For a long time, Fire Emblem has been regarded as a very niche franchise with few games released outside of Japan and most people only knowing the handful of characters featured in Super Smash Bros. However, after the recent commercial successes of its two newest games on Nintendo 3DS, Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates, the strategy role-playing game series have become part of Nintendo’s major franchises and the hype train doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
On January 18th, as shown in one of the year’s first Nintendo Direct presentations; the Fire Emblem series continues to expand with four new titles for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, and mobile smart devices: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Fire Emblem Warriors, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Fire Emblem for Nintendo Switch (working title).
The first announcement of this Direct was Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia; a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, the second installment of the series released only on the Japanese Famicom in 1992. Just as that game did in its time, Shadows of Valentia blends classic Fire Emblem gameplay with unique mechanics such as open exploration of towns and villages for items and support, and dungeon-crawling with mini-skirmish fights with enemies. Reimagined with the modern graphics engine of Awakening and Fates, as well as, cutscenes animated by Studio Khara, everything that made Fire Emblem Gaiden unique in 1992 is brought to life again for today’s generation to enjoy. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will be released for Nintendo 3DS systems on May 19, 2017, along with a two-pack of amiibo figures modeled after the game’s protagonists, Alm and Celica, which will be compatible with the game itself.
With the announcement of the Nintendo Switch console, a collaboration between Koei Tecmo’s Warriors series and the Fire Emblem series was also announced: Fire Emblem Warriors. While not much actual gameplay has been revealed, and only Chrom from Awakening has been confirmed as a playable character, we can look forward to the over-the-top, fast-paced action of the Warriors series mixed with Fire Emblem elements old and new; just as Hyrule Warriors did for the Legend of Zelda series in 2014. Fire Emblem Warriors is set to release for both Nintendo Switch and the New Nintendo 3DS systems during Fall 2017.
Another major announcement was the confirmation of a new main series Fire Emblem title for the Nintendo Switch; the first home console installment since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn for the Wii in 2007. This time, however, with the Nintendo Switch’s handheld hybrid capabilities, this upcoming title can be enjoyed both on the big screen at home and anywhere you go! No definitive title has been given for this game yet, but it is expected to release in 2018.
Finally, as announced last spring, Fire Emblem will soon have their first spin-off game for mobile devices: Fire Emblem Heroes. In this mobile installment, players form four-unit teams out of characters summoned from every game in the Fire Emblem series to take on opponents in the strategic, turn-based battles the series is known for; complete with weapons triangles and level progression. Heroes can be gained from special missions or summoned randomly using in-game or real-life currency, and each character is brought to life with designs by various artists and newly-recorded voices. The app game itself will be free to download and play, but remember to enjoy the game responsibly as optional in-app purchases are also available.
As a promotional campaign, Nintendo has also announced the 13-day “Choose Your Legends” event where fans can vote once a day for what characters they would like to see in Fire Emblem Heroes. The hero and heroine with the most votes at the end of the campaign will be featured as special units that players can obtain through in-game summonings. The top 10 most-voted heroes and heroines will also be featured in monthly calendar wallpaper images distributed online starting from March to December 2017. Fire Emblem Heroes will launch for Android and iOS devices on February 2, 2017.
After this Nintendo Direct, there’s no denying Fire Emblem’s place as one of Nintendo’s key franchises; something that hardcore fans of the series have only dreamed of until now. Are you excited for all these upcoming games, or do you think this is too much of the series so soon? Leave a comment down below and share your thoughts on all things Fire Emblem!