If we lived in Japan right now (or had enough Japanese skills to import it), we'd be able to play Fire Emblem: New Dark Dragons and the Sword of Light in two mere weeks. Since that's not the case, though, we'll just have produce puddles upon puddles of drool while watching video footage (seriously -- we're that excited). We're sure that many of you don't need to be convinced to join the hype train, though, and are anticipating this one as much as we are.
The two videos (one is posted after the break) are in Japanese, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what's being highlighted. For one, you can see that the game will utilize the stylus to move around the grids. The announcer also talks about a few of the different classes, as well as features in the game (like class changes), but those are all things that Fire Emblem fans will be familiar with. Lastly, you'll get a glimpse into the Wi-Fi battle system, which put to rest our fears about the dreaded countdown timer. As it turns out, the dwindling clock is only a factor when it comes to online play.
After the break, check out the Japanese TV ad which makes us want something else entirely -- Fire Emblem: The Board Game.
Anyone who's ever played a Fire Emblem game knows that what's shown in the video above is the most basic of scenarios -- a simple battle, with no alarms and no surprises. On the other hand, if you've played a Fire Emblem, there's a good chance you're as in love with the series as we are and found yourself ecstatic after watching this clip, even if it was nothing but a big tease.
The other wonderful thing about this short but sweet video is that we now have an idea of what the game will look like in motion. Not a completely accurate idea, since the resolution is a little out of sorts, but an idea nonetheless. While New Dark Dragons and the Sword of Light doesn't include super-wow graphics, we do think it looks better in motion. Granted, the mage is masking his face and the armored knight is wearing -- well, armor -- so we didn't have to be creeped out by any faceless sprites. Even so, we're warming up to the aesthetics bit by bit as time goes on; especially since the gameplay is going to rock us hard.
Despite the incomprehensible script, the artwork and snazzy designs are easy on the eyes. Head on over to the official page for the standard introductory animations, and the page filled with extra information and videos can be found here. On top of that, extra pieces of charcters artwork are ready for staring at here -- though they won't be official in-game models of any kind.
So, what to do now? Hope that the classic Fire Emblem gameplay holds up against the villified art direction? Pretty much. Besides, we all went crazy for ugly, ugly Advance Wars, so why should this be any different?
Putting all our envy aside (or at least most of it), we have to say that we're really looking forward to New Dark Dragons and the Sword of Light. While we love the console versions, too, having Fire Emblem back in handheld form just feels right. What about you, though? Do you prefer the series on consoles or handhelds?
In any case, until the glorious day that localization is announced (and the even more glorious day of its actual international release), you can check out the newly added screens in our gallery below.
The new Nintendo Dream scans of Fire Emblem: Shin Ankoku Ryuu to Hikari no Ken, for example, are more like a nightmare. While we've seen many of these images before, Nintendo Dream shows some comparisons with the original Famicom game that Fire Emblem DS is based on.
Yet, just because it looks better than a NES game doesn't mean it looks nice. Check out the image above -- those battle animation sprites? Many words come to mind, but "ugly" is the predominant theme. We're not sure if Intelligent Systems realizes that Nintendo's hardware has improved since the GBA days.
It's not all doom and gloom, though. The backgrounds are definitely an improvement over what we've seen before, and we like the more serious tone of the artwork. Not even all the sprites look terrible (the armored knights look fine, for one, since you can't see their facial features). But really, Marth? They couldn't have done a better job with the game's protagonist?
We have complete faith in Intelligent Systems when it comes to delivering a great gameplay experience, though, so we'll swallow whatever distaste we have for the sprites and buy the game when it comes out here, probably on day one (whenever that may be).
Gallery: Fire Emblem DS
As a remake of the original NES Fire Emblem way back when, what's the most obvious option for developing a fancy new version in this day and age? You guessed it -- online play! No longer will strategists be forced to sit close by and trade blows. The game will utilize Nintendo's Wi-Fi connection, with players choosing five of their best units from the single-player campaign and pitting them against a real life opponent. This is the first time online multiplayer has been introduced to the Fire Emblem series on any console, so progress is on the cards at Intelligent Systems.
One thing that we find slightly worrisome: is that a time limit in this Famitsu scan screen? You know how we feel about time limits. We can't be sure, since the timer might just be recording how long you're taking on a map, but the whole thing makes us a little uneasy. Are the rest of you Fire Emblem fanatics troubled as well, or would you appreciate the extra difficultly that a count-down might add to the game?
Gallery: Fire Emblem DS
On July 31st, there is a listing for Rhythm Tengoku Gold, which is a sequel to the WarioWare team's amazing GBA rhythm minigame collection, Rhythm Tengoku. According to the announcement posted on the Rhythm Tengoku site, the new game uses the stylus (of course) and features many new rhythm games.
Finally, though it doesn't appear on Nintendo's schedule (the August calendar isn't up yet), their page for the Fire Emblem remake now shows a date: August 7. There goes any fear that Nintendo didn't have anything planned for the second half of the year!
Unfortunately, they're probably also going to have a serious impact on wallets everywhere. As though we weren't already faced with the prospect of buying tons of games! We've never been happier that DS games are at least cheap.
However hilariously fitting Elyssa's initials might seem, this personalized DS Phat looks leagues better than the previous project we featured. Nintendo actually threatened a recall after seeing that deformed system.
Working under her deviantArt alias, Fruitsexual (lol), Elyssa spent three hours decorating her handheld with plastic paint, immortalizing her favorite video game character and Fire Emblem hero Marth. She must have been really happy to hear that Fire Emblem DS would be a remake of the first game in the series, Marth's debut.
But probably not as happy as Kitanara, who commented on the customized Nintendo DS, "Uuuhh ... *moans and shivers* Marth is the best ... I luff him." Having a name like Fruitsexual must attract strange company, we suppose.
Word on the street is that it is a remake of the first game, Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi, and will star Marth.
Jeux-France posted a number of screenshots for the newly-announced title, and they appear just as expected -- zoomed-out battlefield displayed on the touchscreen, combat/data/conversations shown on the top. Enjoy them all in the gallery we've set up for you below.