About a month ago, I went to Kansas to visit family and during that time I began playing Nintendo’s offerings on Android. Specifically Fire Emblem: Heroes a game based on well, the Fire Emblem franchise, in which you summon characters from Fire Emblem games past to fight as part of an army.
Now I could go into an in-depth review of the game but to be frank it would be incredibly shallow and lame. Mostly because that’s how I describe Fire Emblem: Heroes. All Heroes is designed to do is get you hooked on getting new characters while offering a barebones Fire Emblem experience so that you’ll spend more money on getting characters that newer fans know nothing about and older fans get to see 1-minute cameos of. But it’s not even the worst offender as, if you were to squint hard enough, you could convince yourself you’re playing a good Fire Emblem game. No the worst offender goes to Pokémon GO, released almost a year ago as of now.
When Pokémon GO came out, I was pretty hyped, as were most folks; I downloaded the app and got to playing the game that was supposed to bring Pokémon into augmented reality. I got my starter and for the first few days was really enjoying myself, going around and flicking to catch Pokémon made a lot of sense, epically given the breezy nature of the game. But then I decided to do some battles, and the game died for me. Instead of the basic elemental system and actually having moves for your Pokémon, you just flick and hope your numbers beat the other guys numbers…. yay?
Eventually though, like most folks evidently, I dropped Pokemon GO; I was bored and I realized that just catching Pokemon with no real point was, well, boring. It just isn’t fun, much like the rest of Nintendo’s other smart phone offerings now that I think of it. So what can Nintendo do to fix this issue? To make it’s game’s more fun to those who aren’t sucked in by an RNG (Random Number Generator) system? Easy, copy Sega.
In 2011, Sega re-released Sonic CD, the oft forgotten entry in the main Sonic the Hedgehog games for Xbox, Playstation, PC, and Mobile Devices. It was developed by a man named Christian Whitehead, the man currently heading up the brand new Sonic Mania that’s coming soon. Now instead of just slapping the original, and problematic, Sega CD game on new hardware, Mr. Whitehead took a look at what was problematic with Sonic CD and fixed it; improving physics and controls, in a way made it the definitive version of Sonic CD. Then Mr. Whitehead’s team did that treatment again for both Sonic 1 and Sonic 2, making far and wide the definitive versions of three classic and beloved games, even if SEGA has restricted these ports to mobile markets.
Well why can’t Nintendo, on top of its so-so mobile offerings, use the mobile market as a virtual console of sorts, just like SEGA has, to re-release their older games? Replicating the virtual console’s success on Wii and Wii U and bringing classic and forgotten games to the palm of your hand. Imagine how awesome it would be to play a re-released and definitive Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword on Android, or A Link to the Past on iPhone. Pretty friggin rad honestly and if Nintendo did that I’d be one of the first in line to get it on my phone. Because it’s got to be better than playing a half-baked and shallow version of Fire Emblem that Heroes offers, or whatever the hell Miitomo is.
Of course, I know emulation is a thing but Android Emulation is just not fun as the game’s are meant to be played with actual buttons and suffer when someone haphazardly slaps touch controls where they don’t need to be. PC games don’t feature this issue but you have to lug a laptop and controller around and maybe you don’t wanna do that. Maybe you just wanna play some Nintendo games on the bus home with no hassle. Nintendo could give us this by reformatting their old games so they play natively on phones, giving games a 1 to 1 experience on smartphones.
But until that day comes I’ll regard Nintendo’s mobile games the way I regard most mobile games. As a joke designed to wring the money from your pockets through a random number generator. And that’s something that won’t sustain my interest for very long. That said though, I’m still looking forward to what Nintendo will do with Fire Emblem because I am having a lot of fun with Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword on GBA and am hyped for Shadows of Valentia.