You’ve been summoned to an unknown land called Askr, on the brink of war. The royal family of Askr has the ability to open portals to other worlds, and the royal family of the neighbouring kingdom, the ‘Emblians’, close these portals. The Emblian princess, Veronica, refuses to close these portals, instead, invading the worlds. Once she invades a world, she takes forces the world’s heroes into a contract to help her invade Askr. That’s where you come in, you help the kingdom of Askr summon heroes and liberate the worlds that Veronica and her army have conquered.
The gameplay is pretty simple, there’s maps and you drag characters to parts of the map to attack enemies. You can create teams of four, and go through a main story, first in normal mode. You can then unlock hard and lunatic modes. Each chapter is dedicated to one of the worlds of Fire Emblem, for example there’s the ‘World of Conquest’ focusing on Fire Emblem: Conquest characters, and the ‘World of Awakening’ with Fire Emblem: Awakening characters. Besides the story, you can battle other people, check out the training tower and do side stories to recruit special characters. In the battle arena, if you there’s ‘seasons’ where you have to aim to defeat 7 people in a row. You can be ranked on how well you perform in the arena and gain special rewards.
The most exciting part of ‘Heroes’ is the ability to summon characters using orbs. To summon a character cost 5 orbs, but if you summon consecutively the next character is cheaper. Characters can be rated with either 5, 4, 3 stars, the higher the star rating, the better the hero. You can also summon multiples of the same hero with different star ratings. So far I’ve done about 5 summonings, I’ve received 3, 4 star heroes and 2, 3 star heroes. But fear not, if you get a character you love, as a 3 star, you can increase their rating through ‘advance growth’. Interestingly, most of my characters that I’ve summoned have been from ‘Fire Emblem: Fates’!
Negatives: I started playing the Fire Emblem series around when Fire Emblem: Awakening came out. While I’m all for the strategy and battles, the main reason I loved Fire Emblem was the bonds you can make with your team and how immersive it is through character customisation. Both of these parts are lost in the mobile app, you can’t interact with your characters, and you’re essentially a faceless entity fighting alongside them. The best you can do is give yourself a name. I’ve also found the story to be truly lacking, while the heroes are ‘conscripted’ by Veronica, they still fight so hard against you. I can’t really see them doing that, these ‘good’ heroes fighting so hard for an evil that forces their hand. I was also pretty peeved in chapter 2 when Xander agrees to keep fighting for Veronica because she reminds him of Corrin – just really shoddy characterisation.
Furthermore I found the new royals in both kingdoms just really bland, with next to no character development. There’s a scene where Sharena (Askr), tells her brother, Alfonse, that she’s become friends with the heroes. He chastises her saying she shouldn’t make friends with them. I was just confused by this scene – it’s a real deviation from the friendly characters in previous Fire Emblem games. Another issue is with summoning, characters always arrive at level 1, and you have to grind to get them levelled up appropriately.
One other aspect that is a bit of a half and half for me is the artwork. It’s been really amazing seeing how they’ve re-designed all these old characters, many of whom I’ve never met before. But there’s just no continuity in the art style, you can see below with Gunter and Lon’qu – it’s art from two completely different games!
Positives: As I mentioned above, the re-design of old characters has really been amazing, as well as how most of the game is fully voiced. I also really liked the chibi characters in the battles and maps, a lot of detail has been put into their design. I’m also glad about being able to battle people from around the world, but it would be nice if Nintendo allowed us to log in via Facebook to connect our friends to the game, and maybe even trade heroes.
Overall the game is alright, it’s definitely not the revolutionary Fire Emblem game I was hoping for. There’s heaps of issues with story, and characters – which tends to be Nintendo’s strong point, so they’ve really dropped the ball here. Grinding is no stranger to fire emblem fans, so we’re used to it, but I just wish I felt all the time I’ll be spent training was worth it. The game is completely free and available for download on apple and android. After you download, make sure to sign in with your Nintendo account to get freebies!
If you’re a Fire Emblem fan, check out the upcoming Fire Emblem Echoes game. You can preorder it through Amazon! If you do order it, please do so through this link, as I am part of the affiliate program (just click the image)