On February 2nd, Intelligent Systems and Nintendo released the first mobile entry in the Fire Emblem series. As a series, Fire Emblem is almost 30 years old, the first release being in 1990, and it’s created many iconic characters throughout it’s long lifespan. In the latest installment, characters can find all of those well known heroes as well as lesser known heroes from the very first game until the very latest, Fire Emblem Fates.
I began playing the game on the 3rd, and the most notable thing I found from playing the game is that unless you’ve played every single game in the series, you’re bound to run into a lot of characters you’ve never seen before. I’ve only played Fire Emblem Fates, and besides the prominent characters from other games, I know very little about the long history of the series. But I do know that starting up Fire Emblem Heroes immediately took me back to my days of playing Birthright, and made me go find my 3DS again.
Though it’s clear making a mobile game limited the developers in how accurately they were able to replicate the experience of past games, they did their best, and they did a good job of it. Of course, some things had to be left off of the game, like some of the character stats, the class upgrading system, and the pairing/adjacent mechanic that allowed heroes to team up against the enemy for extra damage, but the game doesn’t feel like it’s lost very much for being so slimmed down, especially because all of these losses were made up for in the massive number of collectible heroes, and the fact that the “pay-to-win” currency isn’t very pay to win. Missions in the game resemble missions from the past games very closely, although the plot is slimmed down, the map sizes are smaller, and teams are made of only 4 units, but every mission gives a different reward, and a large number of the missions will give one or two of the in game currency.
Though they’ve done their fans a kindness by making the currency easily available, that doesn’t change the fact that it costs 5 of the currency to get one hero, and the occurrence rate of the most desirable characters is 4%, assuming that the summoning stone you want even shows up and you didn’t spend your 5 orbs on the wrong weapon class– because they won’t be refunded to you if you change your mind.
But don’t let the summoning get to you, because the art is attractive, the plot is simple and fun, the gameplay is true to traditional Fire Emblem games, and the collecting aspect is addictive while not being money-grubbing. If you enjoyed playing handheld Fire Emblem, games you’ll love Fire Emblem Heroes.