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「Mobage」Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight: ReLive

It's been nearly two months since the game is released! My review for it is a little late this time,  because there are just so many noteworthy points (both good and bad)!

So without further ado, let's begin.

1. VPN required
With APKs and appstores nowadays, it's weird to think that a game would close its doors to other countries, but we have Ateam here who did it.

You will have to get a VPN for Japan to get through the login screen. Once inside the game, it functions perfectly fine without a running VPN. If you are searching for a VPN to use for this game, I'll recommend TunnelBear, which gives free monthly data on top of 1 GB for each successful friend invitation! I am using it and it hasn't caused me any hiccups thus far.

2. Similar to FGO
This is a comment that is always brought up when discussing about Revue Starlight and I think it is very true. The game (teambuilding) and gacha mechanisms are built around the same concepts.
Team-building in Revue Starlight is also limited by cost as you attempt to  fit up to five girls with memoirs in your team. In Revue Starlight, you also get an additional boost by equipping a song and getting its tagged boosts.
Scouting is quite similar as well. You are only guaranteed to get either a 2* cast (girl) or a 3* memoir in 10 scouts (3000 star gems). The chance of getting a 3* cast is lower than the chance of getting a 4* memoir. Also, a 4* cast member is only 1.2%.

3. Story
Similar to many other anime-turned-games out in the market, the game version includes many more characters. In this case, characters are from other schools.
The story mode comes with chapters where you have fully-voiced scenes. You can also read snippets of the girls' daily lives from the room.
Other than churning out the stories, the room is also apt for getting additional items such as coins, gifts (for increasing bond with the girls), and stamina (to clear stages) among others. 
And of course, you can decorate your room as well! You get to choose from a plethora of default items, and set furniture that come with the corresponding event and stay even after the event is finished! As of now, we have furniture to match Halloween, furniture to help recreate the atmosphere in an aquarium, and last but not the least, furniture to create a traditional Japanese stage set and an Arabian set. Mix and match items to find your own flair!

5. Battle mechanics
After building your team, you would start with either the story or the PVP mode. Both of this use the same battle mechanics. There is a three-row mechanism, and you can either choose a team which utilizes all three rows or even just one row. Beware as your opponents might have cards that are able to damage all girls in the same row, resulting a team built only with a single row vulnerable. Likewise, there are also single-target only girls, and some who can hit all opponent cards, regardless of row and position.
All cards come with a Kirameki gauge. When this gauge is filled in battle, you can use a Special attack, known as Climax.

When two or more girls who have used the Climax attack survive two turns after it, they would be able to do a Final Act. 

There are two kinds of Final Act: attribute-based or multi-attribute. Typically, the attribute-based attack would be stronger.
Each card also comes with a 1-AP, 2-AP, and 3-AP normal attack. A mixture of these would be used to fill a 6-AP attack gauge. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the AP of your move is, the more your Kirameki gauge would fill. However, some 3-AP moves are effect-based only (i.e. increase Act Power "attack") and deals no damage to your opponent's cards. Also, with more girls in your team, the chance of getting the move your need would lessen.

6. PVP
PVP is a huge aspect of this game, and it is probably where your enjoyment (or frustration) would come from. Without good cards that fit into your team, you would find it rather difficult to win as the cards in this game seem to be rather unbalanced at the moment. Cards that initially seem strong quickly faze out with newly released cards as Ateam seems to be releasing new cards with attributes and skills targeted to counteract specific cards.
For instance, an initial 4-star card Maya (purple planet attribute) was the strongest tank in game, boasting the highest HP and DEF. This meant that it was extremely difficult to get pass her, except if you used cards she is weak to (yellow moon attribute). In the second event, Ateam released Phantom Nana which could take out Maya with a Climax attack.

Another example would be initial 4-star Hikari, who is a front row girl and comes with a 3-AP move that does not deal any damage. Instead it increases her dodge count by one. However, with the increase in number of cards that can deal multiple hits even with just normal moves, it might be a little pointless to use Hikari's 3-AP move against some opponents.

Why play PVP and cause yourself anguish then, you may ask. Winning PVPs give treasure chests that are either bronze, silver (or blue), and gold (or red). 

These chests contain coins, or bronze/blue/red chips. The chips can then be exchanged in the shop for items such as a scouting ticket.

7. The Grind
I would have to say that the grind is very real for this game.

When you start the game, you would be grinding for tickets and possibly coins. This would be to level your girls to an acceptable level to clear story mode and win some PVPs for treasure chests. 

After which, you would be grinding to get item drops (also known as orbs) to skill rank your girls.

Each card can reach a maximum of 7+1 rank, where the additional +1 contains spots where the orbs are only attainable through events or through purchasing in the shop with red gems.

You get red gems through events or through duplicate cast cards. A 2-star duplicate gives 1 red gem, while a 3 or 4 star gives phenomenally more, so some players have even mentioned that getting duplicates is the way to improve your team in this game. Which also means that the gap between P2P and F2P players is very, very huge.

Another way that time can be spent on this game is to wait to star your girls to 6 star. All cast cards can be starred to 6 stars. To do this, you would have to get fragments of the specific card. 

And everyday you can only play 5 free stages and 5 paid stages (cost: 300 star gems to refill). As fragment drops are only up to 2 per stage, you would only get a maximum of 20 per day.

This is ineffective because it is not common to get 2 drops for all 5 stages, and you need a total of 20 fragments to get a 4 star to 5 star, and 30 fragments to get a 5 star to 6 star.

Thus, apart from spending to get your new cards, or duplicates, you would definitely have to allocate time in your day to this game if you would like to be able to get be able to win the more difficult bosses in events, or get some PVP enjoyment out of it.

8. Enjoyment 3/5
This is a game I tried so as to have a different genre of mobile game than usual, and I can say that I am pleasantly surprised. The animation and artwork is top-notch and I really love how the battle moves are fluid.

However, the need for a VPN is extremely inconvenient, especially since the game updates regularly with small patches, and you would be brought back to the login screen each time. Changing tabs or switching off the screen also causes you to disconnect, which would bring you back to the home page (you don't need a VPN in this case) except when you are in a stage (you can continue where you left off). In this second case, it's more of an annoyance than an actual inconvenience, especially when you have to reply to multiple messages, or if you are playing during working hours.

The above as well as the amount of grind you need to win PVP are my largest gripes about the game.

~ Reina-rin

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