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Official Fire Emblem Fanatic Review of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

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Official Fire Emblem Fanatic Review of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Post  GuruSharky on Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:05 pm

This review is to show you what a real fire emblem fanatic thinks of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, and whether or not to choose it if you are interested in trying Fire Emblem for the first time. Most of the points in this review will be comparing Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon to other Fire Emblems in its wake




Developers: Intellegent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Dates:
JP: 8/7/08
EU: 12/5/08
NA: 2/16/09
AUS: 2/26/09
Players: Single Player only; Up to 2 Player via Wifi connection
ESRB Rating: E10+


[SIZE="4"]Gameplay & Mechanics:[/SIZE]



Fire Emblem 11, more commonly known as Shadow Dragon is a remake of the very first Fire Emblem game known similarly as Dark Dragon. Its gameplay is standard for Fire Emblem titles, the classic turn-based grid system rules still apply here. But there are some major difference that offer this game a SERIOUS disadvantage.

1. NO RESCUING! making it difficult to train weak characters and milk bosses
2. 5 levels are accessible ONLY if you have 15 or less characters in your party, fortunately, only about 8 are actually worth keeping.
3. Everybody sucks! Yeah its true, there are upwards of 30 recruitable characters, ALMOST NONE OF WHICH ARE EVEN SLIGHTLY USEFUL!
4. True hit feels off, giving enemies unfair hit boosts.
5. Growth rates are totally screwed, characters are lucky to reach 20 in most stats if promoted at lv 20.


Don't get me wrong, Shadow Dragon does have a few general improvements. Such as Reclassing which I found ok, but I also felt it gave me a little too much control over the characters themselves. Additionally each class only had a few other possible classes that they could turn into, usually classes that were completely useless for their stats. Thirdly, the fact that some classes were blatently better than all the others *Cough* *dragonmasters* *cough* made me always want to chose them...

I love the forging in Shadow Dragon, it improves on the already solid forging mechanic set by Path of Radiance & Radiant Dawn. The ability to continually make weapons better is ingenius, and it also allows you to make weapons that are MUCH stronger than allowed in FE 9 & 10.

Visuals & Sound:


The music in Shadow Dragon is better than its handheld predecessors, tho does not surpass the music qualities of the consoles FEs.

The character visuals in this game are by far my favorite in fire emblem history, even though marth still looks like a girly man. :p :p :p

The fighting visuals.... welllll how can I say this lightly... make me want to punch myself in the groin repeatedly. You call those 3D graphics? It looks like two poorly made action figures in a well done stop motion movie... And what the hell happened to the awesome attack motions and critical sequences from fire emblems 6,7, and 8!?!?!?! I'm used to mercenaries doing a sweet flip in the air before attacking, now they just short hop and slash like a wimp... I'm disgusted... What has our world come too!?!?!?!

Multiplayer:


Fire Emblem fanatics like myself have always been craving multiplayer that highly surpasses the boring four-square battles of the GBA titles. I admit, when I heard about the wifi in this game, I got excited, fainted, peed my pants (jk), but I got excited.

Now you ask father sharky, "did Shadow Dragon live up to your tinkle-inducing expectations?"

Well child......... Yes and No...

Sure it does give me the single-player mode style, capture the flag gameplay I wanted, but not the way I wanted... First, the turn limit is 10... how can you have a fun fire emblem match in 10 turns? You really can't, since it takes 10 turns to get to the castle or to destroy the other team only if there is a serious power imbalance. Second, you only get teams of five. I'm not really surprised at this limit, though more units on each team equals more fun. Finally, with characters as dismal as the cast of this game how can you make a good team? With such horrible growth rates, your team is usually either way stronger or way weaker than your opponent.

To be honest I haven't really enjoyed any of the whole 15 online matches I'd played.

Sharky's Verdict:


Here's why Shadow Dragon fails my test with falling colors. Sure it's a long anticipated remake featuring Marth (Omg it's Merf! I love you Merf!... Sorry I couldn't resist.) it is little more than a remake. They failed to change a lot of what they should have, all they did was add new features unavailable in past emblems without adding clearly vital gameplay quirks from past emblems.

For many who don't know fire emblem, this will probably be your first one. And if you've already judged the series by this game then fine, but play other fire emblems as well. The only way you can go is up.

Try Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn for Wii or the generic Fire Emblem for GBA.

My verdict is... this is the worst fire emblem I've ever played.

5.5/10

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GuruSharky, NBN Admin and Owner. Fire Emblem Finatic/ Brawler.
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