Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon review
Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon: A step backward in every aspect
-stupid mechanics introduced (marth being the only one who can visit towns, for example, or class changing)
- Atrocious story
- Zero character development
- Support conversations are gone
- no rescuing of units
- ugly graphics
- terrible environments/map design
- terrible character design
- terrible everything design
Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon is truly an awful game. It takes all the advancements that have been made over the last few games and destroys them in one fell swoop. Everything good you remember about previous fire emblem games is gone here; if you're looking to get more of your FE fix, look elsewhere, because this sure isn't it.
FEDS' main problem is the lack of story or characters. Every single character is a blank slate with no personality at all. Most characters will literally just show up before a chapter, say "i want to join your army", and boom. They're in. Sometimes you have to talk to them. The main lord Marth wasn't even developed; i managed to get through 3/4 of this game before i quit, and i still knew nothing about him. This is such a huge dissapointment to the fans because Fire Emblem is reknowned throughout gaming culture for its gripping stories and developed characters, Fire Emblem has one of the most devoted fanbases i've seen for ANY video game. But this... it's painful.
Plenty of dumb gimmicks were added into this game, and plenty good ones were taken out. First of all, Support conversations. These are pieces of dialogue between two characters that you can unlock by haveng those two people near each other in battle. They are the main way that characters are developed, the main way for us to grow attached to these people as they talk about themselves and form relationships with others. These are completely gone in Shadow Dragon, and it's what made this game lose all of its charm. IS also took out the ability to rescue other characters in battle, or for anybody besides the main lord to visit villages. Both were important parts of the series' core gameplay.
They added in possibly the DUMBEST thing you could have in a strategy RPG: class changing. This lets you take any character you want, say, an archer, and turn him into a giant monstrous knight or pirate. It's illogical and it breaks the game. In a game based on STRATEGY, you shouldn't just be able to change your freaking army into whatever you damn well please! Let's say you have a chapter ahead where the enemies are mostly bandits, that's no problem! just change every last one of your characters to sword users so you have the advantage! Instead of managing your army and dealing with what you have to become the ultimate tactician, you can just use whatever you want! They may as well have made a "beat the game" button so you don't have to do anything. Bottom line: this is stupid and should never be done again.
The graphics in this game were supposed to be a step up from the GBA games, but in all honesty, they look like vomit. They tried to make it look far too realistic and just diverted from the original art style. Originally it was bright, colorful, and varied environments, now everything is a "capture the castle/throne" mission and the maps all look the same. They used about 5 colors for the environments: brown, green, black, dark blue, and gray. Most of the characters look boring as well, which is only amplified by the lack of personality in each and every one of them.
Overall, i would not suggest this game to any fan of the FE series, or any gamer in general. It's a mediocre SRPG at best, and that's only if you don't account for the huge dissapointment factor that the fans have. The only people who might get enjoyment out of this are people who haven't played a good SRPG before and have low expectations; even that i think will leave you feeling unfulfilled. Remakes aren't the same game with a new coat of graphics, they are a whole new game that improves itself with the series. Look at Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen, fantastic games that took all of the advances in generation 3 and added them to the original red/blue games. No more OP psychic types, glitches, or a flawed typing system in general. Tha's how a remake should be done, not this "paint it over again, make it look like HD vomit, and hope they won't notice" crap. I only hope that Intelligent Systems redeems themselves with Fire Emblem: Awakening on the 3DS.
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