Fire Emblem Heroes First Impressions

In an Iwata Asks, it was mentioned that Fire Emblem Awakening was their “swan song.” Had Awakening not succeeded, the plethora of Fire Emblem content we have now would not have existed. Now we have Fire Emblem Heroes, a mobile game that mixes heroes from all other games into one.

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At the start, it drops you immediately into a tutorial with this game’s version of Anna. The tutorial includes all the basics that veterans of Fire Emblem are familiar with already. For those who are new to the game though, it does an excellent job explaining the franchise’s Rock-Paper-Scissors weapon triangle which is a central mechanic in any Fire Emblem. Because the maps for combat are small and teams are limited to 4 heroes, formulating a strategy for each encounter is not as much a challenge as the main series games. This is excellent for a mobile game, since you probably would not commit as much time as you would a full title. For the veterans, sadly, there is no permanent death of your characters so the careful planning to avoid death is not relevant here. However, due to the low party size and the fact that you don’t always have a healer, I’m glad it was not included.

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I have not finished the story yet, mostly out of laziness, but it’s exactly as shallow as you would expect from a mobile game. Big bad is trying to take over using heroes from other realms, and you’re the tactician that can summon other heroes into battle to save this realm. Summoning in Heroes uses a gacha-style hero vending machine where you insert in game currency, called Orbs, and it spits out a hero. Orbs are acquired from completing missions on each difficulty for the first time, log in rewards, or with real money. These orbs also are used for upgrading your castle which provides a permanent experience boost to your units.

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Thankfully, Heroes provides daily quests that let you recruit a new hero for completing it so you do not always need to spend orbs to get new heroes. Leveling the new recruits is not as rough as I thought it would have been. You can grind out the training missions for experience or spend shards, another in game currency, to quickly level the recruit. While the dailies are nice, nothing feels as satisfying as summoning your favorite hero during the summoning process.

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Overall it’s a really fun addition to the franchise. Whether you’re new or a veteran, Heroes is definitely worth picking up. The fun-sized battles and the thrill of finding out which hero you summon from the vending machine all add up to a worthwhile mobile game. It’s free to download on the Google Play store and Apple App Store, the only money you spend would be how much you value getting the characters you want. My phone’s home screen will definitely keep a shortcut to this game for a good while, will yours?

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