The gaming industry shook when Nintendo announced it is entering the mobile gaming scene, since the company has always been about selling hardware more than software. Fire Emblem Heroes is perhaps the company’s first true Free-to-Play mobile game, and it launched in Japan hours ago, which will be followed by the Western launch in less than a day. I took a quick look at the game!
Fans of the Fire Emblem series will no doubt be pleased, since the game gathered almost all heroes from the different Fire Emblem games. The heroes are grouped into different classes (coded by the color orbs), and into different star grades, a common feature in gacha-based mobile games. I am not really familiar with the series, and none of the heroes really appealed to me as someone new.
Combat is turn-based, which is shown in the gameplay footage I recorded above. I am not used to the different 2D art styles (since they got different artists to draw for different heroes) pairing with the “chibi” mode heroes during combat. It looks like a total mess to me! Customization for each hero is very limited, and it is mostly based on advancing in star rating and unlocking new skills.
As a newly-launched title, I am perhaps too critical from just around 2 hours of gameplay (additional hour added after I wrote this post), but I really expected much from Nintendo. While there are certainly limitations developing for mobile devices, much more could still be done. It is still early days, and hopefully Nintendo will shower Fire Emblem Heroes with updates moving forward.