The first thing that struck me about Warau Ars Notoria was the main girls’ art style, which, for better or worse, I recognized from the Conception series. Now, that’s not me making a strike against the art style; after all, the latter game is… an acquired taste, shall we say, not catered to me in the least. In any case, seeing these really brightly coloured girls going up against the comparatively hotter knights who gain extra points for Evil Is Sexy (???), it’s time to get into the first impressions!
I’m pretty aware that often I’m really wishy-washy with regards to the music in mobile games, but not this time. I do enjoy the battle bop, and the music for the various screens is also enjoyable to listen to. Unusually when compared to a vast majority of these games, Ars Notoria is also played vertically instead of landscape. The art style depends on whether you like the “moe” main girls, though there are also others illustrated by other artists available in the gacha pool, as well as the “sigils”.
The background artwork has that kind of old-school? charm, which only makes me sound tragically old. The homescreen girl is lightly animated, making me wonder about the distinction between that and Live2D. The summon animation is also on the flashier side, flipping through pages of the book and sigils getting different coloured borders depending on their rarity.
The little sprites in combat are quite cute too, little details and movements added to bring to life the girls’ individual tics. The story isn’t fully voiced though, despite the cash money I’d have expected from GSC and Nitroplus. Then again, voice data often makes a game stupidly big, so it’s a trade off.
When it comes to gameplay, there’s nothing especially astounding. It’s more to real time combat than turn based, where your girls can gradually charge up to unleash their skills. You can also link specials by dragging the girls’ portraits to the top half of the screen for a combo attack. As usual, the lack of knowledge in Japanese means I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
Naturally, there are elements and their relevant strengths and weaknesses. The sigils come in a variety of flavours that presumably provide buffs including physical attack, magic attack, defense, support and healing. Each girl will be able to equip one, and there will be four girls to a party. I think you can run quests solo or with a friend support, the latter which gives Friend Points for a separate gacha. There’s something to do with Luck in battles, but again, totally clueless!
There’s the usual slew of missions and daily grind quests to do.
Now, I really hope I’m badly misunderstanding the gacha. There are the “Pentagrams” – characters – and the “Sigils”, which are basically the good ol’ equipment / craft essence gacha. They’re both in the same pool, which is not the problem in this case. The problem is that, at a presumably 3% rate for the highest rarity character (5-stars), with rate up, it’s a 0.57% chance. Characters across all rarities (3 to 5 stars) only have an apparent 0.27% to 0.3% drop rate? Is… is that for real?
In comparison, 5-star sigils can get up to 6% drop rate when you do pull them. I’m not even sure how to feel about that. Characters are not guaranteed, so besides my rigged pull which gave me a whopping two whole characters, the rest of my initial rolls were sigils. I’m also wondering if, due to lack of reading comprehension, I’m also drawing in the wrong gacha. It truly is a mystery! It costs 50 premium currency to do an 11-pull.
I uh, did not have a positive experience with the gacha, needless to say. The game is polished enough, has many cute girls, and has a sound track I want to put in the background as I work. I will not be staying with the game, but don’t let my experience spoil your fun.