In Fire Emblem, Shin Monsho no Nazo, Hikari to Kage no Eiyuu, a year has passed since The War of Shadows. The Kingdom of Alkania has been re-established under the new ruling of Emperor Hardin who had fought along side Marth. A rebellion occurs and Marth, Prince of Altea is asked for his aid to suppress it. However, he soon begins to question what he is really assisting in and would rather be branded a traitor than continue with the immoral acts. As a result, Hardin uses this as an excuse to invade. Now Marth, together with his new recruit, must find a way to retrieve his ancestral home in Altea and find a way to stop the changed Hardin who seems to possess an all too familiar dark power.
I never really got into the Fire Emblem SRPG series so I can't really be sure what new features they put into this latest title. This is the second title of the two part remake of the SNES game "The Mystery of The Emblem" first released in Japan back in 1994.
If research serves me right, a lot of the traits in the series remain depending on what mode you choose to play in.In the "Classic" mode any units that die won't be available for the rest of the game unlike other SRPGs where they'll just come back for the next mission. Otherwise if you choose the new "Casual" mode, they are revived.
The game begins by allowing you to start of by creating your hero/heroine and customising the looks which doesn't have that much variety. You can only choose the hairstyle, hair colour and eyes which shouldn't be too bad considering this isn't an MMORPG. The funny thing is you are offered to change your hairstyle while chatting with other characters in the game later.
You meet various units which you can befriend depending on certain circumstances. Most of the time you need to have befriended some other unit and have them in your team or at other times, there's certain things you shouldn't do such as attack their units.
This was probably what I enjoyed the most during this game because it helps you build up a bond with the characters and when they do die, you do feel bad. If you use the same characters overtime you can see some optional side dialogue in-between chapters which again, helps to strengthen the emotional side of things and how much care you would take in deploying them. Eventually you're even rewarded some single use items to help you along in battles.
It really isn't easy trying to keep your unit alive if you're playing Classic mode.
Every character levels individually but fortunately experience points seem generous enough and you never need to acquire more than a hundred to level up.
Weapons have limited durability so you can find your units unarmed if you don't keep an eye on their equipment. You have your usual strength and weaknesses such as axe is effective against spears or, archers are effective against airborne units. As you'd expect with an SRPG there's also the terrain advantages to consider although you don't have to worry about which way your units are facing.
In this particular title, you only have access to some decent weapons by killing thieves that you meet during each chapter or local village shops. Since Marcs is travelling and on the run, this does make sense in a way and help with the realistic immersion but, it would be helpful if the game actually told you how many of each weapon you already possess.
There aren't any Anime cutscenes. The story is told in chapters with slideshows of clean looking vector illustrations. Other than that, most of the game is presented in the retro way with sprites. Only a bit of 3D is used on the map and during the battle animations.
I didn't find anything too impression making on the musical score front but the sound effects did a fair job of showing how damaging weapons are. There are no voice acting or sound effects which I think would have made the characters even more alive and memorable since a lot of them seem to come from previous titles.
Fire Emblem: The Hero of Light and Shadow should be an interesting title to anyone wanting to enjoy a classic 2D fantasy SRPG.
Time Completed 18 hours
- Side dialogue and befriending new allies helps to build relation with characters.
- Durability and scarce weapons help with immersion.
- No unreasonable amounts of XP needed to level units.
- Can go online for new extra chapters to play.
- Doesn't inform how many items you already have when shopping.
- No varying objectives.
- Little equipment selection.
- The number of characters with finishing lines if you play Casual mode.