Almost two weeks after its release, Fire Emblem Heroes has still kept me entertained.
For anyone who has played Nintendo games, the tactical role-playing Fire Emblem franchise has been a constant presence across several platforms. From Gameboy Advances, to Gamecube, to Wii and with the latest, to the 3DS, Fire Emblem has evolved and changed. Some of the stories have even expanded upon past games, such as the Radiant Dawn sequel that fell a little flat in comparison to the Path of Radiance game for the GameCube.
Fire Emblem has even been a relative constant within the Smash Brothers series, with characters such as Marth, Roy, Ike and now even Robin and Corrin from the two most recent games making appearances.
Now, in its most recent reincarnation, Fire Emblem has broken into the mobile market. The game was released Feb. 2 for both Android and Apple.
Critics received it well and with roughly 160,700 reviews on Google Play, the game is still holding 4.6 stars out of 5. To date, there have been at least 1 million downloads.
I personally don’t play a lot of mobile games. I get bored after a few days and then never touch the game again, but Fire Emblem Heroes is a rare exception.
Sure, the story arc is rather short featuring only a few hours of gameplay involved, but it also offers a chance to increase difficulty all the way up to “Lunatic.” The story itself doesn’t change, but the ability to play through with different characters or try different tactics makes it different every time.
Gameplay from the series has transferred over to mobile well, and while this version isn’t as elaborate as the main series, it is a fun distraction. Certain mechanics make it hard to binge-play such as stamina and slow leveling up after level 15, but that is why it fits into mobile well.
The game itself is free to download, and while money can be used to buy orbs in order to summon new heroes, it isn’t necessary. Special maps are available regularly throughout the week and if the winning conditions are met, players can earn heroes from them.
The mobile game offers a chance to “summon” heroes that have been in several of the games leading up to this point, including those from the recent Fates and Awakening games. This is where the game gets its name. The player is a prophesied summoner from the 21st century who has to help the Order of Heroes protect the kingdom of Askr from the invading Embla empire.
To do this, the player summons heroes from other games. Heroes include the widely hated Takumi from “Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright” as well as Lyn, a swordsman from “Fire Emblem,” also known as “Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword.” Upgrading the castle leads to having more heroes available, and advanced growth options can help characters increase rank from bronze to silver, to gold.
While I do enjoy the game, and I think making a mobile game of Fire Emblem has worked tremendously better than the move with Pokemon ever did, I feel as though this was just meant as a placeholder.
I would be interested in having a full-fledged game about the kingdom of Askr and the Embla empire, or if maybe there will be more levels and chapters to come out at a future time since I was left unsatisfied with the ending chapter. It was over quickly and there was no definite solution to the problem at hand.
Even with this slight criticism, and as a fan of the main series, I would recommend the game to anyone who is looking for some fun, cute tactical-strategy game that is easy to pick up and put down.
Claire Whitley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Cewhitley24