Tier List: November EN Gacha Releases
November EN Gacha Launch Tier List
November is upon us, the year end marches ever closer, and gacha gamers everywhere look forward to their holiday events and all the free pulls and rewards that it will bring them! (Sorry if your scrooge game doesn’t partake).
In this article we will take a look back at the gacha games released this last month, and honor the North American holiday by giving thanks for their arrival (or thanks for nothing)
Let’s take a look at our Rating System and what it means:
- S Tier: This is a game that we really think you MUST try. There is something about it that is beautiful, or different, or amazing, or crazy, or…. Something. It may not be a game you like or decide to keep playing, but we think it is at least worth checking out. There won’t be many games that reach this category.
- A Tier: A good solid game that is above average. If the genre or IP is in your interest area, then you should definitely try it, as it is a cut above.
- B Tier: An average game. Most games will fall into this Tier. Not great, not bad. If you have a strong interest in the style or IP then you may want to check it out.
- C Tier: Below Average. A game that just doesn’t click well for whatever reasons. Some people may still want to play it, but it will be a pass for most.
- F Tier. The Tier of Shame. The game has to be pretty bad to fall this far. You won’t find many games here, it is reserved for the worst of the worst.
Alas, this month didn’t see any games launch that we think deserve the S crown. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t any good games this month, as you’ll see below.
Sword Art Online Alicization: Rising Steel
Release Date: November 19th
Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel is a mobile turn-based RPG game based on the Alicization arc of Sword Art Online. The game is developed and produced by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. Players can collect and do battle with characters from all of the SAO arcs, and the game retells a lot of the story from the original anime arcs.
Combat is turn-based and the battle flow and animations are quite unique. The players party consists of 4 Main Members and 2 Sub Members that have typical enhancement mechanics. SAO Alicization Rising Steel tells its tale through a series of sequential story and combat nodes.
The Gacha contains many of the characters from the SAO Universe are available in rarities from 1 to 4 stars. 4* servants have a 3% pull rate and 3* servants 25%. There is also a separate gacha for weapons that have the same rarity rates as the character gacha.
Tier Rating Explained
Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel is a solid turn-based anime style RPG with a different twist on combat animation. After a short “adjusting period” the combat started to grow on me, and I found it enjoyable and engaging. As I was starting to get into tougher battles, it seemed like there might be a lot of interesting strategic possibilities available to the player because of the ability to delay action and swap characters without penalty. If the developers execute it properly, I think this could make tougher content or an end-game quite compelling with SAO:ARS.
Even without knowing anything about SAO, the characters are likable and surprisingly kawaii, and the story introduces people well to the SAO world if they are not familiar. Character development is typical and fine, content/events give plenty to do, and the gacha is reasonable. I have to say I ended up finding the game far more entertaining than I was expecting.
So why not S Tier? Well, some people will definitely be turned off by the combat animations and flow. Some of the character models also seemed to lack a certain polish at times. The combat, though a bit different and with some interesting potential, didn’t really bust down any doors of innovation or awesomeness. This might be an S Tier game for big SAO fans, but for the general populace it won’t quite reach those heights.
Crossing Void Global
Release Date: November 5th
Crossing Void Global is a turn-based anime style RPG developed by 91ACT. The game features popular characters from over 25 different Dengenki Bunko anime.
Combat is turn based with the players party consisting of 3 “main” characters, each with their own “support” character. Each of the pairings make up a single unit in battle. The game has a large variety of game modes, and battles are fought after selecting the desired node.
The Gacha contains main and support characters with possible rarities of S, A, B, and C. Every character has a version of each rarity, making collecting your favorites a little easier. S rarity rates are 1.5% and A rates are 12%. Cossing Void has several Pity Systems in place to protect players from strings of bad luck (…….. or do they?!?!)
Tier Rating Explained
I REALLY wanted to put this game in Tier A. The combat is fairly strategic and fun and the Waifus and Husbandos are plenty and with wide appeal. The pity systems are a great salt deterrent (or so I thought), and there are a ton of enjoyable game modes that actually have substance and don’t feel like they were just thrown in to give people some other way to farm something. Thy draft-style PvP mode where you build your team from random options and then battle another player in real-time I thought was especially unique and fun.
So why not A Tier? Well, mostly because of SCANDAL. A bug was found in the Pity System that made it… well… not so pitying. I won’t go into details in this article, but you can find out more here.
What I found concerning about this whole thing was not that a mistake was made. Mistakes happen. It was that the mistake was not admitted at first, then admitted to but not explained, then not announced clearly to all players (only really to official discord members). Anyway, regardless of the reasons, the way it was all handled left me feeling…. Well… Not so good.
That, on top of the battle animations seeming not incredibly crisp at times (not to mention being copied nearly directly from a different fighting game), and the story being laughably boring and bad, made it seem like B was the right place for this title: average.
