Friday Fun: Fire Emblem Heroes First Impressions

I swear I'm not using this series just to talk about games. This game just had...convenient timing. For those not familiar with the game, Fire Emblem Heroes is the new mobile Fire Emblem game. Since Fire Emblem is one of my favorite series and the game is free, I pretty much had no excuses. Overall, my opinion of the game is pretty positive. I think the strategy RPG works well as a mobile game and it's been a fun way to kill time on my phone.

The game still feels pretty incomplete, I guess, like not all of the content is there yet. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt, though, since it's a new game and I've seen pretty drastic changes in mobile games over time. The strategy is also toned down, but that's probably to be expected here. Anyway, let's run through what I've noticed so far.

Weapon triangle is huge

If you're not familiar with Fire Emblem games, the weapon triangle is basically just a system where certain weapon types have advantages against some weapon types and disadvantages against others. Typically, this translated into better accuracy when fighting at a weapon damage, with 1 or 2 extra damage. In Fire Emblem Heroes, accuracy doesn't exist, so instead the weapon advantage is beefed up to a 20% increase in damage. This makes it so that much of the battle's outcome depends on your weapon type composition and how you position them against your opponent's weapon type composition.

Yup, there's Gacha

Honestly, I think the summoning system in this game is fairly reasonable. I haven't spent a single dollar yet on the game and I've done probably 10+ full 5-unit summons. You get an orb for summoning for each story mission you complete. The percentage of getting a 5-star unit also increases with each 4-star summon, so you'll eventually get good units. Still, you're pretty much never going to get that one character you really want.

You reach post-game really fast

The story mode of the game is split into 9 chapters, each with 5 maps. There are also three "difficulties". I've been playing since release and I'm currently on chapter 9 of lunatic difficulty, so I'm pretty much 5 maps away from finishing the story missions. Just this week, there has been a new "story release", which opened up 3 new maps per difficulty. But at this rate, I have no idea what I'll do when I run out of story maps. There's also no incentive to replay maps because you get less experience for playing a map you've already completed.

Also, the reason I say "difficulties" is that the only real difference when going up a difficulty is a level increase. There's also no incentive to play a higher difficulty early because you need to finish the side quests for a lower difficulty before unlocking the side quests for a higher difficulty. So the game isn't too challenging overall.

Feathers are pretty salt-inducing

To give a little context, each unit has a star rating (I've alluded to this in the summoning section). When a unit upgrades to a higher star count, they gain access to high potential stats and stronger skills. The only way to achieve this upgrade and get 5-star units (other than getting really lucky in summons) is to spend Hero Feathers in order to upgrade your units. Unfortunately, going from 4-star to 5-star costs 20,000 feathers, which is a number I still have yet to reach even once (currently at 17,900).

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