Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn



Fantasy strategy game more mature than it looks.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

At its core, this is a game about heroes performing heroic deeds. However, there are no lessons here that players can practically transfer to the real-world, save perhaps the notion of camaraderie.


We see arrows, swords, and magical energies used in battle, but it is far from excessive; there is no blood and no gore.


Has a negligible amount of playful, flirtatious banter.


Iffy words are infrequent and always mild -- stuff you can see on prime time TV.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game involves mild but frequent fantasy battles. While the violence is relatively tame, characters who perish remain dead for the rest of the game -- a significant and potentially unsettling departure from most games. The high difficulty level could frustrate players who have never played a turn-based strategy game before. Because of this difficulty, we set the age at 11.

What's it about?

On the surface, FIRE EMBLEM: RADIANT DAWN, a sequel to the GameCube's Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, is just another turn-based strategy title. It's a chess-like experience in which you shuffle units with varying skills and movement abilities,\" a defining trait of the Fire Emblem brand.

Every unit at your command has his or her own backstory and compelling, ongoing drama -- that is, until he or she dies. If it's a primary protagonist who perishes, it's game over. But if any of the dozens of secondary characters bites the dust, the game continues and he or she is gone forever, their story cut prematurely short as a direct result of your shortcomings as a commander. If the dead characters were among your more powerful units, you'll sorely miss them in future missions.

Is it any good?


Many players replay battles with an aim to make it through with all their beloved characters intact. But take our advice and do this sparingly. As in all Fire Emblem games, Radiant Dawn is best enjoyed as it was designed to be played: with unpredictable, melancholy death lurking around every corner. Not only does it make battles more emotionally charged, it also forces you drum up better, more prudent strategies to ensure your heroes' survival.

However, it also makes an already difficult game much more challenging. Fire Emblem games have always required a keen tactical mind capable of thinking several moves in advance and keeping tabs on each unit's unique skills and weapons. However, brute strength is also required, and if you've lost your most powerful units, some missions will become an exercise in frustration.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how death is presented in video games. Why do most games simply allow characters to come back to life when they die? Does this idiosyncrasy make video game stories less believable than tales presented in other media, such as books and movies? Does the fact that most of this game's characters remain deceased when they die make it more believable? Does the threat of permanent death have an impact on your emotional connection with them?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 5, 2007
ESRB rating:E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old June 3, 2010
This game is more violent than you think it might be. D%$& is used a few times. Some sad parts are when a child is shot by a soldier in the streets and whenever a character dies. Despite this this is a must buy!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byiluvKH April 9, 2008

It is goood!

THis game is fairly good, those who are put off by the "tactical" gameplay shouldn,t be it is more fun than you may think. Think: Final Fantasy War of the Lions meets Lord of the rings third age (except, when characters die, they really die.) Violence isn't too bad, people. Attacks are cutscenes so they can be more styalized. People fall down after being defeated. I say 9+.
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008

a great game

my mom REALLY loved it, and i played through the first time on easy. my mom is stubborn and wont let anyone die. the word damn is used a few times, but its just fine.


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