Fire Emblem: The Path of Radiance E3 2005 Preshow Report

It's been going down on the GBA lately, but this year, Fire Emblem makes an appearance on the GameCube.

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While the Fire Emblem series is nine games strong in Japan, the series' North American exposure is limited to a pair of Game Boy Advance games. But this October, Nintendo is planning on releasing Fire Emblem: The Radiant Path for the GameCube. The game sticks pretty closely to the conventions of the series, but the GameCube-quality graphics definitely add a few new layers to it.

As with most of the previous entries in the series, The Radiant Path may carry many of the conventions of the series' gameplay, but the story is all-new and self-contained. Gameplay-wise, the game will continue to be a tactics-oriented strategy RPG, so you'll command a group of heroes across a bunch of grid-based maps using a variety of skills and powers.

The game has a slight customization slant to it this time around. For starters, you'll earn two different types of experience points. Characters will naturally gain experience in battle, but you'll also earn bonus experience when you complete a mission. These bonus points can be assigned to any character you see fit, letting you bolster characters that might not earn quite as much experience when left to their own devices. Secondly, you'll encounter skills as you progess through the adventure, which you can assign to any of your characters. For example, a vantage skill will let your character attack first, and shade will let characters fade into the background, forcing the enemy to attack a different target. You'll be able to find more than 40 different skills in the game.

With its sharp graphics and time-tested gameplay, strategy RPG fans have a lot to look forward to in Fire Emblem: The Path of Radiance. We'll have more on the game from the show floor at E3.

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