so if you want your hands on it, you're going to have to be lucky or deal with scalpers (which is a common occurrence with Nintendo pre-orders).
    The GameStop pre-order bonus pins are very different in design to the EU special edition pins.

  3. Echoes didn't have the weapon triangle either so it wont b too bad. The cool part about weapons in this is if they break u can repair them at black smithes and continue using them

  4. game looks like a soulless mess definitely skipping this one maybe I’ll check it out later on but I highly doubt it

  5. The weapon triangle does NOT add more stategic depth. It just tells you what weapon you're supposed to use, instead of letting you think for yourself.

  6. So the point on backstory/plot lines. heres the least confusing way of looking at it
    the first 3 games (and their remakes) all happened simultaneously, and they were followed by Awakening.
    The land of Jugdral is in two games, FE 4 and 5, with 5 being more of a supplement from the inbetween years of FE 4
    FE 6 and 7 he nailed perfectly
    FE 9 and 10 same
    Unless this game somehow ties back to Sacred stones, then it would be the second main series to have its own nation without building off previous backstory… though with so many similarities to FE 4.. idk..

  7. Youngblood may not be a competition bcuz devs gives code only, mybe if tgw rumors are true i will pass it cuz i only want physical copy

  8. I still will buy this game, but for personal reasons and outright difficulty, I will never think about buying the deluxe package, since echoes and fates had a similar circumstance, they sold out, and those who got the deluxe went online and sold the edition for 2-3x what it was worth. Not only that, despite IS learning their lesson about selling one game with multiple choices instead of three games with only 1 major choice, I still dont feel convinced that the story will be anything spectacular. I didnt particularly like the combat skill system from echoes and would rather equip skills like in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. The graphics of this game look alright and definitely quite the jump from Radiant Dawn, but if the war esque setting that this game should have isnt shown in cutscenes, I'm going to be terribly dissappointed. Also, if we get that cheap Amiibo crap that we got with echoes, I will personally sell all of my FE amiibo.
    I'm just pointing out major concerns I have with the game that could make or break the series. I dont think it's going to happen, but if it does, I'm not the one to blame.

  9. I’m gonna play my first play through where my people can’t die, but in other play through I’ll have them die in combat

  10. Never played a fire emblems game and I'm interested in this. Where these three houses in any of the other games?

  11. Not going to lie, I'm disappointed about this news. This is most definitely not a buy for me. Anyway I hope you guys enjoy the game when it comes out. Somebody have to…

  12. *Watch This Before You Buy Fire Emblem: Three Houses*

    yeah right now you gave me more reasons to buy this game!

  13. Actually awakening and fates showed that all the main games are a part of the same world but at different times

  14. Anyone know if the game will have dual audio?

    Edit: Hella well made video btw. I was skeptical before but this made me wanna pick the game up after all

  15. Can someone tell me how the combat is besides the obvious similarities is it anything like disgaea cause that’s the only tactical rpg I’ve played

  16. I dont think those games would qualify as competition, these games are different genres attempting to appeal to different audiences. I think FE players are usually the type of gamers who probably wouldn't play those games to begin with

  17. While yes it has competition it kinda also doesn't marvel is a beatemup game and wolfenstein is a 3rd person shooter while FE3H is an rpg and rpgs are becoming really popular plus wolfenstein isn't going to be on switch for some time (I think) and this fire emblem is being heavily promoted and marvel ultimate alience isn't so if anything marvel is the only game that has competition on switch

  18. Cant frickin wait, got a stupid boring family vacation to the mountains(who does that?) starts the day after FE3H releases. So I know what I'll be doing that week 🙂

  19. Paying weapon durability instead of life for combat arts doesn't promote being strategic with arts usage, it promotes never using them so you don't lose the weapon.

  20. Looking forward to this game. I really think that it'll be good but I'm gonna wait for the first reviews…trauma with pre-ordering games and hating'em

  21. Not sure how I feel about the lack of a weapons triangle. I'm sure the game will still be good, but that'll be hard to get used to

  22. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is my most anticipated game for the Switch in 2019.

    Also, I'll choose the Blue Lions.

  23. I use to be blue lions boi but now im a black eagles boi because edelgard is an axe lord… only other one was hector and he is my favorite

  24. The only thing that kinda bugs me is how he's mentioned Nintendo and IS that's developed the game. I think it should be KT and IS instead.

  25. So basically we have another Mario Maker 2 situation where is says “WATCH THIS BEFORE YOU BUY…” but this time, the editor put gameplay of other games just so they could sway you away from the fact that this is just a shortened Treehouse episode on Three Houses.

  26. Ah. Fire Emblem. Something for me to play while I continue to wait for (and kid myself about) Final Fantasy Tactics 2 being released. 🙂

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