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For just a little under a month now, It has been a bit hard to put down my phone and that’s not only because I’m addicted to it (sad to admit) but because I’ve been constantly playing Netmarble’s The King of Fighters All-Star. I’m normally not a fan of mobile games, they are fine but usually just not for me but there have been a few that I really enjoyed but the problem was the massive temptation to spend money to unlock stuff and while I have had the impulses to drop some money towards the The King of Fighters All-Star, I’ve done pretty well to control those urges and in the span on a month not spend anything.

The game itself is full of content, most mobile games are pretty simple with one main concept but All-Star is different as it features a lot of things to do. I’ve limited myself to anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour each game session and might do 2-3 a day and that’s just because AP can go quickly. AP is what allows you to enter battles or events and while you can regain a fair amount of it by waiting a few hours, there are a few other ways to get it which is great because as of recently i’ve got a bit of a system in place to unlock or earn certain rewards and to be honest it doesn’t feel like a chore and I’ll get into that in more detail shortly.

If you read my previous impressions of the game, The King of Fighters All-Star is a brawler style game featuring characters from SNK’s The King of Fighters fighting game series. It may not be as popular as Street Fighter or Tekken in some places but it’s a game that I’ve loved for year so when it was announced I was excited and the more and more I got to see of it, the more I looked forward to actually playing it and I haven’t been disappointed yet. There is a huge roster of characters and to unlock them you need to get lucky via a Gacha system that requires Rubies…yup it’s never easy to get the character you want especially if it’s part of a Limited Time event and it all comes down to RNG (Random Number Generator) if you get and most of the time you don’t and you need to try again. For example, One character I wanted from the start was Orochi Iori, I saved up all my rubies so I had around 3,000 and each roll costs 100 rubies or 10 rolls for 900 and after rolling three times no luck, I saved up and tried a few times and by the last day of the event I tried once more and got Orochi Leona…not what I wanted but I was happy since I kind of wanted her too but along the way I got a few other 5 star characters I wanted so in the end I didn’t get Orochi Iori but that’s just how it is and even then some can only be unlocked by selecting a certain summoning event.

You will get a ton and I mean a ton of repeat pulls on characters, if you have them already they are converted to souls to help increase a characters level. this was one thing I hated as at one 10x pull I saw two rare (red) characters and it was one character I didn’t have Yashiro and the other was a character I already had so that got me a bit sad.

Characters are broken down into ranks 3 star, 4 star and 5 star with the higher ranks having a much lower chance of being pulled. As of right now I have 86 out of 134 possible characters with about 5 of them unavailable as the event has passed. Rubies aren’t the only way to unlock character which are nice as there are a few events where you are able to craft characters by gathering enough materials. It’s not easy as it does require some grinding but it’s not some insane amount needed and at times you can only do a battle up to 3 times a day (you can do more but it requires you to spend some rubies to reset the counter) but if you put the time in it’s not difficult to get once you level your characters up enough to handle the difficult fights.

It’s quite impressive just how deep the game is, so much time and effort went into the game to make it feel well worth the time you put into it. You level up characters by playing the story mode or playing quests to earn experience and you can also use experience items to boost your exp, attack, defense and even HP. You can also make characters stronger, strengthen attacks and even unlock special attacks and a characters DM along with raising the levels and evolving them to a rank higher than they currently are.

I think the thing I least I like about the game is the battle card system, while you can unlock a Super Attack aka Desperation Move by unlocking a characters core, if you want their ultimate attack you need a special battle card which can mainly be gotten by rolling the Battle Card Gacha and hope you get one for a character you like. Since launch I’ve unlocked about 7 of these with one being a double and only 1 of them I really use for my main character Kyo 96′. The good thing is you only need 1 to use across all my different iterations of Kyo but I have to unequip it to use it on another Kyo, can’t share the same card sadly. I have the option of trading a few battle cards to get one I really want but it requires 4 so that’s not really an option for me right now  and the Gacha cost for battle cards is one roll for 60 rubies or 10 roles for 60 rubies which usually gives me option cards.

You do gain quite a bit of resources fast, experience boosting items, money and rubies. You can unlock 50 rubies a day by doing 6 daily missions, 30 rubies a day by watching a video, you unlock some by increasing affections with your character and more rubies by completing the main story mode and so on. In short I can earn 80 rubies a day in about 5 minutes or so and while I’ve only completed the main story mode (only 94′ to 98′ story mode is open atm) on normal and 94′ to 97′ on hard mode I can earn more by finishing up the story on hard and expert to gain a few hundred more. It just comes down to how I use my AP and most of it has gone to leveling up my characters and increasing my rank and unlocking the Sentai Ikari Warriors before that event ends.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the game too, there league mode, arena mode, tournament mode and all the different battle events really keep you hooked on the game in all the right ways.

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