Top Critic Average
The final Fire Emblem on 3DS is both different and familiar at the same time. Shadows of Valentia perfectly caps off the series' 3DS run with a thrilling adventure that pushes all the right buttons for a remake.
The combat, although robust, tends to frustrate and the story, although impeccable in presentation, doesn't quite feel as sweeping and romantic as previous titles on the 3DS.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia suffers from an identity crisis in almost everything it does. For example, one early dialogue exchange sees an enemy drop a surprisingly crude word apropos of nothing, and then the game subsequently wastes ~25 hours holding your hand through a comically absurd story driven entirely by the brain damaged stupidity of both lead characters. Fire Emblem Gaiden’s story has been fleshed out to a certain degree for this remake, but only the inconsequential bits seem to have received this treatment, leaving the lore at roughly the same level as the original. The end result is that the bare-bones prophecies and plot developments force relatively complex characters to act in incredibly simple-minded ways at times, flitting between being legitimate leading characters and idiots so infuriatingly dull and shortsighted that it’s a wonder they can remember to breathe.
While it's definitely atypical for the series, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a polished masterpiece, and an absolute joy. Not only do I hope to see other earlier Fire Emblem titles given the same loving remake treatment, but I'd love to see some of the fine-tuning carry over into the next brand new title too.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is an enjoyable game despite a few changes to the gameplay. While some strategic elements were eliminated, the game still maintains a lot of what made the series enjoyable in the past, plus throws in some new elements such as the third-person dungeon exploring. If you don't mind the strategy being dumbed down a bit, Fire Emblem Echoes is still a great game worth checking out for fans and first-timers alike.
'Fire Emblem Echoes' combines a wonderful blend of modern and legacy gameplay in a package that successfully introduces the world to a title that never made its way to the West. With a well-written plot and brilliant characterization, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a remake of the highest caliber, with welcome additions that still manage to stay in tune with the original.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia brings a lesser known chapter in the franchise's history to the forefront. Its compelling gameplay, top notch presentation, and captivating cast of characters make it one of the best entries in the 27-year-old franchise.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia really surprised me. What I thought would be a simple spin-off game ended up being arguably the best Fire Emblem game I've played.
Fans of the series will find a lot to love in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, and if the over complicated nature of the series acted as a deterrent to you before then there has never been a better entry to jump in on. Intelligent Systems takes a good game and adds an insane amount of polish.
Despite being a remake, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is one of the most outstanding games to come to Nintendo 3DS this year. Also it's one of the best deliveries of Fire Emblem thanks to inclusion of novelties as exploration in 3D and classic elements of the saga.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Fire Emble Echoes is the perfect fit for long-time fans, who will appreciate the second Famicom title of the series, never previoulsy released in the West. At the same time, newcomers won't find a better game to start one of the greatest turn-based tactical series.
Review in Italian | Read full review
My one wish to Nintendo is that they either keep the Echoes sub-series going or consider applying some of these changes to new Fire Emblem games; they're really that good, and what's been concocted here truly deserves to be more than a series one-off. The charming, reliquian nature of the nature of the game may not appeal to everyone, but if you like Fire Emblem, strategy, and can appreciate gaming history, then there's absolutely zero reason not to pick this up.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia manages the remarkable trick of remaking one of the oldest entries in the series, and making it feel fresh. The major differences from the other 3DS games may take some getting used to, but long time fans will relish the return of some purity to the tactical action, while this is easily the best-told story the series has ever seen.
Built around a captivating story told from two sides, the usage of a world map together with the classic style battle system makes Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia yet another must play game for the franchise.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a quality Fire Emblem game, no doubt about it. It'll feel strange at first for those who started with Blazing Blade or a later title, but not in a bad way. Once you get used to its little quirks, any Fire Emblem fan will love this game. It's got an engaging story, likable characters, and multifaceted gameplay that stands together with the rest of the series in some ways and sets itself apart in other aspects. Whether you were looking for a change of pace or just more Fire Emblem, this game is sure to satisfy.
It's hard to say if the changes made in Echoes will be for everyone, especially fans that may have started with the more recent entries. Even so, it's refreshing to have a Fire Emblem game that feels so different, even though it's actually a remake of a 25 year old game. The spirit and backbone of Fire Emblem is still present, and it's an experience that only gets better the more you play.
