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Game Review: Counter:Side SEA

Published in February 2020 by Nexon Korea for the Korean players, Counter:Side is an anime-style mobile RPG game that encompasses what everyone would say to be the imperfect perfect gacha game. Well, there are both waifus and mechas in this game, which makes it extremely interesting and a good eye-catcher for a wide range of gamers.

“Wait, what? Did you say that this game has both waifus and mechas? Like robots???”

Yes, you heard it right. Counter:Side has not just waifus and mechas, but also soldiers waiting for you to summon. Players will take up the role as the CEO of the Coffin Company, where you would deploy various squads to fight against monsters and bosses as a result of what looks like an apocalyptic event that has befallen Earth.

The story is told mostly from the perspective of Yoo Mina, a girl who is newly attached to the Fenrir Squad and is put together with two other teammates, Hilde and Joo Shiyoon. There is going to be a lot of unexpected twists and turns, which I would not spoil in this review, that will constantly keep you at the edge of your chair. The lore also stands out from most of the other post-apocalyptic ones that are around at the current moment.

"Eh? Isn't this game just for Koreans then? I can't read Korean but I want to play it!!"

Not to worry, Counter:Side was also officially released by ZlongGames for the SEA region on 18th May 2021. So yes! The game is currently available to download in English for fellow SEA gamers on PC, Apple and Android.

Truth be told, I have started the game in the Korean server to test out the game mechanisms and was taken aback by it. Team combinations and deployment strategy are both very important factors to how you ace each and every of the stages in the game itself. In most of the rounds, players are given a map with certain deployment points to place your ships and tanks, where you have to either clear all the mobs in the area or get to a certain point within a number of phases (aka turns).

Each ship would be given two ammo, which means they can only attack both offensively and defensively for a maximum of two times. Players would then have to find a way to get to the supply spot and recharge the ammos for more battle.

As someone who is not very good at puzzle games, some stages did give me a headache and took me a few times before I could figure them all out. However, if you are looking for a game to fill your time, the stage experience in Counter:Side would definitely meet your expectations and it also makes the game more interactive. While there is an auto-battle function for the deployment phase, it is not that intuitive and it’s not recommended to do so.

The in-game battle is mostly automated, though you can also choose to complete each battle by deploying the units and ship skills manually.

Apart from the game mechanisms, the art for the game is aesthetically well made for most of the characters. As someone who falls to nice game art each time, I would say this is largely the reason why the game pulled me in in the first place.

There are tons of characters that would be coming up for the SEA server, apart from the 5 banners featuring about 15 SSRs that span across waifus and mechas. Each of these characters also have their own typing – Defender, Striker, Ranger, Sniper, Supporter, Tower, and Siege. Similar to most other games, each type would generally have their own weaknesses and strengths. It would be dependent on how they are deployed for you to win the game.

The one opinion I have about the gacha system would be the lack of “guaranteed SR and above” for 10 pulls. This was something I felt really iffy about in some of the other games I played that did not have such a system and I had to often get the characters via the pity system instead. Nonetheless, this game does still have a pity counter of 150 pulls on a single character banner.

After getting the characters that you want, you are also free to adjust the size and position of the characters (up to 5) you wish to put on your homepage. Time to unleash your creativity and inner artist to how you want your waifus to be placed. When you level up their loyalty points (i.e., the friendship system in this game), you will also unlock individual character expressions which you can use in the homepage.

*whispers* This is my homepage.

Not just this, there are already some characters skins waiting to be bought, albeit most of them being paid skins, leaving the F2P players with very limited choices. That being said, the skins that are currently obtainable using Quartz, the in-game gacha currency, are still aesthetically pleasing and could be something to consider if you have more than enough Quartz to spare.

That’s all for my brief review for Counter:Side, as I will be divulging too much information about the game if I go any further. Over the past two weeks of gameplay, I have truly enjoyed it and I would definitely be continuing the game to see how things turn out. For everyone who has some time and would like a slightly different lore/gameplay, do make sure to give Counter:Side a try!

Have fun with the game but remember to gacha safely and moderately!

Written by Maru

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