Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore preview hands-on

For a lot of gamers, the Wii U simply isn’t a part of their history with Nintendo. As far as a decent chunk of society isaware, Nintendo made the Wii, and then after that, they made the Switch. The Wii U is slowly being lost to time, and a notable catalog of impressive Wii U exclusives are disappearing with it. Thankfully, with each year that the Nintendo Switch dominates the charts and invades homes across the globe just as the Nintendo Wii did, the iconic video game company has been picking and choosing select titles from the small yet significant lineup of Wii U exclusives to port over to their hybrid handheld, including Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore.

With the lingering impact of Persona 5 and the recent success of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, it makes perfect sense that the next Wii U port to grace the Nintendo Switch is of a game that brings those two worlds together. With a second life on the latest Nintendo platform, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore promises to make the impact it deserved to back in 2015 as one of the most inventive and satisfying JRPGs ever released on a Nintendo console.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is a crossover between the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem franchises, but not in the usual way you see video game crossovers play out. Rather than develop a strategy game where Chie Satonaka and Marth team up or a fighting game where you fight in Shibuya as Chrom and Dante, Atlus and Intelligent Systems have crafted a unique, original world that mixes together various bits of the two series into a Crockpot of JRPG goodness. The result is a massive turn-based JRPG with well-crafted dungeons and wonderful characters that also happens to be oozing with audio and visual references to the two series it draws such heavy inspiration from. These crossover elements are only expanded in the Switch version of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, with new costumes, dungeons, and character abilities that will be oh so familiar to fans of either franchise.

Nothing has changed with this Switch port in terms of visual fidelity and sharpness, and that’s all anyone could ask for. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is a sharp-looking game with wonderful character designs and a crisp color palette, and seeing it look just as good as it did on the Wii U while playing it in the palm of my hands on an undocked Nintendo Switch is absolutely breath-taking. Elements originally designed to take advantage of the Wii U tablet control have also smartly been adapted to a single-screen presentation; most notably, the Topic smartphone system that lets you exchange hilariously realistic texts between your party members flows just as naturally on the Switch as it did on the Wii U.

One major change comes in the form of how Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore runs and performs on the new console, and it’s absolutely a change for the better. On the Nintendo Switch, load times for the game are drastically lower than what they were in the original version of the game. Traveling between locations and entering battles happens almost instantly, whereas on the Wii U each of these events was met with grueling seconds of load times that quickly added up. With smoother performance and quicker load times, it’s easier than ever to dive into the world of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore and stay immersed for the full ride. As we continue making our way through the game, we’ll see what other new elements present themselves and how they end up adding to or improving on what is already a classic JRPG experience.

Miguel Moran
I'm a writer, voice actor, and 3D artist living la vida loca in New York City. I'm into a pretty wide variety of games, and shows, and films, and music, and comics and anime. Anime and video games are my biggest vice, though, so feel free to talk to me about those. Bury me with my money.

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