Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review, and finally, I have decided to review what was my most anticipated game for 3 years. This was originally announced as Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, and all sects of both the Fire Emblem and MegaTen fanbases got excited. Then, Atlus was bought by Sega, and development was halted for some time. Then it reemerged as this game in 2015, and the hipster sect of both fanbases immediately increased their alcohol consumption tenfold. Jack Daniels and Fireball all sold out within a 10-mile radius. Then they decided to constantly troll in the comment sections of articles regarding this game, because god forbid a game not be a clone of Project X Zone with Fire Emblem and MegaTen characters! What game is this you may ask? This is Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, which came out on the Wii U in 2016. And is it as horrible and traumatizing as those hipster fans say it is? Well, let’s find out.

The Plot

#FE first opens up in 2011, at an opera where everyone except one young girl, disappears.

Then, fast forward to the present, and we are introduced to a high school student named Itsuki Aoi, who encounters his fellow classmate and friend, Tsubasa Oribe at the One of Millennium talent audition event, where Tsubasa hopes to become a pop music idol. Both Itsuki and Tsubasa find out that the host is possessed by a Mirage – a mystic being that hails from an alternate dimension called the Idolasphere – and everyone in the building except Itsuki and Tsubasa have their Performa – energy that allows a person to pursue their dreams – taken away. Tsubasa is kidnapped by the host, and Itsuki immediately gives chase.

Itsuki and Tsubasa eventually reunite, and the two of them are then attacked by hostile Mirages. As they awaken to their Performa, they use it to cleanse the Mirages, who reveal themselves to be Chrom (from Fire Emblem Awakening(2012)), and Caeda (from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (1990)). Then, Itsuki’s friend, Touma Akagi, and his Mirage, Cain (also from Shadow Dragon), helps the two of them free the host from the Mirage’s control as well as the Performa of everyone that attended the audition. As the group exited the Idolasphere, they encounter Maiko Shimazaki, the head of Fortuna Entertainment, who offers Itsuki and Tsubasa positions alongside Touma in the company, so that the both of them can further their entertainment careers and protect Tokyo from Mirage attacks. They are also joined by Kiria Kurono, a famous idol who is also part of Fortuna, and her Mirage Tharja (also from Awakening), plus Tiki, a Mirage that suffers from amnesia. However, Tiki is able to provide assistance to the main characters.

Shortly after, more Mirage attacks happen throughout Tokyo, and each of them all focus on leading media and entertainment figureheads being possessed by hostile Mirages, and they are eventually revealed to be servants of a greater power…

The Gameplay

#FE’s gameplay contains elements from both Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. The combat system is turn based, like MegaTen, and is based on discovering and exposing enemy weaknesses. Also like MegaTen, enemies are weak to a certain element (Fire, Ice, Wind, Electric, Expel, and Death), or weapon types as seen in Fire Emblem (Swords beat Axes, Lances beat Swords, and Axes beat Lances). You can also trigger Session Attack combos where the other party members (whether in or out of the current party), can follow up the attacking character’s blow with attacks of their own. Performing well in battles can increase a character’s Stage Level, which can unlock Performa needed for Radiant Skills and open up side stories for different characters.

While exploring Tokyo, you can go to shops to purchase items, accessories, and costumes for each of the playable characters that become available when you’ve completed a side story or made a certain amount of progress in the game. When you purchase items, you are awarded lottery tickets, which can be used to win additional items. You can also interact with different characters, and take on requests for them, or enter the Idolasphere from a certain landmark (ex. Shibuya 109). The Wii U GamePad displays the in-game social app called Topic, where the player can receive text messages from other characters, stay updated on avaliable Unity fusions, and view maps of each area that you’ve visited in the game. It’s very similar to how a smartphone operates. You don’t have to worry about save points, as you can save anytime you want.

By utilizing the Bloom Palace, which can be accessed at Fortuna HQ, you are able to create Radiant Skills as well as new weapons for the characters with the Performa you’ve obtained from defeated enemies. Each weapon carries four skills which a party member can inherit by earning experience in battle, such as Command Skills, which allows a character to perform certain attacks and spells, Passive Skills that give passive stat boosts and effects, and Session Skills, which are used for linking Session Attacks together. Each character can only hold six skills of each type, but if they gain a skill they currently have, it is stacked on top and becomes more powerful.

The Characters

Itsuki Aoi – Age: 18 – Itsuki is the main character of #FE. He was just some average high school student, until he cleansed the Mirage Chrom and became a Mirage Master. He was basically forced into joining Fortuna Entertainment, but he doesn’t share his friends’ love for the entertainment world. Itsuki’s Mirage is Chrom from Fire Emblem Awakening.

Tsubasa Oribe – Age: 18 – Tsubasa is Itsuki’s best friend and fellow classmate. She hopes to become a famous pop music idol in Japan, and she joined Fortuna Entertainment after the incident at the One of Millennium audition. She is very nervous and clumsy at times, but is never discouraged by her mistakes and has a very cheerful personality. Her Mirage is Caeda from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. She appears to have a connection to a mysterious incident in 2011 where both the performers and actors on stage vanished into thin air.

