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Love Live! School Idol Festival (LLSIF) is a rhythm mobile game based on the hit anime show, Love Live School Idol Project. It revolves around two distinct idol groups comprising of nine girls each, Aqours and μ’s (pronounced Muse). Once you seriously get into this game, you get sucked into a horrible reality known as “Idol Hell” by players, named rightly so. From this point on, your life will be dominated by cutesy, idol girls with catchphrases such as “Harasho!”, “Shiny!” and the internet-famous “NICO NICO NIIIII!”. Your social life and family will be thrown out the window, leaving you with only those cursed idols for company. “This sounds great!” I hear you say, “But what else can I do in the game?” Well, allow me to list a few things.
LLSIF allows players to build teams made of cards with different stats and effects for the live shows, which is basically the “rhythm game” aspect. Notes appear in tune with the song being played, and you try to tap them with as much accuracy as possible. You can collect new cards by “scouting” for them with in-game currency. Cards have different abilities that affect your live, such as score-ups or healers. Your team can make or break your score, and this team-building feature appeals the more strategic type of person, who likes to be on top of the leader board using careful planning and precise calculations.
This game also hooks you by constantly introducing new cards to scout for and new events so you’ll never get bored. During events, you’ll play certain songs, chosen of the plethora of different songs, and get event points depending on your score. Then, if you accumulate enough points, you’ll get a shiny copy of the featured event card! If you ever feel like quitting, Love Live! will rope you back in with another event.
There’s a myriad of things to appreciate in LLSIF, from team-building to card collecting, and the many catchy songs to play, but, to me, the one thing I love most about this game is the characters. The characters are a unique aspect of LLSIF you’ll never see in any other rhythm game, and Love Live simply won’t be Love Live without them. μ’s has already disbanded, both in the anime and real life. The voice actors of the characters held their final live show on 1 April 2016, and have since went their separate ways. In LLSIF, however, μ’s is still an idol group. Their legacy lives on in LLSIF. By playing, I can once again absorb myself in a world where μ’s and Aqours exist. That is why, until the game company Klab decides to pull the plug on this franchise, I, and millions of other players worldwide, will continue to sell our soul to this game.