Parents' Guide to

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Terrific tactical RPG isn't suitable for younger gamers.

Game Nintendo DS 2009
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 8+

My favorite DS game of all time

Fire Emblem is probably my favorite DS game of all time . I love it but it has too much talk about death, revenge, and destruction for kids under 8 years old.

This title has:

Too much violence
Great messages
age 10+

Pretty good, but the GameBoy versions win

Okay, this is a good game, don't get me wrong. It's just not as good as the first two games were for the GBA. The ability to rescue characters is now gone, the Dancer/Bard class is gone, there's just a lot of nice details from the first two games is missing in this one. As far as gameplay goes, it's primarily the same, except for the addition of using the touch screen to movie your characters, though it seems easier to just use the buttons to me. As far as appropriateness goes, it think it's okay for maybe 10+. Some rather brief language, mild violence, though the talk of death, darkness & world domination is pretty overwhelming, & a few mild suggestive themes (a few girls have semi-skimpy outfits). Also, like the site said it's got a pretty complex reading level so younger kids probably won't get the story much (heck, I'm 17 & I didn't even know some of the words in this game).

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (2):

A couple of things most people don't expect in their handheld games are beautiful writing and a memorable story, but that's exactly what Shadow Dragon delivers. The plot, which concerns a crusading prince who in his youth was exiled from his homeland by an invading army that decimated the kingdom's royal family, is nothing new, but its eloquent characters, many of whom often burst with genuine passion as they sacrifice themselves or mourn their comrades, effectively turn this trite tale into something a player can legitimately care about -- all the more so since these personalities could die on the battlefield at any moment and become forever lost.

On the flipside, the one thing players have come to expect of the Fire Emblem games is bar-setting turn-based strategy, and in this regard Shadow Dragon is at least on par with its predecessors. The chess-like tactics involved in managing multiple unit types with varying attacks and movement abilities require a keen mind to master, and countless variables -- such as weapon capabilities, changing odds of landing a hit, and the series' trademark weapon triangle (think rock, paper, scissors) -- provide eager strategists with plenty to chew on before each move. Battles combine with the game's sympathetic personalities to make for an extremely challenging but marvellously satisfying game of tactical role-playing.

Game Details

  • Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release date: February 17, 2009
  • Genre: Strategy
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Language, Mild Fantasy Violence
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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