Kiria Kurono -Age: 21 – Kiria is a popular female singer that is popular with Japan’s youth. She is also part of Fortuna Entertainment, and her Mirage is Tharja from Fire Emblem Awakening. She is Itsuki and Tsubasa’s senior, and she often helps them out. She’s constantly referred to as the “Cool Beauty”, however not many people know her personally and her private life is kept hidden from everyone else. She has a soft spot for cute things and she fears that she might be mocked because her imposing image wouldn’t go well with being cute.

Touma Akagi – Age: 18 – Touma is one of Itsuki’s friends, as well as a fellow classmate of Itsuki and Tsubasa. He is also part of Fortuna Entertainment, and his Mirage is Cain from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. He is a big fan of “henshin” (aka Transformation) heroes, and he dreams about becoming an action movie star.

Eleonora Yumisuru (aka. “Elly”) – Age: 17 – Eleonora is a highly successful actress who is also part of Fortuna Entertainment. Her Mirage is Virion from Fire Emblem Awakening. She is of half-Swedish and half-Japanese heritage. Even though she is younger than both Itsuki and Tsubasa, she acts like an older sister, as she has been in the entertainment industry for a long time. She admires popular Hollywood actresses, and strives to become one in the near future.

Mamori Minamoto – Age: 12 – Mamori is an elementary school student and entertainer who is also part of Fortuna Entertainment. Her Mirage is Draug from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. She is a fan of old-fashioned clothes and music from the Showa Period. She is the star of a children’s TV cooking program called Microwave Idol Mamorin.

Yashiro Tsurugi – Age: 19 – Yashiro is a popular Idol and Mirage Master. His Mirage is Navarre from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. He has perfectly mastered acting, dancing, and singing, and is considered to be a superstar. He has a very cold personality and rarely shows any emotions. At first, he is hostile towards Itsuki and his friends, and looks down on their abilities as Mirage Masters. Eventually, at the end of Chapter 4, he decides to join Fortuna Entertainment and help Itsuki and his friends in their quest to protect Tokyo from Mirage attacks. Like Tsubasa, Yashiro also has a connection to a mysterious incident in 2011 where both the performers and actors disappeared on stage.

Barry Goodman – Age: 35 – Barry is Fortuna Entertainment’s resident trainer. His lessons are usually very difficult and he is very strict with his students. He was part of a popular heavy metal band in America before he moved to Japan and joined Fortuna, and was a former Mirage Master as well. His Mirage used to be Draug, but during a mission, he was forced to use all of his Performa, and he ended up sacrificing Draug as a result. He is a huge anime fan, and is into a witch called Dia Witch Iroha, a show that is marketed for girls. He is also a huge fan of Mamori, as he considers her to be an angel and is always there to take her side on any issue.

Maiko Shimazaki – Age: 22 – Maiko is the president of Fortuna Entertainment. She worked as a gravure idol before she became company president. Maiko is seen as a mother figure to all the Mirage Masters. She is very sharp and has quick wits, and cares more about her fellow Mirage Masters more than anyone else. She is also a bit of an alcoholic, and gets drunk very often. <strong>Maiko is best girl (Sorry, Travis.).

My Thoughts




Nah, just kidding.

Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t decide to drink their Kool-Aid. This game is great. This totally didn’t deserve all the vitriol that it got when it was revealed 2 years ago. The gameplay is superb, the characters are fun and never dull, the story, though on the cheesy side at times, isn’t half bad either, the soundtrack is excellent, the graphics are great, the dungeons are very well designed and challenging, and it’s well, fun. I am glad the developers chose not to go the Project X Zone route, as I think using the Japanese entertainment industry worked out wonders for this crossover. Hell, I’d say it’s probably one of the best routes they could have chosen.

The difficulty is also very balanced as well. It isn’t super challenging like most MegaTen and Persona games, but at the same time, it isn’t too easy either. As far as I can tell, there are no ridiculous difficulty spikes like in Soul Hackers or Devil Survivor, which is a good thing, and I’ve only got a Game Over maybe two or three times. For the most part, the difficulty is very fair. I’ve also noticed a few similarities with Sakura Wars too – Fortuna serving as a front for the Mirage Masters’ activities is similar to how the Imperial Theater served as a front for the Flower Division, The Mirage Masters fight to defend Tokyo from enemy attacks, like the Flower Division, etc. Hell, even some of the characters seem to have been inspired by the characters of Sakura Wars. Itsuki is similar to Ogami, Tsubasa is like Sakura in a way, Eleonora is similar to Sumire, Mamori is like Iris to an extent, and Maiko has some similarities with Ayame/Kaede and even Yoneda. I don’t have too many complaints with the game overall. I do wish that there was more to explore in Tokyo, as you can only visit about 6-7 areas in the game, and it feels a bit short, as I feel that the developers probably meant to do more with this game. I am hoping for a sequel on the Switch, because I think a game this good deserves one. Don’t be put off by those hipsters, check out Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE…before prices for it on Ebay and Amazon skyrocket, that is.

My score: 9.25/10


Published by alex9234

A skeptical game writer who doesn't believe the gaming press.

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