I downloaded this game not long after it came out, as I was looking for an RPG and saw that it quickly became one of the most well-reviewed Switch games yet. When I started playing it, I thought there was no way I could get into it—the pace is a little slower than I usually like a game to be, plus it seemed overly complex for my simple little brain. Well, about 60 hours of game play later all I can tell you is that I was WRONG. It has totally captured my heart and mind, thus earning it a review in my elite companionship gamer girl blog!
The story, and the way this game functions as both a tactical RPG and dating simulation, is what got me in deep after my initial pacing issues. One exciting element that makes it well worth the money is that there are foure distinct story lines to play- I’ve only completed one thus far, and am most of the way through the second 60 hours in! Having only played the two I’m not sure if every story line is as compelling, but the first two I tried were engaging and somehow made two completely different plots, where the hero is the antagonist in one and vice versa, sympathetic. You find yourself caring for whomever’s side you end up choosing at a critical mid-point (for those of you who have played the game, I chose the Edelgard Black Eagle path the first time around, and the Black Eagle/ Church of Seiros the second time).
The basic premise is that you are a mercenary who discovers they have a special gift to turn back time in a battle, and thus you are recruited to be a professor at the Church of Seiros monastery and battle academy. You have the option to choose which class/ house you will lead, with the leader of each house representing a region of the land in which the monastery resides. My favorite from the beginning was the Black Eagles, a house that specializes in magic and is led by Edelgard, the daughter of the emperor of the Adrestian Empire. There is also the Blue Lions, led by Prince Dimitri of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, whose house specializes in fighting. Finally, the Golden Deer House—who specializes in archery—is lead by Claude, the grandson of the leader of the Leicester alliance. Those are all the sorts of details I don’t usually pay attention to, though… in fact I had to look them up and I’m not even sure why I included that information. The important point for me was that Edelgard seemed like a badass, her house did magic and they like the color red. Plus had the most crush-worthy student, Dorothea, an opera singer who for some reason decided to join the monastery???? Rather than sing??????????
So, in addition to seducing Dorothea (a very slow-burn romance, as you cannot ask for a student’s hand in marriage until the end of the game), I very much enjoyed customizing the skills of all my students through “instruction” and helping them to achieve certain educational goals. Very cute concept for a bloody war game! I also enjoyed being able to recruit students from different houses into my house, or even just interacting with students who weren’t in my house. While some students have personalities that seem kind of similar to others, there are quite a few students with extremely eccentric personalities and detailed story lines. Hello, Bernadetta the pathological introvert and Lindhart, the chronic napper!
That said, this game does tend to drag during the periods spent in the academy, instructing and getting to know students better. There are skip options but then you miss a lot of the character’s unique stories and info, which I hate doing! So you can end up playing this game for what feels like hours before even engaging in a battle, which are the exciting part of the game. But even the battles can drag some—there are also numerous skip and speed options within battles, but I again found myself not always taking advantage of those because I liked watching the battle animations. Especially once the game had advanced to the point that all my students and mercenaries were at the top of their game! The animations of them kicking ass are really fun and I couldn’t get enough of them (check out the animations for Petra as an assassin class! holy cow).
Since starting this review I have actually finished my second play through, and have moved on to my third as a male professor of the Blue Lions (I played a female professor the first two times, which is another fun thing about this game—a bit of gender fluidity not to mention gay romances). I’m still very excited to play the game for another 30 hours! If you like to waste hours of your life teaching kids how to fight, with a romance and friendship bond building, I cannot recommend this game enough. And if you find yourself questioning the pacing about half way through, all I can say is: wait until you get to that second half! No spoilers but the surprise twist mid-story worked very well for me.
9/10 Gamer Kitty’s