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9:35 AM on 02.22.2009 // Pyroph
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Impressions




To start, I am a huge srpg fan with the Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Shining Force being some of my favorites. I have not played the original version of this remake, but I will try to look into this with a perspective comparing it to the previous two on the GBA.



Basics

Fire Emblem looks about the same that it always has, with some new upgrades to the DS platform. I'm not a fan of the new graphics in the battle scenes, as everyone looks faceless and it looks ugly. You'll now have the top screen displaying the status of the character you have highlighted, as well as hitting the left trigger to toggle the map. The stylus is now available to use, and as with the previous Intelligent Systems title, Advance Wars: Days of Ruins, it controls about the same. Tap a unit and then point to where you want to go, or simply click on the enemy and it will move you there.

There's also a new area to save during missions which will make it easier if you are obsessive like me and need to restart if anyone dies. It looks like a rune on the ground, and all you need to do is simply move a unit over it and then use the "Save" option. A nice touch to make the restarting a bit less irritating.


Story

The story pans out as your basic save your kingdom after another invades. Marth is set with the task to rescue his empire from the Dolhr Empire, who has basically wiped out his whole family. Here lays where the problems begin with Shadow Dragon.


I feel like I have a faceless army compared to a band of people.

Only after the prologue and a few missions in (Chapter 3) I already have control of 17 units. 17 UNITS. I don't think it got that high even in the GBA ones. As of now, new characters are being introduced every godamned chapter, and some of them come into my party with little to no dialogue. I have no feeling for the characters, and that conflicts with my main part of playing Fire Emblem.

In the previous ones I would attach to the characters, if I ever died my OCD would kick in instantly and you bet your ass I would restart the chapter. During the prologue in your game, you need to sacrifice one of your members to continue. No joke. I sat there for about 30 minutes trying to conceive a way to get around it, but alas you are screwed.

I feel conflicted, because I'm not sure if people die if I should restart or not with such a large band. I haven't gotten far enough into the game to see if that will be the case, but as I've said I'd much prefer to have a party of less than 10. (At the beginning at least...)

With such a large party, it also brings the trouble of trying to manage and level each character equally. Maybe with such a large party, leveling will not be as important, but after being near the end of the first GBA and restarting because I screwed that up, I hope it is.


Marth is a bitch.
Yes, that's right. After a catastrophic event to Marth in the beginning of the game, he is bossed around by this old asshole named Malledus to just run away and sulk. There is little to no emotion after any of these incidents either. Considering how little of an event that occurred in Lost Odyssey sparked so much emotion, this would be a 2 hour long sob fest if it were in LO. Compared to Eliwood or Lyn, Marth doesn't do much, besides agree and let himself get walked all over by people telling him what to do.

Overall I'm still having a good time with it, just with the minor gripes of having such a large party. I feel that that's what separates this series from IS' other awesome series, Advance Wars. That is where you have mass amounts of units on your side, not characters.

Oh yeah... there's also a guy named Linde in the game. I guess this is what he did before he set off on his Boner Quest.
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