Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon DS

User Score
7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 102
  2. Negative: 21 out of 102
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  1. Nov 20, 2012
    7
    Not a bad game, but definitely could've been better, since its only half the original story. For the fans of the genre it may be a little easy (compared to Path of Radiance for example).
  2. May 10, 2012
    6
    Make no mistake, this is a polished game. However, I hold Fire Emblem to a higher standard due to the quality of the other games, and this one fails compared to them. True this is a remake of a very old game, but nearly no attempt was made to flesh the story out or update the mechanics. Playing through it, I little attachment to my characters or the plot in general, which is simply toldMake no mistake, this is a polished game. However, I hold Fire Emblem to a higher standard due to the quality of the other games, and this one fails compared to them. True this is a remake of a very old game, but nearly no attempt was made to flesh the story out or update the mechanics. Playing through it, I little attachment to my characters or the plot in general, which is simply told through a short chapter description before each mission. Fire Emblem isn't just a tactics game! There are far better TBS games out there! It's appeal has always been the RPG element, the compelling story, and lovable characters. Strip FE from this, and it becomes only a solid, but not outstanding tactical role playing game. Collapse
  3. Feb 5, 2013
    7
    Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. A game that is as Fire Emblem as you can get... if you are reading this in the 1990's. The game is a straight and faithful remake of the series first outing, "Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light", released for the Famicom in 1990. And that is where it's problems start: It is just as the game was in 1990. Sure, you have your Weapon Triangle now, sure, the graphicsFire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. A game that is as Fire Emblem as you can get... if you are reading this in the 1990's. The game is a straight and faithful remake of the series first outing, "Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light", released for the Famicom in 1990. And that is where it's problems start: It is just as the game was in 1990. Sure, you have your Weapon Triangle now, sure, the graphics are a lot better than they were back then, but at the core, this is a early 90's game. If you are ok with that, then I cannot stress this enough: Buy this game. It is a good game all by itself, but it just fails in comparison to other Fire Emblem games. A lot of the features a Fire Emblem fan has gotten accustomed to are missing in this title. Character development is almost nonexistent, the story is incredibly linear and rather dull from today's perspective, and the beloved support conversations from the GameBoy Advance games are not here either, taking away the character's depth. Despite that, however, it is still quite enjoyable as a turn-based strategy game.
    If you have ever played an other Fire Emblem, you should either be prepared to play something that feels pretty old, or you should want to dwelve into the franchises history. If you are interested in how it started, this is the way to go. If you look for a nice strategy game for the DS, this is the way to go. But if you think you get a high quality Fire Emblem with this game, you should probably stay away from it.
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  4. OmanL
    Apr 2, 2009
    6
    I seriously struggled to finish this game, and not because of it's difficulty. It's the least accomplished and least-rewarding Fire Emblem Gmae that's been released outside of Japan. In fairness to it, it is a remake, but paying full price for it isn't really worth it. The first problem is the story. It's virtually non-existant. No events or sequences between I seriously struggled to finish this game, and not because of it's difficulty. It's the least accomplished and least-rewarding Fire Emblem Gmae that's been released outside of Japan. In fairness to it, it is a remake, but paying full price for it isn't really worth it. The first problem is the story. It's virtually non-existant. No events or sequences between chapters, just a "we won" speach and a map-screen intro to the next battle before you're put in the scene. The characters are one-dimensional- they barely even talk more than once and there's next to none character development, even with the main characters. The history of the continent is extremely vague and enemy units are stupid and annoying. You'll virtually never have to take defensive measures unlike in Sacred Stones when you're batting off swarms of monsters or in Radiant Dawn where you're fighting soldiers roughly as strong as yours. The reclass system further devalues each unit's character. It makes having specialized units essentially useless. In this game you may as well have a few main-characters with customizable faceless units that you can reclass or reproduce for every battle. Pah. The gameplay is solid though- same old fire emblem formula, an interesting unit addition, the balastician, and territorial battle is more important. However, things like the magic and weapon triangle are left out as are the rescue and move after action options. The graphics are somewhat charmless. Criticals are unspectacular and the physical fighting is dull. The magic animations are good, as are the maps and drawings. A decent soundtrack too. They should go for more charming graphics as opposed to realistic ones in the future, for the handheld games that is. As a normal game I'd give it a seven but as a Fire Emblem it only just deserves a five. If Intelligent Systems are going to re-release remakes of that calliber then they're going to have to do it for less than full price or with more than one remake included in the game. Expand
  5. Jun 1, 2011
    7
    One step forward, Two steps back. Not as complex as it's console predecessors, but still moves the series forward. No pushing, no carrying, no support convos and easier levels. A very good game for newbies to the series.
  6. May 27, 2012
    7
    Amazing game considering it is a remake of a really old game. The story is good, the game play is great, but the animations could have been done better and support conversations should have been added in because personally, I felt that the characters were really boring.
  7. Jan 8, 2012
    5
