I know I’ve been talking about all the new games; I have Captain Toad and Smash 4 and Alpha Sapphire, but they’ve been sitting on my shelf. To be totally honest, I’ve been playing older games. I beat Skyward Sword, a game that I really needed to beat. And now, I’ve been playing Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
Yes, I’ve played through Path of Radiance before. I’m not completely worthless. I know that it took me 3 years to play and beat Skyward Sword, but I finally did. Ever since then, I’ve been craving older games.
I have a special place in my heart for Fire Emblem. I’ve beaten every Fire Emblem game that’s been released in North America. I’ve logged countless hours into the series. Now, I’m playing through them all again, and working on beating them all on Hard Mode.
I’ve beaten a few Fire Emblem Hard Modes already, but I’m currently playing Path of Radiance Hard Mode. And maybe I’ve gotten better at video games or maybe I’ve grown up. Maybe not. But Path of Radiance Hard Mode is… not hard.
I’ve beaten both of the Fire Emblem GBA installments, and I really feel like Path of Radiance Hard Mode is nothing special. I honestly forget that I’m playing Hard Mode. I must be spoiled, considering Fire Emblem for the GBA has the most insanely difficult Hard Mode that I’ve played.
Aaaaaaand then I play Path of Radiance Hard Mode. The enemies are not notably buffed. There are very few Hard Mode-exclusive challenges like Fog-of-War or super-strong enemy reinforcements. It’s just so… dare I say it? Easy.
I love the Fire Emblem series. Aside from Pokemon, it’s my favorite series. I love it so much, I don’t include it on my Top 10 List; that would be unfair to the other games. It’s just perfect. Consistently amazing story lines, unforgettable characters, fluid game play, the list goes on. But one aspect that continues to amaze me is the difficulty curve. Every Fire Emblem game starts out slow. The player learns the game and how to really play, and the game grows along with the player. But this is just Normal Mode.
This particular “Hard Mode” that I’ve been playing doesn’t have that magic that Fire Emblem usually brings. I want to feel the pain of unforeseen reinforcements. I want to attack the boss and inflict a measly two damage. I want to fear for the lives of my beloved troops. Path of Radiance Hard Mode just doesn’t incite any of that, where Fire Emblem for the GBA has an incredibly difficult, incredibly rewarding Hard Mode.
Hard Mode is a tough line to straddle – the line between being not only difficult, but fair. Fire Emblem Awakening is WAY too hard while Path of Radiance is just too easy. But Fire Emblem for the GBA does a PERFECT job of embodying the spirit of Hard Mode. Expect to hear my biased opinion about that soon!
And after all this banter about how Path of Radiance is too easy and whatnot, I still haven’t beaten it. I’ll guess I’ll have to work on that.