The Game Tutor grades Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore
"Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore" is an unusual game that has no right to exist. Originally released to little success (largely due to the lack of people owning a Wii U) in 2015 "Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore" is a JRPG set in and around Japanese music and idol culture featuring parts of the Shin Megami Tensai series as well as the Fire Emblem series (although if you blink you might miss the latter). We play as Itsuki and his friends Tsuabasa and Touma (as always as the game progresses this group largens), are enlisted by Fortuna Entertainment a talent agency front for a sort of paranormal police that battle Mirages, Spirits from a parallel dimension that want to invade Earth and steal an essence inside humans called performa (yes its as bat shit crazy as it sound). In the early stages of the game you become mirage masters that allow you to befriend mirages and use their abilities. These friendly mirages take the form of fire emblem characters but not quite in the way you would expect. With the exception of Tiki the fire emblem characters have the names but tend to look covered up and faceless (think a series of action figures that decides to put characters in space for no reason at all.
Gameplay sees you navigate Tokyo, interacting with your friends and doing side quests to help prepare you for the trips to the idolasphere the dungeon like areas where the fights take place often themed by the lead mirage you have entered to fight. This is very reminiscent of the Persona series and it is this series of games that "Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore" takes most of its inspiration from. Combat is essentially a turn-based RPG that was very reminiscent of my recent play-through of Persona 5. Different attacks have different "elements" that certain enemies are weak against. This allows you chain attacks together when attacking an enemy who is weak to a certain attack. As you progress through the game and more options open up I oddly found the game got easier. Battle are fun however and I enjoyed the system although there were often weird difficult spikes throughout that seemed a little our of place.
Visually the game is colourful and vibrant but it still runs at 720p 30fps that was found in the original Wii U version. While we mention this "encore" upgrade this is mostly costumes and side things (and no things cut for the western release are still cut) This is largely the original game with some extra bells and whistles but only a die hard fan would consider a double dip. I was also disappointed at the lack of an English Dub track. I know that many prefer Japanese language with subtitles but I personally prefer English audio.
"Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore" is a good game but so much of it feels a little rushed and like a missed opportunity. Die hard JRPG fans will enjoy this especially in the dark month of January but for everyone else there may be better things on the horizon.