REVIEW: ‘Princess Connect! Re:Dive’ Middle of the Road (Android)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Princess Connect! Re:Dive

Princess Connect! Re:Dive is an anime mobile action role-playing game developed by Cygames. While originally released in 2018 in Japan, the game has recently been published worldwide by Crunchyroll Games.

After a young man falls out of the sky, possessing no memories besides his name, Yuuki, he encounters an elf, Kokkoro, who swears her allegiance to him and promises to guide him through the beautiful and new land of Astraea. When the two run out of money, they take on a quest from a guild association. During this quest, they meet a peckish swordswoman, Pecorine, and later, they save a cat-eared sorceress, Karyl. Traveling together, the quartet forms a bond of camaraderie and create the Gourmet Guild.

Through Kokkoro, Yuuki, and therefore the player, learns about the continent of Astraea and the various monsters inhabiting the land. Players will be able to form a party of up to five members to primarily take on quests that focus on defeating three rounds of monsters in a specified time and without every member in the party dying. In general, completion of quests awards Jewels (currency), Mana, and random equipment.

The action itself is hands-off. Each member will attack on their own. The only thing the player controls is the timing of each character’s Union Burst. As the character attacks, their TP meter increases and once it maxes out, players can manually click on the character to use their special attack. But even this can be automated just like the basic attacks.

The fact that players have very little control over the action was personally a bit of a downside. While each character has their own skills, which automatically activate at predetermined times, and a couple of attacks, they aren’t vastly different mechanistically. The combination of these two facts leads to action that requires minimal strategy. Therefore, this is definitely a more laid-back action experience.

What little challenge there is comes from leveling up your characters and your player level. The more you play, the higher your player level. And the more you play with your characters, the higher their level is as well. Character levels can never exceed your player level so it’s important to pay attention to both. Players can also increase their characters’ ranks, which opens up new skills, by equipping items. These skills can also be upgraded with the use of Mana. Despite the complex upgrading system, there is very little you can actually choose about the characters themselves like other RPGs. There are only a handful of skills available to each character and you never choose between them. You get a new one each time you rank up your character. So, the game primarily comes down to a numbers game: level up as efficiently and as quickly as you can so that your party can do the most damage.

While the action and RPG elements are simplistic, the story is where this game shines. A surprise from a mobile game, there are fully animated cutscenes. The entire game is also fully voiced. Although the voice acting is great and the anime scenes are a wonderful surprise, these aspects require a large amount of download space. Thankfully, the story can be downloaded in parts, with only the pertinent downloads initiated immediately. You can also choose to forgo any voice acting to decrease download size.

Princess Connect! Re:Dive

If you do turn on the voice-acting, all the dialogue is in Japanese. However, English subtitles are available. The only time subtitles aren’t available is during quests in action sequences. Although this is probably because there isn’t any space to put the subtitles that wouldn’t be obtrusive, I still would have liked to know what the girls are saying while they use their Union Burst.

New characters can be obtained through a gacha mechanic. There are a decent amount of characters players can obtain. There aren’t as many characters as some other gacha games I’ve seen, but the amount is still nothing to scoff at. And although, as mentioned, they don’t seem to be mechanistically different, the characters are vastly aesthetically contrasting. From elves to vampires to samurai, the designs of each girl are fun and will most likely influence your party setup more so than actual character skills. Jewels are required to roll for new characters. However, unlike some other gacha games that require in-game purchases, Jewels are aplenty, and you won’t be hurting to collect them. Jewels are not only obtained through completing quests but also by watching the story elements.

As you finish main quests, new story scenes are available to view that retell the adventures of the Gourmet Guild. Each character also has their own storylines, primarily showing how they met Yuuki and how their friendship has strengthened since. Each character also has a bond with Yuuki, which develops in front of your eyes, the more you utilize the character in battle. Beyond the Gourmet Guild, there are other guilds in Princess Connect! Re:Dive. These guilds are populated by the characters you obtain through the gacha mechanic.  Each time a new guild is revealed, a new guild story is available that shows the girls’ everyday fantastical lives. With so much narrative to get through, there are plenty of easy Jewels to obtain. 

Overall, the action in Princess Connect! Re:Dive isn’t novel or strategic. Instead, it’s easy-going and laid back, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The best part about this game is the narrative itself and the characters; the game goes the extra yard to develop the characters and world of Princess Connect! Re:Dive through some fun animation and voice acting. Overall, Princess Connect! Re:Dive is a middle-of-the-road game that will likely be attractive to casual players and anime-lovers.

Princess Connect! Re:Dive is available now on iOS and Android.

Princess Connect! Re:Dive
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

The action in Princess Connect! Re:Dive isn’t novel or strategic. Instead, it’s easy-going and laid back, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The best part about this game is the narrative itself and the characters; the game goes the extra yard to develop the characters and world of Princess Connect! Re:Dive through some fun animation and voice acting. Overall, Princess Connect! Re:Dive is a middle-of-the-road game that will likely be attractive to casual players and anime-lovers.