Credit: akairiot on DeviantArt

As I’d written about in yesterday’s article, (well, today’s because of “technical difficulties”) I love the voice acting in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. And I feel like I’ve committed an atrocity for not mentioning how absolutely beautiful the music is. However, these enhancements to the audio make me not want to play it if I can’t hear it, and that’s significantly decreasing how much time I have to play it.

As you can probably tell if you’ve read any of my previous articles from this week, I’m in Las Vegas. And the people in Las Vegas are very, very loud. So even if I put my little earbuds in, there’s still a significant chance that the audio will be almost entirely drowned out. I like to ignore the words from dialogue and just look at the character’s art while they’re talking to fully immerse myself in the game, but in a crowd, I’ll often miss words if I’m not looking at the lines as they’re being delivered.

The music is even tougher to catch. I can usually hear the typical “battle” music just fine, but the quieter music that plays on the top-down map, the good stuff, is often inaudible.

In Fire Emblem Fates, I seldom had this problem. Yes, the music was fantastic, but it was often replayed multiple times per campaign, and after three full campaigns, it starts to get a little old. And I’m not exactly dying to hear Azura’s delivery of the line “truly” for the umpteenth time.

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My tolerance for this varies on where I am. I’m the most tolerant when I’m in a dungeon. I’ve probably heard all of the music before, and there’s usually no story except at the beginning and the end. I’m least tolerant during cut-scenes. I will not watch a cut-scene unless I can clearly hear and see it. I don’t care if the animation is janky; it’s important, dammit! It should be noted that this is the same case in Fates, but there’s only a cut-scene once in a blue moon in that game. Usually there’s a middle ground in typical skirmishes. I’ll play as long as I can hear something, but it’s far from ideal.

Of course, this is a good problem to have. It’s not like I want the excellent music or voice acting to go away! This is a specific problem that I hopefully won’t have to worry about once I’m back in home-sweet-home. It just goes to show how much I’m loving this game: I’m willing to put off playing it to give it the respect it deserves.