[EXPRESSO] Nikke: Goddess Of Victory iOS | Anime Asses Frontline

Time to try my hand at another anime gacha with anime girls using rifles or being rifles or the usual military themed shit, because it scratches many itches, especially if your game lives by the profitable (and Houshou Marine-approved) “i don’t want to be happy, i want to be horny” motto.

Especially anime asses wrapped in spandex, because that was how i found about this game pre-release, by v-tubers laughing their butts off… due to incredible jiggle physics.

And yes, this is one of these that doesn’t even try to hide it, or to be also cute, no no, Nikke Goddess Of Victory is incredibly horny from the get-go (it’s from the Destiny Child developers, after all), so i guess points for brazen honesty.

Yeah, the premise is that you’re the ever-so-common amnesiac rookie commander ordering around anime girls with guns in a war against machines. So basically a worse Girls Frontline that wants to have it serious but also alternates between shock value scenes and abudant anime asses. It’s trash, but the dialogues can be somewhat engaging at times, the game looks pretty good, has nice UI, a good soundtrack, even a good english VA and some nicely animated cutscenes.

Gameplay its where things are a little different than the usual, as it’s… a on-rail shooter , basically a touch version of Time Crisis without the “rails” part, with 5 characters team, rpg elements like skills to activate and chain, alongside the usual modern on-rail shooter stuff.

This choice of gameplay also makes it easier to flash the player with pantyshots and latex wrapped anime dumparoos jiggling due to recoil, but it’s fun enough to be played in short bursts, the bosses thankfully provide some challenge not found in the normal stages, and the free-to-play trappings aren’t that awful.

Girls/Dolls Frontline (2022) TV ANIME [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

The gacha-age of anime it’s still going strong, since after the gag anime based on Girls/Dolls Frontline debutted on BiliBili… we’re now actually getting an adaptation of the strategy gacha game’s story, because why the fuck not? Why yes?

Doesn’t matter, it’s there anyway, so let’s take a look at the first 3 episodes, i did actually play this one a lot more than most of these “things turned anime girls” gacha game, since it was actually a strategy game that held some actual gameplay alongside trying to roll the best “gungirl”.

Yep, this time we have mass-produced humanoid robots virtually indistinguishable from humans called “Tactical dolls” (referred to as “T-Dolls” for brevity’s sake), named after a specific type and model of weaponry, and a very Terminatoresque plot set in the not-too-distant future of 2045, when World War III erupts and various PMCs send out their tactical dolls to fight.

Continua a leggere “Girls/Dolls Frontline (2022) TV ANIME [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]”

Remember Kancolle? It’s back, in second season form!

Not even two weeks into 2022, and we’re getting befuddling news like that the second season of the Kancolle anime series isn’t scrapped, but it’s coming out this fall (October 2022), after 6 years of absolutely nothing aside from messages from Kadokawa confirming the thing was actually being made somewhere, somehow, and technically not cancelled.

Guess it was true, but it’s still a surprise considering how Kancolle as a brand has been eclipsed by competitor Azur Lane, who brought the formula into international hands, making more bazillions along the way, to say nothing of the other gacha free to play games with similar themes of “antropomorphized anime girls versions of weapons… and mostly WW II warships”.

The brand as a whole it’s not dead, and Kancolle still does decently in its own original browser game incarnation back in Japan, which i guess makes sense, since Kadokawa Games’ division never planned to make the game (officially) available outside of Japan, but i guess someone in the upper echelon of Kadokawa its kicking himself he didn’t push to localize the darn thing or make a smarthphone version to also make available overseas, since Azur Lane did exactly that, and stole Kancolle’s thunder and a huge part of the potential fanbase.

So yeah, i guess that other, different Kancolle anime series that was announced – and also confirmed as “not dead” over time- it’s also being made, eventually.

Guess i’ll have to review the first season of the Kancolle anime and the sequel movie this summer, i’ve already reviewed both Azur Lane The Animation and the slice-of-life spin-off Slow Ahead, so why the fuck not?

[EXPRESSO] Blue Archive iOS | Gacha, Girls & Guns

More gacha? Want more gacha? There’s always more gacha to talk about, not so much play as often gameplay it vestigial obligation or barely there so it can technically be considered a “videogame” and not a “JPEG slot machine”. And because these things always wants all your time. And money.

What kind of free-to-play anime gacha game is Blue Archive?

The story (as far as explained by the prologue) it’s basically A Certail Magical Index via Girls Frontline and a touch of Girls Und Panzers, minus the magical elements and sci-fi robots, so it’s a basically an island full of academies and anime girls students & prefects (all sporting halos, animal ears, etc) going around with weapons, riding tanks in broad daylight, and you’re the “Sensei” that shouldn’t be there but it’s now de facto leader tasked to resolved the current crisis.

