Fire Emblem Fates
Image: Nintendo

For the month before the 3DS and Wii U eShops close for new purchases on 27th March, each day we're going to highlight a specific eShop game for one of those consoles and give a short pitch as to why we think it deserves your love and attention — before it's too late. The chance to add these to your library will be gone for good soon and, for one reason or another, these eShop-exclusives are close to our hearts.

Today, Gavin nominates Fire Emblem Fates, a full retail release that's disappearing from sale on Tuesday 28th February 2023, a month earlier than the rest of the eShop, due to its unique setup...

So, what's it called again?

Fire Emblem Fates, although the three 'branches' available are individual titles Conquest, Birthright, and the Revelation DLC

Who made it?

The main series developer Intelligent Systems, with Nintendo on publishing duties.

What's the premise?

It's an epic turn-based strategy RPG in the typical Fire Emblem mould, although one that presents two different 'paths' to explore which are essentially entirely different games which take the perspective of a different kingdom. Birthright sees you siding with the kingdom of Hoshido, Conquest plants you on the kingdom of Nohr's team.

Additionally, the Revelation DLC offers a third, different route best experienced after one or both of the others.

Why should I play it?

Well, firstly it's a massive mainline Fire Emblem — or three mainline Fire Emblems, if you like. Taking the Pokémon route might have left some players feeling a little overwhelmed, but there's no denying the quality turn-based battling on offer here.

But why is it here being recommended in a series highlighting eShop exclusives? Well, the peculiar nature of how you access the path not taken means that you'll have to reach Chapter 6 before the eShop closes in order to choose your path (if you're downloading in Europe, the path you choose here determines which version of the game you own) and/or purchase the other one (and the third DLC route) for the discounted price of $19.99 if you want to experience every available branch of the game and get the full Fates experience.

Is it needlessly complicated? Naturally — this is Nintendo we're talking about here. Could you buy the physical versions of both if you needed, too? Sure, if you want to pay over the odds. Could you just buy the physical Special Edition that included all three branches on one cart? Good luck finding one of those for less than 400 bucks!

The point is that, at the time of writing, you're able to pop onto the eShop and download the game, and then beans it through to Chapter 6 and purchase the other two branches before 27th March. In a matter of days, that will no longer be an option.

If you're no fan of the Fire Emblems... well, why are you even reading this? If you're a massive fan... you probably already own Fates in all its iterations. It's the Fire Emblem Fates fence-sitters we're really speaking to here. Access to the game(s) is just a click right now, but that window is closing. There's plenty of other Fire Emblem goodness to enjoy on 3DS and elsewhere, but if you've ever been interested in Fates, now is your last chance to grab the whole caboodle at a reasonable price.

If you're not sure which path is the best one, the lovely Alex whipped up a video guide to address just that question:

How much is it?

$39.99USD / £39.99 / 44,99€ for either one of the 'base' games (Birthright or Conquest), plus the path not chosen (and the Revelation DLC) can be bought for a discounted $19.99USD / £17.99 / 19,99€ each.

We'll be back soon with another 3DS or Wii U eShop recommendation as part of this 'Countdown' series. Let us know below if you've already got this in your collection and share your thoughts. Also, feel free to nominate other games — we just might highlight those in the coming days, too.