Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the best games of the past few years and, for me, one of the greatest that I’ve ever played. I’ve accumulated more than 60 hours so far and I don’t even think I’ve reached the halfway point. The fact that I haven’t completed it doesn’t take anything away from the fantastic spectacle that Fire Emblem is. Nintendo is truly fortunate to have such a brand exclusive to its consoles. But recently, I started to wonder when I would actually get around to finishing the game. Could it be this year?
Perhaps that is too lofty of a goal, especially with my gaming habits. But Three Houses is one of my most treasured titles in my Nintendo Switch collection. I view it as a hybrid of Final Fantasy Tactics (my former favorite strategy role-playing game) and Persona 5. Between the battles, you’ll be spending time bonding with your students and other characters at the monastery that is your residence at least in the first portion of the story. That combination is what drew me to the game in the first place. And it is because of my experience with Three Houses that I started seeking out more strategy RPGs.
I really should be further into the game by now. But my issue is that I spent countless hours grinding on the battlefield to level up my characters so they are equipped to deal with any enemy. There were many occasions in Final Fantasy Tactics when I would spend more than 30 minutes in a battle only to be defeated because my characters just weren’t strong enough and I couldn’t put together a sound enough strategy to protect them. Where I have my characters now, enemies are currently not an issue. This allows me to experiment with different strategies and gives me the freedom to try new things without the worry of immediate failure. It takes a special game to have me committing hours upon hours to the battle portions, but Three Houses always felt both intriguing and rewarding in that regard.
Along with my focus on battles, I also have given plenty of attention to developing bonds with my students when I’m able to free roam the monastery. I want to hear what each character I have a direct association with has to say and spend a significant amount of time taking in the full environment. As a result, the characters have won me over. Bernadetta is especially hilarious. My interactions with them allow me to learn the nuances of what makes them tick. With all the money that I earned through battles, I’m able to go to the marketplace and purchase gifts and items that further enhance those relationships.
There’s so much to like about Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It’s a package that contains so much good content that you feel the full price of $60 is more than worth it. Part of me wants to press on and see what becomes of the main character and my students as time passes. As the professor of the Black Eagles, it is very apparent to me that Edelgard (the house’s leader) will one day rule as an empress. The story is so well done that even though I have seen the depictions of the future through photos online, I am still willing to take the journey to find out exactly how all the events play out. Three Houses is definitely within my top five recommended games for the Switch.
I will continue playing Three Houses this year and see how far I progress. Even with all the games I play, I sometimes get into a groove with certain titles that I see to completion at a quicker rate. Final Fantasy VII Remake, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and Quantum Break were examples of that over the past couple of years. We’ll see if I get there with Three Houses sooner than later.
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