Tokyo Mirage Periods #FE Encore Evaluate: Put This Track on Repeat

My dwelling nation of Canada may be very keen on a dish referred to as poutine. You have probably heard of it, as a result of individuals world wide marvel what first possessed us to combine fries, gravy, and cheese curds. The idea of poutine would possibly sound bizarre—or gross—to an individual listening to about it for the primary time, however relaxation assured the unorthodox mixture of components is extraordinarily edible. In reality, consuming the concoction ensures happiness.

Tokyo Mirage Periods #FE is online game poutine. There is not a lot logical purpose why combining the Shin Megami Tensei/Persona RPG sequence with Fireplace Emblem and idol tradition ought to work, but it surely does. Greater than that, #FE Encore for the Change provides extra content material and high quality of life enhancements to the unique Wii U journey. Some flaws stay, however #FE Encore remains to be probably the greatest and most unusual RPGs obtainable for the Change.

In case you’ve been squirming excitedly since #FE Encore was introduced, you then already know the unhappy story of how Tokyo Mirage Periods #FE failed to search out an viewers when it got here to the Wii U in 2015. The idol iteration of Chrom light alongside Nintendo’s doomed console, despite the fact that Fireplace Emblem hype had reached new ranges because of 2012’s Fireplace Emblem Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS. #FE Encore provides everybody an opportunity to play an awesome RPG for a system they really purchased. (Sorry, Nintendo.) There’s numerous anticipation and hype surrounding #FE Encore, and it is largely justified.

#FE Encore’s story is not probably the most participating story in RPG historical past, but it surely’s charming. A younger man named Itsuki Aoi lives in an alternate model of Japan the place digital and actual world “3D” pop idols permeate each side of life and leisure. The general public’s love of idols runs deep regardless of—or maybe due to—an incident that noticed a well-known pop idol actually disappear into skinny air throughout a present.

Fascinated by the disappearance for their very own causes, Itsuki and his buddies wind up within the thick of supernatural happenings. Their wrestle is towards the corrupting affect of “Mirages”, #FE Encore’s model of the magical Personas. Enter Chrom and several other different Fireplace Emblem characters as pleasant Mirages that pair up with Itsuki and firm, although none of them can recall why they had been pulled to Itsuki’s world to start with. The explanations step by step turn into clearer, although not earlier than you plunge into the “Idolasphere” and have interaction in numerous fights towards the evil Mirages and the individuals controlling them.

Welcome to this wild maze of life. | Atlus/Nintendo

The dungeons present in #FE Encore’s Idolasphere fall between Persona Four and Persona 5 in theme and complexity. Whereas they’re extra outlined than Persona 4’s procedurally generated labyrinths, they lack the character of Persona 5’s settings. There are some easy puzzles to deal with in every dungeon, however nothing that sticks in your thoughts. That is wonderful, as a result of the true star of Tokyo Mirage Periods #FE Encore will get prime billing proper there within the identify: the “Periods” which can be a key a part of the battle system.

While you begin a battle in #FE Encore, you’ll be able to choose to simply assault foes together with your weapons. That is a great way to die, because the enemies you face off towards are usually fairly powerful and common assaults hardly dent them. As with most Shin Megami Tensei and Persona video games, the important thing to your continued survival in #FE Encore lies with highly effective Ability-based assaults. Exploiting a foul man’s elemental weak spot with a Ability can set off a series assault referred to as a Session. The circumstances for executing a Session depend upon the passive Abilities Itsuki and his buddies accumulate as they trek via the Idolasphere and degree up, however in time, choose NPCs will be capable of take part on classes too.

As satisfying as Periods are to look at, they’re additionally the realm the place one in every of #FE Encore’s highest quality of life enhancements will get to shine. The brand new “Fast Periods” choice lets Periods play out immediately, an unspeakably invaluable addition in the event you do not need to sit via a procession of supplementary assaults each time you smack a schmuck with their weak spot. In reality, #FE Periods usually strikes extra rapidly than the Wii U launch. Load instances, a significant grievance for the primary model of the sport, have been drastically lowered according to comparisons between the two.

Later within the recreation, Periods go on lengthy sufficient that you simply begin to hear that little child from The Simpsons cry “Cease! Cease! He is already lifeless!” from deep inside your soul. | Atlus/Nintendo

Some areas of #FE Encore can nonetheless use an injection of hustle, nonetheless. A number of time is spent in menus, twiddling with weapon and ability optimization. Get together members study expertise via their weapons, which achieve expertise factors after every battle. Weapons degree up rapidly, which is good, however every character can solely study a restricted variety of spells. Earlier than lengthy, almost each victory is adopted by a number of minutes of deciding which spells it is best to dangle onto, and which ought to go. Worse, as soon as you have mastered a weapon, you need to forge one other to study extra spells—which suggests extra time in menus, evaluating expertise and stats. Sure, it is so much like optimizing the spells you study from Personas within the Persona video games, however the tempo at which you study Persona’s spells feels extra manageable.

The menus in Persona Four and 5 additionally really feel cleaner than the menus in #FE Encore and are usually simpler to navigate because of this. I had a tough time getting used to #FE Encore’s menus; I used to be nonetheless hitting flawed buttons and looking for sure sub-sections after 30 or 40 hours of play. (You possibly can anticipate round 60 hours of content material relying on what number of sub quests you deal with, by the way in which.) Mentioned menus are designed to look and function like a smartphone app, and whereas they’re cute and match the sport’s idol theme completely, they seem to be a bit cluttered. #FE Encore would not stroll the skinny line between model and performance as nimbly as Persona 5 does.

Thankfully, #FE Encore’s menu and pacing issues are simply a few scuffs on the sport’s glittering, golden presentation. #FE Encore’s sense of favor is not on par with Persona 5’s, but it surely’s nothing to show away from. I eagerly waited for every new inductee to my group as a result of I liked seeing the brand new design takes on Fireplace Emblem’s veteran forged. I additionally recognize how Itsuki’s buddies are partnered with excellent Fireplace Emblem counterparts—largely. Tiny microwave cooking star Mamori is paired with the heavily-armored Draug, and watching her try and heft round Draug’s huge axe is hilarious. For an 11-year-old woman, although, she is a superb tank.

When #FE didn’t make an impression on RPG followers in 2015, it wasn’t the sport’s fault. Now that it is a well-advertised recreation on a preferred platform, it ought to make extra of a splash. It deserves to. I missed out on #FE Encore throughout its first tour, and I am pleased I used to be capable of bask in its unusual hybrid charms the second time round. Tokyo Mirage Periods #FE Encore hits a few bitter notes, but it surely provides a spectacular total efficiency.

No matter you consider port-begging, it is justified with Tokyo Mirage Periods #FE Encore. Not solely does #FE Encore give us an opportunity to play an awesome recreation that was missed on the Wii U, but it surely additionally provides a brand new dungeon, new songs, and content material that was beforehand DLC. A number of new Persona followers have been minted since #FE’s preliminary launch in 2015, and that is one track they need to all get pleasure from.


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