Fire Emblem: Heroes
Game review on Android
Jared Prestwidge / Mon 6th Feb 2017
196 views / 1 bite
OVERVIEW Despite suffering from the usual frustrations prevalent in most mobile-based games, Fire Emblem: Heroes shines in its presentation and gameplay, offering great incentives for players of any experience.
The story of Fire Emblem: Heroes can perhaps be equated to a combination of Pokemon, and an episode of a Justice League cartoon.
Your goal is to recruit classic characters from all over Fire Emblem's long history, and unite them to defeat all evil doers.
Now this might sound super elaborate and fan-service-y, and that's because it is. A veteran of the franchise will revel in the opportunity to control their favourite characters again, while new players will have to wade through the lacklustre plot without this added nostalgia.
The gameplay is basic Fire Emblem, but more streamlined and designed for players unfamiliar with the series. The trademark 'Permadeath' is omitted, as well as the Support feature. Weapon and item shops are also gone,with each character able to wield a limited number of weapons (determined by their default class).
The map is also considerably smaller, with only four maximum characters available to you. This does result in a simpler, and all around easier game, but better suits the mobile platform.
Despite the fun and engaging gameplay, the micro-transaction features somewhat stifle the game's potential. In order to recruit new characters to your cause, you must earn and trade orbs. When beginning the campaign,you are given a seemingly generous amount of orbs, but they do not last.
For each main quest victory, you are awarded one orb. A new (randomly assigned) character costs five orbs. Three orbs cost $2.99 AUS, and if you want to collect every character in the game, you will most likely have to resort to paying for them. The game also implements a stamina system, which limits how long you can play.
To play a match it costs stamina points. You can replenish your stamina metre with items, taking a break from play, or by spending orbs. This may not bother those who only play a few matches a day, but may prove to alienate those who wish to spend extended time levelling up their characters.
Fire Emblem: Heroes' presentation is by far its greatest strength. As soon as you start up the game you are treated to a gorgeous cinematic, and as you navigate through the menu and battle systems, the classic Fire Emblem imagery and designs absolutely shine.
Character designs are especially effective, and purposefully reference the original art of the games from which they originate. On the battlefield, the hand drawn characters are changed to animated chibi form when navigating and conducting an attack. Overall,the production value is quite impressive, especially considering the game is free -to-play.
The audio works hand in hand with the visuals to immerse you in its Fire Emblem splendour. The sound effects and music are familiar, but in a good way.
Heroes is basically a love letter to the games that came before, but has gone just that little extra bit further. The game also features decent voice acting, giving us a greater depth to the characters from the older games in the franchise.
VERDICT The micro transactions and limitations are an annoyance, but they are fortunately overshadowed by fantastic presentation, and a clear love for its franchise's history. The simplified gameplay may turn off old school players, but if you're looking to try your hand at the tactical RPG genre on a budget, look no further than Fire Emblem: Heroes.