Ahoy! Welcome to Anime Parlay and the first run at a new post type called Check It Out! I use reviews pretty handily before making any sort of financial decision or commitment of time. A younger Captain would just haphazardly just use the money/time if it was there. Now that I have more wisdom and WAY more freetime, I take my financial and lifespan capital very seriously. If it weren’t for committed reviewers, I am sure I would be a consumer worse for the ware. With that in mind, I wanted to review some anime/game related things for the blog but do it in the most un-review-like way possible. That’s just my way!
With Check It Out I want to offer some of my favorite features, experiences, and just positive things I enjoyed about something. Sure, I could also list my negatives too but honestly, I would rather you experience it yourself. Who knows? Maybe something I see as a negative could be a huge positive in your book. I’m not here to shit on your day. Plenty of folks in this world who do that for a living. I simply want to nudge you in a direction to indulge your vacant time with possibilities. That’s how I get down and it seems to be working for me. Thank goodness, something had to give. Life…
When I am not cooking, cleaning, or doing the clerical stuff like bills; I love to get lost in games. My Twitter Bio says “Retro/Mobile” because I primarily play older games (Let’s cap it at Gameboy Advance and further back) or games on my phone. I occasionally play a newer console game but my bread and butter are retro games and mobile games.
Every now and then, I get the itch to browse the app store on my phone for the latest mobile game that just released or received an update. It doesn’t matter the genre, most of the time. If I see any sort of anime inspired or 16-bit-esc characters, I will download that son-of-a-gun. The real judgement comes down to how the game works as a whole. It would be easy to deconstruct mobile games for their basic elements (Gacha, Events, Multiplayer, etc) but that leaves you with the literal basics. For me, if the mechanics are good and they reward players for playing their game, I am more willing to keep playing it.
Having had a chance to watch a few episodes of the BanG Dream! anime last year and was pretty impressed with their whole project. If you haven’t heard about the whole shindig, it’s nuts. Either way, talented women musicians who perform and voice their character counterparts. It’s got a lot of girl-power and I am in to it. Recently, Bushiroad released a mobile game to continue their intended domination of the idol/girl band market. BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! is a wonderfully crafted rhythm game with a wonderful voice cast and catchy tunes. Here’s some of my favorite things about the game.
It’s NOT hyper-sexualized
Something my wife and I like to discuss when it comes to “waifu” games (as she likes to call them) is how women are represented. If I download a game and it’s just all in your face, I am not really willing to dive deeper. Look, we all love cute anime women (and dudes) but I just don’t need sex appeal shoved down my throat all the time. You dig? If you’re into that sort of thing, nothing but respect. You do you! For me, just keep it simple and make some great protagonist for me to follow and invest in.
It’s safe to say that not only does BanG Dream! keep it simple, it builds out all 25 heroines and gives them SO MUCH life that you’d think you met these girls or maybe had them in a class once. It’s eerie how life-like the characters are. They’re even ANIMATED beautifully in the 2-D looking cut scenes (Like above). The girls have facial tells, their hair bounces as they sway, and their conversations can be downright hilarious. Oh, to be young again! Aside from random conversations that unlock as you progress, the 5 bands in the game have unique stories that encourage growth, positive thinking, learning from failure, and just about every other wholesome thing you can imagine! Fuck yeah!
The Music is FANTASTIC
Seriously, the music is fantastic. There are also some really well done covers from the bands featured that will rock your socks off. Ready, Steady, Go! has a cover in this game for all you Full Metal Alchemist fans on the fence about giving the game a try. Additionally, you can find most of the songs in the game on Spotify from the original artists. So, if you find something you like, pretty easy access to it for repeated listening. Don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself. Since it’s the main part of the game, I will keep it short. Music = good!
A Unique Take of Multiplayer
BanG Dream! offers two types of play in the game. The Free Live is where you put your finger DDR skills to the test by picking ANY of the unlocked songs. Multi Live is where I really enjoyed myself. You and 4 other players come together with your best band member at the front. Each player chooses a song to perform and then one of those 5 songs is chosen at random for all players to perform. Ideally, you want to have the highest score at the end of the song. However, the better each player does, the more rewards everyone gets. Holy shit! Co-op competitive gameplay?! And they said it could never happen. The nice part is not getting lost in some PvP list and wondering if your days toiling to the top of the list will ever matter. BanG Dream! would rather you enjoy some great music for some great prizes. Bravo!
Why you should check it out!
Why wouldn’t you want to at least load it up? When I get a mobile game suggested to me, I make some guidelines for myself:
- No Money – Mobile games LOVE the cash in your wallet more than the IRS. Topical! If a mobile game is worth it’s weight in fun and time, you should be able to enjoy it and progress without having to spend money.
- Take What You Get – Gacha/Loot Box type initiatives are everywhere these days. Again, they want your money. A good mobile game will reward the player with enough “Premium” currency at a fair rate so “Free” players can get premium stuff too. For me, I save until I can roll for the max amount of gacha boxes. Whatever I get, I play with. In case you couldn’t tell, I got Arisa EVERYTHING. No love for Kaoru…
- When it stops being fun, DELETE It – Mobile games will run their course. Sometimes you get your fill. Other times you just stagnate. Do yourself a favor and free up that space on your phone. A good mobile game will continue to update its content to stay relevant. If you have a game you LOVE that you decided to delete, follow up later. It may get a great update to draw you back in.
BanG Dream! met all of my expectations. I have spent the last 2 weeks tapping my fingers along to some of the greatest rock jams I have heard so far this year. If you love girl-bands, girl-power, rhythm games, and/or games that don’t require a lot of attention, BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! is worth checking out.
Finally! I wanted to write about this game weeks ago but that’s just how it goes. Sometimes the thing we want is just down the road. Being patient isn’t my style but what can you do? It will get to you eventually. Thanks for reading this un-review and please, if you DO end up checking this game out, let me know how it went for you! Did another feature in the game please you? Did something really draw you in? Maybe you didn’t like it? I would love to hear all about it. For now, enjoy the good word. Adios!