Fire Emblem: Three Houses is out and killing the charts on Metacritic, with an 88% Metascore and a slew of highly favorable reviews. Right now the game stands atop Dragon Quest Builders 2, Cadence of Hyrule and Kingdom Hearts 3. The top review, with a 100% rating, calls it a "must-have title on the Switch," and many others praise its engaging story, refined gameplay, and addicting feedback loop. Nintendo Enthusiast called it "the best JRPG of 2019" (so far) while The Sydney Morning Herald says, "Three Houses is a masterpiece of a strategy game and a brilliant relationship sim."
Three Houses tasks you with leading a group of students during a regular school year at the prestigious The Officers Academy, where people the world over send their loved ones to train. After choosing which house to lead (The Golden Deer, the Blue Lions or the Black Eagles), players are allowed to spend their time as they wish– whether it's upgrading skills with the neighboring professors, stealing students from competing houses, or going fishing.
The feedback loop of teaching classes, wandering the academy to talk to your peers and then heading off to battle is loads of fun, and the review scores certainly reflect that.
The long play time of each House is impressive, given that the entire game is fully voice acted, with at least three alternative routes. Even for players looking to rush through, completing all houses should clock in at least 150 hours.
Well-known reviewers such as IGN and Gamespot aren't skimping on the scores, either, with IGN, Game Informer, and Destructoid giving it a 9.5 and Gamespot giving it a 9. Review scores on Metacritic are sitting at a 8.0, which is still quite high.
Having a game simply be long doesn't always work to its benefit if the side activities feel like padding, but this simply isn't the case with Three Houses. There's nothing stopping you from breezing through the days, auto-lecturing your students and skipping the cutscenes... but those who take an interest in the ebb and flow of daily life at the academy can find something special to sink their teeth into.