It's out and here are so far my first impressions. Please note that this is Conquest and this is post Chapter 10.
Fire Emblem Fates takes the Awakening engine and completely improves everything that was a problematic from the Awakening. The gameplay design is definitely reminisant of classic Fire Emblem and the map designs are 7 times better than what Awakening offered.
Like in classic Fire Emblem, there are way more mission objectives than in Awakening where it was just route the enemy or kill the boss. Now there is defend for a number of turns, seize the position etc. There are way more secondary objectives like visit as many villages as possible and you will receive much better rewards or face the consequences and battle more reinforcements.
In terms of map designs, they fixed a lot of issues I had with Awakening's map design as they were very barebones and they didn't offer much mechanics into the system. Ballistas are back and there is a magic variety for it too. The maps have both open ended and isolated hallways offering a lot more variety in the maps for navigation, defense and offensive maneuvers.
Pair up system has been nerfed significant and it has been made fixed so it's no longer RNG bullshit. If a unit is adjacent to you, they will always dual attack however, they will never dual guard. If you pair them up, which is put them together as one unit like Awakening, they will not only give you stat boosts but there is a guard gauge that increases and if it reaches max your paired up partner will guarantee dual guard you. This is a much better system overall over the overpowered awakening system as enemy AIs can do the same thing back to you so be careful when you place your units.
Overall, I am already loving Fire Emblem Conquest and if you were constantly criticizing the gameplay mechanics of Awakening and feel that IS forgot about how to design an actual Fire Emblem game, leave that mindset immediately. This is one of the best Fire Emblem games to come out since FE9.
Also my avatar,
Edited by kingddd, February 19 2016 - 10:39 AM.