Game review: Love Live!: School Idol Festival
If your resident anime geek hasn’t mentioned LoveLive in your presence at least once, then you’re either:
a) Not listening
b) Not listening hard enough
Boasting their own anime series, and more kawaii merchandise than that weird sweaty 50-year-old we see at conventions, this cute team of teenaged pop queens (or ‘school idols’ if you will) have taken the iPhone and Android gaming world by storm.
As a person who is drawn to sparkling eyes, potential cosplay opportunities, and iPhone games; I thought I’d give LoveLive!: School Idol Festival a go and see what all the hype was about.
First and foremost: LoveLive!: School Idol Festival is a rhythm game. The interface kind of reminded me of Tap Tap Revenge, only with more cute anime faces, and a story tacked on like an afterthought. After I’d decided which LoveLive girl I wanted to ‘lead’ my group of idols (I chose Maki because I liked her hair and she looks like she’d cut a bitch if you crossed her), I was forced into a lengthy tutorial where I learnt all about the rhythm component of the game.
Basically, you have tap the idol at exactly the right moment when a musical note hits her, and you receive a score of either Bad, Good, Great or Perfect.
Acing songs enables you to unlock more of the story and progress to more difficult songs. Gaining a good score in a song also allows you to upgrade the levels of the idols themselves, giving you access to a variety of adorable costumes. I also really enjoyed the scouting tool, which allows you to enlist new members in your idol team. This was really enjoyable as it was a bit of a gamble, and the excitement was real when you managed to recruit an adorable new team member.
Admittedly, the storyline of the game wasn’t very engaging, but it didn’t bother me too much as I consume anime like alcoholics consume wine – all types are good, just some are better than others. The graphics themselves were nice, and I really enjoyed listening to the original Japanese voices, with English subtitles, but the story itself was just a slight cliché. The trials and tribulations experienced by the LoveLive idols just felt like any other bland school-idol text: overly-bubbly schoolgirls, and the heart-wrenching question of WILL THE SHOW GO ON? (of course it will). However, I’m not writing this element of the game off completely as I’m yet to watch the LoveLive anime series, which I am sure would provide more context to the game and its characters.
LoveLive!: School Idol Project certainly did manage to distract me from the ever-increasing mountains of uni work surrounding me. If you were after a light-hearted, enjoyable, and utterly adorable game for your smartphone, I’d definitely recommend hitting up the LoveLive girls for some self-indulgent fun.