Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light is a tough game to recommend in modern times. Yes, it’s the first time the original game has been released internationally. Yes, it’s available in a snazzy limited edition set. And if you don’t mind Nintendo’s oppressive approach to selling the game, you need to pick it up before it disappears from the eShop after March 31st, 2021.
Even if the argument around Nintendo’s business practices didn’t cloudy the picture, the original Fire Emblem game plays like a game that was made 30+ years ago. Limited by the NES hardware of its time, the game’s dialogue reads like the Coles Notes for another Fire Emblem game. You can’t see movement ranges for your heroes or your enemies, making it difficult to assess your movements. You don’t get the menu that shows the probabilities of hitting or getting hit. Worst of all, item management is handled so poorly that you’re better off playing the game as if it didn’t exist.
Playing Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is probably not worth the trouble. Even so, there’s something magical that the original game still possesses.
Is the oldest Fire Emblem game still worth playing? I go in-depth on my feelings towards this retro release making its international debut on the Nintendo Switch while also playing map IV!
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To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Fire Emblem franchise, Nintendo released the first title in the series on the eShop: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. This is a direct port of the NES game with English translations and marks the first* time it’s made it outside of Japan.
*Yes, I know that Shadow Dragon got a remake on DS, but this is the first time that the original NES version makes its international debut
This gamee is readily available on the eShop until March 31st, 2021 when the evil Nintendo overlords take the game offline. Or, you could spring for the limited physical edition, which will likely sell out long before their March 31st expiration date. Though my first order failed through Amazon, I did eventually get one through another retailer. Let’s crack this open!
To even the most diehard Nintendo fans, the name Fire Emblem means nothing to them outside of Marth, Roy and Ike, who all appeared in various versions of Super Smash Bros. They may not be household names like Mario or Link, but little do they know that those three guys come from one of Nintendo’s oldest and longest-running franchises, which dates back to 1990. Most people also don’t know that the Fire Emblem series of games are awesome. I don’t think I could do my love for this franchise justice in a blog post, but I’m going to try anyway.