Shameless cash grab or a great game?: A Fire Emblem Heroes Review

Though Fire Emblem Heroes was released only about two weeks ago, I’ve spent quite some time on it and it is definitely fun. However, is it worth your time with so many other mobile games out there? Let’s dive in and find out.

Developer     : Inteligent system, Nintendo EPD
Publisher      : Nintendo
Platforms      : Android & IOS

Fire Emblem Heroes is Nintendo’s first free to play mobile game, excluding Miitomo. Now, what can I say? This game is simply amazing even for fans of the series. It stays true to its roots of Fire Emblem games on consoles, putting emphasis on strategy. Many of the concepts that the core Fire Emblem fans have come to know and love is brought into this rendition of the game as well.

For starters, there’s the weapon triangle that dictates strength and weaknesses of each character, which is very much like a game of rock, paper and scissors. Other small details are also brought into this game, such as bows being strong against flying units and some weapons being strong against armoured units or dragons.

However the scale of the game is brought down quite significantly compared to the console games since you can only control 4 units as opposed to the console games, where you can control up to 10 or more units. The maps are also resized significantly as the map size will always fits your mobile phone screen and there is no need to scroll to see the entirety of the map.

This would probably upset the hardcore fans who would want the full Fire Emblem experience on their mobile phone. However, I think this is a really good trade-off for a better mobile gaming experience. We don’t need a mobile game that is extremely deep in strategy when most of us play mobile games on-the-go. Fire Emblem Heroes has striped all of the extra stuff from the core Fire Emblem games to its fundamentals. They have removed things like items, pair up, critical hits, – things that serve to make the game more complex.

The game experience is improved tremendously by making the game as basic as possible and all of the controls are very intuitive. You just drag your units to wherever you want it to go and initiate attacks by dragging your unit to the enemy. The game controls are smooth and very clean as I picked up the game without wrestling with the controls at all.

Since this is a mobile game, we all know what that means right? Micro – transactions…. the bane of all gamers. However, I got to say that they handled the micro – transaction aspect of the game surprisingly well. The in game currency are orbs and it is used for things such as summoning new units, upgrading your inventory and so on.

Luckily, orbs are quite easily obtained throughout normal play, you get one Orb every time you clear a story mission and there are 135 of those right now including different difficulty settings. That is enough to summon up to 30 characters. Besides that, orbs are also given during in-game events or when you clear challenges which means you get plenty of ways to get orbs without having to resort to using your hard earned cash.

Of course, this game is not without flaws. As of now, the game is still relatively deprived of content since there really isn’t much to do and the gameplay gets quite repetitive after some time. One of the worst things about this game is perhaps the limited interactions with your units. Support system is a core part of the Fire Emblem series where you can unlock dialogues between the characters, allowing you to learn more about your beloved characters and perhaps more importantly, let you ship characters into love and marriage. Support system will be something a lot of people hope Fire Emblem Heroes implements in the near future.

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So far, the game is still very new and many improvements can be made. Nintendo has also promised that they will regularly update this game in the future, up to once every two weeks, which is a really nice pace for new content to roll out. I expect new characters, new story missions as well as new event battles to be introduced and I’ll still be around to try all of it when it comes out.


This game isn’t perfect at its current state, in fact they are far from it. However, they’ve got a lot of good things going on with the game. As a pretty new Fire Emblem fan myself, I like how they captured the core Fire Emblem experience and made it enjoyable in short bursts while playing on your phone, just like how it’s supposed to.

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