Tis no secret that I am a diehard fan of the book-worthy Fire Emblem games. I adored FE: Three Houses, and while I may have stated in clear terms why I deemed its Crimson Flower route the canon one, that does not mean that Nintendo cannot change my mind by releasing a "golden route", a true canon ending that ends well for all in the form of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Now let me be clear, I am not a fan of the Warriors style of play where instead of battling using the turn-based tactical format that defines Fire Emblem and makes it phenomenal, players defeat battlefields full of enemies in third-person action combat using a single character. Indeed, I never played the original Fire Emblem Warriors precisely because having a single character slaughter dozens of enemy soldiers simultaneously is antithetical to classic and timeless Fire Emblem style strategy. That said, I am willing to give Three Hopes the benefit of the doubt there because, unlike the first FE Warriors, this one seems to, again, offer an alternate canon ending to Three Houses that leaves fewer friends dead. Which House will I stand with should worst comes to worst? Where I stood before and without regret stand now: alongside the Black Eagles and Edelgard von Hresvelg, heiress apparent to and then Emperor of the Adrestian Empire.
The beauty here is that not only does this look good, it – like all the Warriors games – is clearly just to tide us over until the next true (i.e. turned-based tactical) Fire Emblem game comes out. This is the ice-cream before the cake, and I cannot wait to dig into this and whatever the next true FE game is. Also and in fairness, Fire Emblem games could be taking longer to make because now every single bit of dialogue requires full voice acting and visual animation – a far cry from Awakening or Fates. Three Houses set the bar to new heights, which logically means new games will take longer to make.