Hello everyone and welcome back to News and Reviews! Today’s recommendation is all about an amazingly fun video game for the Nintendo Switch. That video game is none other than Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Best described as if chess were more violent with some light flirting in between (by youtuber Brian David Gilbert on the channel Polygon, which I highly recommend if you wanna have a good laugh), the fire emblem franchise is a strategy fighting game with intriguing plot narratives accompanied by entertaining characters. If you’re a newbie to strategy games (which I still am even after playing this game) or you just really don’t want your beloved companions to die you can select an easy/story based mode where any party members that lose all their hit points during a fight won’t die, and instead will simply retreat (at least that’s what I’m calling vanishing into thin air and then reappearing back at school *coughcoughIgnatzcough*). Alternatively if you’re an experienced strategy game player then you can choose to play in a traditional way, where if one of your companions loses all their hit points, then they’re dead and they stay dead. No necromancy or wishful thinking can bring those characters back (unless you delete all your previous saves and start again, which yeah, I did, twice). The combat is pretty straight forward though, with the tutorial giving an easy to understand guide to the mechanics and the ability to go through the tutorial again at any given time by going to the notebook in the upper corner on your screen. If your usual play style is button mashing, then you might have a hard time getting used to the gameplay at first, but you’ll be able to understand it pretty quick. In Three Houses you’ll get to choose the gender of your player character and eventually get to choose which house they’ll eventually join. Will you choose the Black Eagles led by the mysterious, overachiever (and future empress of the Adrestian empire) Edelgard von Hresvelg? Or perhaps the Blue Lions with their princely leader with a dark and troubled past Prince Dimitri Blaiddyd? Or is the charming yet secretive future duke Claude Von Reigan, the leader of the Golden Deer more your speed (if you love Lando Clarissian of Star Wars then the answer is Yes, choose the Golden Deer!)? If you’re wondering if these Fire Emblem houses are anything like your Hogwarts house, then the quick answer is no. In the game you’re actually a teacher (admittedly only a few years older than most of your students, but with much more battle experience) at the Garreg Mach Monastery and by choosing your house you’ll actually be choosing which students you’ll be going on missions with as well as actually teaching. But if you’re having a hard time deciding which house you want to join because you want to spend time with a character from another house, then good news! You can still have tea, enjoy lunch, and even cook with students from other houses. You want to spend even more time with them, awesome! You can actually recruit students from other houses to join your own, by raising your approval with them and training in the subjects they want to know more about (I personally poached Felix from the Blue Lions and Linhardt from the Black Eagles). Raise a bond with a character high enough and you’ll get a special surprise at the end of the game (my lips are sealed as to what that surprise is). This game is really impressive and also has a lot of replay value. Maybe you want to join a new house or bond more with a different character, it’s all up to you. All you gotta do is start the game!