Recently I got the opportunity to check out Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE on the Wii U. I saw a bit of the E3 trailer between bouts of playing Borderlands and I was impressed with what I saw. Ever since first playing Super Mario RPG on the Super NES back in the 90s I’ve enjoyed turn-based RPGs and this one looked interesting enough that if I hadn’t received the opportunity to review it, I probably would have picked it up at some point. Anyway, the game is a cross-over between the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem games, with the Fire Emblem influence coming in the form of Mirages, characters that the heroes of the game merge with that help them in battle.
While I have nothing against the Fire Emblem series, I was happy to see that the game is turn-based instead of strategy-based as I was never all that good with strategy-based RPGs, the main reason why I’ve only played a couple of Fire Emblem games. The first thing I noticed about the game is that there is a lot of story, and I do mean A LOT. Within the first few hours of playing I’d say at least half to sixty percent of that is watching the story unfold. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good story, especially in RPGs, and the story here is pretty fun to watch. On the flip side of that I also get a huge itch for combat and action when watching the story play out and as much as I enjoy it, I also want it to end so the game itself can continue.
The main gameplay itself takes place in what are called Idolaspheres. As you wander around you’ll see robed figures coming towards you. You can run into them to start combat or hit them with your sword to knock them back, and touching them then might give you a First Strike, meaning you’ll have an advantage in combat with additional attacks before the enemy can attack you. As you win battles and gain experience, your Mirages can also level up and give you new abilities and skills. These skills unlock another interesting concept for battles: sessions. When you hit an enemy with a skill that its weak to and another character has a session skill that can chain off of the element of the first skill that was used, that second character will start a session and also attack the enemy. As long as characters have the required session skills you can keep a session going for quite a while. This is very vital once you get later into the game and begin facing tougher enemies.
So far I’m really enjoying my time with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. What starts out as a simple JRPG soon evolves into something more complex as you learn about the concept of Performa and Unity to unlock new weapons and abilities. As with sessions, these are imperative to completing the game as each weapon can only unlock so many skills. Once you unlock and utilize new Unities you’ll gain access to more skills. I know there’s a lot more to do and experience and I’m looking forward to it.