Nintendo’s latest mobile venture, Fire Emblem: Heroes, has been out for several months now, allowing longtime fans and newcomers alike to enjoy a watered-down version of the series’ iconic combat. Since release, however, the game has remained relatively the same — yes, new features have been added — but, strong characters have remained strong and the meta has remained relatively stable. Now it looks like Nintendo has opted to make a splash with the latest event by addressing the game’s biggest weakness: difficulty.
Fire Emblem: Heroes has a plethora of content for players to enjoy, such as story missions of different difficulty levels, Paralogues and the Arena. Despite that, unless you go out of your way to make it more challenging or the map has specific requirements attached to it, then the way to beat all of these missions are essentially the same: overwhelming force. None of the content required you to think (not even Arena if you knew how to manipulate movement) and there wasn’t much punishment if you didn’t.
That changed with the latest update: Tempest Trials. The new mode has players choose a difficulty and then run through a gauntlet of maps until they complete it or their characters die in the process. While this sounds fairly standard, what sets this mode apart is that your characters retain all incurred damage in between floors and once they’re dead, they remain dead until the run is complete. This means strategies like using Hector to bait out hits aren’t as effective anymore. Sure, he’ll take the hits and likely severely damage the aggressor in return, but he won’t be able to keep it up forever and one wrong move means he’s gone for the entire run which will impact your score.
It’s not all bad though: you aren’t limited to merely using a single team throughout the gauntlet — you can switch between and swap among them in between characters. Of course, this presents its own set of challenges: you need to have an assortment of competent characters to complete a run. Prior to this event, it wasn’t necessary to properly raise 4-6 characters…that won’t work now.
The Tempest Trials is a step in the right direction for Fire Emblem: Heroes. Though it was impractical to fully implement the main game’s battle system, the system this one had in place was still a little frustrating. Finding an intelligent way to implement one of the series’ iconic features in a gacha game, as well as finally putting an emphasis on tactics, shows that Nintendo is fully capable of making this game work.
Here’s to hoping that Nintendo that introduces equally intelligent content in the future….and give away more feathers and orbs.