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So by this time, the game has been out for six hours in my region, and I've been playing it for pretty much that whole duration.  I wanted to know what everyone's first impressions are having played a little bit of the game.  How do you feel about the gameplay, story, music, supports... whatever?  If you have any spoilery thoughts, post them in spoiler tags, as this isn't meant to be a predominantly spoiler discussion.

Also, feel free to tell people where you are at in the game, though again try not to spoil much.  I think location names should be fine (like Zofia castle or South Zofia 2), and maybe associate that location with whichever Act you're in.  I myself have only just gotten through the end of the Deliverance Hideout in Act 1, so I'm not too far in the game for the amount of time I've been playing; then again, I've been playing on Hard, so enemies take longer to chew through.

I'll post my thoughts a little later, probably after I've gotten through a bit of Celica's path.  But the long and short of it is that I've been enjoying the game well enough.

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Double post... ignore, please

Edited by Ertrick36

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Just started a few hours ago. Really enjoying it so far. Character dialogue is enjoyable, gameplay is alright so far, but that's probably because I haven't gotten to Cantor hell yet.

Few more things to add:

Lots of low % crits (from my units, thankfully). Like, really a lot. Mycen even crit Slayder in the prologue 

Silque has landed almost every nosferatu and has gotten Atk on every level up

Alm is literally god

Edited by Korath88

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3 minutes ago, Korath88 said:

Just started a few hours ago. Really enjoying it so far. Character dialogue is enjoyable, gameplay is alright so far, but that's probably because I haven't gotten to Cantor hell yet.

If my memory from Gaiden serves correct, Cantor hell doesn't really start until Act 4. Desert hell comes first though, in Act 3 (but deserts have always been hell).

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Character dialogue is great but I decided I wanted to play the game after like ten minutes of just talking so I skipped some of the stuff. Oops. I'm on the second map now and I'll probably play all night long after work.

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I love that it's all voiced. It just feels so much better.

Lukas and his voice has made me love him even more.

I've only played a few maps, but I can't wait to get home from work and play more :D

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1 hour ago, Korath88 said:

Just started a few hours ago. Really enjoying it so far. Character dialogue is enjoyable, gameplay is alright so far, but that's probably because I haven't gotten to Cantor hell yet.

Few more things to add:

Lots of low % crits (from my units, thankfully). Like, really a lot. Mycen even crit Slayder in the prologue 

Silque has landed almost every nosferatu and has gotten Atk on every level up

Alm is literally god

I have the opposite situation where Silque barely hits anything and where I was happy to get a single 2 stats level up from her. Growths on the whole seem like they are pretty low so i'm happy for once with something as low as 3 stats going up.

Alm is very good, but I was surprised to see that Lucas became my champ for act 1. As a knight nothing aside from that one mage did more then 2 damage to him.

I enjoyed act 1 a lot, but act 2 is a bit more tricky. That difficulty seems a bit higher and they throw some annoying stuff at you such as that Cantor that keeps summoning or an all mage boat.

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I played a few hours, did some battles. So far I'm doing good, but im struggling to figure what are the best class for each character. Im playing on hard/classic so I don’t know if I will have more difficulty playing without optimal classes.

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Loving it thus far. I think I put 2 hours into it and I'm still at the very beginning trying to do side quests on Hard Classic. The presentation is top-notch, and I absolutely love the voice acting and music. Gameplay wise, everything seems tame, but that is just because I am still in the early game. I wonder how my opinion will change once I start getting into the later chapters where the flaws may become much more prevalent. (Also, all my characters are on their "canon classes." I don't know what Faye's is, but I made her a Cavalier instead of a Pegasus Knight. I was tempted to make her a Mercenary though for the lols.)

Also, I had one of those "rare Dungeon Super Mobs" show up on my second visit to the Thieves Shrine to give the Brigands a thrashing. I ran into it my first time and I had to go back to a previous save because how powerful they are. I couldn't even last long enough in battle to retreat proper...

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Loving the game so far. Presentation may be the best in the series with the voice acting, all the character interaction, etc. 

 

i thought these characters would have issues due to the lack of supports, but these may be the strongest cast of characters because they receive characterization outside of just supports and interact all the time. I love the fact that they talk to each other instead of always just Alm. The fact that they also talk right after the battle or talk during the battle (even though it's just a simple "you should heal up") is great. It reminds me a lot of how Bioware handles it, where characters just feel natural because they are interacting with each other, not just the main character all the time.

