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Love Live!! School Idol Festival: The Struggle Is Real


Initially when I started on the game, I didn't see why there would be so much fuss over it. Granted, the first installment of the anime was o-kay... I guess? But the game...! It was so hard for me to figure out the mechanics... Maybe it's also because I am generally slow to figure things out as well.

Alternative title: how I became hooked onto the game and boom now I'm being a nerd.

It's been close to 1.5 years since I started playing with my friend's recommendation. I wonder why I even stuck around, however. Perhaps I didn't think of playing any other game at that time. Perhaps I decided to train more on SIF so I get less bad at it. Perhaps, it is when I found out about the tiering system I decided it was fun to spend some gems just to place well in an event to get more copies of the event card. 


I generally don't play a lot of games, and anything I've previously played definitely did not involve the option to scout for new card designs - I then learnt that scouting as such is a common thing in Japanese mobile games. The idea is based on the concept of gasha - something like how you'd play gashapon machines; insert a certain amount, twist the handle, receive the randomly selected capsule dropped.


That also reminds me of Ichiban Kuji, a sure-win lucky dip game: where you get a ticket at a fixed price and ripping it open will let you know of which prizes you've received.



Ichiban Kuji can be less merciless than online game gasha in a way, where you at least win tangible objects. For many mobile games with that function, one solo scout often gets you the least powerful card you can get from the set, and often not worth the currency used for the single scout. Promotions to get more powerful cards are applicable only when you save up enough to scout more at a single go.

About the cards. There are 3 types:

1. healers (heals a player's stamina if they got a bad/miss a note)


2. timing window/perfect lock (turns great/good taps into perfect taps. Goods break the combo, and perfect taps give the highest points, so this is quite useful)



3. Score ups (increases score when activated. Extremely useful if the card has a high score up (~500-600) + decent activation rate. Otherwise, it may still narrowly salvage your positions during score matches during close calls between other players. Sometimes statistics have to be taken into account as well - the section below elaborates on that.)


Typically after playing for a while you don't really need a stamina card to survive a song even (if players do stick around to continue playing, that is), so getting more healers is only going to be kind of annoying. (I have a friend who sacrificed her 3 healer URs in exchange for a UR she has been eyeing in the sticker shop. That UR is of her best girl... And also because it's a relatively good scoreup card as well.)


If we are talking in terms of usefulness, good cards are not only considered good in terms of their skill - they can also be good due to their stats. A higher card rarity gives higher statistics, which gives a good boost to the team overall, increasing the tap score during songs. The introduction of the new rarity SSR (a new rarity between SR and UR) is indeed a relief for many, but for the unfortunate people out there who has been on SIF before that implementation and only gotten SRs, the pain is real! (haha)

The pain is also real with the art T_T

And adding to the complication, now UR/SSR cards (if you have any...) now has a secondary boost which raises the stats of specific members, effectively increasing the stats of the whole team and eventually the tap score during the song. I feel that minor point differences won't make a difference, but with reward boxes to fill with your score points and song rewards during events, I find myself constantly reassembling the best team for the best score boost.


And next, the gameplay: according to some people (and me) LLSIF have one of the more difficult beatmaps amongst the idol rhythm games. After the very initial stage of being satisfied at being able to pass a song, it then moves on to the goal of hitting an S-rank score for the song, and finally, full combo. The last goal is more challenging to achieve, especially with tricky Expert songs which many has not yet conquered completely, and the introduction of Master level songs. If you've watched the video on the expert beatmap of magnetic today on my previous nico event post, you'll know what I mean. Or you can try this one.


LLSIF is also notorious for dishing out subpar scouting results to many users, some people (I know a friend who has) quit because the game has not been kind in that aspect. Certainly, players has their own share of lucky pulls and maybe the same amount of really unlucky pulls. Worst case scenario, which often happens, is where only one SR is drawn among all the Rs/the SR is not so aesthetically pleasing/actually also a weak cards from the yesteryears)

Ouch. Full video

More ouch. And that SR happens to be an event SRs, and event SRs are typically weaker than cards only found in scouting boxes.


Of course, there's the game whales, people who spend tons of money on loveca stones to scout over and over until they get what they want (often targeting URs that appear in the box)

Obviously not my team :T

But enough of those frustrations. One of the things I find appealing is the clean interface. Not many games have that, making the game easy to navigate around and use.

Bye Chika :T

And as mirrored from the anime, Love Live! is about people who wants to make a difference and work towards a seemingly impossible common goal. The tenacity present throughout the franchise but hardly seen in real life draws in fans who thinks of it as an inspiration. I also do think the second installment, Love Live! Sunshine!! also showed improvement in character development with all the characters thus far. Well certainly, there are areas that can still be expanded on, but fans can anticipate a second season for that!


The in-game card designs are quite gorgeous as well, the current cards a drastic improvement from the initial art. Here are some of my favourites from the recently released:


This hanayo event card is really pretty... hoping I can get the second copy! (her event, with eli, is ongoing now!)


I like this side of Ruby! She is often portrayed to be very timid and anxious but here she shows a more calm and regal side of her :3 The colour palette is also amazing and true to her theme colour (pink)


I thought this outfit and pose fits chika very well!



I absolutely love the decorations and the expressions on hanamaru and yo's face!



I like how precise the details in these cards!


Since Yohane is my favourite in Aqours, I may be a little biased here... However, the Halloween theme fits her personality very well, I have no doubt of her being the ultimate queen of the underworld >:D

It's an unexpectedly long chapter in my life when it comes to this game. With that, I have finally decided to slowly close it and take an indefinite hiatus after the current event on the WorldWide version, and probably after the event tomorrow on the Japanese version. I might come back to it when school's out, but with SIF having served its purpose as a great distraction and a good form of entertainment to occupy my time and subconsciously think about life, perhaps not as often, but time will tell.


Thank you for reading this article! Now, I must go back to my last all out attempt on tiering for nico. /screams

Written by
Ritsu

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