UPDATE: Famitsu’s raving review of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has been fully translated, courtesy of Kantopia. With the four-person rating system Famitsu uses, a 9, 9, 10 and 9, the grand total of 37/40 was given. You can now get a more detailed look at why the renowned video game magazine has awarded the upcoming game so much praise.

Although it’s a remake of a 25 year old game, there have been substantial additions that make it feel as good as new. From being able to use “Move” and “Examine” commands in towns to freely moving characters around on 3D maps to explore dungeons are just some examples of new features that breathe fresh life into the game. Despite these additions, players will find that the core appeal of the series –strategy and raising characters –is certainly there! Once you start, you will be so engrossed in the experience you will not be able to quit! – 9

A major point is how the fully voiced dialogue and animations make for an incredibly dramatic story. A lot of fun is in managing and training your units, where you steadily become more and more attached to each and every character through the conversations you see them have in the towns and at base. It is all done very naturally. I was enticed every step of the way with exploring the 3D dungeons and towns like one would in an adventure game, and the conversation scenes were always something to look forward to. It all left me with an extremely favorable impression of the overall work. – 9

Originally, Gaiden had been the black sheep of the series. But, with a complete remake that conforms to a new generation’s standards, it’s been given new life. The game mechanics such as switching between two armies, bringing along characters you like and want to train, as well as receiving quests from towns makes this a game where players will constantly enjoy and look forward to progressing. Very little is left to the player’s imagination because the story and characters are so perfect and complete. Very dramatic! – 10

A flexible growth system and emphasis on “heroic adventure” were strong features of the original Famicom version. These points have been greatly expanded upon, with the player now able to easily visualize the full extent of the enemy’s strength and range. They clearly aimed to make the game easier to play down to the finest details. The original story and fantastically depicted characters are complemented perfectly by the scenario’s structure, and, while still simple, it is incredibly easy to empathize [with the characters]. This is a must play for veterans of the original! – 9

37/40

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia — the upcoming remake/reimagining of Fire Emblem Gaiden — launches next week in Japan, which means the reviews are starting to roll in. And renowned Japanese video game magazine Famitsu was apparently quite impressed, as its four-reviewer system awarded the game a 9, 9, 10 and 9 for a grand total of 37/40 — the highest score the franchise has ever received.

This slightly edges out the franchise’s previous entries, Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates, which both earned straight 9s for a 36/40. While Famitsu has received criticism in the past for doling out high scores to game based purely on hype, there seems to be no doubt that Echoes will be a title worthy of the series’ standards. Whether the western media will appreciate its throwback nature or more archaic design remains to be seen.

Shadows of Valentia launches next month in North America on May 19th. Stay wired for our own thoughts and opinions on the game, and find out whether it can impress us as greatly as it impressed Famitsu.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.

Amelia Fruzzetti