Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Image
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 125 Ratings

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  • Summary: Fire Emblem returns to its roots with a total overhaul of an NES classic never before released in America. New features include touch-screen controls, multiple save options and easy-to-follow tutorial chapters that shed new light on Marth's story. New players can jump into the action, evenFire Emblem returns to its roots with a total overhaul of an NES classic never before released in America. New features include touch-screen controls, multiple save options and easy-to-follow tutorial chapters that shed new light on Marth's story. New players can jump into the action, even if they've never played a Fire Emblem game before. Medeus, the king of the dragonkin, has been revived and is forming an alliance with a fearsome sorcerer named Gharnef. Together, they threaten to the throw the entire continent of Archanea back to an age of chaos and war. Now, it's up to young Prince Marth and his small band of loyal followers to rise up and rally all those left in the land to make one last desperate push to free Archanea from the tyranny of the Shadow Dragon. How to progress through the game: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is a turn-based strategy game with a fantasy setting. Players alternate turns with opponents, moving their pieces (units) and attacking enemy units on the battlefield. There are dozens of units and different weapons and magic spells, each with its own strategic benefits-high-flying Pegasus knights move effortlessly over varied terrain, fast-moving mounted cavaliers can use swords and lances, unarmed curates use healing staves to mend the wounds of other units and so on. [Nintendo] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. While not revolutionary by today's standards, it is easy to understand why the original was groundbreaking in its day.
  4. Part of what has made Fire Emblem such a beloved series is the emotional attachment the player makes to the characters, and unfortunately, this is largely missing in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Shadow Dragon is not a bad game; heck, its a very good game. It’s a great buy for fans of the series or the genre. It’s just missing that charm that earlier games in the series had, at least for me.
  5. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon continues the series' trademark strategic gameplay, this time on the Nintendo DS. If you're a sucker for the combination of strategy and roleplaying elements, this game will let you burn countless hours on your DS. Upgrading your units and making sure they survive is very addictive and fun, and the intuitive online mode is a great bonus. This is not an easy game though and not for the casual player, but for all of you strategy nuts out there, this is one great buy.
  6. 80
    Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon could be played by someone new to the series quite easily thanks to its many refinements and the tutorial contained within the Prologue chapters. Veterans of the series will find a game that combines the refinements of more recent entries, save for a lack of variety in battle objectives.
  7. 60
    Fans of the series will be quick to pick this one up and will likely get much enjoyment. New players might find more to love in the newer games in the series. Either way, Shadow Dragon is a good move for tactical strategy gamers.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 31
  2. Negative: 7 out of 31
  1. hondo
    Feb 21, 2009
    10
    Amazing game, pivotal game elements of characters dying makes it truly feel like a war game, they don't just faint or some crap, if youAmazing game, pivotal game elements of characters dying makes it truly feel like a war game, they don't just faint or some crap, if you let your guys die, they DIE, so suit them up with what you need, and play smart, or you'll lose your characters, which the game does a brilliant job of getting you attached to. Expand
  2. KevinQ
    Feb 16, 2009
    10
    It's a wonderful remake of a series that Nintendo seems to be neglecting handheld wise. Can you believe that this is the first DS Fire It's a wonderful remake of a series that Nintendo seems to be neglecting handheld wise. Can you believe that this is the first DS Fire Emblem game?! It's unconceivable how little attention Nintendo gives this series. Anyways, this is a good remake of the very first Fire Emblem game. It tells the story of Marth, which I'm sure everyone recognizes from the Smash Bros series. The story could be better, and the permanent loss of characters maybe be hard at first, but it brings a new level of strategy to it. Buy this game, and you won't be disappointed. Expand
  3. Oct 26, 2013
    9
    In terms of gameplay, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon has the same amazing gameplay from its previous games. The storyline expands the first FireIn terms of gameplay, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon has the same amazing gameplay from its previous games. The storyline expands the first Fire Emblem game, and it's very good. However, the sprites are looking bad. The 2.5d styled animations and other sprites are looking awful, and not fitting Fire Emblem. The sounds are amazing, but still the style of graphics made a little bit disappointment for me. Expand
  4. Mar 4, 2017
    7
    It's really funny to say "it's the worst Fire Emblem game (probably)" when the game's really functional, and decently fun.

    I don't think I
    It's really funny to say "it's the worst Fire Emblem game (probably)" when the game's really functional, and decently fun.

    I don't think I need to retell you the plot or facts about this game. They're pretty standard, and you could just search Wikipedia for a synopsis on it.

    And that's just it: The game's really standard. It's good, it works, it plays well, and it's a bit difficult at times. But as a Fire Emblem game, you could find any other English one and enjoy it a lot more.

    What's missing in it is exactly what should be missing in the first Fire Emblem game: interesting characters, and a memorable plot.

    I guess as an aside for you, the reader: This was the first Fire Emblem I ever played. I got into the series because I am a massive Advance Wars fan, and found a copy of this for cheap. I fell in love with the game, but then started playing others and quickly discovered how good the Fire Emblem series can actually be.

    The characters seemed bland and uninteresting, known more-so as, "that really awesome horse archer guy!" rather than "that guy with a really interesting backstory" or something. Marth doesn't really get much in terms of character progression, and I can't think of one person who actually had a personality.

    Don't get me wrong: you'll get attached to characters, but it'll be for functional reasons than character reasons. Sedgar and Wolf are generally known as really good units in the game, despite not following the 'pre-promotes can't be good' rule (following in Shinon's footsteps). However, excluding the end credits and death scene, they do not talk and do not interact with anybody.

    Say what you will about Virion from Awakening, at least he had a personality (albeit trash, bottom-tier personality).

    The plot's functional, but it's not particularly unique. You travel from point to point, fighting enemies. There's a bit of a cutscene explaining why you're here and who you're fighting, but not much else. It's almost feels like the developers made a whole bunch of levels, and then strung them together with the cutscenes and increasing enemy difficulty.

    You do get the reclass your units for free, allowing to change up how a certain character works, but

    Lastly, if you were introduced to Fire Emblem through Awakening, do note that units permanently die, so get ready to either lose some of your best units, or restart levels a bunch of times.

    In conclusion, if you like Fire Emblem, you'll probably enjoy this, because it's scientifically Fire Emblem in its purest form. However, if you're looking for a better Fire Emblem than one you've played before, steer clear.
    Expand
  5. 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 oneMake 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. Expand
  6. 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 yourGood 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
  7. TeodorIkonomov
    Jan 27, 2009
    1
    The Best Game Ever

See all 31 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

19
8
#8 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
5
#5 Most Shared DS Game of 2009