While I’m a day late and a dollar short on this one, there was a Fire Emblem Nintendo Direct held yesterday that I missed because I was hosting some of my friends for a small get together. However, given that I’ve talked a lot about how much I love Fire Emblem in the past, I figure I should still go back and talk about what the Direct had to offer, at least briefly, now that I’ve had the chance to sit down and watch it.
If you haven’t seen the Direct yet either and want to watch it alongside me, you can check out the full video here. It’s only about 20 minutes long and showcases four games, so I promise it won’t take too much time out of your life.
Unless you decide to write long-winded posts about it like I do. Because then it’s going to take up a lot more of your time. That, I can assure you.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
The Direct starts off right away with what I can only call the cinematic trailer for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. The game, as is then elaborated on after, is a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, which was a Japan-exclusive title from the early 1990s.
A lot about the art style in regards to character portraits and things like the overworked map in the gameplay footage that was shown reminds me a lot of some of the earlier GameBoy Advanced Fire Emblem titles like The Sacred Stones (which, fun fact, is the first FE game I’ve ever played thanks to the ambassador program for the 3DS, and thus the one that got me into the series). However, the in-battle style looks like it’s going to have the same impressive 3D polish that Fire Emblem Awakening had and that Fire Emblem Fates more or less perfected.
There are also apparently some unique elements to Gaiden that have been recreated for Echoes, such as free roaming fights and dungeon crawling. Both of which sound like amazing inclusions that I honestly can’t wait to see executed for myself.
The game has been given a set release date of May 19, 2017 for the 3DS, and boy am I now excited for it. To be honest, the anticipation that’s building after watching just this first part of the Direct really does make me want to go back and play more Fire Emblem. In my early-games-of-the-series catalogue, I’ve so far only played The Sacred Stones and Shadow Dragon, a remake of the original first Fire Emblem game. I’ll look forward to adding Gaiden to that list with this remake.
Oh, and there are Amiibo, and considering I have an on-again off-again problem with collecting those
dumb amazing little figurines, I just might see my collection grow again.
Fire Emblem for the Nintendo Switch
Next up was the announcement of a brand new Fire Emblem title being produced for the Switch, set to come out at some point in 2018. As the narrator announced, making my job here that much easier, the new game (with a currently working title) is the first in the series to return to consoles since the games featuring Ike: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. The decision to do this is interesting, and honestly makes a lot of sense.
Fire Emblem is a game that seems to do best when it’s a mobile experience, when you can pick up your fight wherever you want while waiting for whatever it is you might be waiting for. The Switch gives the game a chance to have the best possible graphics Nintendo has produced thus far while also keeping the idea of mobile gaming alive, and to be completely honest it’s a clear showcase of one of the reasons I believe the Switch is going to do quite well over it’s lifetime.
That was all we got on the new game in the series unfortunately, but considering we’re still at least a year out it’s understandable. Just the fact that a new one has already been confirmed so soon after Fates graced the gaming market is nice really, as it means the series is continuing to go strong. As I’ve said before, we can always use more Fire Emblem.
Fire Emblem Warriors
Speaking of more Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Warriors was the next subject of the Direct. There was a small teaser for the game in the Nintendo Switch presentation earlier this month, but this time we got to see a trailer with some gameplay.
The opening did the same cool orbs-with-swords that led into the Fire Emblem crest. This time, after the mysterious figure – revealed to be Chrom, the royal Prince/Exalt of Ylisse from Awakening – takes the Falchion, he proceeds to just demolish mobs of soldiers all at once in a few fell swipes of the blade.
But that was about it, we then got the same vague Fall 2017 release date.
However, they did reveal that the game is actually going to be dropped on the 3DS concurrently with the Switch version of the game. That alone makes this game infinitely better in my eyes. Part of the reason I didn’t get Hyrule Warriors was because I didn’t have a Wii U when it was released, and by the time the 3DS port came out I was too busy doing other things to devote my time to the game.
I’m very excited to try this game, honestly. I’ve never played a Warriors game before, and this seems like it could be a perfect entry point for me. I just hope that the developers go back and pull some more older characters that I might know for the roster of playable heroes rather than mostly sticking in the modern games like Awakening and Fates. I love those games, don’t get me wrong, but I’d also love to do something like play Neimi from The Sacred Stones, probably my favorite archer girl ever.
