Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
In 1992, the second game in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem Gaiden, launched exclusively in Japan. Now, for the first time, fans outside of Japan will get a taste of this classic game on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is inspired by the 1992 original, reimagined on a grander scale. Every aspect of the Fire Emblem Gaiden game's presentation has been updated, along with the game being fully voiced. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia recreates classic Fire Emblem gameplay with a modern twist, mixing in exploration of dungeons crawling with enemies."
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Very good, very fun game. In my opinion, Celica was the more nuanced protagonist and had a way cooler route, while Alm was more the vanilla shounen protagonist. I liked both of them, but I was a bit disappointed with how they decided to tie the two routes together at the end.
It feels a bit shackled by being a product of the 90s, with some female characters kind of being pushed to the back seat for the men at the end of the day, but that's more of a tiny speck of a complaint that I had of at the end of everything and it's not something that would impact me replaying it. I again acknowledge that it's probably just a product of its time, but even then this was probably a very progressive game for having female protagonist at all.
The voice acting was very good, the characters were very charming, and the music is great. The game is appropriately difficult, and it all makes for a fun playthrough. Alm and Celica are a very cute pair, and I'd love to see them again, whether through me replaying it or through some other means.
This game restored my faith in Fire Emblem after the mess that was Fates. I wish it sold better, but it is what it is.
A forgotten gem. The strategy and mechanics are compelling, and the maps are serviceable, despite what people say. But the real treasure here is the storytelling. It's a beautiful exploration of Gods and their effects on humanity. It never loses sight of its central dichotomy, perfectly encapsulated by its deuteragonists and their intersecting journeys. Fire Emblem Echoes is ambitious, intelligent, and lovingly detailed. It features the best presentation in the franchise, from the voice acting to the masterful character interactions. Play it. It's worth it.