Fire Emblem Heroes
Everybody in their lifetime has always wanted to create a dream team of their own favorites. Whether mixing superheroes together into their very own league of heroes, to building a team of the best athletes known to man; everyone has their favorites. With Nintendo’s latest mobile game, fans of the popular Fire Emblem series may have that dream come true. To the uninitiated, Fire Emblem Heroes is Nintendo’s fourth mobile game based off the strategic JRPG series that is known for its sheer difficulty, intricate storylines and exotic cast of characters. Though for the mobile version, it creates a very simplified version of the series.
To start things off, you (the player) is summoned by accident by a group called the Order of Heroes, an organization who’s objective is to protect the heroes of the Fire Emblem universe from being slaves and should be left alone to live freely. The order is led by a red-headed and cheery character named Anna and the royal siblings of the kingdom of Askr, Alphonse, and Sareena. They inform you that their neighbors and former allies the Emblian Empire has invaded the Kingdom of Askr and worst off have begun to enslave the heroes of the Fire Emblem universe. In the heat of battle, you are revealed to be able to summon heroes to fight on your behalf (a key mechanic in the game) such as the posh and pompous archer named Virion. Throughout the short story, you have to defeat the heroes in their worlds to free them from Emblian control.
Gameplay is pretty simplistic as it uses its own form of a rock-paper-scissors since the original game had its weapon triangle (Sword beats axes, axes beat lances and lances beat swords). In Heroes, it’s Red beats green, green beats blue and blue beats red. The Maps are small for a four versus four. Though it’s mostly the same mission of killing all enemies on the map so if you’re expecting something on par with an actual Fire Emblem game you’re going to be a tad bit disappointed. For playing the game, it can be a bit of a pickle as you control the actions with your finger. Abilities and equipment are managed differently where some support abilities like buffing or healing require you to move your unit to another allied unit; another is how the particular skills like the multi-attacking Astra have a countdown that goes down when attacked or attacking.
The game has an interesting yet conflicting art style when it comes to the characters. For starters, characters like Tharja and Lucina do have that vibe of a similar artist, but when you look some heroes like Arthur or Hector, it has a different style from a different artist. Though this can be good to have different artists if this was a card game, since this is a video game, this can be really confusing to some people due to the style. The chibi-style animation for the combat is cute as you watch your heroes fighting the enemy. A unique feature that makes the art interesting is that there is a “normal” picture of the character and a “Damaged” version, showing the character’s clothes or armor damaged; giving the vivid distress to their situation. The top notch is the voice acting in the game. Not full dialogues but interesting snips and quotes done well. To make things interesting, the voice actor’s names are mentioned in the character’s stats as well.
The only major gripe of this dream team of a game is acquiring heroes for your army. In Fire Emblem Heroes you use a currency called Orbs, which are used for summoning heroes. It costs 5 orbs a hero(which the price diminishes the more summons you use) So 20 orbs net five heroes randomly. However, the free orbs are limited in the game until you have to spend money on buying orbs for heroes. Luckily, the game has given free heroes for players to get and acquire (and before this review, Nintendo has released an event to acquire the narcissistic Wyvern Rider named Narcian and released 4 new heroes onto their shop). However, to get some strong heroes from the start you will have to be dependent on acquiring them randomly, so acquiring the heroes you want are heavily dependent on chance. You can also increase the rarity of your heroes too, which is expensive too and can be a grind if you end up with a low rarity hero.
So when it comes to this game, it’s the fantasy football and dream team build up for any Fire Emblem fan that enjoys collecting and building their dream team of heroes they want. Sure the story isn’t deep, and the game’s acquisition of heroes is limited for those who don’t want to spend a dime; the art style and ease of access do make it a real fun game to play. So whether you want to kill some time dreaming of Camilla and Lucina fighting Marth and Roy or battling Hector in the arena with Takumi, this game is not bad for a spin off mobile game. Hopefully, this game will improve in the future, and we might get to see new heroes. Heck, I’m still dreaming of the day I can have Ike and the Black Knight fighting side by side in my dream team. Until that day happens, I can dream and be satisfied with my team of favorites for the time being.