Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Review

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Review

Assuming you’ve never touched a Fire Emblem , a little gameplay explanation is in order. The games follow the T-RPG code, namely squares and turn-based, but has some pretty significant improvements. Thus, the major innovation of the series is the impossibility of resuscitating a character who died in combat. Indeed, once his HP has fallen to zero, the character disappears from the game! This alone adds a dose of strategy to the game and avoids being able to finish the levels by throwing your characters into the mass by charclant everything that moves. No, Fire Emblemasks you to be more subtle than that. Thus, there are also 2 triangles of power for weapons, and for magic, giving each weapon an ascendancy and a weakness against the other 2 types of weapons, or magic. Basically the sword beats the axe, which beats the spear, which beats the sword. There are also weapons that allow you to reverse this triangle, just to tear your hair out. However the developers have thought of weak-minded people by including the arcs, which are outside these triangles…

On the scenario side, that of the first Fire Emblemwas recovered without modification, and does not change too much from the other opuses of the series: a war with men and dragons, a great winner who wants to dominate the world… It’s already seen and not always very well put in place stage. That said, the scenario dating a little (1990 for the NES version), it remains quite “classic” and does not do diabolical reversals and does without long dialogues.
You will be put in a situation before each map, with the objective to be achieved, which is often the same, take the fort from the boss. On this side, we are still quite classic.

Where we observe novelties, it is on the side of the graphics. No more 2D characters with more (in combat) or less (on the map) details. We go to a mix between 3D and 2D, giving a rather strange metallic aspect to the characters. We regret this choice which removes almost all its charm from the combat animations, since the characters are all identical and no longer have any distinctive details (all the same color, each class is identical…) whereas the 2D versions showed us different characters, from their hairstyle to the clothes. You get used to it quickly, but it’s still a shame to have left that aside.
The music was taken from the original opus, as were the sound effects, and remain essentially the same for each opus.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Review

Purists will observe one thing, the game is a real remake of the first version since at the time, in combat, the allies were to the left of the enemy, and traveled long distances on the map each turn, so on recent versions (GBA), it’s just the opposite. We will be a little destabilized by switching from the GBA to the DS by seeing that the enemy is “in our place” (if you follow me) in combat, and we will have the impression that the characters are running super fast whereas in fact the maps are huge.

The game has its share of new features, starting with the Class Swap. It’s a tab in the pre-battle menu that allows almost any character to be changed to the desired class. Thus, if you have too many Horsemen, you can change one or two of them into a black mage for example or into a hero… It’s up to you. The combinations are unlimited, as long as you don’t exceed the maximum number of users for a class. This allows, among other things, to be able to do without a hidden character that you missed and who was of a class that you don’t yet have and who happens to be quite useful at your level.
In this same pre-combat menu, we note the possibility of visiting the stores on the map, which makes these same stores almost useless during the confrontation. We also note the more interesting appearance of the forge which allows you to increase the stats of your weapons and to repair them, which allows, for a fee, to compose ultimate weapons with critical, precision and crazy attacks! However, once again, it’s an improvement that will once again make the game perhaps too easy…
The pre-battle menu, in fact, has been present since the very beginning of the series. It allows, before a fight, to choose the characters who will take part in it, to place them on the map, to change their inventory and to save.

In another register, the hidden levels which made it possible to unlock new characters, in the other versions, are here support levels. No more need to achieve impossible objectives to unlock them, you just have to have few characters to unlock them, giving you access to very powerful characters, once again making the game very (too) accessible.
Fortunately, the game’s Hard mode alone allows you to choose 5 difficulty levels, increasing the lifespan if you are an enthusiast and taking up the challenge of the game which turns out to be quite open for a first game, even if it Sometimes you have to restart a level because of a character who died prematurely.

The game also offers a multiplayer mode, either in WiFi with your friends or Online, against anyone. The game does not revolutionize multiplayer, you will face another player with 5 of your characters imported from your solo game or rented to another player. The money earned by the victories allows you to buy more or less rare items on the online store. An interesting option that will extend the life of the software, while paying for the efforts of the players.

The lifespan of the software, precisely, varies enormously from one player to another but as an indication you will have to finish around thirty missions, knowing that the first ones end in 5 minutes and that you can block an hour on some. The game offers a lifespan of a good twenty hours if itFire Emblem , but it drops quickly if you are a regular in the series and in this case you will have to turn to the different Hard modes .

Leaving aside the scenario and the new graphics, this remake of Fire Emblem will allow owners of the DS to discover the series, or to replay (or discover) this opus for the fans. The lifespan offered is quite substantial, the game benefiting from 6 difficulty modes in all, an interesting multiplayer and online mode and a substantial challenge, although some new features of the software taint its difficulty a little. In addition, the gameplay is extremely fun and its announced release in Europe will only make it easier to fully appreciate Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon..

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