One step closer to me finally purchasing that elusive 3DS. Nintendo confirmed the English title for Fire Emblem: Awakening, because that's what everyone was calling it anyway, and went ahead and released the game's first English trailer during their Nintendo Direct broadcast this morning.

Fire Emblem might not be the flashiest or most iconic Nintendo franchise, but besides Mario and his platformers, I would say that it's the most consistent, delivering solid and challenging strategy gameplay with every release.

The only problem is that the series has had trouble adapting to modern graphics. The sprites used from the first Famicom game all the way to the last Game Boy Advance game captured the art style perfectly and had great flowing animation, but the last three games to reach American shores have been unsightly.

The DS game used awful pre-rendered graphics, while the GameCube and Wii games resembled the bare-boned graphics of a turn of the millennium PS2 launch title. It's a shame Intelligent Systems hasn't back up their unrivaled gameplay with decent visuals for quite some time.

Not so with Fire Emblem: Awakening, though. I'm impressed with how the Nintendo 3DS can make this series look more striking than its two big console brothers ever could. The overhead view might still use cookie cutter sprites to represent the units on the map, but once those gorgeous 3D character models start swinging swords at each other, then it's lights out.

Hopefully this game will supercharge the series' popularity in America because Fire Emblem has a 25th anniversary just around the corner, and I want all those SNES games in English on a single convenient disc! If you gave XCOM Enemy Unknown a chance, then this will be right up your alley. Fair challenge that is oh-so satisfying once you escape a battle unscathed.

Fire Emblem: Awakening doesn't have a release date yet, but it's expected some time early next year.

[via Siliconera]