As the last Fire Emblem chapter on Nintendo's heroic handheld, Echoes delivers a perfect swan song for the series' 3DS days. This is a satisfying, deeply strategic adventure with an engaging, personal story and beautiful presentation, full of appealing art and lovely details that come alive as you play. But more than that, it's also just delightfully different from its predecessors, in ways that only broaden its appeal.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a great remake of the classic Fire Emblem Gaiden of 1992. Its old mechanics and level design, works perfectly with a modern look.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
It's 2017, and the 3DS is in its sunset years- but Fire Emblem Echoes stands as one of the best additions to its library yet, and one of the best games in a year that has so far been full of fantastic games.
This is decidedly a very classic feeling Fire Emblem, with enough freshness to captivate even veterans of the franchise and comes with a welcome accessibility that makes it the easiest for newcomers to get into. This entry goes to show that there's room within the franchise to make different looking Fire Emblem entries that still feel true to the series but which also dare to not only tread new ground, but to do so in a great way. It's a well rounded package that is well balanced to please the majority of its audience, like the entire trilogy of Fire Emblem Fates before it, but while keeping it all confined to just one game with the complete epic story being accessible just from buying this one piece of software instead of it being spread out, and that's something to be thankful for. Overall, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, while feeling like an older entry, might very well be moving the series forward in certain aspects that could potentially return in future outings.
The game felt somewhat on the easier side and the dungeons could've had a little more to do. Those are minor things in a journey that doesn't slow down from start to finish. If you're here to be enchanted, Fire Emblem Echoes delivers in spades.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia might be a complete remake of the Famicom’s Fire Emblem Gaiden released in 1992 but to western fans this is a completely new chapter in the Fire Emblem series that cannot be missed.
After looking to their past, Intelligent System has made a daring strike forward. The result is a resounding strategy experience, with Shadows of Valentia not only delivering a sensational remake but one of the greatest tales that the Fire Emblem series has ever told.
Overall, Shadows of Valentia delivers a new personal favorite Fire Emblem game. There are a lot of additions I would love to see return in the Nintendo Switch entry, and there was never a time I found myself frustrated, and wanting to put the game down. This game is an excellent last hoorah for the series on 3DS. The future looks even brighter for this franchise.
All in all, I quite enjoyed how Echoes brought Fire Emblem back to its roots. While I have enjoyed recent forays in the series, this felt more like the Fire Emblem I grew up playing. For $39.99, you get a ton of content, and that’s not even taking into account the DLC, which I didn’t sample in order to keep my experience more pristine. There’s a lot of replay value as well, with optional quests aplenty and many hidden memory prisms which unlock more lore. It’s also a long adventure, as my final playtime with the game was just short of 40 hours, longer individually than either Awakening or Fates. While not everyone will appreciate the hardcore emphasis of the game, I feel it’s a great sendoff for the Nintendo 3DS, which has done so much for the series. Now I just have to patiently await the next great adventure in Intelligent System’s fantastic tactical RPG saga.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia proves that looking back doesn't mean missing something. In fact, this will definitely go down as one of the greatest Fire Emblem games in my opinion. Great characters, powerful story, challenging combat, this game has it all.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia launched on 3DS here in America back on May 19th. The latest entry into the Fire Emblem Series is actually a full remake / re-imagining (whatever you prefer to call it) of Fire Emblem Gaiden. Gaiden was released back in 1992 on the Famicom (Japanese NES) and the game was only available in Japan until 2009 when the game was released on the Wii Virtual console albeit still only in Japan.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is an excellent strategy role-playing game with thrilling tactical turn-based combat with some gameplay omissions which may split the existing fanbase.
I'm already looking forward to replaying the scores of missions I'd already completed, this time with an aim to doing things a little differently and maybe saving some lives. And if my eager anticipation to replay a big chunk of a game I just played isn't a recommendation, I'm not sure what is.
This might be the most well-rounded and best Fire Emblem game on 3DS. It's a good enough reason to put the Switch down and dust off Nintendo's dual screen wonder.
On the one hand Shadow of Valentia takes us back in time, paying homage to the golden age of JRPG, on the other hand the new gameplay features give a more modern feel to it. Shadow of Valentia is an atypical Fire Emblem that differentiates itself from the franchise in order to give a fresh approach to the genre.
