Tag Archives: intelligent systems


Nintendo Reveals More Information About Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

code_name_steam_artworkA new adventure unlike anything Nintendo has done before will join the ever-expanding Nintendo universe in 2015. At a developer roundtable event on June 11 during the E3 video game conference, Nintendo announced Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. The new turn-based action strategy game comes from Intelligent Systems, the developer of the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a new take on strategy games inspired by third-person shooters. Like the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars games before it, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. tasks players with planning out strategic moves using a team of soldiers to do battle with enemy forces. But this game throws a wrench into many of the conventions familiar to the genre.

For starters, the game takes place in a vibrant steampunk world, weaving its globe-spanning tale in the art style of a classic comic book. The title refers to an elite team of steam-powered special-forces soldiers composed of absolutely wild and wholly unexpected characters who must battle an extraterrestrial menace. To establish a connection to the main playable characters and to emphasize the verticality and depth of the level design, the perspective of Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. uses a behind-the-shoulder perspective at the level of the players’ squad. Players outflank and outshoot the enemy in a fully 3D battlefield with a customizable four-member team. To defeat aliens, they have to take cover, set up ambushes and unleash crossfires and counter-attacks. For every move taken or action performed, a steam gauge is slowly depleted, forcing players to use strategy to achieve their objectives. Along the way, players will acquire new items and weapons that give them more strategic options and firepower.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will launch exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in 2015. For more information about Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and to keep an eye on all of Nintendo’s activities during E3, visit http://e3.nintendo.com.

Paper Mario Developer Working On Unannounced Wii U Project


James Anderson, one of the programmers over at Intelligent Systems, has revealed via his Linked In profile that the acclaimed development studio is working on an unannounced Wii U project. The team has previously produced a number of games including, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Fire Emblem: Awakening and Advance Wars. What would you like to see Intelligent Systems work on next for Wii U?

Thanks, Omla

Fire Emblem Awakening Could Have Been The Last Fire Emblem Game


In the U.S. alone, Fire Emblem Awakening sold more than 240,000 copies. If the game’s sales were meager, it could have been the very last entry in the Fire Emblem series, according to one of the game’s producers, Hitoshi Yamagami. Fortunately, for fans of the series, Nintendo isn’t retiring Fire Emblem just yet, as Intelligent Systems and Atlus are currently working on a Wii U crossover role-playing game between the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei worlds.

Hitoshi Yamagami: No doubt. Truth be told, sales are dropping. The sales manager of Nintendo, Mr. Hatano, told us that this could be the last Fire Emblem. Due to this progressive descend on sales, they told us that if the sales of this episode stayed below 250,000 copies, we’d stop working on the saga. I remember when I came back from the meeting and told the team “My God, what are we gonna do?! The end has come!”. Our reaction was clear: if this was going to be the last Fire Emblem, we had to put everything we always wanted to include. That’s how this new project was born!

Fire Emblem Awakening Launches In Europe And Australia


Fire Emblem Awakening has arrived in Europe and Australia at both retail and the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS. In the strategy role-playing game, players assume the role of a tactician to aid a prince named Chrom, who is also a leader of a militia known as the Shepherds. To help you decide on whether you should purchase the game, check out our Fire Emblem Awakening review, or download its free demo from the Nintendo eShop.

Nintendo Explains Why Fire Emblem Awakening Characters’ Feet Are Deformed

fire_emblem_awakening_marth_screenshotNintendo has explained why characters in Fire Emblem Awakening have deformed feet. Well, apparently, the designers of the strategy role-playing game ultimately decided it wasn’t necessary for characters to have fully-featured feet. In a developer interview, the game’s art director, Toshiyuki Kusakihara, said that, because in-game characters primarily use handheld weapons for combat, he and his team felt it was OK to exclude some detail in their feet.

… We have to ask a question a lot of the fans are wondering — what happened with the feet? (laughs)

Toshiyuki Kusakihara:(Laughs) Well, they’re there…they’re just…omitted a little bit.

