I’m Not Dead, I’m Just Playing Fire Emblem


It’s been a while since I last posted, although that was certainly not my intention. See, a wonderful thing came into my life last week, a true blessing from on high. Nah, it’s not a baby; it’s just Fire Emblem: Awakening, only one of my most-anticipated games ever and possibly the best game I’ve played in the last year.

I’m still young enough to be within that coveted 18-25 year-old male demographic (the one that likes all the violence and the sex, apparently), but as I age, I find I’m getting less excited by new game releases, even ones that I undoubtedly would’ve lost my shit over as a younger man. After buying Skyward Sword and Super Mario 3D Land in November 2011, I didn’t beat the former until late this summer, and I didn’t even play the latter until May. I didn’t feel sick with anticipation in the months leading up to their respective releases, and I wasn’t caught up in the pre-release hype machine that usually resulted in me checking for new screenshots, trailers, anything, several times a day (I couldn’t sleep the night before Pokemon Stadium came out because I was rewatching all the commercials in my head all night).

But then Fire Emblem: Awakening released in Japan last year, and my interest went from cautious curiosity (the last two Fire Emblems, one of which was Japan-only, were both lazy remakes that threw away much of the series’ steady progress) to desperate need once I saw all the features packed into this game. I’m a Fire Emblem diehard and a jaded, fairly negative person to boot, but even I thought the game looked damn impressive. As the game neared its February 5 release date, I wondered last Tuesday how I could ever wait another full week.

Then came the rumours: Canada broke the street date a week early. Fuck Canada. Hey wait, I’m in Canada! Do you think?…nah, I’m never that lucky. Still, I called my local EB Games just to be sure, and the slightly surprised clerk on the other end told me that she hadn’t gotten to calling me about my preorder yet, but yes, they had them in today and were going to be selling them today, street dates be damned. A half-hour later, I couldn’t believe it: my most anticipated game in years, and I had it a week before I was supposed to. I let myself cackle, just because it felt like the thing to do.

Sooo… this is actually what I’ve been doing instead of writing: playing Fire Emblem in some nega-universe where someone fucks up, every EB Games in Canada gets the game shipped a week early, they sell it the next day, then they stop selling it the next day once the hammer comes down (guess the House of Mario wasn’t too happy about it), then they tell everyone who was unlucky enough to not buy it during the Great Street-Date-Breaking that they have to wait ’til the 8th due to “shipping problems.” That fucking sucks, bud.

I hate to gloat, but usually I’m never quick on the draw for things like this. I miss every great Steam or Amazon sale because I don’t find out about it until a day later, and I never get those free game codes that devs sometimes tweet. But finally, my luck came through when it mattered most (to me, anyway).

So here I am, about to beat a game that comes out in a few hours. I’d like to thank whoever got fired in EB Games’ shipping department for allowing this to happen. Your brave sacrifice will be remembered by Canadians for all time; we’ll erect an ice sculpture of you in our parliamentary igloo, right next to the throne from which Celine Dion holds high court.

8 thoughts on “I’m Not Dead, I’m Just Playing Fire Emblem

  1. I was content just to be downloading the game early this morning instead of having to go to the store (where apparently no one got their shipment anyway) — a week’s head start sounds like a lot more fun!

      • I’m just about to start Chapter 6, which means I have a lonnnnnng way to go, but so far I love how clean and crisp everything looks. It’s modern in a very complimentary way, while still maintaining ties to the Fire Emblem universe (like the little jingles that play when you level up or a weapon breaks). Menus are easy to traverse. The story’s interesting, and I’m sure there are some folks who are going to love being able to ship their favorite characters into marriages (won’t lie, I’m totally doing that a little myself). This is one of only a few games I’m really interested in this year, and so far it hasn’t disappointed.

        • It’s weird, but graphically speaking, Awakening looks as good as (if not better than) Radiant Dawn. Not that RD will be winning any awards for art direction, but hey. And yeah, I have not been a shipper for any series myself, but when there are actual genetic consequences for pairing up characters, you can bet I’m all over that. I’ve been doing tons of skirmishes lately because the battles are just so freaking fun. Think I might even try to get all my units around the same level, then pick and choose my favourites for the last few story missions, which is something I’ve never done in an FE game before. Usually I just pick my team ahead of time and let the rest of them clip their toenails on the bench.

  2. I had no idea this was coming out until I started seeing the reviews come out. Everyone is going insane over it and I’m starting to get pumped too but my gaming pile of shame is so big already I feel like I can’t justify buying it right now : (

    • I’m actually surprised by how much attention this game is getting outside of Japan. Really, I haven’t seen this much buzz over an FE game since the first one came out here a decade ago. But seems like everyone on the Internet wants it, and Gamestop actually stopped taking preorders a few weeks before release because the demand outmatched the supply. I’m happy about it, since I feel this is a damn good series that has sadly been relegated to the niche crowd because it has a nerdy art style and is in a nerdy genre. But yeah, I have a big pile of shame too (had to sign up for a Backloggery account to keep track of it), but I felt I had to get this one on day 1 (or day -7, rather) or I would’ve just gone crazy. If it helps your decision, the game is crazy good!

  3. Pretty jealous at the moment. Though, as I’m unlikely to get a 3DS, I’ll probably just have to keep playing my XCOM and biting by nails to keep from splurging and getting my wife pissed at my abuse of finances. If only I could convince a game review site that I am work supplying with a 3DS and a copy of the game to write about it.. Totally wishing…

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