Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (JP) is a tactical RPG video game for the Nintendo DS as a remake of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, a game that was only released in Japan 18 years prior to the game's release.
The gameplay of Shadow Dragon is extremely similar to that of the previous titles, not surprising considering that it's a remake of the original in the series. The game is a strategical RPG that takes place on a grid-based map.
The opposing army and your army take turns moving their characters and battling each other. You move each individual unit and place him where you desire. If you place them in range of an enemy, then you'll be given the chance to attack them. The main goal of each mission is to have Marth conquer the battlefield.
Not only does the game take advantage of the DS's graphical abilities and touchscreen controls, it also gives the player the ability to go online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the first time in the series. Online the player can battle others and even purchase valuable items via the money they collected while playing the game in single player mode.
The addition of Wi-Fi and the inclusion of the ever popular rock-paper-scissors styled weapon system (which wasn't feated in the Famicom original), the game also has four new prologue missions and special mid-battle save spots (the latter also being a first for the series).
The development of the title was revealed to quite an extent via a special addition of Iwata Asks. Due to Satoru Iwata being gone at E3 during the week the interview was scheduled to be taken place, Kirby and Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai took his place and did the interview instead, which was with Intelligent Systems veteran Toru Narihiro.
Development on a DS Fire Emblem game took so long because the Fire Emblem team was hard at work on the GameCube and Wii titles Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, respectively. They decided to remake the original game in the series because it was the game's 25th anniversary, and by then many people who play the series now weren't interested or even alive when the original was released, so it would give them a chance to play an enhanced version of the classic that started it all.
One of the game's enhancements was the ability to use the stylus or the buttons. One of the game's designers in an interview with Masahiro Sakurai stated that people will be split on which control scheme they prefer. In fact, Narihiro stated that he preferred buttons while Sakurai liked the stylus control.
When creating the game, the developers were given more time to work on the smaller details due to it being a remake rather than a brand new title. Smaller details such as individual sounds of negligible things such as the footsteps of each character. They said that when it came to the quality of the game, they wanted to give it the same amount of quality that they'd give to an action game, which requires the utmost attention to detail. They say that since Nintendo pays close attention to detail, it's another reason why there's so much of it in the game.
When it came to the game's graphics, they tried to make them as simple to understand as possible. They brought up that many people will look at a screenshot of the game, notice the high number of playable characters, and get discouraged, thinking that it'd be too hard for them to play. Despite this, one thing developers wanted to do was make sure that when you look at a unit, you'll know what his strengths and weaknesses are. For example, when you look at the Knight unit, you'll see it has heavy armor, and thus probably has high defense. The Knight's armor also suggests that he's a slow mover, and may not have the best evasiveness.
|Fire Emblem series|
|Console games||Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light • Gaiden • Mystery of the Emblem • Genealogy of the Holy War • BS Fire Emblem • Thracia 776 • Path of Radiance • Radiant Dawn • Three Houses|
|Handheld games||The Binding Blade • Fire Emblem • The Sacred Stones • Shadow Dragon • New Mystery of the Emblem • Awakening • Fates • Echoes: Shadows of Valentia|
|Spin-offs||Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE (Encore) • Heroes • Warriors • Super Smash Bros.|