Fire Emblem Warriors has already impressed us with its mix of real-time combat and tactical planning on Switch, and given the current popularity of that console it's easy to forget that the game has also come to the New Nintendo 3DS. While you'd be forgiven for overlooking this entry altogether, it's important to remember that there are still many New 3DS owners in the world that haven't upgraded to Switch yet, and Nintendo is clearly conscious of this fact. Some people have questioned the decision to pour development resources into a New 3DS port at this moment in time, but the company should be applauded for at least keeping its older console active in terms of AAA releases.
Rather than repeat everything that was said in the Switch review, we're going to focus on what differentiates the New 3DS edition of Fire Emblem Warriors. For all intents and purposes, the core game remains intact – it has the same missions, same controls, same characters and same basic mechanics. It even has amiibo support, thanks to the refreshed feature set of the New 3DS hardware. In this respect, Fire Emblem Warriors on New 3DS is a faithful replication of the Switch version; it stands up just as well purely from a gameplay perspective. The biggest omission is the removal of the two-player co-op mode – you can't even play together using a local wireless connection, which is a shame.
Depending on your outlook, the New 3DS version of Fire Emblem Warriors might even be considered superior to Switch in some regards. While we haven't been able to analyse the frame rate fully, we believe it's running at close to 60fps; everything feels smooth and lag-free, and there's no major slowdown during busy moments. Compare this to the Switch version, which offers a 1080p / 30fps option as its default setting, and the New 3DS version ends up feeling a little smoother. The Switch edition also has a 720p / 60fps "performance" mode, but even this is subject to brief moments of slowdown which don't appear in the New 3DS outing.
Of course, we're not really comparing like for like here, as the New 3DS version of Fire Emblem Warriors looks incredibly primitive when placed alongside its Switch sibling. Character models lack detail, textures are muddy and environments aren't anywhere near as impressive. Graphical effects are toned down as well – during "Warrior" special moves the camera doesn't zoom in like it does on the Switch version, but instead a static close-up of that character's face is displayed – and in cutscenes the video quality is pretty terrible. Other elements – such as the dialogue screens and the map – have a horrible, compressed look to them.
So while the action is indeed smooth and silky, the assets the game has to work with are a lot cruder than those in the gorgeous-looking Switch version. On the audio side, the voice acting has been retained and the music is more or less the same – the key difference is that the New 3DS' speakers don't have the same punch as those on the Switch.
Fire Emblem Warriors on the New 3DS is always going to remain in the shadows of its more visually impressive sibling, but if you put aside the visual trappings and focus entirely on the gameplay, there's actually very little difference between them aside from the removal of the enjoyable co-op mode. The essence of the game is almost totally intact, and we had just as much fun playing through the quest on Nintendo's older system as we did on the Switch. Naturally, if you're in a position to choose between the two then Switch is the obvious choice, but should you be a New 3DS owner who hasn't yet upgraded, you're not really missing out – Fire Emblem Warriors is just as engaging and entertaining on Nintendo's ageing handheld, even though you have to endure some rather weak visual assets and basic character designs.