The question that free-to-play games always raise is: why am I playing this game? And I don’t mean that in a dismissive way, as an implication that playing them is a waste of time: if you can come up with a good answer to that question, then great! But free-to-play games do try to nudge you to keep on playing for their own reasons, so you always have to do a sanity check as to your motives.

When I started playing Fire Emblem Heroes, I did have good reasons to play it. I like the core Fire Emblem gameplay; and, actually, when I stop playing games in the series, it’s usually because the levels are getting too intricate. So, with that lens, Fire Emblem Heroes’ four-on-four levels are an active virtue: they shrink down the scale, so levels never get out of hand. Instead, the game focuses on tactical details; I appreciated that focus, and I learned more the more I played.

The other aspect of the game is the collection aspect. Which wouldn’t have done anything for me six months earlier, but after playing Tokyo Mirage Sessions, I was more than happy to see some of my favorite characters. (Though also a little disconcerted to see the differences in their presentation between the two games!) And sure, it’s fun to try to hope to get five-star characters, to level party members up, to try out temporary challenges.

But, at some point, I’d gotten enough five-star characters to fill out my team, I decided that it was going to be not worth it to me to try to get a team that was better on whatever metric I was looking at, and I felt that I wasn’t learning enough from the levels. So I stopped playing; and that was the right choice. But playing the game daily for a month and a half was a fine choice, too.

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