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GAME: Touken Ranbu




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manapear



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 1461
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:14 pm Reply with quote
So, is the aggressive monetization a result of the localization process? Because in all my years playing the JP version, I never had to spend money. Also, have you all considered someone reviewing the many issues of the localization and putting them beside not only the JP version, but historical and cultural context to see what kind of image this version of the game is creating?

This review seems a little irresponsible in a couple of ways, but I think your QRTs on Twitter are already confirming as much.
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Peebs



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:10 pm Reply with quote
This is the exact review, word by word, I would've written if I had the energy to write. I don't read anymore, but that's a story for a different thread.

Everything in this review is true for me. In the last event (not the current once with the beads), it felt like I had a 2nd job I had to go to after my daytime job. It was so tiring. I stopped playing the other mobile games I play and anime was for the weekends when I had more time. Two weeks of questioning my life choices and wondering what the what with this game.

For years I quote tweeted the JP account on Twitter asking for a port of the game. I tried it in JP and couldn't get past the language barrier even with the fan wiki. I already added $20US to my account and haven't used it yet. I can't buy koban with it which what I need to finish the current event. Love the boys, hate the game.
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JR-1



Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Southeast Asia
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 7:29 am Reply with quote
Seeing a lot of disagreements with the review in my TL and perhaps I just want to say that it’s kind of a missed opportunity for ANN to not do some kind of feature article viewing the touken ranbu franchise as a whole from the perspective of someone’s in it.

This is not a completely unfair* review of the game itself but I get the feeling that’s what people actually want

*It’s complicated as games like this feels like there’s a dissonance between the design and how people actually plays it, with also how it develops as a live service game. Like I dipped into girls frontline which have a somewhat similar system so I can see if someone’s not familiar with the community around it they see shallow gameplay and aggressive monetization but it becomes a consensus in the community to play around it which in turns affect how the game is further refined (it becomes heavy on outfit gacha and making resources easier to get). It’s very different from a typical game review where you can just put your singular opinion of it as a standalone product and I understand the limitation of extra legwork needed perhaps not affordable for simple reviews like this. I guess the philosophical question is then how little value a review like this compared to such feature.
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Raneth



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 257
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:17 am Reply with quote
"So, yeah, Touken Ranbu is an autobattler."

Exactly what I wanted to know, and was kind of afraid of. I want real gameplay in my games, and I guess my search for a husbando game with actual gameplay will continue.
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octopodpie
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:21 am Reply with quote
Given what I've seen of the fandom in the last 48 hours, I'm not interested from an editorial perspective.

We gave the series a lot of coverage during its heyday in Japan. If people want to read back up on those links:

Living Swords and Pretty Boys: What is Touken Ranbu?: http://4NN.cx/.115307
Interview with Takashiki "Digitarō" Kosaka & Koh Kitaoka: http://4NN.cx/.115653

There's a ton of interest articles discussing the fandom (http://4NN.cx/.86041) and all of the history they've helped preserve.
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Frogw



Joined: 13 Jun 2021
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:34 am Reply with quote
As a whale who have spent $$$ on various IAP-driven mobile gotcha games, I won't call TKRB a "pay to win" game. The concept of winning in TKRB is ambiguous as so much of gameplay depends on luck and collecting swords over an extended period of time. You can develop any sword for end game unlike many gacha games where pulling SSR cards are critical. In that regard, I actually think the gameplay of TKRB more fair than some other gacha games.

Storytelling is definitely the biggest missed opportunity. I was surprised to see how little of lore exist in the game when fandom has done extensive research in historical facts. As for the gameplay, my conclusion is that this game is made for office ladies in Japan. It works best when you are running chores or finishing small work tasks. This is not the game that requires your full attention.

To me the real issue of TKRB is that I am running out of things to do as I have collected most swords after 2 months. There are not enough things I want to pay for, unlike some other games that run limited SSR events every month that can cost some serious $$$.
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manapear



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 1461
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:48 am Reply with quote
I think another thing missing from this review/perspective when calling TKRB aggressive with its monetization is... the Japanese version has, more than once, given away almost every sword to every player. Including most of the rarest swords. It's hard to say if Johren will follow suit, given some of their already very weird and lazy choices with the localization, but really, the JPN version has been very generous. And not in a superficial way that some gacha games get away with. (Like say, GBF or something.)

Raneth wrote:
"So, yeah, Touken Ranbu is an autobattler."

Exactly what I wanted to know, and was kind of afraid of. I want real gameplay in my games, and I guess my search for a husbando game with actual gameplay will continue.

Sadly, most of these don't get the support they deserve to survive, even sans localization. SIN-EN Resist would have been your best bet, but it got axed a few years ago now. Here's hoping someone bothers to try again, but it's sad that the ship has probably sailed on worthwhile gameplay with joseimuke games. (Even console otome games float between ridiculously lazy or decent mechanics, depending on the company.)


octopodpie wrote:
Given what I've seen of the fandom in the last 48 hours, I'm not interested from an editorial perspective.

In general, or in response to this review?


Frogw wrote:
As a whale who have spent $$$ on various IAP-driven mobile gotcha games, I won't call TKRB a "pay to win" game. The concept of winning in TKRB is ambiguous as so much of gameplay depends on luck and collecting swords over an extended period of time. You can develop any sword for end game unlike many gacha games where pulling SSR cards are critical. In that regard, I actually think the gameplay of TKRB more fair than some other gacha games.

