Fire Emblem Heroes: Impressions

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Fire Emblem Heroes features a host of old and new characters.

If this title screen for Fire Emblem Heroes does not get you pumped up for adventure, then nothing will.

Nintendo has released their next mobile game! The gaming juggernaut has expanded into mobile gaming, and has brought their popular Fire Emblem series into the market. Fire Emblem Heroes combines the series’ rich history with a fresh new story that everyone can enjoy. Fire Emblem’s addicting game play is back and better optimized to fit the speed of mobile games. You can pick up the game, play and finish a quick battle all in the span of a few short minutes. Of course, that is not all there is to Fire Emblem Heroes. This article will try to remain spoiler free, while still delivering news and insights into the game.

Fire Emblem Heroes, My First Impressions

When you first start the game, an animated scene plays that tells you the gist of the story. Without giving too much away, you (the player) are summoned to the kingdom of Askr. The royal families of  Askr, and its fellow kingdom Embla possess a mysterious power. The power to open and close portals to other worlds. Then you go through various worlds throughout Fire Emblem history, righting the wrongs the villains have wrought.

This felt like a pleasant way to introduce the conflict to the player. It also feels like a justifiable way to explain how these heroes from so many different kingdoms can interact together. And speaking of different kingdoms, the Fire Emblem Heroes roster is expansive. I believe that part of the joy in this game is discovering which heroes are available to the player, so I won’t go into tremendous detail. Nintendo has included heroes from the first game, all the way through to the latest Fire Emblem Fates games. Needless to say, you will find one (or several) heroes that you will enjoy having on your team.

There is also plenty to do on any given day in Fire Emblem Heroes. Completing the daily Training Tower rewards you with level up items. You can challenge rival armies three times a day to get special items as well. And there are special maps which rotate, and award you with a different hero if you complete map conditions. It will take a single person quite a while to explore all there is with Fire Emblem Heroes.

The Gameplay

The main story of the game takes place over the course of 9 chapters. Each chapter is about 5 stages long. The earlier chapters do a great job of explaining how the game works. After that however the difficulty ramps up fairly quickly, although it is not as difficult as previous Fire Emblem games. In each stage you take your team of four heroes to battle against the enemies team of four heroes. These battles require less time than other Fire Emblem games, and can be wrapped up in about 5 to 10 minutes. But just because they take less time does not make them any less fun. I found the quicker speed to perfectly fit the mobile nature of the game and does not take away any of the fun experiences. These battles, while short, will still require you to employ strategy in order to win.

The list of heroes in this game is quite impressive, as previously mentioned. Each of this heroes fills a role, and most heroes have certain traits that make them useful against a particular enemy. So while you may love a select 4 heroes, if they do not compliment each other well, you are going to have difficulties in the future. The weapons triangle is back, and is prominently displayed in the bottom corner of every stage. Make sure you have heroes that not only have complimentary traits, but weapons as well.

A lot of mobile tactical RPG games employ a star-value system with their heroes, and Fire Emblem Heroes is no different. As far as I have seen, the highest value hero is 5 stars, and raising your hero’s star value is a fairly taxing process. Additionally, increasing the star value of your hero can be cost intensive.

Pros and Cons

If you are a fan of the artwork in the Fire Emblem series, you are going to love Fire Emblem Heroes. Each character has such great detail in their design, and they truly feel like unique personalities. This level of detail is evident in both character splashes like the one below, and their battle screen avatars.

Alfonse prepares for battle.

Alfonse is ready to skewer this enemy fighter.

Equally as impressive as the artwork is the music in the game.The title screen music truly feels epic and gets you excited to do something as simple as press start. Coupled with this is the battle music, which matches the intensity of the combat it plays over.

One thing I find to be a bit overwhelming about the game is the sheer amount of currencies that are available. There are four different colors of badges, which increase the star value of your hero. Not only that but there are normal and Great versions of each badge. Great badges increase your hero star value to level 5. In addition to badges, there are also five different types of shard and five different types of crystals. Shards and crystals increase hero levels, so you do not need to actively play with everyone to increase their level. There are Orbs, which is the games “premium” currency, Feathers, which unlock potential, stamina and PVP replenishing potions and a full heal item. It becomes a lot to remember and can sometimes feel intimidating. Luckily there is an inventory screen that helps you keep track of it all.

Another con is that the Player Arena (PVP) feels like an afterthought. You play against a rival’s four hero army, but they are controlled by the AI. This makes battles quite easy, since the AI will not use advanced tactics.

Conclusion

Fire Emblem Heroes marks another successful entry into the mobile gaming market for Nintendo. Fans of the long established series will find plenty to love about Heroes, and new fans will find a pleasant entry to the Fire Emblem universe as well. However this game is much easier than the previous entries in the series. Veterans who are looking for a challenge, may not be fully satisfied. Veterans who crave more Fire Emblem, will leave quite content. I am enjoying my time with Fire Emblem Heroes, and have spent much more time playing this than Super Mario Run. Each time I get a new hero, I feel like my hard work has been rewarded, and I anxiously level them up. This game is worth a download, as its price tag is unbeatable (free).

Did you download Fire Emblem Heroes? Do you enjoy it as much as I do? Who have you unlocked and what is your favorite team of four? Tell me all about your experiences with Fire Emblem Heroes in the comments below!

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