Title: Princess Connect! Re: Dive Review
Release Date: January 19, 2021
Reviewed On: iOS
Publisher: Crunchyroll Games
Genre: Gacha RPG
Have you ever had a fine wine with a nice book near the beach or been on a relaxing camping trip just enjoying the company of your good friends? That very niche yet wonderful feeling is precisely what Princess Connect! Re: Dive, developed by Cygames and published by Crunchyroll Games, provides players with their long-awaited global launch. If you’re a mobile game and/or anime fan, you’ll know the level of quality Cygames always brings to the table regarding presentation, story, and gameplay. While massively enjoyable, Princess Connect! Re: Dive will require a bit more of a specific “gamer palette” to truly enjoy.
Princess Connect! Re: Dive‘s main story revolves around Yuuki, a Princess Knight who lost his memory during a major battle and has to regain them to figure out the true mystery of the land of Astraea. Along the way, he meets a whole host of new friends (several who basically have a crush on him overtime) who joins your party through the wonder of gacha pulls.
In this story, what really shines is the character interactions and even their individual side stories that you unlock by raising each character’s bond level. There are even some fun stories of each guild the characters belong to. The narrative’s overall feel reminds me of a more relaxed Konosuba, which coincidentally enough shares the same director to the anime adaptation – Takaomi Kanasaki. While the harem aspect is evident, it’s not over-the-top like other harem-based stories. It’s more wholesome in a way, especially considering the main character is practically oblivious to their advances toward the beginning.
I personally love the three main characters who travel along with the MC – Kokkoro, Karyl, and Pecorine. Their interactions always put a smile on my face, especially with Pecorine being a lovable dork who can eat basically anything in front of her without getting full. The level of comedic timing is on point and had me chuckling throughout the adventure.
The one part that made me especially giddy was that after each chapter, the cutscene ends with an outro song and a “next time on” segment, like an actual anime. Cygames definitely did not pull their punches when it came to presenting this endearing world and its inhabitants.
If I had to describe the gameplay and some of you may not necessarily like it, Princess Connect! Re: Dive is pretty much an interactive screensaver. It’s not like some of the other “idle gachas” like Brave Nine, where there’s quite a bit of planning. You still have to do some prepping beforehand, as each monster you face will have different strengths throughout the story.
Once you get into battle, all you pretty much do is watch highly detailed chibi’s of your team go to battle. Each character has a couple of abilities that will randomly activate and a Union Burst you can manually activate. Union Bursts vary from massive heals to AOE enemy damage. While the battles are cute and fun to watch, I would recommend leaving the 2x speed option on. Unless you really want to watch the fight.
Not every character is equipped to face each fight, even if you have your team to a decent level, so you’ll have to have a good number of various teams ready to go. Every unit you own, despite rarity, will have its individual but beneficial uses. You’ll have to divide your experience and equipment into your units, whether a level calls for magical DPS or beefy frontline tanks.
It’s definitely evident in the Dungeon mode. If you have some units die and want to continue to get your rewards, you better have some good backups to fill up the spots. But you know what that means? You don’t have to cry every time you don’t pull your waifu. Granted, some of the three stars are worth it. Your one-star waifus will be worth putting your time, experience, and equipment into.
That said, I think this game is more of a visual novel disguised as a gacha RPG. The battles unlock various chapters in the story, and the bond levels open character-specific stories that give stat boosts to the specific girl. I’ve found most of my time glued to the screen was for the stories. With Cygame’s previous track record of masterfully told stories with titles like Shadowverse, Dragalia Lost, and Granblue Fantasy, I was not surprised that I would have an enjoyable time with each of these characters that had me smiling from ear to ear. The great thing for me is that the storytelling vastly beats out the screensaver gameplay. However, I’m fully aware that’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
There are some PVP and PVE options that can reward you with more in-game currency and materials to power up your best girls further. There’s also a “Sanctum Survey” mode coming at a later date, which will allow players to farm shards for unique weapons, increasing their level cap, and more. At the end of the day, you need to pick up Princess Connect! Re: Dive if you’re a fan of the anime or even enjoyed Konosuba.
Princess Connect! Re: Dive is a fun and approachable gacha RPG that borderlines on idle gameplay mechanics. The stamina does tend to run dry quickly, but that’s just the result of playing for hours to unlock all the unit’s unique storylines. If you treat it like an anime and enjoy it in short bursts, you’ll be rewarded with a few significant narrative beats without hitting any paywalls.
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