Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light is releasing today for the Nintendo Switch. Originally released in 1990 exclusively in Japan for the Famicom system, this will be the first official Nintendo translation of the game released to western audiences. Its release further begs the question: why isn’t there a Virtual Console for the Switch?
Shadow Dragon the Blade of Light is the game that kicked off the entire Fire Emblem franchise. This release also includes several modern updates. Mainly, there is a turn rewind feature, similar to the newest Fire Emblem title, Three Houses. There is also a bookmarking feature, which works similar to an emulation save state, where players can save their games mid-battle.
All of these things are helpful updates to a game that is more than 30 years old. They are all optional features, so fans of the original experience can skip them, and new players can avoid a potential distaste for slow and unforgiving mechanics.
The deluxe edition includes an art book, a replica game box with instruction manuals and cartridge sleeve, and a Nintendo Power collectible. While it is exciting that fans outside of Japan finally get an official release of the game, it goes along with a criticized trend that Nintendo has been doing lately: limited releases.
Why Limit the Release?
Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light is another game in a line of several recent limited releases by Nintendo. Similar to Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario 35, this game will only be available until March 21, 2020. Releasing games for a limited time is a puzzling trend for Nintendo. It seems they are favoring flash-in-the-pan sales over making new, dedicated titles for the Switch. Or, better yet, bringing back the Virtual Console in some form.
Fans have been critical of these decisions from Nintendo for quite some time. It is even more puzzling that the game has an independent eShop release when the Switch already has an NES player for subscribers of Nintendo Online. Furthermore, the Wii and Wii U Virtual Consoles are both officially closed. Since there’s now no official way to play older Nintendo titles players will inevitably turn to outside sources.
When fans are begging to throw money at Nintendo for old releases, why limit their purchases like this? Moreover, why wouldn’t Nintendo include more titles on the platform that Online subscribers are already paying for? The Virtual Console existed for two generations, and it doesn’t seem it will be coming back any time soon. Obviously, collectors will buy these games and their deluxe editions. Still, it is frustrating for players that just want to play their old favorites on their Switch.
On a good note, it is good news that the game that started the Fire Emblem franchise, Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light, is getting an official release outside Japan. Fan translations can be questionable, it is always nice to have the official Nintendo stamp of approval.
Hopefully, Nintendo will soon allow every player to play their own favorite game on the Switch, and not for a limited time. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light is out now on the Switch eShop.
Agree with the author? Couldn’t disagree more and are frothing at the mouth to tell him? Leave a comment here, on Facebook or send an email and make sure to follow Never Ending Realm on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!