Fire Emblem Engage Review (Nintendo Switch)

Published on February 21st, 2023 by Gervais D.

Fire Emblem Engage Review (Nintendo Switch)

There are many old Fire Emblem games I did not know about. Fire Emblem Engage introduced me to many of these installments by connecting these worlds through their iconic heroes, represented as emblems. I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t make me want to play some of those games after meeting them in Engage, but enough of that. Let’s see how this game stacks up.


You awake after a long slumber. The Divine Dragon, they call you. It doesn’t take long for some strange human-looking monsters to attack. Fire Emblem Engage’s story clings to its adventurous gameplay leading down a path that supports the primary objective of stopping the evil Fell Dragon. It has its memorable moments and they are absolutely breathtaking, but other than that, you’re left with the introduction of new characters and a setup for the next battle.

Pre Battle Screen in Fire Emblem Engage
View damage and hit rate before challenging an opponent in combat.

The support conversations with emblems are short and shallow. It’s a bit of a disappointment, but you do get a peek into their past with their respective stages. This is where the substance lies, but it’s all you’ll get out of them. Conversations with characters, on the other hand, can be a mixed bag. The drama between characters is what was most entertaining to me, but there were some unique personalities that kept me engaged.


The story campaign is a linear route of stage-to-stage tactical gameplay. Optional paralogues and grinding stages surface from time to time. When not progressing in the story or challenging optional stages, you spend most of your time at your base, The Somniel. More activities at The Somniel open up the further you progress through the story and they all have rewards associated with them.

There’s a lot to do at The Somniel. You can converse with characters, take part in various activities such as fishing, and let’s not forget one of the most important, feeding and petting the mascot dog. Clearing a stage or playing a co-op stage resets the materials that can be gathered from the base. Collecting all of the materials can get tiresome and repetitive, though.

Stages and Combat

Expect to find the traditional turn-based tactical grid stage gameplay in Fire Emblem Engage. You choose one of three difficulty modes and whether to make characters who fall during battle unplayable. The difficulty can always be lowered if you’re struggling with stages, but it cannot be heightened. Having permanent death turned ON makes the gameplay more challenging, encourages cautious decisions, and sometimes feels like you’re on the defensive.

Fire Emblem Engage Stage
Move your units up.

If you like the customary Fire Emblem gameplay or similar strategic games of its nature, there’s a good chance you will love Engage. The battle animations look superb. The battle preparation phase smoothly prompts the two units who will engage each other in combat. The new emblem mechanics made a major impact and nicely demonstrate how powerful they are on the tactical battlefield. The game will have you build up an army of various classes to deal with the enemies ahead.

I have not played Fire Emblem: Three Houses so the rewind mechanic was new to me. Although I was not a fan of the idea at first, it became something I quickly cherished after playing on the hard difficulty with permanent death. It has saved my favorite units from the silly mistakes I made, blows that had extremely low odds of hitting (I still question how I was unlucky enough to get hit by an 8% hit accuracy attack), and of course, unexpected OHKOs by bosses.

Fire Emblem Engage Combat
Engage in combat.

You are free to explore the stage’s overworld at the end of each battle. Interacting with some of the characters gives you bond fragments and you can adopt animals you find. It’s nice to run around these stages after a match, but interacting with each character over and over again turned into a chore. It would have been nice if this was optional and you could have collected all the bond fragments and materials without it becoming laborious.


It’s a glorious feeling to beat a stage you couldn’t before by taking time off from the story campaign and leveling up. That’s the same feeling you’ll get when playing Fire Emblem Engage on one of its more challenging modes. Sadly, they have also taken grinding to extreme lengths.

Training in Fire Emblem Engage
There’s a lot of grinding to be done in this game.

Some of the perks do not feel worthwhile for the trouble to acquire them. I was turned off when I saw the cost to power up my emblems after the hard work I’d put into the matches. It just didn’t make sense to continue. I did enjoy taking a break to gather steel, iron, and sometimes even silver—but the cost to upgrade weapons can be maddening at their highest tiers.

Mini Games

The Somniel has various activities to do. You can go fishing, ride a dragon, or even test your own teammate’s metal. It’s nothing too appealing but a good first impression that serves as a distraction from the main gameplay. These tasks can be slightly challenging; however, strengthening your bond with the dog mascot can make it easier.

Online Multiplayer

Online multiplayer was not something I was expecting from Fire Emblem Engage. You can use a relay ticket to host a multiplayer session or join someone’s own. Each multiplayer session allows a group of players to take turns fighting against the AI. New players continue where the previous player off. It’s an interesting concept and I did find myself enjoying the replays to see how well my friends did.

Engage Mode in Fire Emblem Engage
Activate Engage Mode to get stronger for a limited time.

While I’m happy with the addition of online multiplayer, I do wish there were more stages. As of writing this review, you’re limited to five: three easy stages and two hard. More stages might warrant all the grinding that has to be done to fully level up emblems and weapons. You will need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play online with others, but that shouldn’t be anything surprising.

Graphics and Soundtrack

Fire Emblem Engage looks beautiful and has a lovely soundtrack. It runs fantastically on the Nintendo Switch. The only minor visual issue I have had with the game was with some of the outfits. Changing a unit’s class could leave you in an undesirable outfit. The game does allow the ability to change into something else, but it’s limited to the unit’s appearance at your base.

Critical Hit - Fire Emblem Engage
Characters have a unique battle animation scene when landing a critical hit.


Fire Emblem Engage has the strong tactical gameplay the series is known for but not without a sacrifice of social elements fans have come to love. The dark, adventurous story heavily clings to the gameplay as a supporting element with shocking scenes to keep the engagement. The online stages are an appreciated addition but the level of grinding the game expects is not worth the effort.

Fire Emblem Engage gets a 9/10.

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About Gervais D.

Gervais laughs at a difficult RPG while it takes its last breath as he conquers it. He's been gaming since the NES and loves to relax at the beach.