Yesterday, Nintendo held a special Fire Emblem focused Nintendo Direct conference. During this conference they announced 3 new Fire Emblem titles alongside the previously revealed Fire Emblem Warriors game. With so many Fire Emblem games announced and so many having been released in recent history, one has to ponder the question; has Fire Emblem reached critical mass?
Of the announcements were a new mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes, a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden for the Nintendo 3DS called Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and a yet to be titled new Fire Emblem game for the Nintendo Switch. Of course this is all hot off the heels of the announcement of Fire Emblem Warriors a musou styled game from Tecmo Koei stalwarts Omega Force.
Fire Emblem Heroes is set to hit mobile devices on the 2nd of February and the other titles are set for sometime throughout the rest of the year. That’s not to mention the fact that there will be another line of Fire Emblem amiibos released to tie in with the upcoming games.
For a bit of a refresher course, in the past few years we have had 4 Fire Emblem games (3 of which are 3 different takes on the same story) for the Nintendo 3DS, a crossover game with Shin Megami Tensei for the Wii U and 2 virtual console re-releases of 2 Game Boy Advance Fire Emblem games. Lets not forget to mention the characters have been featured in the latest Smash Bros games, have had countless amiibos released in their likeness, along with special variant 3DS consoles to tie in with the Fire Emblem Fates games. Now that is a lot of Fire Emblem.
Now with a mobile game on the way, a 3DS remake of a classic that never left Japan, a musou style hack and slash and a full fledged RPG for the Switch, you can’t help but wonder if it is too much of a good thing. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder, but in this ever changing video games industry, it seems the way of the world now is to ride high on the wave until eventually and inevitably you wipe out.
Western gaming companies have witnessed the wipe out, look at series like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed for example. Those series became so popular that their respective publishers decided to pump out more and more games at a faster pace, strike while the iron is hot if you will. But ultimately both franchises hit a wall and the fans who loved those games couldn’t keep up with them any longer, the quality of games degraded and the release schedule moved so fast you barely had time to enjoy one game before the next was on shelves.
For a Japanese example of this same effect look at the Warriors/Musou franchise from Omega Force, sadly those games have become well beyond stale and they pump them out with a different coat of paint at break neck speed. It really is sad to say but there is no care factor put into these games any more other than the care of how much cash that popular new anime will rake in for them. I think it is a foreboding sign that Omega Force have signed on to make a Fire Emblem musou game. This is when you know we have gone too far down the rabbit hole.
All that said, lets dial it back a bit. In all likelihood these games will be good. Nintendo hasn’t taken a misstep with the Fire Emblem franchise yet and there isn’t any real reason to believe that this slew of games will be any different. But it is worth a bit of thought. When is too much of a good thing a bad thing? Maybe it is when Omega Force is commissioned to make a game out of your series? But even then, Hyrule Warriors and Attack on Titan weren’t so bad, right?
Let us know what you think in the comments below, has Fire Emblem reached critical mass?