Have a look at Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Direct

Well, well, well. It’s been quite a week for Nintendo. After months of radio silence, the Nintendo Switch was unveiled. While I’m still working out the words I want to convey, let’s turn our attention to Fire Emblem. As soon as the presentation was over last Thursday/Friday, the Big-N decided to announce that there will be a Nintendo direct on 18/01/2017 dedicated to their Strategic-RPG, Fire Emblem. Most assumed it would be to talk about either the newly announced Warriors & the up and coming mobile game. We certainly were not expecting this (I really tried not to be too clickbait-y here).

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

The Nintendo Direct started off with a new CGI trailer. It has a nice anime style, was talking about war, and had what looked to be 2 protagonists. Yep, this was Fire Emblem all right. Then the gameplay started and around the edges of the video was the usual 3DS background. That’s right. Nintendo have stealthily made another Fire Emblem game. The crazily titled Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will be coming out for Nintendo 3DS on the 19th May. May. This year. 2017!

Ok, so it’s not entirely a new game, it’s more of a remake/spruce up of 1992 game Fire Emblem Gaiden, which was a Japanese only title so you’ll be forgiven if you’ve not heard of it (I hadn’t either).

As you’d expect for a reimagining of a 25-year-old game, FE Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has been rebuilt from the ground up. It features lovely graphics, fine voice acting and exploration of dungeons. Very nice. As mentioned, this 3DS game will be out on the 19th May 2017. Oh, and it wouldn’t be proper if we didn’t have 2 new amiibo. Luckily Nintendo are also releasing protagonists Alm and Celica as NFC statues with the game’s release.

Fire Emblem Switch

After this, it was briefly mentioned that a new entry to the series will be coming to the Nintendo Switch next year. It’s currently called Fire Emblem. Catchy. Expect more information later in the year. Nintendo is keen to point out that it will have been 10 years since the last outing – 2008’s Radiant Dawn for the Wii. That makes me feel old.

Fire Emblem Warriors

3DS screenshots of FE Warriors
3DS screenshots of FE Warriors

There was no time for breathing (or Tweeting as my feed will show), when we were hit with a full trailer for Fire Emblem Warriors. This was teased at last week’s Nintendo Presentation but no gameplay was shown. That was rectified tonight when this trailer was played.

It’s created by the same team behind Hyrule Warriors – Koei Tecmo/Team Ninja and is very similar in terms of look, gameplay, and music. This is not a bad thing as both Wii U and 3DS versions of Hyrule Warriors are well worth your time. The surprise came when not only did Nintendo announce this will be coming out sometime in Autumn, but also a New 3DS version will release alongside it. That’s New 3DS, if you have an older console or 2DS you won’t be able to play the game.

Fire Emblem Heroes

Finally, to close the presentation, we had our first look at Fire Emblem Heroes, the S-RPG for mobile devices and my first impression is positive. It looks like a Fire Emblem game and has a robust battle system. You can summon and capture heroes from past games and use them to aid your party on a quest to end war.

The maps are compact and the action quick, ideal if you want to play in short-sharp bursts. The game is free to play with added micro-transactions. These allow you to buy summoning balls to draw up new characters to help you on your way. It’s not an essential way of playing. Here’s the official blurb on the game:

Fire Emblem Heroes is an original strategy-RPG about two warring kingdoms in a bitter clash. As a summoner, players build their army by calling upon Fire Emblem heroes from worlds that span the breadth of the series. Players will wage strategic tactical battles streamlined for on-the-go play and level up a mix of new combatants and legendary heroes.

Some familiar hero characters will become allies, while others will become enemy generals and take arms against you. Players can enjoy the full majesty of tactical role playing on bite sized maps designed fit nicely on a smartphone screen, even when playing in short bursts.

Lead your army with easy touch and drag controls, including the ability to attack by simply swiping an ally hero over an enemy. If you manage to defeat every enemy on a given map, victory will be yours. The heroes are depicted in new art hand-drawn by a variety of illustrators, and their voices have been newly recorded.

Beyond the main story mode, players can engage in other modes to strengthen your army, compete, against others, and more. Free and timely updates will continue to add new characters and content for additional hours of gameplay.

Fire Emblem Heroes will be available first on Android from 2nd Feb and later, iOS. If you head to this website: https://fire-emblem-heroes.com/en/  you can also vote for future heroes to be patched into the game.

Nintendo Direct – My thoughts

Nintendo’s presentation was s-l-ick and it was an amazing surprise to be expecting 2 Fire Emblem games and getting 4 (5 if you count the 3DS version of Warriors). It’s also nice to see that amiibo are still being produced despite none of the Switch games having announced support (save for Breath of the Wild). Fire Emblem is a relatively new series for us in the west so it is truly nice to be spoilt. Although, my wallet is going to take a pounding. Here’s the full direct for your viewing pleasure.

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