I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of Fire Emblem: Awakening. It hits on just about everything I want in a JRPG, from lovable characters to addictive gameplay to dating sim elements. There’s a robust job system, perma-death, and a surprisingly intriguing story. The game even has the holiest of holy grails — the ability to breed new characters.
This should be Awakening‘s greatest asset. There are over 100 potential pairings, and more parent/child combinations I can count. You can only see a fraction of its content in a single playthrough, and it seems designed with experimentation in mind. Unfortunately, three save slots doesn’t give you a lot of room to mess around.
There have been many nights I’ve gone to start up a new game of Awakening, then stopped when I remembered was out of save slots. Sure, I could delete a file and start over, but it’s hard not to get attached to your pairings over the course of a 40-hour game. I don’t want to say goodbye to adorable couples like Lissa and Lon’qu just so I can try out something new.
I should be used to finite save slots by now. I’ve been playing games my whole life, and having room for extra saves is a fairly recent occurrence. But for games like Awakening, three saves will never be enough. I want to experience everything it has to offer without turning to YouTube. I want to test out incredibly weird pairings, and I want to feel like I can play the game over and over again.
Not every game needs unlimited save slots. I’d argue that titles like Pokémon are better because of their save limitations, and that the ability to save scum can sometime detract from the main game.
But a game like Fire Emblem: Awakening will never be able to live up to its full potential with three save slots. No matter how many hours I sink into it, there will always be things I don’t have room for. Games like Awakening were made for limitless saves, and I hope future Fire Emblem titles get them.