Fire Emblem - GBA

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Viewed: 2D Combination Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Intelligent Systems Soft. Co.: Intelligent Systems
Publishers: Nintendo (US/GB)
Released: Oct 2003 (US)
16 Jul 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 7+
Connectivity: Link Cable


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A long-running and popular series in Japan - debuting on the Famicom in 1990 - the Fire Emblem saga has only just made it on to Western shores with the release of this latest Game Boy Advance title. Developed by Intelligent Systems, the team responsible for the oft-hyped Advance Wars, Fire Emblem is a turn-based strategy affair, which shares more than a few gameplay elements with that game, whilst also boasting certain RPG stylings and a much more involving single-player experience.

The story begins when a young woman by the name of Lin comes to the aid of a fallen traveller in the easternmost realm of Elebe. After she nurses him back to health, the two embark on a journey to hone their respective skills at swordplay and battle strategy. Shortly after their journey begins, Lin discovers that she is heir to the throne of the neighbouring Rikea and becomes entangled in the struggle for succession. Once this news is known, knights come to serve her while assassins come to take her life. Being a well-schooled military strategist, the traveler she rescued reciprocates by coming to her aid and vowing to return her safely to Rikea, her grandfather's homeland.

The gameplay itself sees you taking command of an army of individual units, such as knights, cavaliers, lords and Pegasus knights, and guiding them across a 3D battlefield through myriad turn-based battles. Each battle has a specific objective, from defeating all enemies to taking control of key locations, and each battle is linked by some quite extensive, story-heavy sequences that provide character and plot background and details. As has always been the case with Fire Emblem - and something which is a fairly unique feature for such a game - is the fact that the characters throughout are unique individuals, and if they fall in battle, they are lost forever and thus not useable in future skirmishes.

As you would hope, a multiplayer mode is available, allowing up to four players to link up and take on one another in the game's battles. In this mode you create teams out of your current campaign members before pitting individual units against each other one by one, with the resulting victor racking up the points.