Rhythm games have always been the craze in Japan. From Dance Dance Revolution to the millions of players that play Love Live School Idol Festival, Starlight Stage, and UtaPri: Shining Live, people just can’t seem to get enough from this game genre.
It has almost been a month since Bang Dream! Girls Band Party, or Bandori for short, came out worldwide. Lately, it’s all I have been playing on my phone to the point where I even dropped Love Live SIF just so I can devote more time to this game. So what exactly makes this game good and why has it captivated the hearts of many fans in a course of a month? There’s plenty of reasons actually and I’ll list a couple as to why this is my favorite game to play right now.
If you have played rhythm games before, getting into Bandori shouldn’t be hard at all. However, don’t be worried as it is also welcoming to new players. A lot of the mechanics in Bandori aren’t hard to comprehend as there are only 4 types of notes in the game: tap, hold, slide, and flick.
As you move on to higher difficulties, expect more notes that also move faster, just like any other rhythm game. Even though they are challenging to play especially on Expert, the beat maps are very satisfying to play along to as it matches the songs extremely well. It’s almost as if you are there playing the instruments yourself.
There is also an option to play with 4 other people and that is one of the biggest reasons I love this game. Getting to play the same songs with friends is a lot better than playing alone as the game promotes teamwork. You and your band are rewarded based on how well you all performed on the song.
The songs in Bandori are amazing. It is to the point where I have them downloaded on my phone to listen to even when I am not playing the game. There are five bands in Bandori: Poppin Party, Afterglow, Pastel*Palettes, Roselia and Hello, Happy World! Each band has a different style so that it could cater to anyone. For example, Afterglow has that authentic rock feel to their songs while Pastel*Palettes has a very idol feel to theirs.
Not only do they have a variety of songs to choose from, but they also do covers of famous anime opening and ending songs. One of my favorite songs to play is Sugar Song and Bitter Step that was covered by Hello Happy World!, which was originally the ending song from Kekkai Sensen. Kokoro’s joyful voice fits this very upbeat song perfectly.
There are also more notable songs you can play like Sorairo Days from Gurren Lagann, Silhouette from Naruto: Shippuden, and Don’t Say Lazy from K-On! (fun fact, Yoko Hikasa who was Mio’s voice actress, is part of Afterglow, which is the band that covered Don’t Say Lazy)
3a. The Story:
Bandori’s story is nicely set up. There is the main story and there are also stories you can unlock for each of the five bands. The main story focuses on all five bands coming together. On the other hand, the band stories focus mostly on each band. Pretty self-explanatory.
Each of the five bands has unique stories starting from when they formed their band to their journeys along the way. The game does a very good job at highlighting each character that further brings the players closer to the bands.
3b. The Characters:
Can you believe this game has 25 girls? 25. That’s a big selection of girls you can choose to become a fan of. What makes it even better is that even though the cast is huge, each of them have unique personalities!
Not only that, but you even get to experience the girls interact with each other in-game. Most of the time, you see them interacting with girls from their own band but some characters also interact with the others.
When you don’t feel like playing songs, you can explore any of the areas and see the girls talking to each other. These conversations are very entertaining to “eavesdrop” on as you get to see the unique interactions between them, especially when it’s two characters from different bands.
The fact that the girls are animated (yes, they move) also adds on these interactions as you can see emotions while they talk. The animation along with the charming voice acting makes the characters more lovable. Seeing these subtle movements gives life to things such as Arisa’s tsundereness or Kokoro and Hagumi being hyper which gives the story more meaning. These little things make it feel like you’re watching an anime.
Unlike Love Live SIF which has events that span for a week and have a week break in between, Bandori only has a one day break in between events. I found it to be pretty hardcore to be honest, especially if you’re always trying to tier. The good part about the event though, is that you could get the★★★ event card just from event points instead of by tier.
The event also comes with its very own story. The past two events were centered around Roselia and Hello, Happy World respectively. What I like the most about these event stories is that it further helps players engage with the bands they were not interested in beforehand. I experienced this first hand during the Roselia event as I didn’t like them at first. However, after the event, I grew fond of them especially for Yukina and her passion for music.
5. The Graphics:
The cards are gorgeous. Most of the cards, are drawn with nice backdrops that highlight the beauty of the girls. Here are some examples.
This was one of the initial 4 star cards that dropped during Bandori’s release. And all I can say is that the game came in swinging from the start.
The following week however, they dropped another card that left me in awe.
This Yukina card that released along with the Roselia event is just beautiful and magnificent. Bandori has a really nice art style and the girls’ designs are all unique.
BanG Dream! is a franchise with lots of potential. I look forward to more of their songs and hopefully merchandise as I have grown to become a fan in this short month. To me, it was mostly the girls that pulled me in but to some, it might be the gameplay or the songs. If you have played other rhythm games such as Love Live SIF or Starlight Stage, then I recommend Bandori. If you are new to the rhythm game genre, I would still recommend it as it is pretty newbie friendly.
This game is incredibly fun to play! From its interactive stories to stories to its beat maps that flow smoothly like a river, trust me it is worth giving a shot.
Download the game for free on iOS/Android here