Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore

Site Score
8.5
Good: Character and armor design, Story, Atmosphere
Bad: Feels a bit empty and dated at times
User Score
10.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE saw the light on the Nintendo Wii U back in 2015, when Atlus and Nintendo decided to work together for an exclusive title. While the game was impressive for the console it was released on, the limited success of the Wii U made it a rather forgettable entry in the very small library of Nintendo’s somewhat failed console. Admittedly, personally we did have a lot of fun with the Wii U, but it never gained traction as many gamers felt that the Wii U was simply an overpriced Wii with an extra tablet. Now, the game is re-released as the ‘Encore’ edition for the Nintendo Switch, and now it might actually be the time for the game to shine.

Story

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore starts off with a visually appealing anime segment, that shows us a strange and mysterious mass disappearance of an entire crowd at a concert, including the artists themselves. There’s only one who was spared the grueling fate of having vanished in thin air and this is Tsubasa, who was watching her sister perform at the concert, and who just happens to be one of the lead characters of the story to come. After the strange phenomenon, we are taken five years into the future, to see Tsubasa trying out for an idol contest, but you’ll be taking control over Itsuki, someone who’s background is somewhat a mystery at the beginning of the game. You decide to watch how Tsubasa performs at the contest, only to be dragged into a strange dimension after she is taken away by beings that are later known as Mirages. These Mirages feed on the creativity of other human beings, in order to become stronger. It doesn’t take that long before the power inside you (and Tsubasa) converts a few evil spirits to fight for your cause. Having the powers of two Mirages at your disposal, you start battling evil Mirages to try and prevent mass disappearances from happening again. Tsubasa, however, does take up arms hoping to find her sister again.

The story is told through many dialogues but also through impressive-looking cutscenes. We were intrigued by the story from the very beginning and this feeling didn’t waver throughout the course of the game. Granted, some dialogues are only mild banter and don’t add to the bigger picture, they do add to the personality of the different characters of the game.

Graphics

The graphical prowess of Tokyo Mirage is both impressive and dated. The character models look perfect for the anime setting of the game, and the armors the characters wear in combat, as well as their mirages look stunning. This is pretty much the upside of the graphical portion of the game. Sadly, when conveying emotions some of the characters look stiff and somewhat unnatural. There are a decent amount of different character models and enemy types, which makes sure things don’t get overly dull too soon. The environments sadly feel a bit empty, safe for the backdrops which are decently designed. You’ll have some clutter here and there, but most of the time these are objects in the distance, blocked by invisible walls. The game creatively handled the incorporation of some extra ‘characters’ in the backdrops, by creating shadow-like portraits of human figures, all in bright colors, which once again complements the idol-like theme of the game.

What the game does great are the different costumes of the characters and the complete anime sequences that are thrown in-between the actual gameplay. We sometimes felt like we were watching a neatly designed anime, rather than playing a ‘simple’ videogame.

Sound

#FE Encore has a top-notch sound design. The game sounds as if it’s a proper anime experience, and it’s even fully voiced. We noticed a few smaller one-liners didn’t have complete voice acting, but these often weren’t critical to the story. The voices are believable and actually don’t have too much overacting, which makes the experience quite pleasant. The music used is both adventurous and catchy. Some of the cinematics have that anime-intro/outro feeling, which is great, given the ‘idol’ topic of the game.

Gameplay

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #Fe Encore is a typical Atlus designed JRPG experience. The game will throw you in a somewhat special idol-oriented experience, where idols are actually undercover badasses who battle creatures from another dimension. The game will feature the above-mentioned Mirages, who will actually act as your gear, changing your appearance and also presenting you with the skills you can learn. The battles are turn-based, but the game throws a few original mechanics your way, as well as a weakness and strength system, very much like that in Pokémon and other RPG titles. The formula is somewhat a pimped-out version of traditional RPGs, which offers you a decent foundation, all while trying to throw some original items in the mix.

You’ll notice that the game sports many of the genres traditional mechanics, but the entire Mirage system is a bit different. You’ll have to upgrade your Mirage in-between missions by killing the right monsters (and collecting the right items), which in turn allows you to learn new skills and upgrade your abilities. This system motivates you to grind a bit, as you’ll have to level your characters and your Mirages separately.

The combat works in a normal turn-based format, and it works as it does in any traditional RPG. You’ll be able to select an item, a skill or a normal attack and you’re good to go. You’ll notice things get a bit more complex as you go, as playing your cards right might unlock ‘Sessions’ which are basically linked attacks. Hit an opponent’s weakness and you might just earn yourself a couple of extra hits. You’ll also unlock a real ‘special’ attack as you go, but this one recharges extremely slow, so you’ll want to have it ready at the appropriate time.

Conclusion

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is a great game for the Nintendo Switch, and perhaps it would have been better if this game saw its first release on Nintendo’s hybrid console, rather than the flopped Wii U. Nonetheless, some elements of the game still feel a bit as if the game was designed for an older platform, most noticeably when looking at the graphics of the game. Encore offers a great story, cute characters and an interesting battle system to keep you occupied throughout a full playthrough. We would have loved to see this rerelease with a milder price tag, but we guess that’s just one of Nintendo’s flaws. If you haven’t played this one before, we can wholeheartedly advise you to take a look into this one, if you’re a fan of Atlus’ games, and love the whole idol culture of Japan.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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