Although Shin Megami Tensei V has still not released after being announced during the Nintendo Switch’s reveal in 2017 by developer Atlus, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, a re-release of the Wii U title is finally remastered for the Switch after a huge fan demand. Read on to find out if the game’s worth the hype.
The Wii U had some excellent RPGs that went below the radar due to the console’s pitiful sales, with one of the highlights being Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. Initially revealed as Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, a simple crossover of the two franchises, the game became a beast of its own during its development taking a completely original direction when compared to the franchises it’s based on.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore takes place in a modern-day Tokyo with the player taking on the role of Itsuki Aoi, who along with his friends gets caught in a supernatural takeover of their city by evil beings called Mirages. The Mirages are mainly after the city resident’s Performa, which is a person’s creative capability. Luckily not all of these Mirages are bad and are willing to help the party even the odds. These good Mirages are based on some notable Fire Emblem characters like Chrom and Tharja from Fire Emblem: Awakening or Caeda from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon among others.
If you hadn’t noticed already by the game’s aesthetic, J-Pop and idol culture take center stage in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore with even your party members being classified as stage performers instead of adventurers. The party even becomes part of Fortuna Entertainment, an organization recruiting Mirage Masters fronting as a talent agency. This theme also carries over in the gameplay and battle system.
Unlike Persona games, there isn’t a calendar system in the game where you’re only allowed to complete a certain amount of activities before the day ends. This is great since it allows you to experience the game at your own pace and a very welcomed addition. The real-life portions in the game come to a stop when a Mirage comes to Tokyo, which opens a gate to an Idolsphere. Each Idolsphere has a unique theme and they’re usually the perfect length for exploring, not taking too long to complete nor being too short. Similar to Persona and Trails games, the enemies appear in the open areas and you can stun them by attacking before initiating a battle.
The battle system is probably the highlight of the game. In Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE players will take part in turn-based combat with three main party members participating in the battle at a time. Two of the three active members in battle, except for Itsuki, can be switched out anytime. The good Mirages are based on Fire Emblem characters as we discussed earlier, these function as the weapons of the participating characters.
The systems at play are a mix of both Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei games like weakness to certain weapon types like Swords and Arrows and the usual elemental weaknesses. During the battle, if the player has managed to attack the enemy mirage’s weakness, they’ll get the ability to perform a Session Attack which is a super-powerful combination attack. Without going into too much detail about the system, performing Sessions Attacks allow you to pile up attacks and use their Session Skills to turn the tide of battle. The system actively encourages strategy that focuses on attacking your enemies’ weakness to deal massive damage.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is an excellent addition to the Nintendo Switch’s RPG catalog that impressively brings together two of the most historic JRPG franchises in a creative new setting.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: The worlds of the Fire Emblem™ series and Atlus games have crossed paths again and the result is coming to the Nintendo Switch™ system.
Final Score - 9/10
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is an excellent addition to the Nintendo Switch's RPG catalog that impressively brings together two of the most historic JRPG franchises in a creative new setting.