Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

New dawn, or old dawn?

It's become a bit fashionable in certain circles to make fun of the Wii, to the point where games can't really escape it. Present these people with a game that uses the Wii controls and they'll say it's newfangled, unnecessary nonsense. Present them with one that doesn't really bother, and they'll say that the Wii is just two GameCubes duct-taped together. Radiant Dawn is good news for people that can't get to grips with motion sensing - it doesn't use it at all. Not even one little wave or gesture.

So the second criticism it is, then. It's more valid here than it is normally. Radiant Dawn is a direct sequel to the GameCube's Path of Radiance in every conceivable way. It looks and plays exactly the same, and given that Path of Radiance was pretty ropey-looking itself, that's hardly a compliment two years down the line. You can load up your old GameCube saved game on the Wii for character and stat bonuses, and many of Path of Radiance's characters make reappearances. Strategy-wise, it's still wonderful, employing an inspired set of weapons and magic triangles and character support, but story-wise it doesn't quite live up to the standards of its forebears, and the awful presentation is even more dispiriting now that we've seen what the Wii can actually do.

You also find yourself taking control of some of your former enemies, the Daien, in a typical Fire Emblem corrupt and war-torn setting, as you assemble fighters for your little team of rebels. There is an enormous amount of content here - the story is split up into quarters, each of which covers the warring countries' efforts to recover and rebuild after the events of Path of Radiance from a different perspective. It's a good narrative structure, and keeps suspense going throughout, as well as splitting up the game's 45 different battles into rather more manageable chunks.

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Wii: 2007's Most Wanted

Something for the Wii-kend?

Of all Nintendo's various achievements, surely its most consistent is in simultaneously pissing off and delighting its faithful European customers. For twenty-five years the company has wowed us with innovative technology and wonderfully robust and inventive games, filling reservoirs of consumer goodwill in a way few other multinationals manage. In tension with this, interminable localisation delays, sloppy, bordered conversions and,- most heart-breakingly - an ever-slim line-up of releases has made it clear that Europe is literally the least of the Japanese company's global concerns.

Fire Emblem to go online?

Producer mentions DS too.

Fire Emblem's producers have indicated that the turn-based strategy series could be heading online in its next Wii instalment, while a DS version is also fairly likely at some stage.

Fire Emblem Wii details

Fire Emblem Wii details

To use classic pad?

Following a low-key debut at E3 this May, the Nintendo Wii version of Fire Emblem is starting to take greater shape - with news from the Nintendo World event in Japan suggesting that it will use the Classic Controller.

That would suggest that it's going to be very consistent with the previous games in the series, which generally revolve around a small band of adventurers plotting their way through turn-based strategy missions. The set-up is similar to Advance Wars, but with persistent character death and less complicated unit relationships.

According to a report on IGN, the game not only uses the Classic Controller, but also plays out in 4:3 rather than widescreen - something that could just be down to the demo conditions. We're also told that the demo version consists of dungeon attack and castle siege levels - which sounds very Fire Emblem.

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