After flying around to GDC and SXSW I’ve finally had more time to delve into Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn. It’s absolutely fantastic that is if you like Fire Emblem or other strategy RPGs. Unlike other Wii games like Wii Sports and Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn doesn’t offer anything unique or even radically different from the Fire Emblem series. You move your units around with the D-pad, attack with weapons using the same rocks-paper-scissors system and slowly build up your characters one hit point at a time. The thing about the Fire Emblem series is it knows who is buying the game, fans of the series, which is why Nintendo probably didn’t go to great lengths to force motion control in Fire Emblem.
Also it is pretty clear that Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn originated as a Gamecube title, but after Nintendo decided to shift gears to the Wii the control scheme was altered let players hold the remote like a classic Nintendo controller. You start off with Michiah, a light mage, but Sothe is the star of the first part of game. Sothe is a rogue character with a steal command and the ability to use daggers which often give him two hits. You also get Meg a heavily armored female warrior with little HP and low movement range and Laura the essential healer with life magic in your party early on. One change compared to Path of Radiance is each character levels up independently so if you want to make Laura stronger, you have to let her cast healing spells every chance she gets. Otherwise she will be stuck at a lower level than the rest of the party.
There is also another feature in Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn that lets you boost other characters stats. Using the support command you can assign characters to be partners, by default Michiah and Sothe are assigned as partners. If you place Michiah within a fixed range Sothe and she gets ready to cast sunny she blinks green and gets a stat boost. The amount of the boost is determined by what character you choose as a partner. Naturally, characters with relationships in the game work well as assigned partners. The support system puts a little more emphasis on where you want to position characters. Instead of arbitrarily selecting the closest character to attack, it’s beneficial to move your army in teams.
See the wolf in the video below? That’s Org a shape shifter, but has a special ability that lets him stay in wolf form. You are going to need Org’s help to rescue Jill who grew up a little from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.