An analysis of the anime and sustainability of Bushiroad’s new mature TCG, Luck and Logic.
Outlook on how the franchise would be received from the start
Pre-orders for the Base Set and Starter Decks have already begun after the announcement. Some English-speaking Vanguard players across the internet have already started placing pre-orders shortly after this announcement before the AFA convention. Interested players living in Singapore can order the game from the official local distributor of Bushiroad products, Genesis Frontier.
The game’s Starter Decks could potentially be the cheapest among all TCGs, with a whooping low price of 500 yen per copy.
Many of Bushiroad’s games often allow players to create a near complete, semi-competitive deck, albeit lacking some staples, by buying 2 or 4 copies of the same Trial Deck and combining their key cards into a single deck. The latter number rolled for Weiss Schwarz, Buddyfight and the G-era Vanguard Trial Decks, so should this trend keep up for L&L, it could potentially be a very economical game that also draws in a child-to-preteen audience without excessive investment.
Interestingly, Bushiroad is still silent on the price of an individual booster pack, which is the more pertinent concern – most serious players would inevitably want to build more unique and powerful decks from booster sets and not limit themselves to Starter Deck permutations.
Complexity and Maturity of the Game
The interlaced relationships between 4 Colors and 4 Worlds already enable up to 16 different distinct play-styles in this game once each color and world have debuted. This does not even factor in how each World and Color could possibly be further subdivided into smaller archetypes as the game progresses, say past 5 Booster Sets or so, or have similar-functioned archetypes that mimic each other, yet cannot be used interchangeably. That’s a lot of flexibility and cross-compatibility, considering how Bushiroad is usually staunch about making their games very archetype-restrictive to make the game predictable and to prevent players from devising broken combos by compiling overlooked cards from different archetypes together.
An icon that links to a currently inaccessible blacklist page appears on the navigation of L&L’s official Japanese site:
The existence of this feature implies that gameplay will be regulated quite strictly right from the start, to preemptively limit for players from overly stressing on certain builds, lest they get key cards banned or limited as Bushiroad’s hard measure to prevent certain builds from causing an unhealthy oligopoly of the meta-game.
To localize or not to localize?
Unlike Buddyfight, we do not have a promise of an English translation from the start, so reliance on card-effect-memorizations would be how we English-speakers have to play for now. Most tabletop gamers in Asia are okay with this hassle in the name of a good game, but this isn’t accepted culture in the West yet, where a waiting for an English version is often preferred before a TCG can become popular or competitive.
First Impressions of the Anime
On first impression, L&L seems to be a more mature version of the Buddyfight formulae at a level similar to Brocolli’s Z/X: Zillions of Enemy X.
The story, in short, follows the predictable flow of many monster-raiser anime, TCG-based or otherwise: a fantasy world where the gaming monsters wage an out-of-proportion factional war in which humans are caught in the crossfire, becoming affected and often forced to take sides or represent monster archetypes – reminiscent of predecessor shonens like Duel Masters and Battle Spirits.
While it is understandably hard to break free from the norm, considering the nature of TCG, Bushiroad meant business when they said wanted to make this game more mature: teenage-turning-adult characters fighting in a post-apocalyptic world whose sole sanctuary is assaulted by Titan-esque behemoths, which are either defeated or befriended.
Will our heads be in the game itself when watching the anime? We’d bet a lot, with in-depth elaborations on the cards’ abilities. Vanguard doubled as a episodic preview for cards in upcoming expansion sets, and we could expect the same for L&L
A glance at the list of main characters reveals a gargantuan number of females and in contrast only two male characters. Some might wager a guess where this is going, or it could be preying on how most tabletop gamers (usually, we think) inevitably turn soft at the sight of bishoujo.
That being said, the onus is still on Bushiroad to prove a deep story true to its impression while balancing the lore and gameplay, which is imperative for all TCG-based anime to prove without proving themselves as a mere implement of marketing tactics.
The game will feature a “cross-collaboration” with Cardfight!! Vanguard G from the start. The said partner is currently in the second out of its three confirmed anime seasons, which means that the collaboration will be carried out quite soon.
While the current announcement has only promised PR cards to accompany the products of both TCG, this collaboration could potentially range from anything like cameo appearances in each others’ anime, to an entire archetype of cards crossing over to each others’ game, as how Bushiroad adapts from Touken Ranbu Online for its own clan, albeit one with less-than-over-fanciful signature skills and cookie-cutter abilities taken from the more offensive clans in Vanguard.
All in all, the depth of the game and the character and Member designs, who are a tad more complicated than earlier Vanguard units, could indeed draw mature players into the game. Whether this game is worth picking up, however, depends largely on how much novelty one is willing expect of this new title.
While some may feelthat Bushiroad has already hit a exhausted their ideas on how they can vary their trademark trigger systems and playing fields each time they invent a new game, those who are already playing 2 or more of Bushiroad’s many TCGs or those starting to have inklings of burnout might want to consider more carefully about whether to pick up L&L next year.
Source: J-Network’s on-site coverage at AFA 2015, FreedomDuo, Anime News Network, L&L Official Website