Fire Emblem has been through quite a rollercoaster journey on its path to success. After an initial debut on the Famicom in 1990 with Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, the series remained a niche exclusive of the Land of the Rising Sun for thirteen years until it made its way westward, spurred on by the appearance of...
Alms for the War
Nintendo has a habit of switching things up in sequels, and especially in the NES days that tendency resulted in some gloriously divergent sophomore installments. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link famously swapped overhead adventuring for side-scrolling action, Super Mario Bros. 2 (in the West, at least) exchanged running-and-jumping...
Gacha collect 'em all
Nintendo's relationship with mobile games and apps has been slightly awkward to date, as a prolonged period of resistance to the sector eventually turned into a necessary embrace. In its previous efforts on mobile - Miitomo and Super Mario Run - Nintendo has either retained noble intentions (as per the former) or tried to stick...
Colour us impressed
For any long-running series, innovation is key to keeping fans coming back for more without getting too bored. Gameplay tweaks and changes to the setting can work wonders in refreshing a stale format, but some might argue that if an idea ain't broke, then don't keep trying to fix it. The Paper Mario series has been no stranger to...
Wii U eShop / DS
War has twice before been this much fun
Intelligent Systems' long-running Famicom Wars series didn't arrive in the west until the release of Advance Wars on the Game Boy Advance, but the colourful turn-based tactical gameplay quickly acquired many fans. A GBA sequel arrived, followed by this DS entry. Like the two proceeding GBA instalments Advance...
All Hail Prince Marth! (Yes, that Marth)
Ask any western gamer who Marth is and they will quickly reply something along the lines of "That cool sword-wielding guy from Super Smash Bros." - something that is understandable since the Fire Emblem series that began all the way back to 1990 on the Famicom only reached the West in 2003. But behind his...
Choose your destiny
Fire Emblem Fates launches this week in Europe. To mark this event, we're republishing our review of the North American version of the game, which originally went live on the site back in February. Intelligent Systems got itself into a weird predicament after the stellar success of Fire Emblem Awakening a few years ago. Fire...
Wii U eShop / DS
Emerging from the shadows
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is a Nintendo DS remake of the first Fire Emblem game (originally released in 1990 for Famicom in Japan) that's now available to download in Virtual Console form for Wii U. The series staple of strategic turn-based gameplay along with the perma-death possibility for characters would form the...
Wii U eShop / GBA
Just like a black hole, it'll suck up hours of your time
With the first Advance Wars being a hit on the GBA not long after the system launched, it was no wonder that a sequel would eventually follow. Released about two years later, Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising feels very much like an expansion pack, but one that is still more than worth the...
Pulling the blocks into place
It's arguably one of the key gaming experiences to indulge in some light puzzling on a handheld system. Whether it's Tetris or Picross, nothing makes a morning commute or quiet evening more relaxing than letting grey matter and opposable thumbs work together to solve a problem. Pullblox / Pushmo is one Nintendo 3DS...
Wii U eShop / N64
Can we take a moment to appreciate just how gloriously wacky it is that a game like Paper Mario exists in the first place? This is an idea that followed in the footsteps of Super Mario RPG, the Square/Nintendo collaboration which in itself marked a big departure in genre for the Mario universe. Nintendo would continue down this...
Join the steam team
Nintendo is known for its extensive library of beloved characters, most of which appear in multiple titles on a regular basis; so when an internally developed new intellectual property comes along, there's reason to be excited. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., a third-person shooter/turn-based strategy title by Intelligent Systems - best...
Wii U eShop / GBA
Worth fighting for
While Fire Emblem is a franchise with a long history in Japan, its track record in the West is far more condensed; in fact Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones on Game Boy Advance was only the second series entry to arrive in the West. The first Western arrival is also available on the Wii U eShop, meaning that there's a useful...
Wii U eShop / GBA
So much to love Lyndis game
Before Fire Emblem: Awakening started the Year of Luigi off with a bang, there was a great deal of concern at Nintendo regarding its future viability as a franchise. Sales were at an all-time low, and series producer Hitoshi Yamagami was given an ultimatum: at least 250,000 copies of the latest entry needed to be sold in...
3DS eShop / GBC
Pokémon! Blocks! What more do you need?
The eShop is rife with puzzle games, and it’s understandable as to why; they’re fairly simple in design and can provide a huge amount of entertainment to an incredibly broad audience. Some of them can be a little bit monotonous or shameless clones of another game, but you’ll sometimes find something...
Wii U eShop
Mo Push Mo Problems
Intelligent Systems' Pushmo World (known as Pullblox World in Europe) is exactly what you'd expect it to be: a Wii U sequel to the popular 3DS eShop puzzle titles Pushmo (Pullblox) and Crashmo (Fallblox) that predictably adds shinier graphics, more modes, and way more puzzles. It's a very safe sequel that doesn't take
Wii U eShop / GBA
War has never been so much fun
Mention Advance Wars to a seasoned gamer and they're almost guaranteed to have heard of it. One of the earliest major Game Boy Advance titles, it's now also one of the earliest titles from the handheld on the Wii U Virtual Console, giving veterans another chance to pick it up and newcomers an ideal opportunity to see...
Going back a few years, it was something of a tradition for Nintendo to launch a new platform with a WarioWare title in hot pursuit. Charming bundles of micro-games that packed as much personality and gameplay as possible into seconds-long chunks, and perfect for demonstrating the unique capabilities of new hardware, the WarioWare games...
I love the smell of Elfire in the morning
A hint of trepidation arises whenever the "Powers That Be" decide that "Your Cool Thing" needs a bigger audience, primarily because "What They Like" and "Why You Like It" don't always mesh. Take Fire Emblem, possibly the most hardcore of Nintendo's franchises — not "hardcore" in the nonsense term of it...
Drop 'em like they're blox
Meet Fallblox – a game so clever that its very title could be a brand new synonym for “mindboggling”. Predecessor Pullblox / Pushmo remains one of the best titles on the 3DS eShop, an extremely smart puzzler that's fantastic value for money. Fallblox, known in North America as Crashmo, is no lazy sequel: it takes...
Stuck on you
If there's one thing we can learn from its 3DS catalogue so far, it's that Nintendo is great at the safe sequel. Sure, there are out-there exceptions like Kid Icarus: Uprising, but by and large we've seen a whole lot of remakes or new entries in fan-favourite franchises that are more interested in paddling along leisurely than rocking...
3DS eShop / GBA
Once more, to arms!
For such a long-running series, it's hard to believe Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones was only the second game to leave Japan after GBA predecessor Fire Emblem. Since then the series has had a far bigger presence in the West, a fact underlined by Sacred Stones' status as a 3DS Ambassador title. If Sacred Stones is your first Fire...
Intelligent Systems is mostly known for its work on the Advance Wars, Fire Emblem and WarioWare series, but occasionally, when it's not too busy, it develops some unique games: it's created titles like Cubivore on the GameCube and Eco Shooter Plant 530 on WiiWare. Now it's back with another original creation for the eShop, and it can quite...
He might be paper, but Mario's no flop
When Mario and friends appeared in their debut role-playing title nearly fifteen years ago on the SNES, it marked a significant new direction that the franchise would embark on and time has proved it's a popular one too. European gamers were understandably disappointed that Super Mario RPG never came to their...
We have liftoff!
If it's one thing Intelligent Systems has become well known for over the years, it's their diverse game development. While they've had their hands in quite a few of Nintendo's biggest selling hits over the years, it's their Advance Wars and Paper Mario series that tend to stick out in most people's minds. Now, they've decided to try...