I’m having a hard time with this game. It keeps making me do things. First I need to tap through words, then I need to tap through monsters. And then there’s more words, and more monsters. I don’t think Nintendo really understands how this is supposed to work here. They almost had it right with their last anime game but this is just not up to par.
Nintendo has only fairly recently discovered the goldmine that is mobile gaming. And it wasn’t something they immediately nailed on their first try. Miitomo, bless its heart, met its untimely demise earlier this year. Aside from the Niantic-developed runaway success that was Pokemon Go, Nintendo’s greatest success was the anime girl collecting game, Fire Emblem Heroes.
But Nintendo is running out of anime girls from Fire Emblem, so now they need to do something new. Something bold, and different. A fresh IP, with all new anime girls to collect. With an untapped supply of anime girls. Anime girls, and vaguely sexy dragons.
Dragalia Lost is their first truly bold mobile game. The largest risk they’ve ever taken. Not counting Miitomo, which really wasn’t a risk. It’s not a risk if you’re actively trying to shotgun your face off. Trying to take a horse penis up the ass is a risk. Miitomo wasn’t the risk, the rope breaking was the risk. The slow, painful couple years it spent as a cripple was what they got for taking that risk. The punishment they reaped for sinning in the eyes of God. But Miitomo itself was never the risk.
A completely new, fresh IP with a brand new cast of characters. No familiar faces to immediately endear it, no established lore or rules to constrain it. Nintendo is now free to come up with whatever they want, embrace the fullest extents of their creativity, and bullshit their way into your wallets with a limitless supply of anime girls to collect.
And what they’ve done with that boundless creativity? Eh. It passes the time.
If you’ve ever watched one of those anime cartoon shows, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into here. It’s really nothing special. There’s one million characters but only like two of them are important. The other ones are there for you to draw porn of and re-label funny tweets as in-character conversations that only you and three other socially impaired people will find funny because y’all have no real friends to laugh at normal things with.
As a mobile game, the level of polish is impressive. The obsessive attention to detail is definitely the most Nintendo thing about the game. It’s probably the only “Nintendo” thing about the game. Everything else feels so odd and foreign. As if Nintendo realized there was a million dollars to be made with anime tiddies, so they made a secret porn blog to share anime tiddies and were trying really hard to keep it a secret but you still recognized the way they type.
It’s honestly a little surprising, even with the amount of fanservice Nintendo has been pumping out lately. This had to be some sort of executive order, someone big had to sign off on this. Miyamoto himself unplugged all of the Wii Vitality Sensors from each of his fingers and toes, came down from his eighth dimension of local, asynchronous, cardboard-based, quality of life, glasses-free existence to declare “Let there be anime tiddies”. And he saw they were good.
The uninspired premise is only topped by the even duller gameplay. It’s an incredibly simple top-down hack and slash game with an even simpler take on level design. Almost all of the levels are assembled of various hallways leading into monster rooms leading into more hallways leading into more monster rooms, with waves of repetitive enemies mostly differentiated by elemental affinities. In short, it’s literally just any other mobile game with anime tiddies in it.
If the gameplay was meant to be rewarding within itself, it wouldn’t give you “Skip Tickets” to effortlessly clear dungeons without actually playing them. It wouldn’t give you an auto feature to allow the game’s transcendentally retarded AI to shriek and drool through levels for you. Dragalia Lost, like so many other mobile games, falls into the pattern of making gameplay the punishment and not playing the game the actual reward. I hit the Auto button, the game plays itself for me. I use my Skip Ticket, I don’t have to watch the game play itself for me, getting me the satisfaction of not playing the game even faster. Wouldn’t it be even faster to just never play the game and just google the porn in the first place?
We could never do that though, we’re not savages. We need to know the characters’ names first before we nut to them. Have some manners, have some class. Read a little bit of lore first. At least two chapters. Let them endear themselves to you first.
The game is polished as fuck though. It’s got some real pretty artwork, the writing is at least charming when it’s not blatant porn dialogue without the porn, and the soundtrack has a ton of bangers. It was composed by DAOKO, whomst is apparently some kind of major weeb singer/rapper. I had to Google who they were. I’d hit it. Hit me up DAOKO. If you slap anywhere near as hard as your music we’ll get along just great.
My biggest takeaway wasn’t that mobile games could actually have some production value, quality, and depth to them. There are better examples of mobile games with depth, or production values. For some fucking reason. Like what the fuck, make a real game you fucking idiot, no one’s gonna appreciate your mobile game on the app store, you’re gonna have twenty Chinese knock-offs before your game is even published.
No, my biggest takeaway was that all this great production value was absolutely wasted on a pretty average, disposable mobile game experience. Imagine if they actually made a real game with high quality art and music like this. People would buy it. Lots of them. But no, Nintendo is busy chasing the overstuffed wallets of fucking weebs that have nothing better to spend their money on besides endlessly rolling the dice on possibly getting their perfect anime girl that’s totally older than twelve and definitely younger than the national age of consent but probably just old enough to be legal in whatever your state is so the FBI won’t kick your door down.
I just wanna get to the part where they take their clothes off. It’s just tapping on monsters until they die and making the numbers get bigger and bigger. When I hit the biggest number, will I finally get to see a little tiddy? Just like, one? A cubic centimeter of areola? That’s a reasonable amount right? I ain’t paying shit Nintendo, don’t be stingy. Cut me a deal or I’ll find a mobile game that’ll give me what I want.
The ball is in your court.