To call Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn a Wii game is to take the meaning of that statement as literal as possible. Yes, it runs on Wii, comes in a cute white box, and you’ll pay $49.99 for it. From there, however, the experience is anything but Wii-like, as the game uses no motion, no IR, no Mii integration, and no online. While some gamers will scoff at this fact, diehard Fire Emblem fans already understand the choice made by Nintendo, as the series hasn’t needed to change in nearly 20 years, and shouldn’t be expected to now. The game supports Wii-mote control in classic NES-style, the GameCube controller, and the Classic Controller, so no matter what your setup you can still dive into one of the deepest, mature, and traditionally rooted titles on Nintendo consoles.
What you’ll miss, however, is any sort of upgrade from the GameCube version which is on sale for $20 new. Radiant Dawn is a direct sequel to the Cube’s Path of Radiance, and as such looks, acts, and feels identical. You’ll still get very little VO, minimal animation overall, GameCube graphics, and extremely simply storytelling that makes use of only a backdrop and some character art. Why the production value in Fire Emblem has yet to be completely overhauled is beyond us, but apparently someone at Nintendo things traditional games need to not only play like a game two decades old, but also look similar as well. If you’re looking for an entertaining, challenging, traditional strategy game, look no further, as Fire Emblem is as good as it gets. Just don’t expect anything more than GameCube presentation, visuals, and control for $50.