The original Fire logo is cool, but Nintendo’s retro strategy is bewildering

The original Fire logo is cool, but Nintendo's retro strategy is bewildering

Like a lot from a long time ago Fire emblem Fans, I never played the first game in this series. 1990s Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Light Blade What slowly began to turn into one of Nintendo’s main franchises, a series that mixed tense tactical battles with character-driven storytelling. This isn’t my fault: the original game wasn’t launched outside of Japan.

Three decades later, that finally changed with the release of the Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light On the Nintendo Switch. It’s a durable, no-frills outlet that costs just $ 5.99, making it an attractive choice for fans looking for a history lesson. But it also points to Nintendo’s increasingly confusing strategy for its large library of classic games.

First, the game itself. If you are coming to Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light After playing a newer entry in the series – like, for example, 2019 Three homes – You might be shocked at how clear the original game is. It has none of the relationship building that has ultimately become a staple of the franchise. Instead, the focus is almost entirely on strategic turn-based combat. You control Marth and a small army of soldiers, who travel to different kingdoms to fend off enemies. This always means defeating every soldier and capturing the castle.

There are some nice twists in regards to your objectives and the geography of the map, and the game delicately overlaps the combat. I actually found it surprising how good it is Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light wait. It’s especially cool as a Switch, where I can take a fight, or even a few turns, whenever I have free time. While it’s mostly a straight port, there are some nice modern touches, including a rewind feature, the ability to bookmark in the middle of a battle, and an option for fast advancement through incredibly slow enemy turns.

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As much as I enjoy the game, I wonder why it’s not part of Switch Online. Selling classic games individually is how Nintendo used to work, of course, with Virtual Console on platforms like the Wii and Wii U. But that changed with the Switch. In order to attract gamers to its fledgling online subscription service, Nintendo added a feature similar to Netflix, which includes a growing library of NES and SNES titles to play with. It turned into one of my favorite things about Switch.

In the past, Nintendo has added unreleased games, most notably Star Fox 2, A canceled SNES game that debuted as part of the SNES Classic mini console, as well Mario Picros, Which was not originally launched in North America. These types of surprising releases are important to generate excitement for any streaming service. This is why Netflix is ​​spending so much on original series and Microsoft has dropped $ 7.5 billion on Bethesda to boost Xbox Game Pass.

Switch Online isn’t quite the same as those releases, but it still needs a steady stream of new (old) releases to keep people engaged. And it’s in a unique position that most games will announce their launch soon, be it Country Donkey Kong or Super Metroid, Is the one that fans already know. Version like Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light Changes this. It is a rare surprise.

I completely understand that the original version will be re-released Fire emblem More Shared than most Switch Online titles. Not only does it contain some new quality of life features, but it is also a script-packed game that must be localized. So, in some ways, it makes sense that it was a standalone release. But it would also be a boon to the subscription service, one that should help simplify Nintendo’s often frustrated approach to its history spread across platforms and devices. (To make things even stranger, like a lot Super Mario 3D All-Star, The game will be on sale until March 31, 2021.)

Nintendo Switch Online solved some of this, with a steadily growing library that is easily accessible to subscribers, all on a piece of incredibly popular hardware. Nor is it hard to imagine a future where this subscription follows you to future Nintendo consoles, whatever they may be. Maybe one day I won’t have to buy back Super Metroid For every new Nintendo device.

I strongly advise Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light For fans looking to research how the series has evolved. Play the original script Fire emblem The year 2020 is a wonderful long-awaited experience. I just hope the gameplay, and the rest of the enviable collection of classic Nintendo games, were a lot clearer. Now where is he Mother 3.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Light Blade It launches on December 4 on the Nintendo Switch.

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