A-Z Challenge – Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

The Western world had to wait a long time to enjoy the Fire Emblem series.  Nintendo finally decided to bring the series in English with the seventh game in the series, which was simply named Fire Emblem in the States, but has the name Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword in Japan.  Since then, the series garnered a niche audience, and Nintendo kept bringing out the games to the West… and eventually we get to Shadow Dragon.

Shadow Dragon is a remake of the very first Fire Emblem, released for the Famicom.  The series has evolved in many ways since the original, so it was due for a proper remake, and Western audiences get to enjoy the story in English for the first time… and it has Marth in it!  What’s not to love…?  Actually, a few things.

The story of most Fire Emblem games isn’t really something to be interested in… however, after the more intriguing plots of Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, Shadow Dragon is very lacking.  None of the characters are really given any characterization, and given that there’s no support conversations like later games, there’s no reason to really care.  I guess that’s a good thing, because in order to get to the bonus chapters, you have to actually kill characters off.  Anyone that’s played Fire Emblem before knows that’s something no one really wants to do.

In addition, while there are some very needed updates to the core gameplay, other features are surprising missing.  There’s no supports, like I stated earlier, and no ability to rescue, amongst other things.  While most of the things missing aren’t important, they are aspects that most fans enjoyed and come to expect, so seeing them missing is odd.

Despite this, it’s a solid enough game, and pretty good if you know what to expect.  This isn’t a complete remake; it’s an updated port.  As long as your hopes aren’t too high, and you don’t compare to other entries a lot, then Shadow Dragon is an alright game.

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