So, we’ve now got a set release date for Japan (July 15th) and a few new details. Most importantly, they’ve reintroduced the idea of a personalised player character.
This isn’t an entirely new concept – the seventh game in the series, released in the West simply as “Fire Emblem” (it was, after all, the first localised game) allowed you to input a name, birthdate and gender. The other characters would interact with you to a minimal degree but you didn’t even get a sprite. Following the trope of the Heroic Mime, all your persona’s lines would be inferred by the other characters. Otherwise, you had very little impact on the storyline and the only difference it made to the gameplay was a minor stat boost affected by the birthdate you entered.
But the remake has changed the formula a little. Now, you get to design your own character portrait using preset features and even use him or her in battle.
I can’t say I’m massively excited. FE7‘s player character feature felt rather pointless given that you could remove all mention of the character and the storyline wouldn’t change at all. Besides, I don’t feel that FE is the right kind of series for a player-generated character. The games rely very heavily on an established storyline and character interactions, so the impact of a player-inert can only be minimal and bland at best.
Still, FE7 remains one of my most favourite games despite its rather lacklustre PC feature, so ultimately I don’t think it will make much difference to how good the FE3 remake is.