Fire Emblem Heroes (February 2017)

System:
Publisher:
Developer:
Series:
Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem: Heroes is a Fire Emblem lite title Nintendo has created for smart-phone devices. Going into the game I didn’t expect anything as amazing as a fully fleshed out Fire Emblem title, nevertheless, I was surprised with how much was actually squeezed into this mobile title. Why is that? Let’s find out.

Advertisement

Fire Emblem: Heroes the Review

Gameplay

Fire Emblem: Heroes is a decent game for it being mobile. It is free to play with in-app purchases. You take a team of four heroes to battle through a series of small bite-size fire emblem battles.

Fire Emblem: Heroes

Weapon Triangle for Fire Emblem: Heroes

These battles work like Fire Emblem in the sense that the weapon triangle is basically the same. Axe beats lance, lance beats sword, and sword beats ax. Same is true with the different types of magic.

The thing that kind of frustrates me that they took out was the chance of dodging an attack. This kind of nerfs characters with high dodge attacks, and doesn’t make it a gamble when you attack a character. They also took out the magic stat and now every unit just uses “attack”.

Also, mages and thieves can no longer attack up close and far away. This takes away the one thing that was unique about these units. Now they are just as open as an archer. This isn’t really true traditional Fire Emblem gameplay, and if people play the other Fire Emblem games, they’ll find this out quickly.

Fire Emblem: Heroes is a good distraction from the mainline Fire Emblem games.

The tablets used for summoning new heroes

The game is turn based. Meaning you take your turn, and then the other person takes their turn in traditional fire emblem style. However, you’ll notice if you’ve played other installments is that the units don’t move nearly as far as they do in other games. For good reason of course, because the maps are far smaller than other Fire Emblem games.

This is understandable because it’s on a smart device instead of a 3ds or home console. This need to be zoomed in so people can touch each unit and move them accordingly.

Which brings me to the point of the actual movement. The default is to click and drag your unit over whatever another unit you wish to interact with. This is very counterintuitive for most Fire Emblem games.

After a ton of time with the app, though, I’ve gotten used to it. You can also just change the option to confirm action from the options menu.

Fire Emblem: Heroes

Orb pricing

Most of the time I chose auto-battle because that way the game can play itself while I did something else. Although, I have seen the computer do really stupid moves and murder my whole team. I’ve even seen the game go on a loop. For about 5 minutes the units just couldn’t kill each other. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen often.

Let’s talk about orbs. Orbs are the in-game currency to do things like summon heroes and improve your castle. Purchasing the orbs can be VERY expensive. But if you want to pay for a better team, by all means, go ahead.

The other way to get orbs can be from simply beating story stages. This can take you a very long time but is a good way to get orbs without paying tons of money.

You can also take your units through the battle tower to grind out levels and get badges to level up units. These are great for leveling up your units outside the main game.

Fire Emblem: Heroes

from right to left, Takumi, Roy, Lyn, Camilla

You can also take your team through the battle arena to earn points for feathers. Feathers are necessary for raising a level 20 unit from one-star rank to another. Such as a 4 star Robin to a 5 star Robin. These are needed to create better units. They are EXTREMELY hard to get, and you can’t buy them. The only way to get the feathers are through sheer skill in the arena.

You can also assign skills to your units with skill points acquired through battle. These improve units in various ways. More speed, attack, etc.

Story

Don’t play this game for the story.

The story in Fire Emblem: Heroes is vague and truthfully not very good. I ended up skipping most of it because it couldn’t keep my interest. Don’t play this game for the story. There are far better stories in the Fire Emblem Universe.

Visuals

From the left: Robin, Lucina, Marth

The new character portraits are very nice. They have a couple different art styles in the game. They have a comic book art feel (for characters like Arthur and Hector), and a softer look (for characters like Hinoka and Lyn). These are great to look at and make collecting the different heroes fun to do.

They also made chibi versions of every character which look like the characters from Scribblenauts. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just looks similar. It is nice how they made each chibi look like the character they represent. After all, this hasn’t been the case in every single Fire Emblem game.

Overall, the visuals are nice and appealing on the smart device.

Sound

Marth: The Hero King

The music in this game is sub-par. The midi doesn’t sound it’s best, and it’s kind of annoying. In particular, there is a bass sound that’s I can’t get out of my head. It’s extremely twangy and electronic sounding. It was a huge contrast from all the other orchestral sounds.

On the other hand, though, they have recorded voice work for all of the characters. This is awesome. It’s not phenomenal, but it’s above average. It was a blast to hear all the characters speak. Especially the ones that never got a chance to speak before.

Overall, the sound design was meh. Between the music and the voice-over work.

Difficulty

Fire Emblem: Heroes has three difficulties. Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Normal is doable, Hard is feasible, and Lunatic is just plain insane.

All I got to say is if you want to beat Lunatic, hopefully, you have a straight team of 5-star characters.

This game doesn’t feel very balanced.

This game doesn’t feel very balanced. But, that’s just because they want you to keep buying orbs for characters. That’s just the nature of free to play games.

Conclusion

Fire Emblem: Heroes is a good distraction from the mainline Fire Emblem games.

If you are a newcomer to the series and aren’t necessarily ready to commit, then get this app. It’ll introduce the basics of Fire Emblem without punishing you too much.

Overall it’s a good experience that makes me want to go play more mainline Fire Emblem games. That (I believe) is the ultimate goal of this app.

Fire Emblem Heroes

Free to play with in-app purchases
Fire Emblem Heroes
6.8

Gameplay

8/10

Story

5/10

Visuals

8/10

Sound

7/10

Difficulty

7/10

Pros

  • It's Fire Emblem Lite
  • Most of your favorite characters are here
  • All characters are re-drawn
  • All characters are voice acted

Cons

  • Getting feathers is a pain
  • Orbs are possibly too expensive
  • Random draws can be rough



Skylar DeWeese

Hello, my name is Skylar DeWeese. I’m a long-time Nintendo gamer. I’m also a Video Game Composer. My favorite series are the Super Mario, Metroid, and Pokemon series.