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I don’t mind Fire Emblem Heroes’ stamina system, but then again, I have practice

by Ron Duwell | February 8, 2017February 8, 2017 12:00 pm PDT

Fire Emblem Heroes is out, and early decisions have been cast. Fans love the game, but they hate the dreaded stamina system. All across the Internet, whether it’s on Twitter or reddit, fans are up in arms about being limited by how much they can play the game before they run out of energy to access maps.

In the beginning of the game, fans have the ability to progress pretty quickly through the story. One stamina a mission, two stamina a mission, it’s no problem. They can clear the first few chapters without ever having to take a break. Usually, this might take an afternoon or whatever, and by the time they’ve depleted their energy, they’re ready to do something else. Eat dinner, watch TV, play something else, settle down for the night, go to bed.

They wake up fresh as daisies the next morning, and boom, full energy waiting for them in their new favorite game.

The longer they play, though, the less and less content they are able to complete in a single sitting. Many are complaining that the game is purposefully luring them in to get them hooked and addicted early, so when they want to play later in the game, they have to start coughing up money to play continuously. They also claim that a so-called “honeymoon period” with the game will come to an end and many will not want to keep paying for the energy to continue once the initial appeal wears off.

Well… duh. This has been standard practice on the market for how many years now? And guess what, it’s surviving for a reason.

I’ve already had my pre-inhibitions towards these free-to-play stamina games erased thanks to two and a half years of Terra Battle. In that time, I’ve learned how to properly enjoy it with a certain pace. I’ve learned how to set goals, how to plan out what I need to do and how much energy it will take, when to spend an extra energy to play longer or save it for a new character, and most importantly, how to put the game down and enjoy something else when my time is up.

I’m a veteran, so tackling a new free-to-play game is no issue for me at all.

Those complaining, though, are very likely longtime Nintendo fans, many of who have pride as gamers that they haven’t been able to set aside to play a mobile game. However, now that Nintendo is developing their own mobile games, their fandom doesn’t let them just ignore the market any longer. The result is two worlds clashing like they’ve never clashed before.

Nobody seems prepared for how to handle this situation.

Many have stated that they would rather pay a lump sum for a game that would just let them play whenever they wanted. First of all, many say they will, but they won’t. Recent history has shown that a lump sum Nintendo product can’t cut it on the market based on its namesake alone, no matter how dedicated its audience is. Fire Emblem needs a constant flow of funds to create new content, new maps, new characters, new art, and, most importantly, to be profitable. $10 or $20 lump sums are not going to allow that to happen happen.

Given the success of games like Clash of Clans, Nintendo no doubt would much rather be swimming in that kind of cash than selling itself short again. Fire Emblem Heroes is the best game to help them achieve that right now.

Secondly, some Nintendo fans say they won’t spend money on the game as it is, but we all know that’s not true. This is a fanbase who will pay for downloadable classics two or three times despite already owning physical cartridges or having them available across the Internet for free. This is a fanbase that will pay anywhere from $60 to $300 for a mini-console that comes loaded with the exact same games they’ve already bought through the previously mentioned service.

Nintendo fans spend money on officially backed products, no matter the outlet. Nintendo knows this, and for every one fan who says they won’t pay for it, there’s likely another who will.

Don’t worry, Nintendo fans, there is hope

I promise, Nintendo fans. Fire Emblem Heroes is a solid game, and you’ll become used to the stamina system in time. Don’t give up yet. It’s way too early to toss in the towel and submit to your inner cynics regarding free-to-play. This is a necessary evil to make the game as solid as it can possibly be.

Everything I’ve noticed so far has Fire Emblem Heroes looking exactly like every other game on the market. It might be a little on the stingy side compared to others, but changes with the timing and the availability of new energy will evolve with time.

In the meantime, use this chance to explore an entirely new style of video game. Learn how to appreciate the game for what it is, and use it to help change your outlook on “completing” games. Set mini-goals for yourself, level up your favorite characters, learn an ultra ability or two, understand that luck has a lot to do with progress, and find another game to play in between your sessions to balance out your cravings.

Might I suggest Terra Battle or, if you’re not really in the mood to expand your horizons, one of the Nintendo 3DS Fire Emblem games. Better yet, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade is still one of the finest video games ever made. Play that one!

Also, realize that spending money on this game is not inherently evil. Nintendo needs those funds to survive, and a dollar here and a dollar there to expand your playtime can go a long way for when you find yourself really in the zone. I didn’t pay for Terra Battle for an entire year, but once I realized that sinking a few bucks into it now and then was perfectly acceptable, I learned to enjoy it all over again.

Whatever you do, don’t quit from frustration. If you like the game, you like the game. Don’t deny yourself. Just learn to appreciate it in small bursts. Don’t look at it like a traditional JRPG, because it’s simply not. It’s something new, something you’ll have to get used to if you want to play all Nintendo games from here on out. If you are able to, you might have a game on your hands you can play for a year or two without ever having to sink a cent into it!

What’s so wrong with that?


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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