Review in Italian | Read full review
It's funny how a remake of a game that never originally hit the West can feel like such a step forward. There are a couple questionable choices, like the removal of the weapons triangle, and series purists might grumble over some other changes like dungeon exploration, but overall Shadows of Valentia feels like the next great step in Fire Emblem.
But how should you take all of this? If you are a regular Fire Emblem fan and have previously experienced the other Nitnendo 3DS adventures, you are going to have an absolute blast with Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. However, without the high bar of quality we've seen in the previous two games, Echoes may not hook newcomers the same way.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a worthy entry to the series and a great way to hold you over until Fire Emblem comes out on the Switch, despite some questionable DLC policies.
Shadows of Valentia helps Gaiden gain relevance in this day and age by infusing it with some of the best parts of recent Fire Emblem games, even if some of Gaiden's outdated elements bring the game down.
Fire Emblem Echoes doesn't make a strong first impression, but keeps entangling the player fight after fight, for each hard-earned victory. It also brings to the table many ideas from the original title, and a slew of fresh air in a series that has seen four games in the last four years.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Fire Emblem Echoes changes enough to make you play the game differently while retaining most of the key aspects of what makes the series so great. The characters and story all connect well, the presentation is top notch and most importantly, the game is still very fun to play. While Awakening and Fates feel like more fleshed out experiences, Echoes bucks Gaiden's legacy of being the black sheep of the series by not only providing the solid Fire Emblem experience that has resonated with me for so long, but also providing a new, interesting way to play the game.
Overall, while I don't feel at all qualified to really place this game above or below others in the series, I feel confident that it's an interesting title for series veterans who never got to play Gaiden and newcomers alike. With a blend of old school and also lacking many of the modern nuances of today's games, it gives players a straight-forward, yet stout challenge.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is an interesting, experimental and awkward game. When it shines, it really shines, but moments of iffy design both leftover from the NES era and baked into the new gameplay changes drag it down a little. It's a fun game if you're willing to look past some rough spots. It's different enough from other Fire Emblem titles that longtime fans are not necessarily going to love it, but it's also good enough that those who don't normally like Fire Emblem may enjoy it. It's a welcome breath of fresh air for the franchise, and it's a solid send-off to the 3DS for the Fire Emblem franchise.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a nice way of playing Fire Emblem Gaiden but it fails to achieve the quality of the latest games of the franchise.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Despite never reaching North America in its original debut 25 years ago, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia makes for a fun, albeit simpler, adventure on Nintendo 3DS.
Despite having many of the series' staple complexities stripped away, Shadows of Valentia proves a thoroughly enjoyable adventure. Those who found the Fire Emblem series too intimidating due to its difficulty and overwhelming depth need look no further for their accessible entry point to the franchise.
It is a welcome step back from the previous 3DS Fire Emblem games as it focuses on a tighter narrative while providing us with a glimpse towards the future as Shadows of Valentia ventures into new territory with its explorable areas and fresh gameplay mechanics.
Fire Emblem Gaiden had explored different approaches, which appear even bolder through this remake on 3DS thanks to an absolutely epic staging, a more developed narrative and many modern gameplay adjustments, while staying true to the original Famicom version. Despite some relics from the past and a less strategic philosophy, Echoes : Shadows of Valentia proves that these pragmatic concepts are still relevant today, indeed for the future of the franchise.
Review in French | Read full review
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia isn't just an old game with a new coat of paint that brings everything from cinematics through to voice acting into a more modern age of gaming. It's also a prime example of how the fundamentals of a classic game can still resonate today with newer audiences. Good game design stands the test of time, something that Shadows of Valentia has plenty of.
