One of the few Fire Emblem entries to makes its way west, Sacred Stones is a rousing example of how great Nintendo’s tactical RPG series can be.
It follows Ephraim and Eirika, twin heirs to the kingdom of Renais, who build and lead armies to restore their homeland, which has been overthrown by former allied nation Grado. Originally released on the Game Boy Advance in 2005, the gameplay remains sharp a decade on, requiring keen attention and calculating manoeuvres to win the many turn-based battles. Units offer a range of magical or martial skills, with each type or weapon class having strengths and weaknesses. Although 2013’s Fire Emblem: Awakening is more sophisticated, this remains a challenging, engaging game.
However, reissuing it for the Wii U rather than the 3DS (though it had an exclusive release, in 2011, to those who purchased the handheld before its price drop) results in a blocky, pixelated big-screen experience that can be tricky to follow, and is likely to deter players from the long-play sessions Fire Emblem thrives on.
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