Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Next Stop: Idol Hell

Kick back, relax, read the premise of the Love Live! School Idol mobile game, and then find yourself on a one way ticket down to Idol Hell without realising that you bought the a ticket in the first place.


It’s been a while since our last post, but Ina and I have been very busy for our own reasons. But we’re alive! And hopefully back to our semi-regular posting.
So lately I’ve been delving deep into the latest trend that seems to be taking Japan by storm: Idol Mobile Games. Or, idols in general. What started with curiosity regarding my friend’s pained expressions about not reaching an Eli card blossomed (or rather exploded) into a spiralling vortex with only one way to go: down.

Now I’m not saying that idol games are bad, because they’re rather enjoyable. Rhythm game with a bit of deck building so you’re not really at a loss on what to do next. But the focus. Oh man the focus these games ask from you are a different level of intense.

This game starts out adorable. And then you find yourself 300% dedicated to getting that UR Nozomi Card despite the fact that you have a life.

I’m not usually the type to experience blinding rage when someone calls me at an inconvenient time, but someone calling or texting me as I’m in the middle of Aishiteru Banzai and someone just might get cut.

As if this game isn't distracting enough.

Idol games are slowly making its way all over the world, as more and more people are getting into idolm@aster or Love Live. You'd think it would stop at idols, but no. Japan is making waves with boy idol games. Boy. Idol. Games.

And thus the descent began with the very reason of this entire post: Ensemble Stars.

Why must you be cute as hell.
I kid you not, this game isn't even out in English and I'm playing it almost every single day. I don't even understand whatever they're saying. But I still play. *shakes fist at Happy Elements*

Like Love Live, Ensemble Stars has a fully voiced cast, which is freaking amazing for a mobile game. And where LL has an anime to give you the full background on each character, ES only has a (fan-made) English translation wikia to give you a background on everyone.

Quick rundown of ES: You, a girl, just so happened to get accepted into this exclusive school of school boy idols, and since "hey, you're a girl/new kid!" you become the producer of any of the units in the school. Does it sound like an otome game?

Well congrats, it includes a bit of otome game aspects. Such as bonding with the boy (trash) of your choice and hoping to the high heavens you pick the right dialogue (unless you're fluent in Japanese then congrats). Also touching is involved.

Have a mini-intro to the units.
What's interesting to note about Idol Games (so far) is that they're usually Card Collecting Games. Meaning not only do you navigate through whatever storyline they push at you, but you pretty much obsess over collecting and levelling up cards.

One will cause an overabundance of joy when you finally get it. The other will make you question your life choices.
Its honestly a brilliant strategy to keep people interested in these games for a long time, if you ask me. Especially in the case of LL, since technically you're beating your own high scores. Since a lot of these Ultra Rare cards come out during events, it keeps you hooked.

You get so annoyed when you're so freaking close to that UR and then the event ends. Just. Shidgksjadka.

I think its safe to say I'll be stuck here for a while, especially since they're easier to reach games than the consoles or handhelds. Also because I'm 100% invested in these characters and I don't even know why jeeze.

Also the fact that these two games took the word Subtlety by the horns and painted it rainbow just makes it 1000000x more amusing.

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