I never played a gacha game before Nintendo brought Fire Emblem Heroes to the States. The series itself had always been just on the edge of my interest. I tried getting into Fire Emblem Awakening multiple times, only to give up after 10-or-so hours. It has colorful character designs, interesting relationships between characters, and strategic gameplay, but it wasn’t until Fire Emblem Heroes that the series clicked for me.
I played the game consistently for months after it first came out. It’s still one of the only mobile games that’s remained installed on my phone for more than 30 days.
Then Fortnite blew up. I gave it a shot just as Season 3 started, having dabbled in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The cartoonish style made Fortnite much more accessible for me and I genuinely enjoyed having challenges to chase—which PUBG lacked at the time.
I chugged away at Season 3’s Battle Pass for an entire season . Along the way I purchased more than a skin or two, tempted by Epic’s expertly crafted promotional materials. Their skins just looked so cool in the promo art and item shop images. I dropped 2000 V-Bucks left and right and my collection of skins grew.
The problem only worsened when Epic introduced the random skin functionality, allowing me to mix and match backpacks, pickaxes, and skin combinations every single game.
Would I get Raven this time? Maybe Sky Stalker? Oh, maybe Teknique? The enticing designs worked exactly as intended. There was nothing more satisfying to me than growing my collection of cosmetics to choose from.
When the season came to an end, I fell off the Fortnite train. But thanks to my job I still have to pay attention to every single skin that gets released. Boy does it feel like Epic is always trying to lure me, specifically, back into the fold.
In retrospect, I think Fortnite scratched the same itch as Fire Emblem Heroes. It turns out the actual gameplay portion of Battle Royale was just a way for me to get these awesome skins without having to drop gratuitous numbers of V-Bucks on them. The same thing that eased me into battle royale games in the first place—the outlandish character designs—was actually all I wanted.
Since then, I’ve tried countless other gacha games—King’s Raid, Honkai Impact, Alchemist’s Code—but I’ve dropped each and every one in short order. None of them captured my attention quite like Fire Emblem.
I can’t help but wish Epic had a gacha version of Fortnite where we could try our hand at getting our very own high-quality .PNG versions of these skins. I’m not terribly interested in the game anymore, but I still want a way to appreciate those skins. And gacha games boil that card collecting satisfaction into something I can take with me anyway.
There are some tools out there that let you make your own custom Fire Emblem Heroes characters (which I’ve included below) and, well… Let’s just say Epic should be making this instead of Battle Breakers.
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