Bleach Mobile 3D
Release Date: For Android November 15th, for iOS November 18th
Bleach Mobile 3D is a MMO ARPG that is co-developed by GameArk from China and KLabGames from Japan. The game follows the original story from the anime and is open-world so players can explore per their own interests at their own pace. Each character is voiced by the original VAs from the anime, and has unique skills and playstyles.
The player controls a single character at a time, both while traversing the open world and while engaging in combat. The players party consists of 1 main character and 2 assist characters. During combat, the player actively maneuvers the main character on the field of battle to avoid enemy attacks and to position for their own attacks.
Nearly all of the BLEACH characters are playable in Bleach Mobile 3D. Characters come in SSR, SR, and R rarities. Some are available in multiple rarities, though not all. New characters are acquired either by pulling them directly from the gachas, or by collecting 30 soul fragments that can then be combined to summon the character.
There are two main gachas in BLEACH Mobile 3D, the normal recruitment and the advanced recruitment. Both gachas contain characters and character fragments. Notable rates for the advanced gacha are: SSR Character: 3.53% and SR Character: 7.24%
Tier Rating Explained
Bleach Mobile 3D is a fine MMO RPG. Combat, characters, and game modes are all interesting enough, and there is a ton of stuff to do. Bleach fans will enjoy collecting and battling as their favorite anime characters, and immersing themselves in the BLEACH worlds.
So why not A Tier? For non-Bleach fans the game doesn’t seem to offer much else to differentiate itself from its competition. When I would put the game down, there just wasn’t anything outside of the IP pulling me back.
Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos
Release Date: November 26th
Ubisoft’s newest mobile title – Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos appears to be an English language version of the game they released in China in 2017. Set in the Might and Magic Heroes Universe, the game is a hero and unit collector, and an auto-battler.
The players army consists of one Hero and a number of battle units. Once battle begins, the units move toward the enemy and attack per their described AI. Players only control when/where to cast hero spells. M&M Heroes: EoC has a large variety of game modes and one that is particularly interesting is the Guild Adventure Mode, where you and your guildmates asynchronously explore a world map populated by enemy NPCs, resources, dungeons, production nodes, etc, and are contentested by other guilds.
Units are gained by pulling them or collecting their fragments from the gacha. Some fragments can also be farmed. There are 2 gachas, one blue and one gold. The blue gacha is a basic gacha with farmable currency and lesser rewards. Pulling the gold gacha requires harder-to-farm or premium currency. The gold gacha contains units and unit fragments at the following rates: SSR Unit: 1.41%, SR/R Unit: 5.5%, and SR/R Unit fragment: 93.09%
Tier Rating Explained
This game has gotten a lot of VERY negative feedback and reviews, which I think is in large part due to the games divergence in gameplay from its franchise predecessors. I don’t feel like it quite deserves such low ranks, and if you don’t go into it expecting an old Might and Magic game, you might find a game worth playing. The many options for heroes and units, their strengths and weaknesses, the battlefield AI, and the strategic pre-combat positioning, all combine to make gameplay rather interesting and engaging, despite its hands-off nature. The Guild Adventure mode, where you work with your guildies to explore a special map and take on other guilds, is especially unique and has potential to be interesting.
Why not Tier A? There is nothing really exceptional here, and it doesn’t surpass some of its more popular competition. It’s an average title, that will interest some, but isn’t likely to pull people away from games they are already enjoying.
Launch Date: November 26th
Mahjong Soul is a mobile version of Yostar’s browser game that was originally launched in 2018 in Chinese by developer Cat Food Studio under the name Majsoul. Yostar then published an English version on April 24th, 2019.
Mahjong Soul is a Japanese Mahjong game with three match types: Ranked, Tournament, and Friendly. Friendly matches can be played between friends or against the AI. The game has a tiered ranking system, and Ranked matches require a fee and sufficiently high player rank to enter. Winning increases the players rank points, while losing decreases them. Tournaments allow players to create games using customized rules.
The gacha in Mahjong Soul summons waifus and husbandos. These characters are cosmetic only and act as the player avatar during games; they don’t have any effect on gameplay. They stay in the players dorm, have bond levels, can be given gifts, and have unique emojis and voices.
Tier Rating Explained
To be honest, I have no idea how to play Japanese Mahjong, or any kind of mahjong for that matter. Yet I still found myself mildly entertained by the art, images, and flow of the game. On top of that, I even managed to win a game against the AI on the easiest setting, so the game can’t be bad, right?! In all seriousness, the ranking of this game will depend mostly on if you like to play Japanese Mahjong or not. If you do, this seems like a pretty entertaining way to do it.
