Dang, 'Fire Emblem' Games Have Gotten Really Long

At the 40-hour mark, Austin was only halfway through the latest Fire Emblem.
July 26, 2019, 8:36pm
Image from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Portrait of the leader of the Golden Deer,
Image courtesy of Nintendo

It feels like every year AAA games are getting longer. As single player experiences vie for audience attention against "forever games," they've started ballooning in scope and scale. It's a blurry line between making a game that feels bloated and making a game that offers a lot of options for myriad tastes. We discuss how Fire Emblem: Three Houses is walking that line, what '20 second levels' are in Mario Maker 2, and whether or not A Way Out was actually a great game in this episode of Waypoint Radio. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.

Austin: That was kind of part of my feeling yesterday was like, am I going to lose steam? I couldn't tell at that point for sure. I ended up DMing Gita [Jackson, of Kotaku], who happened to pick the same house that I did, to be like "how many chapters do I have left?" I do my best not to talk to other reviewers around games I'm reviewing so I can kind of be like write my take. But in this case I was like "Is it feasible for me to get through this game tonight."

Patrick: You needed a game reviewer

Austin: 100%! Seriously, absolutely did!

Patrick: A website I use all the time.

Austin [lifting his laptop to show the webcam]: I'm on it, literally Patrick, it's right here in front of me because I was curious how long those past games were!

Patrick: Oh about those other Fire Emblems? Was I right, basically 40-50 hours?

Austin: I mean most of them are less than that. Most of them for main story is like 20 to 30, and then yes.

Patrick: I was gonna say, I feel like I did Awakening in like 25-30. Where it was a nice investment, but not one that overtook my life.

Cado: It turns to 40 when you're playing on classic but don't want anyone to die, right?

Austin: Yes, right that is where a lot of the length comes from,

Patrick: Sure, sure, but that's optional, right?

Austin: Right, Right. A huge part of where length comes from in those games for me in the past is fucking up 90% through a mission, losing someone and being like "fuck I guess I got to replay this fucking mission again."

Cado: Uh-huh! YUP!

Austin: Which you don't have to do in this game for reasons I get into in the review, which we've talked about on this podcast before, around having a thing called the Divine Pulse which lets you rewind time, like Into the Breach. Actually way more powerful than Into the Breach because you can choose exactly how far back you want to go, it's to move by move, which is great.

Patrick: I like how their response was "Look, alright, so we're gonna split the difference between Classic and Casual so that Classic fans that want to do permadeath don't have to restart a mission."

Austin: Yeah!

Patrick: "But in response to that we're just gonna tack on like 40 more hours because they're having time so we got to make sure that they get that capital 'c' content somewhere else!"

Discussed: Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Joy Con drift, Super Mario Maker 2, Nowhere Prophet, Griftlands, Wolfenstein Youngblood

You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you're using something else, this RSS link should let you add the podcast to whatever platform you'd like. If you'd like to directly download the podcast, click here. Please take a moment and review the podcast, especially on Apple Podcasts. It really helps.

Interaction with you is a big part of this podcast, so make sure to send any questions you have for us to with the header "Questions." (Without the quotes!) We can't guarantee we'll answer all of your questions, but rest assured, we'll be taking a look at them.

Have thoughts? Swing by the Waypoint forums to share them!