Civil war is looming, threatening destruction for the realm, and it falls to long-lost childhood friends with secret pasts to reunite, gather forces and bring peace across the continent. That's the background to Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a strategy RPG that was little seen outside of Japan in its heyday but now, finally, remastered for a new generation of gamers.
When it was first released the game was something of a black sheep, featuring several mechanics that broke from series tradition. Players control the two separate armies of Alm and Celica, each with differing quests aimed at a single, unified goal - peace.
Battle in the game consists of turn-based encounters between small bands of recruited soldiers. In Fire Emblem's traditional Classic Mode a unit that gets cut down can become too injured - or too dead - to ever return to the field. In Shadows of Valentia, though, players can use Mila's Turnwheel to rewind their last few turns and undo strategic errors. There's also the less fatal Casual Mode, which enables fallen allies to be revived after battle.
This remake includes a raft of new story content, too, allowing players to dip further into the intertwining narratives of Alm and Celica with new heroes, villains and a brand new prologue. As an added bonus, for the first time in a Fire Emblem game all cutscene dialogue is fully voiced in English!
Throw in amiibo support and the option to explore caves and dungeons in three dimensions for the first time and Fire Emblem and RPG fans are in for a treat!