Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
A revival of a 1992 Famicom game that never made it out of Japan, there's more to Echoes than a mere history lesson.
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.
Far from the quick-and-dirty update it might have been, Shadows of Valentia is no Awakening, but an enlightening and worthwhile history lesson.
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.
Provides the challenge hardcore players seek, but the experience comes with its fair share of frustrations
Shadows of Valentia commits to its dated systems, for better and worse
Fire Emblem Echoes' combat and exploration work so well that you won't lament the absence of the series' recent dating-sim whims.
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.
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.