Storytelling is definitely the biggest missed opportunity. I was surprised to see how little of lore exist in the game when fandom has done extensive research in historical facts. As for the gameplay, my conclusion is that this game is made for office ladies in Japan. It works best when you are running chores or finishing small work tasks. This is not the game that requires your full attention.

To me the real issue of TKRB is that I am running out of things to do as I have collected most swords after 2 months. There are not enough things I want to pay for, unlike some other games that run limited SSR events every month that can cost some serious $$$.

It's definitely not pay to win, and it's true that it's the opposite of any other gacha. For end-game, the most typical and common swords will wind up being your most useful. (And it's a rare game where your faves can carry you through certain events and maps when they're strong enough.)

From what I've read from others, the storytelling is so minimal because it relies on the historical aspect, and I feel that's true and kind of works better for it? So much of the swords' dialogues and interactions are dependent on their real world history, but I can also see how that can be a turn-off. I do think it's ended up making the yume section of the fandom stronger, and that's kind of more fun to me.

Your end-point is a major thing with it. I love TKRB, but there's just so little to do. I like that they added the photo feature, but overall, it's a very barebones game, even now. It's really about loving the swords and being a history buff, and that's nice since it is a multimedia franchise now, but at least another spin-off game for more interaction or engagement would be nice.
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octopodpie
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:09 am Reply with quote
In general.
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manapear



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 1461
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:36 am Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
In general.

Ahh. Well, it is like any, sizable fandom. It has its share of extremists and loyalists too, and I think given the way joseimuke content has worked and been released, series like TKRB do invite a lot of people who get entitled, and sometimes, intense.

The previous articles on ANN have been very informative a fun read though. I appreciate them for what they explored and helped share with the Western audience/fandom.
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capt_bunny



Joined: 31 May 2015
Posts: 313
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 11:15 pm Reply with quote
manapear wrote:
Also, have you all considered someone reviewing the many issues of the localization and putting them beside not only the JP version, but historical and cultural context to see what kind of image this version of the game is creating?

This review seems a little irresponsible in a couple of ways, but I think your QRTs on Twitter are already confirming as much.


I've read many of the qrts which were on point of the review. About how many of the times it gives us the freedom for the imagination about the game and history. This is a big thing in many of JP and other non-Anglo communities were they give into many headcanons, stories, theories. Look at hypmic. There was BARELY anything on the first year the series came out and now we know so much of its story. I think its harder to play when you think too much logic and a bit narrow(? Forgive me I can't find the right words.) views instead of creativity and imagination.

Quote:
Touken Ranbu is absolutely a pay-to-win game


I absolutely HIGHLY disagree with this. I have been playing the JP version for over 6 YEARS. I never once paid for the game and have gotten a handful of 5* swords. Many times they have given the players free 5* swords. You need to wait a couple of months or something like a 100k downloads for a free Mikazuki. I have 4 in my JP version which given for free. That's why all of the memes on touken ranbu are "pray to RGN-sama"

My interest for the game died in the 4th anniversary so I'm not "loyal" as I used to be. However, my feelings of it being a "play-to-win" is not true.

It's fine if the game isn't your cup of tea. I totally agree if that isn't it but the words used about the game aren't...... Well, I can't say anything as I have learning disabilities so I can't even find the right words on latter.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 8196
Location: IL
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 11:37 pm Reply with quote
Is there even a PvP system in Touken Ranbu? I always thought (based on only having a very basic grasp of its mechanics) that it was basically the otome clone of Kantai Collection and that game has no PvP (or at least didn't when I played it years ago). If there's no PvP aspect then there is no way it can be "pay to win". At worst it can be "pay to progress slightly faster" but that's like pretty much any game with any kind of microtransaction that isn't purely cosmetic.
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Frogw



Joined: 13 Jun 2021
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:22 am Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
Is there even a PvP system in Touken Ranbu? I always thought (based on only having a very basic grasp of its mechanics) that it was basically the otome clone of Kantai Collection and that game has no PvP (or at least didn't when I played it years ago). If there's no PvP aspect then there is no way it can be "pay to win". At worst it can be "pay to progress slightly faster" but that's like pretty much any game with any kind of microtransaction that isn't purely cosmetic.


There is no traditional PVP. You can duel other players for a very little XP, and that's about it. No ranking board either.
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Past



Joined: 14 Feb 2006
Posts: 3322
Location: China (Searching for Jusenkyo)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:53 am Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
Is there even a PvP system in Touken Ranbu? I always thought (based on only having a very basic grasp of its mechanics) that it was basically the otome clone of Kantai Collection and that game has no PvP (or at least didn't when I played it years ago). If there's no PvP aspect then there is no way it can be "pay to win". At worst it can be "pay to progress slightly faster" but that's like pretty much any game with any kind of microtransaction that isn't purely cosmetic.
You play against the game AI. Battles get progressively harder just like many single player games that involve grinding or progression as the objective. If the boss beats you, try again until you get lucky, level up more or get better gear. Or you can pay to circumvent the effort needed, ergo pay to win. That was more of a generalized rundown, your mileage may vary how well it applies to Touken Ranbu.
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