'Fire Emblem' to get four titles on three platforms, including two on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo appears to be pushing another long-time franchise to the forefront with the announcement of four new “Fire Emblem” games on three different platforms.

The series has been around since 1990, with the release of “Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light” in Japan for the Nintendo Entertainment System. “Fire Emblem Fates,” which was broken into three different titles, was released in 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console.

During a Nintendo Direct presentation, the company announced “Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia” for the 3DS, “Fire Emblem Warriors” for the new Nintendo Switch console and the 3DS, and “Fire Emblem Heroes” for smartphones and tablets. They also said a new mainline “Fire Emblem” game would be coming out in 2018 for the Switch.

By presenting four new titles, including two for the new console, available in March, the company appears to be signaling it is raising the profile of the franchise.

“In recent years, the popularity of the ‘Fire Emblem’ franchise has grown exponentially,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. “The devoted fan base and series newcomers alike will soon have an abundance of new games to play on a variety of devices. There’s never been a better time to be a ‘Fire Emblem’ fan or jump in for the first time.”

“Shadows” will draw heavily from “Fire Emblem Gaiden,” the second game in the series, released in 1992. The new release, available May 19 for the 3DS, reimagines the classic with updated presentations, full vocal, and a modern gameplay twist with exploration and dungeon crawls.

Characters from the game, Alm and Celica, will be available as amiibo figures in a two-pack, also on May 19.

“Warriors” will be released for the Switch and the New 3DS sometime in the fall of 2017. The company said it is being developed by the same team that created “Hyrule Warriors,” a game released on the Wii U in 2014 and the 3DS in 2016. Koei Tecmo is expected to bring the hack-and-slash adventures to the franchise in a crossover that will bring together characters from many different “Fire Emblem” games.

For the first time since 2007, a brand new mainline “Fire Emblem” game is being developed, and it will be released on the Nintendo Switch in 2018. The game does not have a final title, and there is little being released about it at this time.

If taking the franchise on the go with the Nintendo Switch or the handheld 3DS consoles isn't enough mobile gaming for you, Nintendo will release a new title, “Fire Emblem Heroes,” for smart devices. The game is designed to fit on a smartphone screen and will feature touch controls to lead armies of heroes from throughout the “Fire Emblem” worlds. Defeat an opposing hero, and they could join your side.

There will be a story mode as well as training and competitive modes. The company said “Fire Emblem Heroes” will be available “soon” as a free download with optional in-app purchases.

They are currently asking fans to go to a Choose Your Legends website and select the hero and heroine they want to see in the game. The top-rated characters will be featured in game as event characters.

All of this comes as Nintendo gears up for their new console release in March with a new Zelda release, two new Mario releases and many third-party releases. Count on a “Fire Emblem” title this year and next for the new console as well.