So there was a month-long journal I kept for my first time playing the popular gacha mobile game, Azur Lane. Unfortunately, Kinja was not being very cooperative with the photos I had saved for each entry and I ultimately decided to scrap that idea because the journal was not the same without the pictures. Basically, I was saving my notes after a routine 15-30 minutes of running my morning “dailies” in the app. I still have plenty to say about the game now that I have been playing it for exactly three months today.
Well let’s not be cute about it- Azur Lane is a very polarizing franchise. To some individuals, this is a fun game that
allows them to fulfill their fantasies of having a relationship with a boat is rich in diverse characters, but for me, I am in denial of the fact that the anime world is plagued by immoral desires and gross stuff a fan of the combat system that is surprisingly fun for a gacha game. Indeed, whereas some gacha games underwhelm with their cast and gameplay mechanics (FGO), Azur Lane keeps things fun with some things to mull over whilst selecting your team for battle. FGO started to chip away at this with skills and Noble Phantasms, but it was admittedly disappointing that these skills never really mattered a whole lot.
Something else that I appreciate from Azur Lane is that it knows where to draw the line with its’ complexity (or lack thereof). I loved playing Granblue Fantasy, but I never felt like I was remotely close to figuring out the intricacies (even after hours of reading the wiki for it!) and this really deflated my motivation to play. In Azur Lane, there are skills and synergies that stack well together, but the game can still encourage winning with low rarity, skill deficient units as long as there is proper leveling taken for them. Compared to other gacha games that ruthlessly punish people for not paying to win, it is nice to know that hard work pays off even with the most basic of units.
The “pay to win” mentality is still very much evident and there are many instances where the game will try to convince the player to pay for different assets or conveniences(this is a gacha game after all). I’m notorious for grinding through these sort of games and getting to the best team I can without paying a dime (read: massive time sink to help when I’m waiting on appointments/classes). The best thing about this part of Azur Lane is that it isn’t too ruthless with how it stacks the deck against the free players. “Wisdom Cubes” are the source of currency for gacha rolling for new boats and the game does an excellent job of filling your inventory with them by doing pretty basic things such as logging in daily or running daily missions.
Most gacha games are brutal with how much they want from a player for just a small, 1-3% chance of rolling their most sought after prize. Azur Lane, however, boasts an impressive 7% SR (which is this game’s equivalent to a 5 star rating/SSR pull) during event banners. On top of that, most banners only require the player to spend 2 Wisdom Cubes per pull, which could make a player from nearly every other popular gacha game swoon. Using Fate/Grand Order as a comparison, FGO wants 30 quartz (the currency in that game) to pull ten units for laughably low odds of 1.7% during event banners (the increase from normal pulls to event is only 0.7% on top of the base 1%). I’m not statistician like our amazing community member Gugsy, but I think I like 7% odds for a much greater reduced cost more.
Suffice to say, if you play Azur Lane long enough during the monthly events, you are bound to get some pretty great ships. When I say “ships”, in case you don’t know, I am referring to the fact that famous naval ships of various classes and militaries are made into...well, anime girls. The ships themselves are huge charms to this game. All the jokes about me saying “huge” just now aside and how much people love to get carried away with these characters, each ship has personality and quirks in a way that you typically find in some RPGs. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a whole lot of personality since some ships have more than others, but it is still really fun to hear the ships get worked up and animated about whatever it is they’re passionate about. As with most popular properties like this, the creeps are going to seep in and ruin the fun for everyone, but on the surface level, many of these characters bring pep to the game in ways a lot of gacha games are lacking.
If you aren’t won over by gacha already, this game likely won’t change your mind. It is far more forgiving and rewards players without there being pains for grinding like in some of the other top shelf gacha experiences. For as much as I get on some of the creeps for this game, there are a ton of amazing members of the community and they do their part to keep a pretty solid name for the franchise (one such person is AniTAY’s own hybridmink, who even had his art featured as a loading screen in-game this past summer!). Consider this game if you are (like me) the kind who likes to collect assets without the struggles of low pull rates or complicated game mechanics.
What all have you been playing? Hope you are having a great start to your Autumn season!