Super Mario World may still be a few weeks away from an Android release, but Nintendo isn't letting up on its newfound momentum. The much anticipated Fire Emblem: Heroes is now out as promised, albeit in select regions only. Heroes is currently playable in Japan and Oceania, and Nintendo of Europe tweeted earlier today that the game is available in Europe as well.
Fire Emblem: Heroes takes the franchise's traditional turn-based gameplay and somewhat streamlines it for mobile devices. The game centers around tactical combat on grid-based maps, which have been designed to (as Nintendo states) "fit in the palm of your hand." The game's combat retains the Weapon Triangle (rock-paper-scissors) unit effectiveness approach. Unfortunately (or thankfully, depending on your view) there is no permadeath in this game; unlike in traditional Fire Emblem games, there is no long-term consequence here for losing a unit in battle. Of course, this will come as a relief to players who would hate to pay real money or hard-earned in-game currency for a unit only to permanently lose it in battle minutes later.
One of the unique selling points of Fire Emblem: Heroes is the ability to meet the titular characters from across the entire Fire Emblem franchise (yes, that includes Marth). Some of these Heroes are player allies, meaning they are available to command in-game, while other Heroes oppose the player. In addition, several new characters created just for the game also make their debut. These Heroes are at your disposal to summon and lead, as you fight through the game's storyline in your attempt to save the Kingdom of Askr from being conquered by its militaristic adversary. Aside from the story, there are several other game modes, such as the Training Tower, which pits you in random battle scenarios of varying difficulty to earn XP and rewards; Arena Duels (essentially multiplayer battles); and Hero Battles, which are limited-time events that reward players who complete them with unique Heroes.
Fire Emblem: Heroes is free to download and play. Unlike the upcoming Super Mario World, there is no paywall to prevent you from playing through the entire game without spending real money. However, there are optional in-app purchases, mostly related to unit and premium currency purchases. Although the game is not available in North America and several other regions yet, it should be available in the next few days, if not later today.
John Garcia - As both a diehard gamer and Android enthusiast, it was a no-brainer for John to eventually combine the two. Add a love for the written word and the result is a dedicated Android gaming journalist. When he’s not gaming or writing about gaming, John enjoys hobbies that range from reading books and enjoying music to hiking and playing rugby.