Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Game Poster Image
Fantasy strategy game more mature than it looks.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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.

Violence

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

Sex

Has a negligible amount of playful, flirtatious banter.

Language

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

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byPvt. Sokolva January 5, 2011

Like hardcore chess.

The only reason I set the age limit this high is because of the difficult strategy required to make it far in this game. It is like playing an incredibly compl... Continue reading
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 o... Continue reading
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... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Price: $37.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: November 5, 2007
  • Genre: Strategy
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language

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