February 2nd, 2019 marked the two year anniversary of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes on iOS and Android. The game has been on my homescreen since launch, and I find myself tapping away at the game on a mostly-daily basis. Even though I allllmost stopped playing last year, I’m still in the game, and still enjoying the new content. Despite the game being over two years old, it’s still kept fresh with frequent updates, new game modes, new characters, and even a brand new story to lure players back, time and time again.
Can you remember what FEH was back when it launched? It’s changed so much, it’s hard to imagine those ancient days. I remember the meta revolving around Takumi, and his ability to follow-up attack easily, as well as hit enemies from a range of 1 or 2 (or something like that). The story mode and the arena were the only two game modes aside from the training tower, and even all of those I’m not sure were even available at launch. Currently there are multiple books in the main storyline, two brand new constant game modes, multiple special events running at one time, and Takumi is no where near the top of the current meta.
There’s a ton you can do without paying anything for this game, and that’s one of the reasons I still find myself playing.
This dynamic approach to gameplay is what kept me playing for over two years. Or, at the very least, logging in a claiming my gifts and playing a few rounds. The game always felt like something new was happening. I always felt like I was gaining some reward for my time, and if I skipped a day I was missing out on the fun. Combine that with a genuine interest in the original story beyond Book 1, and that’s a formula to keep playing a game that fits in your pocket.
The biggest draw for me to Fire Emblem Heroes was easily the collection of characters across the Fire Emblem universe. Now that we’ve pretty much represented the entirety of the cast from most every game, the new content additions are renovation and updates to existing heroes. This means there are multiple versions of the same hero. I think there’s something like 4 different Hector’s and Ike’s and Lyn’s. It’s kind of absurd, but it’s also kind of become the game now: it’s not uncommon to run into an entire team in the Arena made up of the same character but different versions. I think it’s great, and really fun to see someone not taking the meta so seriously and instead having a good time.
You’re never really at a loss for what you could be doing, but there is a lot of stuff going on at once you might not be sure what you should be doing.
The multitude of customization options have quintupled over the years. When the game first launched you could only level up your characters and have them inherit abilities from another hero. Now you can equip special seals to give them new abilities, change their main weapon to a slightly more powerful one, confer a spiritual blessing on them to give them stat boosts, and even equip cosmetic items to make them have wacky glasses or new hair pieces. It’s insane. After every battle you’ll be gaining resources to refine into new stuff. You’re never really at a loss for what you could be doing, but there is a lot of stuff going on at once you might not be sure what you should be doing.
I found myself getting burnt out with the game and wanting to stop. There was a special summoning event which featured some of the game’s highest meta arena characters (that is, the characters that have the best stats and are most frequently used in winning team compositions), and I just so happened to pull three of the four heroes. Well, this simple act literally kept me playing the game for several more months, and here I am writing about still playing.
But I did find a new passion with the game in forming new teams and just having fun with it. I have a team of all flying units, a team of four different Hector’s, and a team of every single elemental type. I’ve also been playing for so long I have a basically unlimited amount of feathers and crystals to promote and level up heroes. I feel like a powerful player, despite having no real competitiveness since I still can’t stack up to the highest ranked arena teams unless I purchase orbs to get the best characters. There’s a ton you can do without paying anything for this game, and that’s one of the reasons I still find myself playing.
If you played Fire Emblem Heroes before and haven’t in awhile, there are plenty of reasons to pick up the game again. At its core the gameplay is still the same, but the huge influx of new characters and abilities have really changed how you can make up a team and engage just about any situation. Also, the additional game modes make for a lot of challenge and variety in an otherwise straightforward experience. It can be daunting to jump in again, or for the first time, but if you do, there’s a lot of fun to be had with the game.
Here’s hoping for another solid year in the Fire Emblem Heroes world!