While there are a ton of cool-looking titles that I can’t wait to check out as press during my second year attending E3, as a fan, there is one game I am looking forward to that we haven’t heard much about for over a year: Fire Emblem for the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo confirmed that a Fire Emblem game would be releasing on the Switch sometime in 2018 back in January of 2017, but we have heard nothing about that title since. I have been a fan of this strategy series for years, and I am eagerly anticipating its return to a home console, which more power at its disposal than the 3DS.
While I have been a fan of Fire Emblem since the Game Boy Advance era, the series did not really get popular in the West until Fire Emblem: Awakening released in 2013. This means that a majority of the series’ Western fans have likely never experienced a traditional console entry in the series, as Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn both sold poorly on the GameCube and Wii, respectively, and have never been re-released.
There have been a couple of console Fire Emblem spinoffs in recent memory like Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE on Wii U and Fire Emblem Warriors on Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately, those titles have more in common with other series like Shin Megami Tensei and Dynasty Warriors than they do with the turn-based strategy gameplay synonymous with the Fire Emblem series.
If nothing else, I want Fire Emblem for Nintendo Switch to retain the classic gameplay that I have come to fall in love from the series, rather than an ambitious scrimmaging akin to something like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While I do hope the game iterates and improves on previous entries, the experience should be kept pure for those who are playing a mainline console Fire Emblem game for the first time.
That being said, the latest game in the series, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, also re-introduced several unique elements to the modern entires of the series, including explorable towns and dungeons. If Fire Emblem for Nintendo Switch can build upon these new elements with the Switch’s additional power, we could truly have the most expansive Fire Emblem title in our hands, though it will still be the same game we all know and love at its core.
Taking advantage of Nintendo Switch’s much greater power is where the game would see the most benefits. This will be the first traditional Fire Emblem game in HD, and it will be interesting to see if Nintendo and Intelligent Systems go for super detailed 2D art, more realistic 3D models, or a mix of both like in the 3DS games. I’d personally like the series to go full-on 3D, as that could add a brand new layer to the environments and battle strategies.
The higher technical prowess of the Nintendo Switch should also allow for some more massive-scale battles. While the scope of the 3DS titles was large, it could sometimes be difficult to get a true sense of each battle’s scale due to the limited hardware. The added power of the Nintendo Switch takes away that hurdle, and could result in some spectacularly large battles. When the game was first confirmed, Nintendo claimed that a “full-scale war is mounting,” so hopefully Fire Emblem for Nintendo Switch’s gameplay will live up to that scope.
It would also be great to see some improvement on the story front. While most characters for almost every modern Fire Emblem entry are distinctly charming and memorable, the writing (and translations) are not always up to par. Some parts of Fire Emblem Fates, which had a huge emphasis on story, fell flat for me because its plot was occasionally poorly-written and paced. The series’ translation team also tends to take some big liberties when it comes to dialogue, but I am hoping for a pure and accurate translation this time around.
As for the story premise itself, Fire Emblem on Nintendo Switch could go in several different directions. It could be a continuation of a previously-released title, a re-imagining of the earlier Fire Emblem games that features Marth (they do have several detailed 3D models from Fire Emblem Warriors), or something completely new. I’d be intrigued and impressed by any of those three options, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see; I’m fairly sure I’d be on board with almost any premise that Nintendo and Intelligent Systems can come up with.
Another thing I’d like to see is how the tackle the difficulty of Fire Emblem for Nintendo Switch. Older titles in the series are extremely difficult, but they have gotten significantly easier as the series has gotten more popular, creating somewhat of a rift among the more hardcore Fire Emblem community.
While I do think an easier difficulty curve and Casual mode do help give the series a broader appeal to newcomers, hopefully Intelligent Systems throws a bone to those who have supported the series for years and offers up a somewhat tougher strategy title that requires extremely smart tactics and strategy in order to come out unscathed.
The 2010s have truly been an exciting time for Fire Emblem fans like myself, as the series has finally sprung into the limelight and gotten the attention it deserves. If the Fire Emblem series can keep his momentum going on Nintendo Switch, we could see the series truly become a best-selling Nintendo staple. While the silence on Nintendo’s part has been a bit worrying, the game’s developers are hopefully just staying out of the spotlight to polish up and make the experience as great as they can before finally showing it off.
Outside of Super Smash Bros., Nintendo’s late 2018 lineup is currently pretty sparse. If Fire Emblem for Nintendo Switch’s previously announced release window remains, it could be one of the other must-have titles for the Switch this fall. If that is still the case, E3 2018 would be the perfect time to begin showing the game off so that players know what to expect, so I hope this new Fire Emblem title is one of the main focuses of Nintendo’s E3 Digital Presentation and presence on the show floor.
As we near E3, what do you want to see the most at this year’s show? What’s your dream scenario? Be sure to let us know in the comments. Lastly, keep an eye out over the coming days and weeks as some fellow DualShockers writers will be sharing their biggest dreams for E3 2018 as well in our ongoing series.