LEAGUE OF ANGELS 3 / Youzou Interactive / Web Browser

The first League of Angels appeared in 2014 and immediately made a name for itself more for shameless advertising practices than the actual game content. A campaign involving everything from inexplicable hentai ads (the game has no adult content whatsoever) to completely ripping off assets and characters from other big MMORPGs and MOBAs was followed up by somehow getting Gal Gadot in her post-Wonder Woman peak to be the face of the sequel.

Things seem to have finally settled down a bit with this third entry (released in 2018), which appears to be selling more on its own merits and original content than misdirection and advertising gimmicks. Chinese company Youzu is behind it and you can get a lot more wild in terms of intellectual property violations over there than you can in the West, so I think they finally realized that fake porn ads and asset piracy are gonna eventually create serious problems for them over here.

Though it's not an adult game, it's definitely a cheesecake game. The vibe is basically "World of Warcraft meets League of Legends, but it's in a Norse-ish world full of angels and most of those angels have impossible breasts and are dressed like the chick from Heavy Metal. Also random panda-men because WoW has those."

In terms of gameplay, the framework is basically World of Warcraft but with Final Fantasy-style turn-based battles. Well ... nominally turn-based. Actually, they pretty much play themselves. Characters have three types of moves, and the AI chooses which is used each turn (though usually in a predictable pattern). Your interaction is limited to periodically choosing to use one of your main character's "super moves" - you get a set of three of these depending on the "Arma" you have equipped at the moment, and each uses a set amount of points that then have to recharge over the course of the battle.

The game is initially a confusing assault on the senses. You're launched by default into automatically following the current main quest, unless you double-click on the ground to stop, so you can essentially let the game play itself for long stretches. There is an absolute shit ton of currency types and items that you're constantly picking up, and the screen is ringed by an Ow My Balls-ian border of sparkly stuff that is initially inexplicable.

It takes some exploring to get an overall sense of everything going on amidst all these flashing lights and colors and notifications, but what it basically boils down to is that 80-90% of every icon you can click on is just some sort of Skinner Box drip-feed collection scheme. You collect more resources to recruit new characters and upgrade them in various ways, with the omnipresent "battle rank" (BR) number under your profile picture giving you a general indication of your current relative overall strength.

BR is one of the closest things to an anchor the game gives you in the midst of this swirling miasma of color and sparkles, as clicking on it gives you a menu of all the things you can currently do to improve your characters. The other big centerpiece is the stamina meter, which becomes relevant after you complete the prologue missions and gain access to dungeons. Dungeons are tied into quests and can also be challenged whenever as the central source of grinding EXP and items. You have to spend stamina to enter each one, however, and they aren't really so much a "dungeon" as they are just a string of three battles. Stamina recharges at a slow pace, sped up only by spending the in-game diamond currency on it or spending real money to "recharge." Each individual dungeon also has a cap of attempts per day regardless of your stamina.

So stamina is one mechanism by which the game attempts to lure you from F2P to P2W. The other is simply circumventing the grind by buying in-game currency to spend on the various upgrade and crafting items. To be fair, there is still a whole lot to do each game day for F2P players, but you should expect to have to hit a "cooldown" point and quit out for 24 hours or so eventually unless you want to pay real cash to continue.

New game features are unlocked as your main character gains levels, but you're in a loop of Skinnering for its own sake until a little after level 50 when you start unlocking the PVP and guild/raid features. Level 50 sounds more intimidating than it is, the first game day is a blizzard of levels just being tossed at you for trivial accomplishments and I got to 50 on the second day just by playing smart a couple of hours each day. Of course, the grind gets much more drawn-out the closer you get to the max level of 100, and if you want to get into the elements with actual gameplay you'll have to contend with P2W people and all their advantages.

League of Angels 3 does gradually unlock a whole slew of game modes and features and all that, to the point that their icons are cluttering up like nearly half the screen space ... it all feeds back to what is pretty blatantly an addiction-focused loop, however. The automated battles are really what tears it; if you could actually issue individual commands and there was some semblance of real strategy, this would actually be pretty interesting. But as it is it's pretty much just a grindfest for its own sake, its sparkly menus just a collection of various tricks and attempts to eventually dopamine-exploit you into ponying up for some Canadough. Shame as they put at least an acceptable level of money and elbow grease into the presentation and game engine.

Links :

* Strategy Guides

Videos :

* Gameplay Video