Started with the Conquest (Black) version, casual mode, normal difficulty. Breezed through and enjoyed it a lot. I like this game much better than the last one (Awakening), which I didn’t finish. The battle system especially the paring system is much more enjoyable. And you are not required to fight those annoying grinding missions, you can stick to the story missions if you like. I really like the traditional SLG style that you work with limited missions and enemies and try to maximize and balance experiences you can gain. Grinding in a SLG game seems off the point to me. I’m glad Fates fixed this part.
After Conquest I played Birthright a little bit, classic mode, lunatic difficulty. Soon realized this basically becomes a chess game and needs lots and lots of retries to figure out a feasible solution. Sometimes it can be extremely challenging and requires lots of defensive maneuver. A mission that takes 5 turns in normal can easily take 30 turns in lunatic, and classic mode means no mid-battle save. After finishing 6 missions, I’m facing the dilemma of either continue to only play the story missions to torture myself, or grind… I chose to give up that game and let Wen play Birthright..
So I bought the DLC Revelation because it reveals the “true story” and finished it now at hard difficulty and casual mode. It was very enjoyable too. Note this is a DLC that recommends to be played after you play both sides of stories, or if you don’t want to play those anymore, because apparently the “true story” made the original stories from both sides sound silly. It’s the same length as either Birthright or Conquest. The difficulty is tuned to be similar. I still stick to story missions although there are grinding options. Level design turned out to be very satisfying.
Wen played Birthright in a very different way than me.. She did grinding missions hard and was more interested in the marriage and child system in the game. I felt she was playing a breeding game…
Recommend to anyone who wants a good Japanese SLG. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a good one.