Yesterday Fire Emblem Heroes launched on iPhone and Android making it the third Nintendo game to hit mobile devices. As a long time Fire Emblem fan I was nervous about the series making the jump to free to play. After putting several hours into Fire Emblem Heroes though I’m looking forward to the game’s future.
The set up for Fire Emblem Heroes is a bit ridiculous. You are a summoner and your job is to help the kingdom of Akr stop the Emblian Empire (yes that’s there name) from enslaving heroes. At least that’s what I think the Emblian Empire is doing. It doesn’t matter because the story is only there to justify why Fire Emblem characters from different games have to fight each other.
Gameplay in Fire Emblem Heroes is very similar to gameplay in the main series of games, but it’s a bit simpler. The maps you play on are much smaller, weapons no longer break and permadeath has been completely removed from the game. It’s still a Fire Emblem game though, don’t let the game’s adorable aesthetic fool you. Bows can shoot flying units out of the sky, magic users are still fragile and the series’ weapon triangle is even included. Nintendo hasn’t sacrificed the complexity the series is known for in favor of a quick free to play cash in.
So what free to play elements are in Fire Emblem Heroes? Similar to other free to play games, Fire Emblem Heroes uses several different currencies like orbs, crystals and feathers. Orbs are what you’ll be hunting for the most as they’re used to summon characters from all over the Fire Emblem universe, to level up your barracks so you can collect more heroes or upgrade your castle to allow for EXP boosts. Orbs can either be earned through playing the game normally or bought with real money. Other currencies, like the crystals and feathers, are used for unlocking skills or leveling up characters.
At the moment I haven’t felt the need to spend any money on Orbs, and I already have a team of powerful heroes that’s helping me plow through the maps. This feels normal for these types of games though. They’ll give you plenty of free currency and then take it away as soon as you need it. However the best part about Fire Emblem Heroes is that I can play it as much as I want right now. Playing each map costs stamina and the more difficult the map the higher the stamina cost. I haven’t gone below 40 of my 50 stamina right now, and although I’m not sure if that will change as I play further I’m looking forward to collecting more and more characters from all across the series’ history.
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