Nintendo has been looking to get in to the mobile gaming scene for years now, there were years of speculation in the gaming circles that they would be launching the Pokémon series on mobile but Niantic got in on that first with Pokémon Go. There was also speculation of Mario Bros making it officially in to the mobile gaming. We say official because for years and years, probably ever since android went mainstream, there have been countless Mario Bros clones and copycats on the Play Store as well as the iTunes.
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So finally Nintendo took the leap and after months and months of hype, Super Mario Run was released on iOS. Although why it was called the first game by Nintendo is strange, maybe because Nintendo wants us to forget about its actual first game Miitomo, and how it was such a huge failure even though Nintendo kept claiming its popularity and huge number of initial downloads. But enough of that, let’s go back to the matters at hand. Super Mario Run got off to a great start, but there were numerous negative reviews about the game play being too boring and repetitive right from the start, so many bad reviews in fact that Nintendo shares dropped by 11% in value.
So Nintendo aimed to cover that up by releasing the game on android, but before that, they released their second game Fire Emblem Heroes, this time releasing on Android and iOS at almost the same time. The availability however wasn’t global initially, it was only available in the United States and Japan, but it crossed more than 2 million downloads within the first 24 hours of availability, earning the company an estimated amount of over 2.9 Million USD. Compared to the 6 million downloads and an earning of USD 10 million of Super Mario Run within the first 24 hours, this seems like a meager figure. But this shortfall might be attributed to the Fire Emblem being a relatively lesser known franchise when compared to Mario. The popularity was more prominent in Japan and understandably so, as the franchise is well known in its home country. Unlike Super Mario Run, Fire emblem heroes is free to play. That means that it’s free to download and play but there are certain in game features that are only available for purchase, including ways to speed up the game play and progress.
The game play is considerably richer and much more detailed than the Super Mario run’s single tap to jump style game play. It is a turn based strategy game but with a role playing twist on it. It might’ve been the lesser known franchise, but those who knew about it were waiting for it desperately, and once the game was released, these fan boys were not disappointed. The game turned out to be just as good as everyone was hoping it to be. Unlike other similar titles like something from the Final Fantasy series, the game is designed to be relatively simple, made easier for the new comers to the franchise to get a better grip on the game play.
The maps have been resized to fit the smaller mobile screens but that takes away from the ability to put in addition details in the maps, they get repetitive after a while and users unaccustomed to the RPG style games might get bored of it and leave, but they are good enough as far as mobile gaming goes. The limitations set by the maps also affect the combat system because you have to place troops strategically in the game, and the smaller maps do not allow to be that creative or strategic with them. Now to those who are picking up this game for the first time, this might not seem like such an issue, but for the gamers that have been following the series for some time, this might be slightly irritating or infuriating.
There are character levels in the game that range up to 5 stars. The four stars are available after a while, but the five star characters are something of a bait to get the player to purchase the orbs. But can you really blame them for this? The game is after all in this to make money, and the limitations are not that bad either, you can earn a 5 star character after a high number of tries as well, even though that’s a matter of chance, it is still a chance nonetheless, Nintendo could’ve made it a buy only feature as well. Apart from this, your existing characters can be upgraded as well after they have reached level 20.
There are plenty of game play modes available like, training towers, duels campaign, and special maps. Try your luck on the higher difficult levels that add a lot of game playability. The special maps are currently updated daily, and if that’s kept up, then the game will see a lot more unique users and lower rates of people leaving the game after the initial excitement period.
So, the fact that there are so many modes and so many regular updates to the game, add to its value all the more. And while it might not attract that many mainstream gamers or might struggle to keep up the high number of downloads, but as far as we can see, this game will become a favorite of the strategy gamers worldwide. A global release added a great change on the numbers as well.
It seems like Nintendo is headed in the right direction in mobile gaming with this release. It’s expected to release more franchises for the mobile genre. The next expected release is of the beloved animal crossing franchise. And if they plan it out like they have planned fire emblem heroes, keep it freemium, and updated regularly, while providing a multi player option as well, Nintendo might just turn out to be one of the best mobile gaming companies on the App store and the Play Store.