Considering the treatment that was given for the character roster in Hyrule Warriors, I’m sure that kind of possibility isn’t too farfetched.
Fire Emblem Heroes
Fire Emblem Heroes, the first mobile smartphone game in the series, had it’s opening shown during this Direct as well. The cinematic, as usual, was beautiful, and featured a bunch of new characters we haven’t yet seen before apparently summoning heroes from other Fire Emblem titles (though all it showed was Awakening and Fates) to fight one another.
Not a bad way to start a reveal, I’d say.
Rather than just making a mobile game for the sake of a mobile game, however, Fire Emblem Heroes touts its own brand new story, which makes the game that much more enticing. It might just be a rough skeleton to encase the idea of making old characters fight in a mobile format, but just the fact that the extra effort was put in makes me more happy to look forward to the title’s release in .
Though the cinematic opening only showed Awakening and Fates-based heroes, there was also a screen depicting heroes from all across Fire Emblem’s history, so even if Warriors doesn’t have a hugely nostalgic cast, this game certainly will. Though the game itself doesn’t look incredibly complex, the art style is rather adorable overall between the pixel art-based world and the occasionally appearing fully-rendered character art depicting their attacks. I can see myself getting pulled into it at least.
On top of that, the narrator promises the gameplay will be as “intense” as expected in a Fire Emblem game, which either bodes well … Or not so well depending on how it’s handled. Not sure having a mobile phone game with stages it takes me twenty years to beat because of BS enemy placement or terrain issues would be all that fun, no matter what the subject matter may be. But hey, at least the weapon triangle still exists.
Then of course comes the real mobile game edge to Fire Emblem Heroes: Microtransactions. I have a mixed history with this style of setting up a game. On the one hand, if handled well, I quite enjoy a system using Microtransactions. If I can manage through the game reasonably without being absolutely required to use them, that’s A-OK by me. Even better would be if I love the game so much that I feel I should pay the developers something for their work, even if the game initially comes free. However, if the Microtransactions are used as a significant roadblock, forcing the game to elongate itself because of how long you have to wait between getting the in-game currency if you don’t pay for it… I’ll likely get warded off quickly.
Seriously Fire Emblem Heroes, I hope you take a page from Pokémon Shuffle‘s book. If you ask me, that game has a pretty perfect system in place for how they’re used. The fact that the summoning stones used as in-game currency simply summon characters for you to use I doubt the same system would be possible… But it’s the idea that counts. If anything the game will probably be more like Marvel’s Contest of Champions with a battle style that I believe I’ll enjoy far better, so I get the impression it will have some staying power.
I don’t know, I can see the problems potentially there, but because the heroes you receive don’t permanently die and force you to wait to summon more, I don’t think it’ll be a huge problem. Waiting a period to revive is far more manageable if you ask me.
Especially since there’s grinding. After playing through Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, I thank Naga every time there’s a chance for grinding in a Fire Emblem game.
The end slate for this game says that Heroes will drop on February 2nd for Google Play, and gives a vague ‘soon’ for iPhone and iPad. Just as long as ‘soon’ is sooner rather than later I’ll be happy. It’ll be nice to have some Fire Emblem to tide me over before Echoes.
Plus, if I enjoy it the way I have and continue to enjoy Super Mario Run, then I’ll happily continue to finance Nintendo’s trek into the Mobile gaming world.
That was all we got in the Fire Emblem Direct, but honestly I can’t complain. Having a more compact game-focused Direct felt much better than the big Nintendo Switch Direct, which had to spread it’s time among a billion different games. Also, I have to say, the narrator for this Direct had a wonderful voice. I feel like I could listen to him tell me about new games forever… Er, anyway. Everything on the horizon for Fire Emblem looks amazing, and I’m hyped to be a part of all of it.
Hell, I already am a part of it. I just went and took part in the Fire Emblem Heroes’ “Choose your Legends” event, where you can pick any character from any game in the series to vote on as a character you want to show up in the game.
Naturally I chose Neimi, because I seriously have so many fond memories of mowing down enemies with her mighty bow. Though looking through the list really brought up a ton of fond memories for various characters… You would’ve been my second choice, Amelia.
If there’s any game on this list you’re particularly excited for, let me know in the comments below! Writing a post like this feels like building up to Pokémon Sun and Moon all over again, and it’s good to get back into that mindset if you ask me.
With college starting up again next week, having a distraction to help keep myself sane during long nights of work is never a bad thing.