Even if you’re amnesiac, like in Arknights, for example.

It’s fairly generic niche anime bungum.

Gameplay it’s mostly what expected, as you witness your selected team of 3 characters (plus supports) automatically proceed, shoot (and take cover if possible) through the battlefield, leaving you to basically just use skill cards for special attacks, buffs, etc

Each unit uses a specific type of gun, it’s more proficient in a specific type of terrain and belongs to a certain class, but that’s it, ultimately it’s about picking the right team combinations, the rest it’s windowdressing.

There is a grid based “strategy map” to move the units around before the auto battling segments, which reminds me of Girls Frontline…. minus lots of strategic elements. So ultimately it’s very similar to Princess Connect, a waifu collector “bonsai game”, with some decent character designs and good production values.

I will admit i enjoyed this one a bit more than Priconne, but not by much.

[EXPRESSO] Contra Returns iOS | Better than Rogue Corps

This isn’t technically new, since it has been available in China for years, but i guess someone at Konami woke from their slumber and figured out they didn’t release it westward yet.

I mean, this is the same company – among OTHER things – that wanted to release 3 Silent Hill games in the same month, cancelled a project involving Junji Ito, Norman Reedus and Guillermo Del Toro, and keeps embarassing itself even with the few things it still peddles as videogames, instead of pachinko and/or slot machines.

Who the hell knows.

And i wanna stress that, because i’m almost surprised by how this is actually decent, fun even, and furious since Konami decide to release that abomination of Rogue Corps and ask full price for it, when the older free-to-play mobile game by chinese developer Timi was miles better.

Sure, it looks cheap, the art direction it’s kept familiar to the Contra bombast even if you can still kinda tell it was handled by a chinese team (as in, it’s solid but kinda generic), but it’s actually proper Contra devoid of bullshit (like overheating mechanic for weapons in a shooter)), and it’s actually playable enough with touch controls, while it supports (and plays better with) gamepad.

There’s the gacha, the power level bullshit and all the upgrading n equipping and shit that comes as standard with the mobile free-to-play model to get you hooked and all the usual crap we fully expect from this business model.

It even leans big into the nostalgia for the olden days, but it actually backs it up on the gameplay department, nothing great in terms of level designs, but considering the trappings of being on mobile and free-to-play, Contra Returns it’s definitely fun enough to waste some time on it.

Didn’t expect that.

[EXPRESSO] World Flipper iOS | Pinball Isekai RPG Action

“Flipper” it’s a short-term for pinball outside of America, FIY.

And i’m fairly sure we didn’t have a pinball RPG gacha game before, i remember there was a spin-off of FF XV of sorts for smart devices, but whatever, it’s a far more alluring proposition in a overly satured market of idle games, mild rpgs, and everything in the middle.

The plot it’s basically an isekai tropes salad, but the faux 8 bit graphics are nice enough, presentation is decent, and doesn’t bombard you with too much plot or terminology right away.

Gameplay is a bit different than expected, as it’s not set up as a traditional pinball affair, with the heroes acting as single “ball” but also able to dash while launched to attack the nearest enemy, and launch skills with a pretty typical but pretty good control scheme for touch devices.

There is a bit of depth, with enemies exposing weak points at certain times, the more combos you get in a row powering up your shot to make the team spring a stronger attack, there’s Fever Mode, and overall there’s quite enough to keep it easy to play in short bursts but not mindless.

Of course, this comes with the inevitable free-to-play trappings, events, upgrade trees/maps, but the less annoying ones, just energy consumption and gacha for characters using the main premium crystals/gems, one with gacha advantages for using gems obtained by poning up cash.

But still, it’s not that bad, and honestly it’s good, good fun, way more captivating than expected, even disregarding the obvious methods to try hook you in, World Flipper it’s one of those free-to-play games that you end up back into because you actually wanna play it.

A rare sight, even aside it delivering to the underserved niche of pinball games.

That Old Gray Mare: Pretty Derby

Remember Uma Musume? Yeah, ironically the anime version, which is usually used to prop up the main attraction of the media franchise… almost managed to have 2 entire seasons (and a chibiesque mini-anime) out before the game released just a few weeks ago (and today the PC version released via DMM, japan only of course), at least in Japan and i guess other asian countries.

I really should have covered the anime series (given i’ve already covered almost all Azur Lane anime iterations), but at the moment my schedule is full, so probably later this autumn. I would like to give the game itself a shot and make an EXPRESSO review eventually, but i can wait for an eventual western release of the app.

