Andre Calvert’s Favorite Games of 2017
Fire Emblem Heroes (Android)
Developers: Intelligent Systems, Nintendo EPD
Never in my wildest dreams years ago would I have imagined that a mobile game would make my Favorite Games list of any year, but here we are… As a fan of strategy RPGs of the past, this stripped down version of the Fire Emblem reminded me of Shining Force from the Sega Genesis. The gameplay of Fire Emblem Heroes is simple enough to understand immediately, but also provides a challenge at the highest difficulty levels. As someone who has played the game everyday since release in February 2017, I can say this exceeded my expectations. I thought I would be bored by now, but not only has it kept me interested, but the game has made feature improvements to make the game better than it already was. For example, on release there was a 50 stamina limit, but it has since been extended to 99. The “gacha” system of summoning heroes is fairly forgiving in my opinion, as I never felt as a 100% free player that I had to shell out money to obtain more orbs than what the game provided for free.
For seasoned Fire Emblem fans, things like art, voices for each character, and the characters themselves chosen from specific games will be the most appealing aspect. For me. as someone who is not familiar with Fire Emblem I have no predisposed opinion or bias towards any specific character and I’m still enjoying it enough to keep playing. Underrated in Fire Emblem Heroes is the music and animations, which for a mobile game is very impressive. The story is a standalone with made up characters, but I stopped caring about the story and only care and the gameplay aspects of characters and leveling them up. The Arena mode is PVP, and only at the highest of high level tiers will players might feel pressured to shell out money to compete, but players can still get rewarded enough at the lower tiers that it shouldn’t really be a concern.
The last thing that keeps this game relevant daily are the community events, quest rewards daily and monthly, and log-in bonuses. If players play long enough they will realize just how generous Intelligent Systems is with rewards, as they provide forgiveness rewards when they make mistakes and continue to make feature improvements. The developers do listen. The only reason why Fire Emblem Heroes did not make the top spot of my Favorite Games of 2017 list is because my other pick was the total package in the game experience. I do have to say, Fire Emblem Heroes was very close to being my #1.