Video Game Review: Azur Lane

Details: Spent a couple days playing through the game. Official site is https://azurlane.yo-star.com

Score: 6/10

Azur Lane is one of the most popular mobile gacha games on the market. Accordingly, I decided to give it a try and see what all the fuss was about. What I found was a mostly derivative auto-battler that exceled in one main area: anime boobies.

Azur Lane takes place in a fictionalized world where famous warships have been anthropomorphized into cute, sexy, anime waifu’s. Like, literal battle ships from like World War 2 and beyond. It’s a weird concept that has taken nerds and weebs by storm. You play a commander of a fleet of these anime girl-warships and do battle with other fleets of anime girl-warships.

The biggest flaw in this game is the boring gameplay. While the presentation of battles is a little different from that of other auto-battler gacha games, it’s still pretty much the same. Teams of characters battle other characters. You don’t really have any control over your characters except that you can sluggishly move them around the screen in hopes of dodging projectiles. It’s not a very well implemented system and you will most likely just hit the convenient auto-play button and automate the whole process.

Other than the generic, automated battles, leveling and progressing your characters is also mostly the same as any other gacha auto-battler. You complete missions/battles, you get items and resources which you spend to make your fleet more powerful. There is a constant trickle of in game resource that you need to spend in order to participate in any activity. Spend your daily allotted resource and you can’t do anything else in the game. It’s all very uninspired.

The only thing that stands out in this game and which is also likely the reason why this game is so popular is the waifu’s. In other words, it’s the sexily or cutely drawn anime girls. When it comes to games where you collect characters, art is everything and the art in this game is very good. By very good, I mean very lewd.

To take things to the next level, Azur Lane has implemented Live2D for many of their characters. This is basically interactive 3D models of the anime girls that players can poke at. It’s not artificial intelligence, but it is a step up from the static images or slightly moving static images in all the other waifu collector games out there. Players that are desperate for female interaction and lack the ability to interact with real women in real life would probably appreciate this feature.

The gacha mechanics in this game are slightly different that in other gacha games. You don’t roll on a banner, but you build ships with an in-game resource. Those ships have a probability of being really powerful ships or less powerful ships. It’s a different skin for the same animal. In the end, it’s just a random gamble for an in-game character you may or may not want, not unlike any other gacha game.

Overall, this game is generic and boring in terms of gameplay, but exquisite in terms of collecting sexy anime girls and interacting with them and their Live2D models. If you are a desperate, lonely, weeaboo/nerd who gets their jollies from fake, cartoon girls, this game will probably make you really happy. Otherwise, it’s just another average, generic, auto-battling gacha game that offers nothing new in terms of gameplay.