How Does BanG Dream! Compare To Love Live And Utano Princesama?

By Jenni . April 16, 2018 . 12:00pm

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Mobile rhythm game fans who like a little more engagement in their music games are in a good place right now. Over years, Love Live! School Idol Festival, Utano Princesama: Shining Live and BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! have been released worldwide. These three Android and Apple iOS games all follow a similar sort of formula. You collect cards based on idols and equip them to your group to determine scores and skills that can performed via successful button presses during a song. There are songs that are either unlocked or available on a rotation. When you are not tapping along with tracks, you are reading short stories starring the characters. How does BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! set itself apart from its predecessors. Well, it does a number of things quite differently.

 

Let’s start with the visual novel elements. In many ways, BanG Dream! is very similar to both Love Live! and Utano Princesama. All three games have something of a main campaign, where we go through standard storylines that introduce us to the characters, show how they are when they are not on-stage, offer a bit of a backstory and provide motivation for continued performances. There are also events happening every few weeks, accompanied by a brief storyline that unlocks as your cumulative score increases. There are also brief, character-specific conversations in all three games that come from using characters or investing in card improvements, which let you see a very brief conversation discussing costumes and wishes.

 

dont say lazy

 

BanG Dream! goes a step further with its interactions. Each band has its own level, which increases as you use and watch conversations with its members. This unlocks origin stories and additional songs. There are also casual conversations. This game has an actual town map with different locations. The number of places you can visit increases as you go through the main storyline. This provides access to a number of shops, but more importantly lets people converse between songs you play. This means an opportunity to see chit-chat between characters you might not see interact. There are at least five of these talks between performances, which adds to more interactions and opportunities to get to know people.

 

When it comes to the actual rhythm gameplay, BanG Dream! can also be both similar and different. All three games have notes where you tap or hold at specific points on the screen. Both BanG Dream! and Utano Princesama also have notes where you hold and move left or right. Unlike its contemporaries, BanG Dream! adds a flick note, which requires a quick flicking action when you see a pink indicator. This can make the game a bit more difficult. Scoring is based upon the strength of the units and your accuracy when playing in all three games, but BanG Dream! allows you to purchase and upgrade musical instruments that can be placed in CiRCLE Studio to boost the points earned by members of specific bands.

 

As can the arrangement of its targets. Both Love Live! and Utano Princesama have their icons traveling down lines heading toward indicators appearing along a curved half circle. In the case of Love Live!, each character is tied to a specific circle. BanG Dream! has its targets along a straight line. I find this makes it easier to tap along to tunes, as my fingers do not need to move up a bit. As for its number of indicators, Utano Princesama has only six, BanG Dream! has seven and Love Live! has nine. While this would suggest Love Live! might be the most complicated, I feel like its note patterns are not as complex and rely a lot on tapping pairs in certain orders, making BanG Dream!’s layout feel more complicated.

 

song shop

 

Let’s wrap this up by talking about the songs. BanG Dream!, Love Live! and Utano Princesama are all multimedia franchises. They all have their own original songs drawn from their properties. However, in both Love Live! and Utano Princesama, we have a number of songs that appear on a rotation and are not always accessible. We always have access to all BanG Dream! songs we have  However, BanG Dream! is also notable for having a number of cover songs available. These are taken from anime series, like Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto, K-On and Steins;Gate, and Vocaloids, like “1, 2, Fanclub” by Gumi and Rin Kagamine. You earn a different sort of teardrop gem currency via playing, and paying 10 of these gems for a song permanently adds it to your track list.

 

All three of these music games have their merits. BanG Dream! Girls Band Party, Love Live! School Idol Festival and Utano Princesama: Shining Live can each be fun, free-to-play games. But of the three, I feel like sometimes BanG Dream! does the best job of helping give characters a voice, challenge players and offer a more well-rounded selection of songs that includes original music and songs from iconic series.

 

BanG Dream! Girls Band Party, Love Live! School Idol Festival and Utano Princesama: Shining Live are all available for Android and Apple iOS devices.


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