The idea was to add a unique sort of deformation to the characters. As for why it ended up like this… At the start of the project, we weren’t entirely sure how many bones and joints we’d be able to use in each character model. As it is now, there’s a joint at the knees, and then there’s nothing below that for the ankles and the feet. This makes it a bit easier to apply animation to models as well. We found out afterward that, with the 3DS, we had more than enough CPU strength available to flesh out the models a bit, add real ankles and so on. We were like “Well, if there’s a next time, maybe there’ll be more ankles…” (laughs)

We thought we could make it something that would work well with the characters, but now I’m not so sure. (laughs) So it’s hard to give a real reason for it, but…well, I think it’s kind of cute, though! (laughs) Isn’t it? They look like they’re wearing high heels. Aren’t high heels the big fashion these days?

Did you get any feedback about this from Japanese players as well?

Kusakihara: Yeah, some people focused on the feet a lot. (laughs) I think if this was a game that involved people kicking and such, we would have put in real ankles. Instead, you’re using handheld weapons for the most part, so we figured we could sort of omit some of the detail down there…

Fire Emblem Awakening launches later this week in Europe and Australia, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS. If you’re still unsure of whether you’re going to purchase the game, to help you decide, check out our Fire Emblem Awakening review.

Another Advance Wars Game On The Horizon?

advance wars gbaWith the European release of Fire Emblem: Awakening on the Nintendo 3DS only a few weeks away, game project manager Masahiro Higuchi has not denied a potential return to Intelligent Systems’ other successful franchise: Advance Wars. If all goes well, it would spell the end of a five-year drought to the turn-based strategy game.

In an interview on the official Fire Emblem site, Higuchi said: “Well, whether it’s Fire Emblem or the Advance Wars, we never want to put an end to any series we’re involved with. We always want to make games that provide a lot of fun to gamers, so if we have the chance, we’d certainly like to make another [Advance Wars] title.”

Fire Emblem Awakening Dated For Australia


Nintendo Australia has announced that Fire Emblem Awakening launches Down Under on April 20th, which is a day after the game’s release in Europe. The tactical role-playing game launched earlier this month, February 4th, in North America. In our Fire Emblem Awakening review, we called it the best title in the Fire Emblem series, thanks, in part, to its beautiful visuals, engrossing story and deeply developed characters.

Your Characters In Fire Emblem Awakening Can Get Married And Have Kids

Fire_Emblem_Awakening_StahlNintendo 3DS-exclusive Fire Emblem Awakening launched today in the U.S. and Canada. Consumers can purchase the physical copy of the game from retailers, or they can download the digital version straight from the Nintendo eShop. Either way, it costs $39.99 to get your hands on this exceptional tactical role-playing game, which introduces multiple new features to the Fire Emblem series. For example, characters can pair up to perform dual strikes or protect each other from the enemy’s attack. When characters pair up on the battlefield, they develop relationships with each other, can eventually get married and have children.

Fire Emblem Awakening Review

fire_emblem_awakening_box_artThe best game in the Fire Emblem series is on the Nintendo 3DS, and it finally
lands in North America.

The Fire Emblem series isn’t as popular in the West as it is in Japan, but it definitely deserves to be, and you’ll agree after playing the latest game in developer Intelligent System’s long-running series. The thirteenth installment in the series, Fire Emblem Awakening, is an epic tactical role-playing game that features stunning visuals, interesting characters, enjoyable gameplay, difficulty levels suited for different kinds of players, entertaining dialogue and an engrossing story.

When starting the game, players select a difficulty level. Series beginners are recommended to select the ‘Normal’ level, the ‘Hard’ level is for experienced players, and players who deem themselves experts are encouraged to select the ‘Lunatic’ level. After selecting a difficulty level, players must choose a game mode. Players must choose between ‘Casual,’ where fallen units return and where you can save anywhere, and ‘Classic,’ where defeated units are lost forever and each decision is important.