Gameplay wise I think it's fine. I played up to Chapter 3 of Gaiden, so I know what to expect in terms of gameplay, but I think it's combat its combat feels more fleshed out than Gaiden, which helps. Sure they kept the maps the same, and the terrain effects are still there, but with supports, provisions, and all these other new additions it really makes the combat better. Maybe my experience with older games have just made me used to the repitition, it really doesn't bother me. That and the tedious nature of combat isn't too bad either. I will see if it changes towards the end, but after watching a few vids of the later maps I honestly doubt it. 

The battle animations are great, and are really fun to watch. I really enjoy watching them more than any other FE so far. Watching as an Archer jumped above Lukas's lance and shot him while still in the air was so cool to see. And watching Mycen's horse use it's hooves to hit someone as a counter attack was great too. It feels so fluid. 

Story is interesting so far. I am not too far in, so it's not like I know a ton yet. 

Anyway, I am loving it so far. 

Edited by Tolvir

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50 minutes ago, Sire said:

(Also, all my characters are on their "canon classes." I don't know what Faye's is, but I made her a Cavalier instead of a Pegasus Knight. I was tempted to make her a Mercenary though for the lols.)

Where can I get information about the "canon classes"?

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7 minutes ago, Sire said:

(Also, all my characters are on their "canon classes." I don't know what Faye's is, but I made her a Cavalier instead of a Pegasus Knight. I was tempted to make her a Mercenary though for the lols.)

I think it is cavalier because in all the trailers, she's depicted as such.  Though unlike the boys, there are no in-game hints as to which class best suits her (at least as far as I could see, anyway).  She's probably supposed to be more of a wild card, since she wasn't in the original.

15 minutes ago, Tolvir said:

The battle animations are great, and are really fun to watch. I really enjoy watching them more than any other FE so far. Watching as an Archer jumped above Lukas's lance and shot him while still in the air was so cool to see. And watching Mycen's horse use it's hooves to hit someone as a counter attack was great too. It feels so fluid.

It makes me think of the animations in the Jugdral games, though these animations are even fluid than that.  I loved watching Mycen's horse kick a dude in the teeth, or seeing an armor knight punch someone with their shield in the rare moments they get a follow-up attack during a counter.  I've always found myself holding down the A button in Fates and Awakening because while they weren't terrible, they were still slow, and I still do here out of habit, but sometimes I let go just to see a real battle unfold.  Or to watch Alm hacked as a brigand, angrily marching towards a terror for a good twenty seconds.

1 minute ago, Mell said:

Where can I get information about the "canon classes"?

As I mentioned earlier, there are hints as to what they are supposed to be, primarily in Ram Village.  If you inspect certain elements (e.g. a scorched wall, a broken fence), Alm will remark on them.  These are actually hints as to which classes work best for the male villagers.  They are also based off of a general consensus among the Gaiden fanbase, and you most frequently see the characters in the canon classes in the pre-release trailers for Echoes.  The canon classes for the boys are as follows:

Spoiler

Tobin: Archer; since he had poor growths in the original game, he was considered a liability, so making him an archer helped alleviate that problem

Gray: Mercenary, since that class mitigates his terrible speed, making him a viable unit

Kliff: Mage, because he has a good list of spells and generally can work well with any class, and you don't get any mages on Alm's team until Act 3.

 

So anyway, here's what I think of the game now.  I've gotten up to the Pirate Fortress in Act 2, btw.

Like I suspected, there is a lot of snark to be had, particularly between Gray and Tobin, and Boey and Mae.  That being said, it doesn't take away from the seriousness of a lot of situations.  In fact, there's one part between Gray and Tobin in the story that I liked, which was at the end of Act 1.

Spoiler

When you march into Zofia Castle and Alm gives a speech about taking the fight to Desaix and the Rigelian Empire, there's a bit where Tobin and Gray react to this, and what you get is essentially the opinion of two commoner soldiers in regards to the scaling up of the war and Alm's rising up in the world.  I just like getting this side of the story; the side of the regular folk who are just sort of along for the ride.  Plus, it's a nice, somewhat bitter prelude to the scene that follows, foreshadowing the overall tone of the story to come.

A lot of the characters have charm to them.  Clair's like a more spritely and open-minded version of the ignorant pompous noble archetype, and I love it.  The characters I already liked, I am liking more.  Although the adults voicing children was weird in the intro, I think the acting otherwise works well.  And while I was worried that the limited supports would hinder characterization, it seems my fears were mostly unfounded.  There's plenty of dialogue for all the characters outside of supports.  The characters don't feel as if they exist in a vacuum like in daddys'-club-Fates, or that their bits are forced in during certain segments like most characters in roll-call-Awakening.

