As an aside, I inherently have a problem with reviewing a game that’s essentially free. Yes, you can purchase a number of things to improve the experience, but it’s essentially DLC, an add on. So actually rating it feels weird to me.
That said, I can give my initial impressions of it. It…just makes me long to play other Fire Emblem games.
Developed by a combination of DeNA, Nintendo, and Intelligent Systems, Fire Emblem Heroes is the first mobile foray for Fire Emblem, where players can acquire a cast of characters from Fire Emblem history. So far the Shadow Dragon/Mystery of the Emblem games (Fire Emblem 1 & 3), Elibe games (Fire Emblem 6 & 7), Awakening (Fire Emblem 13), and Fates (Fire Emblem 15) have representation in the initial rollout of the app, with more coming down the line, not only from these games, but from other games in the series.
You can sort of see that this feels far more polished than most mobile games. This might be due to the delay — it was slated to come out last year, but was pushed back by Super Mario Run. From the amount of artwork, the voice work, to some of the music, the effort is definitely there.
Whether the concept is acceptable, your mileage may vary. As it’s a popular type of game in Japan, you can see all of the concepts in this one — from stamina to getting a few amount of orbs, to having to need some luck to not only get the character you want, but at a high level, it’s almost a nuisance, but only if you choose to fall prey to what the developers want. And that’s up to you.
The big issue with Fire Emblem Heroes is the gameplay. It’s a bite sized version of console Fire Emblem. With a 8×6 grid, no dodging, or permadeath, it’s definitely a light affair. This doesn’t mean it’s not engaging, and the absurd difficulty is there. But while I was moving along the story, I became unsatisfied.
Well, in general the story is unsatisfying but for a mobile game it’s fine. But the faster I completed the maps, the more I longed to actually sit down and play a console Fire Emblem game. I think that’s going to be the draw — people who feel like there’s more to this franchise can purchase the games on various consoles. Otherwise, this is something to spend maybe 30 minutes to an hour on throughout a day.
Maybe that’s going to be enough for some.