Which Version of Fire Emblem Fates Should I Buy?

Our reviews are here, but you might be confused as to which one you should be reading. Let us help.

Article by USgamer Team, .

Fire Emblem has reached its 25th anniversary as a series and in celebration, developer Intelligent Systems has crafted Fire Emblem Fates. The title is a bit ambitious in light of the anniversary. It's split three ways, which will probably be confusing for many people. All three versions have 25+ chapters, putting them at roughly the same size as Awakening's main plot.

Birthright is the first game, putting your Avatar on the side of the Eastern-themed Hoshido. It's the easiest of the three titles, with a single straightforward objective in every map (kill everyone), easier map layouts, and the ability to grind battles endlessly to make your army stronger. This is aimed at new players who really jumped into the series with Fire Emblem: Awakening.

Conquest is the second title, leaving your Avatar with your adopted family, the Western-styled Nohr. Conquest has more varied offensive and defensive objectives, complex maps, and outside of a few cases, lacks any extra maps for players to grind on. It's meant for those that were honed on the classic Fire Emblem games and want a harder strategy title, while hardcore Awakening fans just want to pair their army up.

Finally, there's Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations. In Japan, this was DLC released later that filled in holes in the other two titles, with your Avatar taking neither side of the conflict. It's mix of both games in gameplay and you can actually use building from both sides if you're playing Revelations.

Here in North America, you can either buy Birthright or Conquest for $39.99. No matter which one you choose, you can pick up the other path and Revelations as DLC for $19.99 each. For folks who don't have the all-in-one package of the Special Edition, Revelation won't be launching until March 10.

For the purposes of this review, we've treated Birthright and Conquest as completely different experiences. This is because they are: though marketing and the covers themselves may make players think they're two sides of the same coin like generational Pokemon releases, they're really not. Both games give you a relatively complete story and unique style of play. You're supposed to choose which game you'd rather enjoy. (Mike has issues with this idea, mostly because he'd like to interact with the Nohr cast playing the Birthright experience, but it is what it is.)

Our review of Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright is written by Mike Williams. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is being covered by Kat Bailey in a forthcoming review.

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Comments 20

  • Avatar for sevenpains #1 sevenpains 2 years ago
    If only I could ahold of the special edition and get them all onto one cart... camping the online sites for a chance to get them has been a exercise of patience and disappointment :p
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  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #2 renatocosta90 2 years ago
    @sevenpains Whoa, is there an edition with all three in the same cart? I'm all in for that!
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  • Avatar for daveyc02909 #3 daveyc02909 2 years ago
    @sevenpains Might have to hold out for that version
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #4 MHWilliams 2 years ago
    @renatocosta90 There is a Special Edition, that sold out immediately at most places. It will be very, very, very hard to find.

    It costs $80, which is the same price for buying one of the retail versions and the other paths as DLC.
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #5 Tetragrammaton 2 years ago
    Might want to mention that Revelations is out on March 10th for non-SE copies Mike.

    Thanks for these, off to read the reviews!
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #6 MHWilliams 2 years ago
    @Tetragrammaton Revelation isn't coming at launch? Aghast! I note, you could tell I wrote this, despite it being listed as from "USgamer Team".Edited February 2016 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #7 Tetragrammaton 2 years ago
    @MHWilliams Hahaha, I didn't even check the byline. Confession though: since you're the only team member in the comments, it suggests you've got a reason to be in the comments. ;)

    And yeah, getting Revelations early is the second big benefit to getting the special edition.
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  • Avatar for Totalninja #8 Totalninja 2 years ago
    Anyone know if there's any indication that more copies of the special edition will be sold? Do those kinds of things usually come back or is it launch only?
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  • Avatar for Sturat #9 Sturat 2 years ago
    I never buy digital games when there's a physical option, so I'm holding out for more copies of the special edition to reach the market.
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #10 Tetragrammaton 2 years ago
    @Totalninja I'm doing some searching and I don't think so. Most special editions of Nintendo games seem to be one-offs. Apparently Best Buy's getting some extra copies, so try calling up any near where you live.
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  • Avatar for TernBird #11 TernBird 2 years ago
    Fun fact: getting ahold of this game is that much harder in Puerto Rico, because all of the Gamestops are leaving the island. Amazon and Walmart are our only options.

    If you're like me and you couldn't pre-order the game, you're kinda hosed. :( Have fun, folks.
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  • Avatar for ReptilianSamurai #12 ReptilianSamurai 2 years ago
    I kept waiting for the special edition.. Then somehow I missed it, and it never got any additional stock. Why does Nintendo insist on leaving money on the table? It's obvious a lot more people want this edition!
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  • Avatar for himuradrew #13 himuradrew 2 years ago
    I already preloaded Conquest - will be buying the other paths as DLC. I can't wait until it unlocks. :)
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  • Avatar for AntonSaitz #14 AntonSaitz 2 years ago
    I enjoy a challenge, but don't want to be destroyed. Did the USGamer team find Birthright (on Classic mode) to be sufficiently challenging? The only Fire Emblem game I've beaten is Awakening, and I played it on Casual. Now I'm not sure if I should opt for Birthright or Conquest... Guidance welcome!
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  • Avatar for Karisu #15 Karisu 2 years ago
    I agree with Mike. From a story perspective (at least form what I've seen) I really want to stay with the family that raised me, but I think Birthright sounds like the version I'd enjoy more.

    Kind of a bummer! But I'll be going Conquest since I care more about the story than the gameplay.
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  • Avatar for JohnnyBarnstorm #16 JohnnyBarnstorm 2 years ago
    I should know better than to be mad about Nintendo's dumb supply chain, but basically anyone who was going to buy this game was probably going to just get the Special Edition. I know they don't want to have Special Editions floating around like Halo cat helmets, but... arrrgh.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #17 MHWilliams 2 years ago
    @AntonSaitz If you played Awakening on Classic Mode, Birthright should be right in line with what you'd expect.
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  • Avatar for Trembean222 #18 Trembean222 2 years ago
    I know from my experience with FE: Awakening that I'm more suited to Birthright, but Conquest has the bragging rights. I guess I can pick up both eventually ... not that either is out any time soon here in Europe :(
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  • Avatar for daverhodus #19 daverhodus 2 years ago
    I haven't played a Fire Emblem before. Can I use DLC maps to grind? Conquest appeals more to me, but I fear getting stuck due to harder difficulty.
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  • Avatar for gamer1234cv #20 gamer1234cv 2 years ago
    Crazy idea.
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