Anime Idol Rhythm Game Hell

So for about 8 months now I’ve been obsessively playing this mobile game called Love Live! School Idol Festival or LLSIF for short. Every day, I try to log in and play to use up all my LP; sometimes I even stay up late or get up super early so I can participate in, and hopefully do well enough in, events to gain special rewards. Even my friends have commented on how much I play this game. I’ve even sunken real world money into this. I am very much obsessed with this game and I do not see myself stopping.

But why am I obsessed with this game? What is the secret sauce in this free-to-play anime idol rhythm game that keeps bringing me back to it? Also, could this secret sauce, in fact, convince someone who has never played it before to try it out? Well, that’s the aim of this feature; to see what the hell Love Live! School Idol Festival is and why it might be worth your time.

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But before I go any further, I do wanna throw in some major caveats that, if they are deal breakers for you, I can totally understand you not liking the game. Firstly, I totally understand if you aren’t really into idols and all that because, to be honest, the culture surrounding it is extremely gross and exploitative of young, usually female, artists.

On top of that, I can totally understand the discomfort from collecting and treasuring cards of anime high school girls because to be quite honest, that’s kinda misogynistic in the sense that you are literally objectifying women. Add to that the questionable nature of some of the outfits and I can totally understand why you’d want to stay away from this game; there are quite a lot of issues with the title from a social sense, rather than a mechanical sense.

Still here and wanting to know more? Awesome! Let me get on with why I think it might be worth your time.

FUN MUSIC ACTION

So let’s get the basics out of the way to leave more time for the title’s more interesting aspects. It’s a free-to-play and download mobile app based on the Love Live! franchise where you tap circles to the rhythm of a song to get a better score and combo, thus getting rewards from your performance. Sounds pretty simple and straightforward, right? Well, this is where it kinda distinguishes itself for me. See, as I said, it’s based on the Love Live! franchise of anime and various media which is about a bunch of School Idols, which are Japanese idols who attend high school and represent their schools as idols.

For those who don’t know what idols are, they are pop stars in Japan who are, well, idolised and are extremely popular. To be frank, it’s an interesting subject to research, especially the issues with the culture surrounding it, so I’d suggest you look it up if you’re curious, but that’s beside the point.

What you do apart from the rhythm game aspect in the app is collect various different cards of these School Idols, all of whom have various different skills and stats, and assemble them into a team where their stats and skills aid in your performance when playing the rhythm game section of the title. You also get various rarities of cards (the rarer the card, the better their stats) and special limited edition ones, too. So it is a rhythm game as well as a team/deck building CCG based off of a franchise I like. I hope I haven’t lost you yet, dear reader.

ORIGINAL STORIES

BUT AGAIN, IT DOESN’T STOP THERE. Every day you get different extra songs from the ones already available to you that might be a bit harder but also give you better rewards. There are special events every now and then that, if you compete in to a certain ranking, you get Super Rare cards (that’s the name of the rarity, not some empty hyperbole) and plenty of rewards. In fact it’s these events that keep bringing me back to the app/game since I want to get the Super Rare cards of my favourite idols in special outfits, as lame as that sounds. I have woken up earlier than I usually do just so I can get a better rank in these events to get cards. There is even a story aspect to all this, since the further you progress through levelling up and completing songs, you get more chapters to a visual novel featuring all the main School Idols.

But if you still aren’t convinced by me just telling you the features of the game, let me tell you about what I think on a more critical/analytical level. Firstly, I think the Collecting/Levelling/Evolving aspect of the CCG parts of the game are quite deep; deeper than you expect for a tie-in game. It’s honestly a major reason why the game is so fun and compelling because by wanting to get better cards and help them evolve, you keep coming back to it.

Additionally, the rhythm game aspect of the title is quite solid as you can change the pace of the game to fit your own perception of hearing. The songs are difficult but fair, and the more you play, there is a noticeable change in your own skill due to the reasonable difficulty curve of the game. Finally, the community surrounding it is actually really friendly and quite supportive of each other and as far as I have seen, there really isn’t really any drama in the fandom/community.

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So if you’re okay with the overall premise and tone of the game, why should you try it? Well to summarise, it’s actually quite a deep rhythm game that caters to beginners and helps them develop their aptitude for the game at a good pace; the collection, levelling up and evolving mechanic of the cards is also extremely deep and compelling; it is, in fact, filled to the brim with content and quality of life mechanics that make the experience better and easier for the player, and on top of that, the game is constantly being improved upon; and finally, the community is actually really nice and supportive. So I hope I’ve convinced you, my dear reader, to try this silly anime idol rhythm game out, and I hope you have a lot of fun!

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