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Hey guys

So I'm actually new to the franchise and would really like to get to know Fire Emblem.
This means I'm definitely buying Fates, that's for sure! But I'm hesitating: should I pick up Awakening first, before Fates releases (I'm European so I'm going to have to wait until the end of may)?

Captain Cross
Hmm...Which version of Fates are you picking up? Unless your getting the special edition(which has all routes), that may help dictate it a bit. If you opting for Birthright and getting the others later, then Awakening would be a good way to get introduced to it. If your getting Conquest before the others, then maybe you should be looking for some of the older titles first. Conquest, before DLC, is harder to farm for exp like the GBA and older Fire Emblem titles(Sacred Stones not included), so an older title could acclimate you to that. Birthright (and Revelation) has a lot more opportunities to level your characters up, which Sacred Stones and Awakening offers as well. If it fits within your budget, pick it up. You should have plenty of time with it before Fates comes out to get used to the mechanics it introduces.
Thanks, Swift Assassin, for your help!
I've not decided yet if I'm going to take the Special Edition or just one game, but what I'm fairly certain of, is that I will play Birthright first. So yeah, thanks to your advice, I'm now pretty much convinced that I should buy Awakening to be introduced to the series. Again, thanks a lot!