I've yet to get to the... murky parts of the gameplay.  But believe me, I know they're coming, and I'm not too happy about that.  Otherwise, things are fine.  Building supports isn't as difficult as I thought, and I was surprised to learn that some pairs have innate support bonuses that don't necessarily come with convos.

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So far it's absolutely fantastic. Outside the actual maps that is. Pretty sure they weren't changed much from Gaiden. That's a huge problem to be sure but as long as I find myself capable of caring about the characters and their journey, I'm all good. And this is something that the game really nails.

The story has been beautifully expanded and the dialog and voice acting is great. Their is a lot of focus about how the people are affected by the war and the responsibility our heroes have to them. People actually act like human beings and care about their surroundings. Admittedly Awakening set the bar so low in that regard that you need a shovel to reach it but at this rate the game may well surpass any previous games when it comes to this. It's so much better then what I dared to imagine.

The dungeon crawling is a nice addition to Gaiden and I'm quite surprised just how well that third-person stuff controls. Like, you actually have a dash and a 3-hit combo. I figured it would be a lot more barebone then that. But they really made sure that it feels good.

And that's kind of the thing: Everything about the game just feels good. It looks beautifully, it controls well, battle animations are fantastic, the voice acting is great, the characters don't make me want to punch them... the game is just pure joy so far.

The only thing so far that has been truly annoying was keeping Leon alive. Guy was always dead on turn no matter what I did. I'm sure it's no problem on Normal Mode though.

 

Edited by BrightBow

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1 hour ago, Ertrick36 said:

I think it is cavalier because in all the trailers, she's depicted as such.  Though unlike the boys, there are no in-game hints as to which class best suits her (at least as far as I could see, anyway).  She's probably supposed to be more of a wild card, since she wasn't in the original.

It's actually probably Pegasus Knight, since that's what she's depicted as in Cipher.

Though i did hear that Cleric!Faye keeps her Villager outfit so there's that to consider. I'll find out of if this is true when i get to the Thief Shrine. I just started the game 20-ish minutes ago.

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So far my impressions has been very good. 

The presentation is as good as everyone says. There's full voice acting and so far there's no voice actor I found to be bad or ill suited for their role. The cast also gets plenty of chances to show their personality. 

The game feels very different with its bigger focus on terrain and its archers being able to shoot much further away and so far I'm quite fond of those changes. 

I'm pleasantly surprised by Celica's route. I kept hearing how its just a string of boat chapters but I find it nicely varied. You got boat chapters ranging from the regular boat map with two ships and some choke point to more interesting stuff like 

Spoiler

A boat manned by a single mage who keeps summoning zombies, a boat filled with mages which you can potentially shoot at from your own ship just as they can fire from theirs, and a chapter with two dragons in it. 

 

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The art direction is awfully boring.. the whole visual presentation feels, quite frankly, flat at the most important parts. 
My eyes are faster than my ears patient, so I've been button-mashing through dialogue.. The voice acting is good, but nothing stands out. I feel like I don't know these characters at all, and I'm judging them all by looks. 

I do find the dungeon portions quite fun though! The controls are wonky, but that's about it. 
 

All the battles have been really same-y. I've never once had to THINK about how I was approaching anything. So far, this doesn't seem like a game I'll remember even months from now. 

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Ok, so i just rescued Clair, so here's a good spot to talk about my feelings with this game. I love it. I'm terrible at explaining why i love things but i'll try. Playing on Hard, the game provides a fair challenge. I had to reset because Faye died, and then i had to reset again when Kliff died (i didn't have the Turnwheel then). Oh, btw, the death quotes are full voiced, so i truly felt bad when Faye and Kliff died.

Also, Cleric!Faye is a Godsend. She helps so much just by being a second healer.

Edit: forgot to mention that the animations, visuals, and voice acting are 10/10.

Edited by Armagon

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1 hour ago, Armagon said:

Ok, so i just rescued Clair, so here's a good spot to talk about my feelings with this game. I love it. I'm terrible at explaining why i love things but i'll try. Playing on Hard, the game provides a fair challenge. I had to reset because Faye died, and then i had to reset again when Kliff died (i didn't have the Turnwheel then). Oh, btw, the death quotes are full voiced, so i truly felt bad when Faye and Kliff died.

Also, Cleric!Faye is a Godsend. She helps so much just by being a second healer.

Edit: forgot to mention that the animations, visuals, and voice acting are 10/10.

