Finished Conquest and I'm more than halfway done with Birthright. You're right about the story. It sucks. They use the same maps for some chapters on both versions, birthright's soundtrack isn't as good as conquest's and birthright is so boring. It's like they couldn't find balance between easy and unenjoyably hard. You can exploit the game so much with the castle battles, taking skills from other players' units. It's so easy to get Aptitude for the units you want, it's dumb. Specially in Birthright (in case you didn't buy DLC to get gold on Conquest); Really dumb.
I'm still having fun with the stuff I told about before, but I understand your point of view so much better now. Besides some balancing changes with the pair up system and skills, with some fan service here and there, Fates has been lacking so far. Will talk more about it once I finish Revelation.
I wonder what my playthroughs would've been like if I knew about the Castle Battles before I beat the three games. I never touched them until beating Revelation and then that's all I did for hours on end. I was just trying to make all my favorite units unstoppable.
@Zero Birthright is kind is a typical Fire Emblem story, but I like the Japanese style/aesthetic of a lot of the classes and weapons. I felt that was a nice change of pace. Plus, while I wasn't sure what to make of Fates not having durability for weapons initially, I think it actually works really well, when all is said and done. I wouldn't mind if future games bring back weapon durability, but I think this worked great as well. Plus the usefulness of pairing up in battle in Fates is much more situational, rather than generally being the best idea 99% of the time as it was in Awakening.