Spending Time, Not Money, On Fire Emblem: Heores

Once again, I find myself writing about Fire Emblem.

I play more than just Fire Emblem, I swear. In fact, I swear I play more than just Nintendo games. I promise I will get to those non-Nintendo games I like…later.

I know in my last post I was pretty optimistic about these mobile games that Nintendo has put out. I downloaded Fire Emblem: Heroes the day it came out and it went beyond my expectations, but not necessarily above.


Fire Emblem: Heroes is exactly what I expected it to be in the last post: a miniature, watered down version of the series. I immediately forgave the game for having smaller maps, lacking character conversations and support, weapon durability, and permanent character deaths. There is only so much content you can afford to create in a free-to-play game.

But I was surprised at how much there is to do in Fire Emblem: Heroes. It has a main story that you can play multiple times on harder difficulties, it has an arena where you can pit your characters against another, it has a training area, special missions, and something else that I haven’t even unlocked yet. The game also features character art in different styles and voice actors for each character and just enough dialogue for me to be interested in and appreciate every single one. I spent many more hours at once on this game than I ever anticipated.


But that’s the thing that really bothered me with the game. I didn’t plan on spending as much time as I have on it, nor did I really want to going into it. I figured this would be a game where I could it pick up and be satisfied with only ten minutes of play, but it never happened that way. Kellie Plagge of Gamespot felt the same way; “Before I’d put together a strong team, I started to lose interest in playing; but once I pulled good characters, I had a hard time putting my phone down. It’s very tempting to keep playing thanks to Heroes’ quick grind-reward loop…”

The short story: I put the game down because it was taking up too much of my time, and I was neglecting other things I wanted to do because of it. Which is true for a lot of things in my life, to be honest. But the real reason I put it down goes deeper than that and has to do with how I play games.



Before I start playing a game, I usually go in with a certain goal in mind for that period of play. These goals can be as simple as “today I’m just going to beat the next level or two” to as complicated as “today I’m going to EV train my Jolteon until it’s maxed out on it’s speed and special attack stats!”

So I tried going into Fire Emblem: Heroes with similar goals, but even the simple goals take a lot longer to accomplish than in games I’m used to. Unless I paid money. Paying money makes things happen very quickly.

In my last post I talked about how Pokemon Duel was a waiting game, where certain things will unlock only after a certain time period, and Fire Emblem: Heroes is almost the same way. In order to summon heroes for your army, you need at least five Orbs to summon one, and twenty to summon five at once. Two Orbs are given to you each day, but they can also be obtained by playing levels or by accomplishing certain objectives. To play levels, you need to spend stamina points, which you regain over time, but if you run out, there’s not much you can do.

So you can’t have a goal of getting five new heroes when you have no Orbs, because it would take a long time. So I found myself making smaller goals, but spending just as long trying to accomplish them as I would with larger goals in other games. Basically this game takes twice as long to get s much progressive fulfillment as I would in another game with more content such as Fire Emblem: Awakening. And I haven’t even gotten into the amount of work it takes to level up characters and to get ones that already know certain abilities. This game has a lot of content, if I didn’t mention that before.


I’ve learned from this that Nintendo’s mobile games have enough content in them for you to dedicate as much time to it as their other console games. Which is pretty impressive. So maybe I’ll actually do that when I’m done with the other games that I’m playing right now, because I do enjoy the game. But since I didn’t expect that, and I don’t want to commit that much time to it, it’s on the back burner for me. And maybe having it there will give me the opportunity to decide whether I really want to play it.

It is a good game if you want to play it, and it’s free if you want to spend the time on it. Just remember that what Nintendo has done is made it a real game, not just an app. So if you have the time, I highly recommend it.

But that’s just my opinion.

Picture credits:



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