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Due for release in May, Nintendo unveiled some new details about Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a re-imagining of the original 1992 release of Fire Emblem Gaiden for the NES. Only this time, they've made some major changes to the game as it debuts in its remade form on the 3DS this spring.
For one, they explained that the game takes place on a world map instead of transitioning from mission to mission as the story dictates. This means that you travel around in the overworld and you can pick and choose where you go before diving in.
Additionally, when you do choose to tackle a mission -- such as going on a dungeon raid -- you'll no longer move through the dungeons in a top-down, bird's eye fashion. Instead, you will be able to move through the dungeons in a third-person mode, similar to other traditional third-person hack and slash games like Dark Souls or the Tales of games or Tobal No. 1.
Enemy encounters, however, will be take place in the traditional Fire Emblem battle screen. But before you get to that screen, you can launch preemptive strikes in order to damage the enemy's HP before the battle actually starts.
Another thing that they've altered for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is that instead of facing enemies in a one-on-one after encountering them in the dungeon, you'll actually face multiple units in the strategic, turn-based battle modes. Your squad will be there and the multiple enemy opponents will also be present. Just like in other traditional Fire Emblem titles, you'll need to strategize and take advantage of the field designations in order to cede victory from the enemy.
There's another big thing that some fans of the series may not be prepared for, including the fact that player-created heroes are not present this time. Instead, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will follow the rivalry between Celica and Alm, both of whom are trying to save their home town. Players will have the choice in alternating between the two heroes as they battle toward the finish line.
On the combat side of things, Archers and Mages have also been altered greatly. The Archers can now counter-attack from a single-tile, making them very useful for getting off multiple hits on an enemy up close, but clearly at the risk of potentially absorbing more damage. Mages, alternatively will have to give up some of their life in order to unleash magic attacks, meaning that you'll need to think very wisely about how you utilize them during battle.
Given that Nintendo recently released a Fire Emblem game on mobile devices as a pastime for casual fans, this should give 3DS fans a little bit of something extra to sink their teeth into beyond the mobile offerings.
You can look for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia to launch on May 19th for the 3DS.