Agreed on Faye. I was hesitant at first because I wasnt sure about two priests, but Physic has been such a help. I was also a little hesitant with Tobin as a mage, but he is easily one of my best units, and Kliff as an Archer destroys everything. 

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I haven't played much of the game so far, just the very first two battles, but I am really loving it!

The animations are very, very solid. They're so fluid, even watching the animations when a character misses is fun to watch! I also really like how the bottom screen mostly comprises of showing just the characters faces. Yeah, it has the stats and inventory and all that, like Awakening and Fates did, but the art for Echoes was extraordinary, so simply seeing their faces enlarged on the bottom screen made me really happy.

Anyways, I can't wait to play through more of the game! I'll probably try and get through the Thieves' Shrine as the last thing I play in Echoes before I go to sleep.

11 hours ago, Cute Chao said:

Lukas and his voice has made me love him even more.

I agree! I loved Lukas' design when I first saw him, but I literally melted when I heard his voice... it's so smooth and deep and beautiful!

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So far my initial impression of the game is that it does a much better job of presenting it's characters, world, and story in a much better fashion than Fates did. The voice acting is some of the best in a video game I have ever heard. The music is great. Also, Gray is currently my bro and my team's MVP.

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Quite favorable first impressions.
Actually taking the game quite slow, been dipping into astral shrine dlc for some cool items. Managed to sneak out with some awesome gems (hello cancer for silque mine has like 12 defense before she promoted to saint). I'm just getting into the nitty gritty with chapter 3.
My starting villager run was triple merc+cleric faye and it's been quite strong. There isn't a ton of swords to go around but i managed to snag a lightning sword from the astral shrine as well as a darkness sword (that i turned into a brave sword)
I've been doing tons of side quests and fighting some cool rare spawns, Celica's chapter 2 was quite weird compared to Alm's. I knew i'd like Alm's more but Celica's had more unfair situations (like Leon who can't frigging survive for more than 3-4 turns, had to restart for him 3 times) that being said Saber is the GOAT so i'm doing ok.
Dialogue is just stellar, the story if you don't actually skip it can be gripping with a lot of foreshadowing and interesting dynamics between characters.
So far this FE is shaping up to be top 3 for me

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7 hours ago, Carter said:

I agree! I loved Lukas' design when I first saw him, but I literally melted when I heard his voice... it's so smooth and deep and beautiful!

Thirded... love Lukas and his voice!

I've only played an hour so far but I'm enjoying it hugely - the characterization is great and the battle animations are a particular joy.

i also appreciate the ability to press X to auto play dialogue; saves my thumb! 

 

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While a few changes here and there have been bothering me and a few lines of voice acting were delivered in some awkward ways, overall the presentation and updated Gaiden game play is winning me over. Nice to see 8-4 drawing from some stylistic flourishes they used in Awakening and Shadow Dragon, and composer Kanazaki is finally beginning to prove himself now that he's had a game soundtrack behind him and some great tunes to arrange. It's just great to see people talking about Gaiden and playing it.

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The presentation is really great - the music, art style, full VA are all good. The one exception I'd make to this is that the VN style villages really feel cheaped out on. Related to this I think, The controls in the 3rd person dungeons sections are kinda awkward. 

The story is pretty standard FE fare so far.

The maps are gigantic and empty and enemies are prone to run away to try to heal, some of them early on are cavaliers and stuff where you don't really have much to chase them with, it just extends the long maps further. 

I'm not in love with the item/skill system and it seems to offer complexity and then removes it by being too limited. 

I hate the way money works as it ends up being a bunch of annoying slashing at weeds, and it feels like more enemies should drop stuff. 

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I'm at the Deliverance hideout in act 1. This game is amazing! What a breath of fresh air it is having a game actually care about world-building and having multidimensional characters after two subpar entries in that respect. I'm really impressed at how much they improved on Gaiden, going by what I remember of an LP I saw a while back. So far I've enjoyed getting to know all the characters, even ones I was meh about  (Tobin and Silque)... well, except Faye. Stand outs are probably Alm, Mycen, Gray, Lukas, and Clair.

Gameplay wise I love the mini-exploration more than I thought since I was disappointed towns weren't fully traversable. It does wonders for the world and characters to learn information this way. The dungeons have been a nice change too so far. And I haven't been too bothered by the maps although they do feel a lot emptier than I'm used to. It took me a bit to get used to the new systems/interface and already had to use Mila's Turnwheel to revive Silque after she got axe'd by brigands. I went with canon promotions and made Faye a Cleric, but I'm interested in switching it up in future playthroughs. 

And the art is beautiful. Cannot stress enough how much I like the character designs.

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