    It has no excuse of being a remake of an old game, there is no support so characters have no personality, main story, besides being bland and hard to follow (follow where the f**k are they traveling) is just straight forward with no interesting plot twist or special emotiveness, graphics are ok but bland, animations are bland and dull and look terribly, the changing class gimmick has noIt has no excuse of being a remake of an old game, there is no support so characters have no personality, main story, besides being bland and hard to follow (follow where the f**k are they traveling) is just straight forward with no interesting plot twist or special emotiveness, graphics are ok but bland, animations are bland and dull and look terribly, the changing class gimmick has no use besides ruining you character development, the gameplay works the same as always it's good but unintersting, the difficulty curve is insane and changes from a piece of cake to an unforgiving situation, still the game is too easy and by the time you get the last sword for your lord, credits better roll Expand
  8. Jun 10, 2015
    6
    This is perhaps the weakest entry in the Fire Emblem franchise. Although its game play and story are on-par for the franchise, they are not enough to save it from its horrendous art-style.
  9. WallidK
    Mar 31, 2009
    7
    Hmm. This game may be very frustrating to someone who has no idea what Fire Emblem is as it's a very hard game. THIS IS VERY HARD. Either way, despite the features it takes out like preparing for battles, it replaces it with fresh new ones like difficulty settings and save points. If you liked Fire Emblem before this, pick this one up. If not, you might want to borrow this from a Hmm. This game may be very frustrating to someone who has no idea what Fire Emblem is as it's a very hard game. THIS IS VERY HARD. Either way, despite the features it takes out like preparing for battles, it replaces it with fresh new ones like difficulty settings and save points. If you liked Fire Emblem before this, pick this one up. If not, you might want to borrow this from a friend first AND PLAY ABOUT AN HOUR IN. If not, you may think this game is still easy and be killed later. Expand
  10. May 5, 2012
    6
    Good game but nothing compared to its predecessors. There's no dark or light magic users, only anima. You can change classes for your characters, such as transforming your magic user into a paladin or your archer into myrmidon. The game can be quite difficult even on a normal setting. You can't rescue your characters nor can you have them support each other. And the only way to unlock sideGood game but nothing compared to its predecessors. There's no dark or light magic users, only anima. You can change classes for your characters, such as transforming your magic user into a paladin or your archer into myrmidon. The game can be quite difficult even on a normal setting. You can't rescue your characters nor can you have them support each other. And the only way to unlock side quests is to have most of your units killed off which doesn't seem like a fair advantage. Expand
  11. Sep 7, 2014
    6
    I can start by saying that I had a positive experience from this game all in all. It is indeed Fire Emblem, the most fundamental gameplay is there and it was fun to play through. However, the experience stopped there. It felt bland without the elements that defines the franchise today, such as well developed characters and support conversations. I can kind of appreciate that they stayedI can start by saying that I had a positive experience from this game all in all. It is indeed Fire Emblem, the most fundamental gameplay is there and it was fun to play through. However, the experience stopped there. It felt bland without the elements that defines the franchise today, such as well developed characters and support conversations. I can kind of appreciate that they stayed true to the original, but at the same time I feel like they could have made it better by adding at least some more character development and/or supports (they did add a playable prologue, which was a step in the right direction). As it was, characters popped up out of nowhere and many of those who joined you never said a single word. Their personality was in their portraits, basically.
    This made it feel empty in comparison to the other much more satisfying releases.
    I still enjoyed it, be it on quite a shallow level. Graphically it delivered, although I wasn't the biggest fan of their character portraits. The game play, as already mentioned, was smooth. I liked how you could use either the D-pad, analog stick or touch screen to move, and the levels were well designed. The little "save-spots" scattered across some levels made the game forgiving, but not too easy.
    In short, I think it was a balanced and solid turn-based strategy game, although I'd encourage people interested in the franchise to check out any of the Fire Emblem games released on consoles or GameBoy Advance first.
    You won't regret buying this game, but there are better out there.
    Expand
  12. May 10, 2012
    0
    Make no mistake, this is a polished game. However, I hold Fire Emblem to a higher standard due to the quality of the other games, and this one fails compared to them. True this is a remake of a very old game, but nearly no attempt was made to flesh the story out or update the mechanics. Playing through it, I little attachment to my characters or the plot in general, which is simply toldMake no mistake, this is a polished game. However, I hold Fire Emblem to a higher standard due to the quality of the other games, and this one fails compared to them. True this is a remake of a very old game, but nearly no attempt was made to flesh the story out or update the mechanics. Playing through it, I little attachment to my characters or the plot in general, which is simply told through a short chapter description before each mission. Fire Emblem isn't just a tactics game! There are far better TBS games out there! It's appeal has always been the RPG element, the compelling story, and lovable characters. Strip FE from this, and it becomes only a solid, but not outstanding tactical role playing game. Collapse

Awards & Rankings

#7 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
#11 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon debuts on Nintendo DS with a classic chapter adapted to these times. The deeply interesting story of the game with many characters to recruit and different strategies for the victories offers a unique experience. The most important feature is the online mode, simple but correct in its way. This is one of the best games to come out this year for Nintendo DS.
  2. 80
    It hasn’t toppled the Sacred Stones from its berth as the best game in the series (or, if you’re a purist, Fire Emblem on the GBA), and it feels a bit like a missed opportunity to ally the game that started it all with some of the many incremental improvements that have been introduced since. Still, though, it is a Fire Emblem game, and for some of us, that’s enough.
  3. Fire Emblem's DS debut has been a long time coming but it's unquestionably worth the wait. Shadow Dragon provides astonishingly compulsive turn-based action.