Sunday, January 04, 2009

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Rating : 4.0/5
Developer : Intelligent Systems
Genre: Tactical Role Playing
Console : Nintendo DS

This is the first in the Fire Emblem series, but is the fifth release outside of Japan being a remake of Fire Emblem: Shin Ankoku Ryƫ to Hikari no Ken from the Famicon. Players of Super Smath Bros may recognise main character Marth. The story is simple and like most other Fire Emblem games. Marth's father (the King of Altea) has gone away to battle and is reported dead. He had on him legendary sword Falchion which has been taken by the evil Medeus, the Shadow Dragon. Marth sets forth on a quest throughout the land to find and destroy Medeus once and for all reclaiming his sword and birthrite along the way.

He has a set of companions including Shiida (Princess of Talys), Ogma (a mercenary proteting Shiida), Nabarl (a swordsman hired as a bodyguard by bandits) and Merric (a childhood friend of Marth's who wields magic). As the story progresses different people join your team and in some situations you need to have the right character speak to one of the enemy to recruit them. Unlike many other series, once your character dies in battle you cannot ressurect them and they are gone from the game for good.

Marth and Shiida are below against the world map.

The game play works really well. On the bottom DS screen are the characters and you can move them into battle, perform healing or cast magic. The top screen has more detailed information including the number of turns you have had, characters statistics and maps. A battle screen shot is shown below of Marth (in blue) versus a pegasus rider Gra. Each weapon has different abilities and levels and different types of class are susceptible to different weapons eg peagsus riders are especially weak against arrows. Each weapon can also be used a certain number of times before it breaks, but you can buy more along the way and forge your own.

Like all other Fire Embem games, the gameplay is quite linear in that you have no control over which battle you fight next. You can tell this is the first in the series as it misses some of the classic elements of the later games such as there are no bards/dancers enabling you to have an extra turn, there are extra save points in each battle ground, you can switch classes at will although you still need a Master Seal to move up to the higher class etc. Overall though I loved this game and highly recommend it to anyone who loves RPGs like Final Fantasy and Zelda.

1 comments:

Nymeth said...

This sounds like such fun. I want a DS :P