Girls X Battle 2 is the sequel to the 2016 controversial original that is still being played by millions worldwide. Is it something you would like? Let’s find out!
Some ‘(Un)Mature’ Content
I have to start this review with a small digression. I played the original game for some 6 months and liked it. However, both the original game and the sequel contain images of 13 to 18-year-old girls with bras or in panties which some might find provocative or offensive. Being Japanese, I was immune to the critique of the Western media – in Japan we don’t have the same constrains when depicting underage girls (or boys), at lest not in the way the game did it. It all has to do with Asian esthetics and the concept of ‘kawaii’ (cute) vs the concept of pretty or hot/sexy in Western etymology.
I have been exposed to similar graphics since my high school – manga and anime being some of the culprits. I do not ascribe any sexual content to such images, nor do I find them offensive. We don’t have any religious roots in our culture that will make such images morally wrong in itself. Yes, in the wrong context they can be made to be offensive, but not in the way the game represents them.
That being said, I can appreciate how Western audiences can find it offensive. In fact, I would not recommend this game to players younger than 15 or 16 years. Do not make the mistake of thinking this game is suitable for children simply judging by the images or by the rating on Google Play Store.
The developers are (obviously) sexualizing the content in the game to attract/keep players. There are provocative poses and clothing, girls with oversized breasts and other known ‘fetishes’ they are trying to exploit.
On the other hand, while there are some offensive ads for this game running around, there is no such content in the game. That’s the work of dodgy marketing which should be criticized.
So, while I can defend some of the esthetics of the game, I definitely think it is for mature audiences (at least 15+).
With that out of the way, this game has kept me playing for 5 straight months now, which is not something that happens often with mobile games.
The gameplay has been streamlined from the original. You still have the story missions, which you can repeat at a higher difficulty once they are finished. The story itself is still as shallow and as badly translated as the original.
You also have the typical PVP team battles and special challenges you can repeat every 2 or 3 days for rewards.
The main draw of the game are the girls, gorgeously drawn, which you collect and try to grow to 10 stars (the most important girls starting at 5 stars) and the tactical experience provided by the game.
Each girl has unique features and skills and belongs to a faction that may have bonuses or penalties against girls from other factions. Finding your perfect team and looking for synergies between girls will be where you spend most of the ‘fun’ time in the game.
Luckily, the developers didn’t overdo it with the grinding. It takes me some 20-30 minutes per day to do all the dailies and finish the events. And missing a day or two of playing doesn’t seem to punish players as much as some other games.
This is a pretty big plus for me as I came to loath how abusive some games can get with the grind. One example is Star Trek Fleet Command, which I had great time playing until an update made the grinding horrible. I literally had to spend 3-4 hours per day in repetitive, boring, uninventive grind. A week later I left a game which I enjoyed and wanted to do a review about.
On the other hand, Girls X Battle 2 handles this extremely well. Ideally, you need to log in once every 10 hours to gain maximum loot and only need to stay for a few minutes. You can select when you want to spend more time with the game. You do not need to worry about being attacked in the middle of the night (like in Star Trek Fleet Command or Game of Thrones Conquest) and someone running away with your resources. Your girls are safe, rest easy.
On the video/audio front, things look (and sound) pretty good. The art is top notch and if you like Japanese manga and anime style I am sure you’ll enjoy it, too. The girls look gorgeous and many have different skins so you can customize their looks.
And if they look amazing they sound even better. Their voices are recorded by famous Japanese voice actresses, many of whom portray famous anime characters (some which you may recognize if you watch anime) they add additional depth to the girls.
Obviously, like the original, the game is free-to-play and very much pay-to-win. Spending money will net you the best girls pretty easily, but not all at once. You still need to wait for events. If you like the game it can become pretty addictive and suddenly you start wondering how you could spend thousands of dollars on a mobile game.
If you go down that road you’ll get all your favorite girls, but there is not much to do at that point, unfortunately. There is the Ultimate League, but note much besides. This is where the game could use additional content, which to be honest is slowly being implemented. We are getting new events and even new, powerful girls.
If you plan to play as a free-to-play player, you can still have some fun. I have two accounts, one free and one where I pay. Obviously I have more fun and more powerful girls team with the paying account, but I have also had some luck on the free account and gotten some top tier girls which I still cannot get on the paying account.
In conclusion, I think there is room for both free and paying players – just don’t hope to be able to beat paying players in PVP in the long run.
Is it Better Than the Original?
I have played the original as a paying player for about 6 months in 2018. It’s been a while, but I think I can share some thoughts.
As I mentioned, the sequel feel much more streamlined. Story missions, events, leagues and PVP, even rewards feel much better thought out.
Sure, the girls are more or less same, with some variations, but you will recognize most of them if you have played the original.
In Girls X Battle 2 it took less time for me to grasp the main concepts of the game and the main storyline felt a little bit more refined than the original (though still noting to write home about).
That being said, the biggest difference between the two is that the newer game does most things for you while in the original you’ll have to do it yourself. This simple fact will determine which game you’ll prefer.
If you are already invested in Girls X Battle, I see no reason why you should also cross over to Battle 2. The only exception I can think of is being tired by the grind and looking for something less time consuming.
If you are a new player to both games and wonder where to start, it would depend on your preferences. I personally prefer Girls X Battle 2, simply because it’s less complicated, less time consuming and allows me to play when I want to play the game without feeling I am missing much.
On the other hand, if you want the full Girls X Battle experience (with more of everything) and have free time and a job/partner that can accommodate your gaming, you might prefer the original (bigger) game.
If you are still on the fence just install both games. Try them for a few days, a week. It should be enough to help you reach a definite preference for the one or the other. If not, well, plenty of us play both.
Girls X Battle 2 is a fun little game. It’s a ‘lighter’ version of the original game that works for you while your phone is away and doesn’t mind too much if you can only log in for 5-10 minutes once or twice per day. Like the original, the art is great, the voice-overs inspiring (particularly if you understand Japanese) and winning and growing your girls feels as rewarding as finding Pokemons.
Great artwork & sound
Stimulating tactical challenges
Less content than the original game