I can’t lie when I say that I have tried multiple times to write this article. At least three, maybe four, I’ve lost count at this point.
Why have I failed so many times to write about this game?
Because it’s that good.
This is the first Fire Emblem game that I’ve ever played. Typically I’m not into many RPGs, outside of games such as Pokemon, so this was new territory that I was walking into.
I’m going to avoid touching on much of the story, as if you haven’t played the game, its much better to be surprised, as I was. I will touch on only the very beginning of the story, and the gameplay itself.
In Three Houses you play a mercenary who eventually makes their way to a monastery called Gareg Mach. Gareg Mach is where a good bulk of your time will be spent.
After you have chosen the class that you will lead, either Black Eagles led by Edelgard, Blue Lions led by Claude, or Golden Deer led by Dimitri. Each house has its own students and storyline depending on which house you pick, beyond that there is another hidden path you can take that I found on my first playthrough that I won’t spoil for you guys.
During your time in Gareg Mach you can perform small quests to gain the favor from your students, and to gain items from them that can be used as gifts, and such to increase your friendship levels with the students.
Increasing your friendship levels with your students is incredibly crucial. This allows them to not only perform better in battles alongside you, but if you befriend students from different houses, or professors, and raise your friendship levels with them high enough you can recruit them to your house. Friendship levels can be raised by taking students out for tea, getting them flowers on their birthday, eating meals with them, or giving them gifts.
As a teacher at Gareg Mach, you also have teaching responsibilities, by giving students gifts and doing other activities with them, such as choir practice, you can raise their motivation. Motivation is important when it comes to classes as it determines how many times your can ‘teach’ them per session. You can teach your students by selecting a stat, and depending on their rate of success (Poor, good, perfect, etc) it will l determine how much their stat increases by.
Now we finally get into battle.
Battle proceeds on a grid system, each unit can move a certain amount on the board, and attack once. Attacking with a weapon will lower the amount of uses it has left. Once a weapon breaks you can still attack with it, but it won’t do as much damage. After and before the battle you can repair or buy new weapons at the market.
From what I’ve heard, this combat mechanic is much different from what is in previous Fire Emblem games. But I feel for Three Houses it works quite well and effectively, it requires much more thought and strategy with every move.
In addition to the battle mechanic you have, you also have Divine Pulse which lets you, with limited uses, rewind your moves should you make a mistake. As a newcomer to this type of game, I found myself using this quite a lot until I found my proper footing.
Overall, this game is a must for anyone that owns a Nintendo Switch. The story is phenomenal, and the music and overall atmosphere is pulled off amazingly well. Big kudos to Nintendo for this one. It’ll be a few months, but I do want to do another playthrough, as in my first, I didn’t learn too much about some other things I’m curious about. This isn’t a game where you learn everything in one go, you will want to play over and over again, and trust me, you will.