After selecting a difficulty level and game mode, you create and name your character. Toward the beginning, your character is found lying in a field with no memory, and he or she is welcomed to be the tactician of a militia known as the Shepherds.

The story focuses on the trials of Chrom, the prince of Ylisse and leader of the Shepherds. King Gangrel of Plegia, a neighboring nation of Ylisse, eventually acts ruthlessly and tries to, at all costs, get a hold of the Fire Emblem, a priceless item vital to the world’s future. For safekeeping, the Fire Emblem is kept with Emmeryn, the exalt of Ylisse and Chrom’s older, more peaceful sister. Chrom’s tasks are to maintain the safety of the people of Ylisse, and to attempt to stop chaos from spreading across the world.

The game features a robust list of deeply developed characters. Each character in your expanding party is distinctive and has his or her own personality. For example, Chrom is compassionate toward his warriors and family; Lissa, Chrom’s younger sister, is a tomboy and, despite her vulnerability, she always wants to accompany her brother on the battlefield; Chrom’s lieutenant, Frederick, is tough, obedient and always willing to accomplish any task to please and protect Chrom and Lissa. There are multiple characters you’ll encounter on your journey; some of them are lovable, and some are annoying and forgettable, but each one of them is unique and provides a welcome addition to the roster.


      Nice to meet you, Marth… What’s with the mask?

The characters’ appearances are diverse, and the game’s visuals are bright, colorful and detailed. The game stands out as being one of the most visually appealing games on the Nintendo 3DS, because it features multiple art styles – all of which are charming; however, the 3D models of the characters display themselves as having the tiniest feet, which is quite noticeable and makes it seem like the bodies of all the characters are deformed.

To advance the story, there is an extensive use of scripted cutscenes throughout the game. The dialogue among the characters is usually between two characters at one time. The chat is well-written, and simply by reading the words of each character, you get a sense of his or her persona. Although not as common as the text-based dialogue, the game features beautifully-crafted animated cutscenes, which give the game a whole new life and allows you to see certain characters in a different, intuitive point of view.


I feel so helpless, but at least I have a pretty good seat…

Like previous installments in the series, the game plays as a turn-based tactical role-playing game. There are over 20 chapters, and each of which includes a battle and cutscenes. Battles in the game take place inside a grid, where the player must control Chrom and the Shepherds, known as units on the grid, to protect one another – all while routing the enemies. In each battle, you must try to protect the Shepherds by placing each unit on a square inside the grid that you think will be most beneficial for your team.

If you play the game in ‘Classic’ mode, you want to make sure all your units survive on the battlefield, because if they lose their entire HP, they die and won’t return to help you in the next battles you encounter – despite how many enemies you face at one time. In both game modes, because Chrom is the leader of the Shepherds, if he or your character dies, the game ends, and you’ll have to restart the game from the last place you saved. To survive and become victorious, players must take the time to think strategically to outwit enemies. A silly, careless move can result in the game being over, so it’s the players’ responsibility to continuously keep units on their toes.

Regardless of the difficulty level and game mode you select, nonetheless, the game provides an enjoyable experience to all, including returning veterans as well as series beginners. Fire Emblem Awakening is an exceptional game, and it’s the best title in the series yet, so make sure you pick it up when it arrives in North America tomorrow, February 4th, at retailers and in the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS.


This Is Life… This Is Death… This Is Fire Emblem: Awakening’s Epic TV Commercial

Nintendo of America today released a TV commercial for its upcoming tactical role-playing game. Exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS, Fire Emblem: Awakening launches at retailers and in the Nintendo eShop on February 4th in North America. Also launching on that day is the Fire Emblem: Awakening Nintendo 3DS hardware bundle, which will retail for $199.99. To those who’ve played through the demo of the game, which is downloadable for free from the Nintendo eShop, share your impressions in the comments below.