The Fire Emblem series found tremendous success on the Nintendo 3DS, with Awakening bringing new life into a series that had previously been on the verge of cancellation, but all good things must come to an end eventually. This month’s Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is expected to be the last “mainline” entry for the series on the handheld system.
Speaking with Dengeki Nintendo (via Japanese Nintendo) in the outlet’s June issue, producer Hitoshi Yamagami revealed that Echoes would be the last traditional turn-based tactics game in the series to come to the 3DS. This excludes the upcoming Fire Emblem Warriors, which is arriving to both the 3DS and the Switch later this year.
Though built from the ground up as a new game, Fire Emblem Echoes‘ DNA lies in the Famicom’s Fire Emblem Gaiden. The game’s narrative is shared with Gaiden, and Echoes also features several non-traditional elements — such as exploration — that Gaiden introduced. It also features combat changes, with archers now much more useful in close-quarters battles.
The Nintendo Switch will receive the next main Fire Emblem game as an exclusive in 2018. If the system qualifies as a “home” console, then this will be the first time the series has released an installment on a home console since 2007’s Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, a game that regularly commands prices well above $100 on eBay. Famous for being the most difficult game to make it to the West, Radiant Dawn and its excellent predecessor, Path of Radiance, feature some of the most compelling story lines in the entire series, with racism and the fallout of war giving rise to some interesting conflicts not seen in other games.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is out May 19 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. A season pass is available to purchase as well, but it costs more than the standard edition of the game.
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