Forget prom night—there's no need for anime fans to cry when there are some great entertainment options out there. As far as games are concerned, 2016 allowed us to find our rhythm with Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X, channel our inner Super Saiyan with Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, and soar through the skies and tackle the titans in Attack on Titan. My favorite anime game this year, however, is none other than Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE, a crossover between the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem RPG franchises.
There was a lot of heated discussion before Tokyo Mirage Sessions launched this summer for a variety of reasons. Much as with Fire Emblem Fates, news broke that the crossover RPG would be going through some controversial localization changes. Things like changing the ages of characters, altering some outfits to be less revealing, and altering the theme of an entire dungeon were met with cries of censorship. Others criticized the game for not being a true crossover—after all, it is a Shin Megami Tensei game with bits of Fire Emblem added in. Still others were up in arms over the decision not to dub the game at all, leaving us only with the original Japanese audio!
In the end though, despite my still not being happy about some of these issues, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Tokyo Mirage Sessions. As Gamnesia's resident weeb, I had the pleasure of reviewing the game this past summer, and there are a few things that really stand out to me even now. To start with, the game's setting was incredibly unique. Tokyo Mirage Sessions follows a couple of high schoolers and some teen pop icons as they attempt to break into and survive in the bustling entertainment industry. Along the way, these characters not only become stronger performers, they become stronger people as a result of their training. In a world where some of the most popular games take place in space or in the midst of a massive battlefield, having a game explore uncharted territory like this is quite refreshing.
I also found the crossover aspect quite interesting, if a little lacking. Mechanically, the game had Shin Megami Tensei written all over it, from the dungeon crawling to the combat. When it came to the story, however, Fire Emblem took center stage. Characters from Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light joined forces to stop the resurrection of the Shadow Dragon Medeus. The mixture of the SMT gameplay with the Fire Emblem-inspired story worked really well together in conjunction with the game's setting to provide an excellent experience all around. I would have personally liked to have seen a touch more Fire Emblem in the gameplay, but given the style differences between the two franchises, I think Atlus made the right choice in not combining them more.
I had a hell of a time reviewing the game due to some severe time constraints. Literally every spare moment I had over the course of a week (even spending about 16 hours one day after calling into work "sick") I spent pushing through it to meet my deadline. It was certainly a rough process that took a lot out of me. Even after all of that, though, I never got tired of Tokyo Mirage Sessions. I strongly believe this is a testament to about how much fun the game is. I can count on one hand the number of games that I could play for even remotely that long without a break and still remain as committed to the story and characters as I did with TMS.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE is one of the biggest surprise hits of the year. Is it for everyone? Certainly not. It's definitely a niche title, but honestly, more people need to give it a shot. Tokyo Mirage Sessions was well worth the time I put into it, earning my distinction of "Weebiest Game of the Year." Even today, it remains not only my top gaming experience of the year but one of my favorite RPGs of all time.
Have you played Tokyo Mirage Sessions, and if so, what did you think? What game is your pick for "Weebiest Game of the Year?" Let us know below!