I wouldn’t expect an official western release anytime soon, considered the game was supposed to launch in 2018, but it’s Cygames and we did eventually get Princess Connect Re; Dive (which i didn’t like, but whatever), so it’s possible.

So that’s that, back to Giant Monster March!

[EXPRESSO] Pokemon Masters EX iOS | The Rolling Girls (& Boys)

Pokemon Masters EX iOS.PNG

I usually don’t re-review smarthphone games (i did an Expresso review of the game in italian soon after launch one year ago), but since i didn’t really touch the game after spending time on it for the review, i actually enjoyed it enough, and Nintendo feels the update is so big to warrant a title “upgrade” (hence the “EX”), i will indulge this time.

As one would expect, in time they added more extra modes and stuff to do, even Pokemon eggs (alongside the stuff added as part of the anniversary update, which brought also a new interface)… but they also added freemium elements that weren’t in the game at launch, like the “energy meter”, and of course more stuff for the gacha, and this game is one of those that differentiates between premium currency gotten in-game and paid. Still, they didn’t add lootboxes or more monetization system, and admittely the game launched a little bare on content, not broken or unfinished, but DENA clearly underestimated how ravenous gamers can beat in days what was intended to be consumed in weeks or months.

And i feel bad that ultimately Pokemon Masters is so reliant in the gacha to really lure you back in, because the gameplay itself is (and was) fairly solid, as it’s basically the classic Pokemon combat formula but as a 3 vs 3 affair, with some semplification to accomodate it not being turn based, and a slightly revised system of types’ compatibility. Along with new passive abilities for defense, it’s the closest we have to a proper Pokemon game on smarthphones/mobile, and it’s the better one we got yet. Surely better than that Pokemon Rumble Rush (RIP?).

Still, a fairly good mobile game i don’t really care to play with any sort of frequency.
Or give money to, honestly.

expresso-icona

[EXPRESSO] Bleach: Immortal Soul iOS | Soul Whales

Bleach Immortal Soul iOS

As you may know, Bleach is coming back, with serialized and animated versions of the one-shot Burn The Witch, created by Tite Kubo and taking place in the Bleach universe, and the anime returning with the adaptation of the final arc, The Thousand Year War, expected for early 2021.

So time to milk this renewed interest in the franchise as soon as possible, like with a mobile free-to-play gacha game live service. Another one, Bleach Brave Souls (which is still going) was a hack n slash, this is one of those extremely basic kind of anime rpg for smarthphones, turn based, with most of the challenge and “strategy” being on timing attack to create combos… until the game itself points out the auto-battle function.

Then it becomes just a matter of upgrading stats and letting the way too efficient auto-battle do its thing, since the usual“rock-paper-scissors” system of types weaknesses and strenghts works only on paper, and the repetitive battles lack any depth, so they just become a formality, like how you can technically decide where to proceed in story stages… despite being no reason to do so.

All made worse by overly busy menus bursting full of things to “engage” with, in the hope of making you spend actual money on this cheaply cobbled together cash grab, that on top of recycling frames from the anime series and – somehow – managing to have typos on dialogue cribbed word for word, has laughably cheap and amauterish scene transitions.

At least it serves as a decent cliffnotes refresher for Bleach’s story from the beginning, but even so, a lot of the manga it’s available for free on the Shonen Jump app.
Complete waste of time and data.

I do hope we get a new proper Bleach videogame later, a musou, maybe?

fondo-di-caffc3a8-icona1

Azur Lane The Animation 2019-20 [REVIEW] | The Bone Of My Boat

Azur Lane The Animation 2019-20.png

Ah yes, one more for the evergrowing subgenre of “shipgirls military slice of life”, less Arpeggio of Blue Steel, and more Kancolle/Kantai Collection, which is obvious as hell as Azur Lane (by chinese companies Manju and Yongshi) came out to fight Kadokawa’s browser game, but actually bothered to give it more actual gameplay, implement less taxing gacha elements (which is akin to say “less rusty gambling hooks piercing my flesh”), and actually made it easier to access worlwide without any need to know japanese, use google translate constantly or set a VPN, just released an app for smarthphones.

And given it performed quite well (even in Japan), it was just a matter of time to see an anime adaptation of sorts, which came out in late 2019…not fully, as two last episodes were postponed to march 2020 after concerns on animation quality. I thought it was due to fans expressing criticisms on social media, but it seems it was mostly the staff itself’s decision in order to deliver a better and satisfying ending to the series instead of rushing it, which is commendable, and gave me time to catch up. Continua a leggere “Azur Lane The Animation 2019-20 [REVIEW] | The Bone Of My Boat”