Despite its strategic depth and craft, you can't help but feel that Fire Emblem has had its run on 3DS. This isn't a criticism per se, and it's more remarkable now than ever that the handheld console with a low-rent screen and barely any processing power is still able to churn out such deep and engrossing experiences. Intelligent Systems is likely looking to Nintendo Switch for its next big strategic adventure – but for now, Shadows of Valentia is great enough to warrant dusting off your indestructible little pocket toy for one last hurrah.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia provides the best of both worlds by serving up classic tactical gameplay in a modern, more visually pleasing presentation. Some fans might decry the absence of the Weapon Triangle and romance options. All in all, however, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia does a commendable job in re-imagining an old game for today's times. It's a great example of a remake done right.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a remake that helps bringing the series back to its roots and it works very well at that. Thanks to successful gameplay innovations, captivating plot and cast and a magnificent audiovisual component, this is certainly a game that will be very appreciated by a wide amount of fans. It doesn't fully live up to its potential but Shadows of Valentia acts as a promising new direction for the Fire Emblem series.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
While it won't be for everyone, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a fun remake that showcases the history of the series with a brand new look. Seasoned fans of the games will find themselves slightly out of it with missing mechanics, but as the game's difficulty has been toned down since the original, it will appeal to more players. A fitting last instalment for the 3DS, the game is worth a look for those craving tactical RPG battles, or for long-running fans wanting to see the evolution of the series.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, by no means a flawless entry in the nearly three decade-old franchise, may well be the closest the series has gotten to somehow finding a happy medium between past legacy and contemporary appeal.
Fire Emblem Gaiden was the most atypical chapter in the series, containing elements which were later abandoned in the future iterations of the franchise. Thanks to its renewed graphics and some features that make its gameplay less cumbersome and inflexible, Shadows of Valentia could be considered the sum of what Fire Emblem saga has proposed so far.
Review in Italian | Read full review
While the Nintendo Switch is getting a lot of attention, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a great reminder that the 3DS can still deliver great games. This is the first must-own 3DS title of 2017.
Fire Emblem: Echoes - Shadows of Valentia seeks to bring a Japanese exclusive title to international audiences. It does a great job of that, but it might not be for everyone...
Shadows of Valentia is more Fire Emblem but also a change of pace. More recent fans might not like the missing romance options, weapon triangle, and battlefield changes. These are sometimes dramatic differences, but those looking for a compelling strategy game with the series' staple excellent characters, will be pleased by what's included as well as the new features this remake has up its sleeve. Just be ready for some enemy AI shenanigans along the way.
It took me a little under 30 hours to complete the main game. The game was a complete saga. I bring this up because Nintendo has an aggressive DLC schedule planned for this latest Fire Emblem edition that may push the boundaries of decency. A season pass costs $5 more than the actual game. There are even two dungeons that are tied to the Alm and Celica Amiibos. This is another $25 if you want all the content for Echoes. All said that’s $110. But rest assured that when you spend your $40 you are buying a complete experience. Not a skeleton that will be fleshed out by nickel and diming you.
On the battlefield, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shades of Valentia is a delightful look into the simpler combat of Fire Emblem's past. Elsewhere, it carefully guides the series forward into new territory. There's not as much depth as I expect from this series, but whether I was exploring 3D forests, shrines, and caves in a series first, or learning first hand why Fire Emblem's early entries are considered a formidable challenge, it was usually good old-fashioned fun.
At first I wondered if I'd care. Another ancient kingdom, another gang of ne'er-do-wells that rise up to become warriors. But there's something uniquely satisfying about Fire Emblem's brand of combat and progression.
Fire Emblem Echoes could have been held back by its need to usher the second iteration back into the fold, but it still feels like a fresh new entry. It is weaker than the last few games, but those bars were set so high that I won't hold that against it.
The perfect jumping on point for both new players and those wanting to fill in the gaps in Fire Emblem lore, although the game lacks the depth of more modern entries.
I both love and hate this game. The bulk of the package is so good that it's tempting to forgive its unbalanced difficulty. But alas, the combat comprises the majority of the game, putting Shadows of Valentia's more obnoxious qualities front and center. It's worth checking out, but be ready to be immensely frustrated.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is an interesting throwback title, because it reminds me of what made Fire Emblem such an enduring video game series with many traits that have trickled down through the years. However, there are some unique aspects to the game as well, that also shows me how much the series has grown as well.
The simple graphics and story take you on a nostalgia trip but the fight with Fire Emblem Echoes was harder and longer than excepted. You really have to bring some frustration resistance to go through the long dungeons with the poorly made AI but the game still offers much for Fire Emblem Veterans as also for beginners.
Review in German | Read full review
Combat is interesting and challenging to a point, character interactions are charming, and dungeons do help break up the monotony, but it isn’t fulfilling overall. FE: SOV is nothing special, but it is a perfectly serviceable title good enough to act as a gateway into the rest of the Fire Emblem series.