From what I remember, I preferred this one better. I'll refer to it as FE7 to make things a bit easier. I liked the characters in FE7 more. I can't even remember the names of the Lords in Sacred Stones. But I'll never forget Lyn, Hector and Eliwood. This might also be due to FE7 being my first FE game.
As far as the gameplay goes, I don't really recall a difference. Sacred Stones did come later so there may have been some improvements. I'm sure people who are more dedicated to this series will be able say for sure.
I gave this one a go some five years ago and enjoyed it somewhat but I'd just beaten Advance Wars and I think I was a little tired of strategery at that point. I'd consider giving it another go as part of a game club or some such.
I really enjoyed Awakening on the 3DS but I missed the hilarious battle animations on the GBA just watching Lyn do a Critical was fun in itself. But I found the game got very hard and it was difficult to stay in top condition with items maybe if I have a bit of spare change I might buy it on the eShop
It's more difficult (for better or worse, better in my opinion) and I felt like the story was superior to Sacred Stones. Two of the better Lords in Fire Emblem history (at least in terms of the US games IMO) came out of this game in Lyndis and Hector as well.
This is totally worth $8. Everyone that's remotely a fan of the series needs to play it.
This game is SOOOO much better than Sacred Stones for me. I started playing it again recently and I'm at Chapter 13, already in Eliwood's quest. I have to note here that I played a Enlgish-patched FE6: Binding Blade before booting this one up again, so I'm in awe with the improvement of story, characters, visuals and things in general with the 7th game of the franchise. I'm not saying Roy's adventure wasn't good, but Fire Emblem 7 definitely has more polish to it in every single way, as it should have. Also, you can upgrade thieves in this game and the Lords don't suck, so that's great.
This was my first Fire Emblem game and to be honest I liked it but I didn't "get" the appeal. Only in time did I understand Fire Emblem is more about developing characters and keeping everyone alive than simply passing stages.
For some reason I was never really that big of a fan of this game. Shadow Dragon was my first Fire Emblem and I played this one alongside Sacred Stones afterwards. To this day, it is the only Fire Emblem game released in the west that I haven't finished. I keep starting, getting halfway through, and losing interest. Which is really weird to me because I do enjoy this game and can acknowledge that it is better than Shadow Dragon. It's just never reached out and grabbed me in the same way that Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance, or Awakening have. I guess it's because each of the games aside from Shadow Dragon has some sort of hook to its story or gameplay while FE7 is sort of basic. It always bothered me that it doesn't have clearly defined borders for the countries/regions. I like to have a clear idea of where the front lines are, where the enemy is located, and so on, even if the ideas of right and wrong are painted in shades of grey (as they are in Path of Radiance). Maybe I'll finally be able to finish this one if we tackle it in Epic Center