Fire Emblem Awakening was the first game that I have ever played from start to finish in the Fire Emblem Series- and let me be the first to say, I was very impressed by this Nintendo 3DS series entry.
From the outset, the story has you intrigued and wanting more. The quest for the Fire Emblem has many twists and turns, and is filled with dramatics along the way. Being a huge Shining Force fan, I'm always skeptical when it comes to other strategy RPGs. It's fairly obvious in saying that Fire Emblem Awakening is much more advanced than my Shining Force & Shining Force II counterparts. First off the Classic Mode (which is the only real way to play this game) features a perma-death system, which will have you restarting numerous battles throughout playing this game as you grow attached to certain characters and do not want them to die. There are so many different characters to play as, offering a variety of classes such as warriors, knights, pegasus knights, mages, archers, and so forth- that rarely will you encounter a new character that's just "meh".
The enemy AI in Fire Emblem Awakening is very good. I attempted, foolishly, to play through this game on Classic/Hard mode... and boy! Did I regret that after a few days! I ended up wussing out and starting the game over on Classic/Normal mode- which still will give you headaches at times. Early on you will need to use the brand new to the series "Pair Up" feature during battle in order to help protect those that are weak at the onset. Furthermore, throughout the game you will receive rare weapons and items which I reccomend holding onto to until at least halfway through the game as there are a few rough stretches before the end. Eventually, if you grind enough (which oddly enough isn't that mind numbing) certain characters will become total tanks and the end of the game will be rather easy. I'm looking at you Donnel!
The music in Fire Emblem Awakening is wonderful, I enjoy the random risen battle theme quite a bit. Overall the music doesn't overpower the game, rather it helps accentuate the experience. The graphics are alright, aside from the ridiculously odd "missing feet" look. And since it's a strategy RPG, the controls are just fine.
If you are a fan of RPGs, or strategy RPGs in particular, you would be a fool to not play Fire Emblem Awakening. Though, at times it can be very frustrating, in the end winning some of these battles and progressing through the game is one of the more satsifying feelings that I've had in quite a while. And if the main story and paralogues/epilogues aren't enough for you- then you best believe you have some DLC quests to embark on! Grab this game today!