Girl’s War Z
A virus has turned the world into ravaging zombies, and only cute loli girls are immune! Can you save the world with your kawaii army? Published by Com2US, Girl’s War Z is primarily an idle combat game. Your gun-totin cuties line up on one side of a barricade, and wave after wave of crazed flesh-eating zombies rush in while your army blows them away with an assortment of guns and special attacks.
Girls and guns can be acquired in the Black Market gachas of Girl’s War Z. Students and weapons come in rarities of SSS, SS, S, A, B, and C. There is also a chance to draw a special costume. Some of the character rates are as follows: SSS: .04%, SS: .4%, S: 3.56%. The weapon rates are a bit lower at: SSS: .01%, SS: .1%, S: 1.14%.
Tier Rating Explained
I have to admit, after the first hour of playing, I was ready to throw this into Tier F and never look back. The game has no tutorial to speak of, the low rarity sprites are generic and ugly (I mean, they have brown smudges for eyes!), the gacha rates are horrid, their doesn’t appear to be any compelling strategy. But then, after deleting the app in disgust, I saw people here and there asking about it, and saying they liked it. So I started thinking: “How is that possible? Did I miss something?” So I decided to give it another chance. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but as I started to play a bit more, the ridiculousness of the game started to grow on me a bit. Now, I’m not saying I began to LOVE it, or even really LIKE it, but I guess I started to see how it could be appealing to some.
Why not Tier B? The game is lucky it made Tier C.
Three Kingdoms: Domination
Release Date: November 20
Three Kingdoms: Domination is developed by BEST KIRIN GLOBAL LIMITED & published by GO GAME PTE. LTD. Players once again have the opportunity to become the supreme ruler and unify China during the Three Kingdoms Era.
Gameplay is a mix of city/empire building and live action battlefield combat. Guilds battle it out to occupy cities and exert their power and influence over the three States of Wei, Wu, and Shu. In city building mode, you develop your Fief’s structures, both resource collecting and military, to increase its power as the home-base for your re-unification of China. Combat is a real time auto-battle between units on a battlefield.
The combat squad consists of generals of 4 possible rarity types: Normal, rare, epic, and legendary. Generals are gained through one of the two gachas: the normal or the Limited/High summon. Rates for the Limited/High summon are: Legendary: 1%, Epic 7.4%, and Rare 91.6%.
Tier Rating Explained
Gamers have been unifying the Three Kingdoms of China for years, and fans will find all the names they know and love (and probably more). If you want to be able to summon, develop, and conquer with one of your favorite 3K legends, you will be able to do it here. The three kingdoms is also a great backdrop for the PvP, as clans seek to conquer other cities and expand their territory.
Why not Tier B? The game just didn’t seem very polished. The tutorial was buggy and got off track, leading to a bunch of clicking and scenarios that didn’t make any sense. Trying to add both combat elements and city/empire building elements perhaps turned out to be a bigger task than the team could handle, as neither mode ended up being particularly interesting or compelling.
Release Date: November 28th, 2019
Developer EyouGame launched their newest mobile title with servers available in the Asia and Oceania regions. I was able to download the game from the NA Apple store and play on the Oceana Server.
Elora’s Raid is an anime-style waifu/husbando hero collector idle game. The normal game mode shows the heroes slaying enemy after enemy and collecting those sweet sweet idle rewards. Combat is initiated by clicking the Boss button, which throws you into a 5v5 hero matchup that plays out auto-battle style. If you win, you up your stage level, and your idle per-minute rewards increase. The game has a bunch of different gameplay modes, including PVP, a tower climber, and material farming, but they all employ the same auto-combat.
Heroes each have a class, star level, equipment set, and unique skills that are upgraded and enhanced in typical gacha game fashion. Elora’s Raid has three different summons, a basic summon that uses farmable currency, a friendship summon that uses friend points, and the Grand Summon that requires premium currency. The gachas contain heroes of rarity from 1 to 5 stars. The rates for the premium gacha are: 5% for a 5* hero, 15% for a 4*, and 80% for a 3*, and one free pull is given per day.
Tier Rating Explained
Elora’s Raid is an idle auto-battler set in a fantasy setting that seemed pretty average. Decent art, average game modes, average characters, etc. If you are a fan of idle games and auto-batters, the mechanics that draw you to that type of game will be present here as well.
So why not B Tier? The only thing that is really above average in Elora’s Raid is the astounding number of for-purchase buttons, packages, and options. The monetization is quite obnoxious, no matter if, or how much, you decide to spend. I understand the game needs to make money, but it is not necessary to have five different flashing buttons on the home screen advertising paid package options. For me, this, along with nothing really exceptional about the game, makes it below-average for most gacha gamers.
Luckily, this month didn’t see any games launch that we think quite deserved the shame of F Tier. Let us hope that trend continues.