How LLSIF Ruined My Life (In A Good Way)

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With Love Live! Sunshine!! airing now, the loyal LL fanbase is given yet another reason to rejoice. My entire knowledge of LL comes from how deep my obsession is with the phone app: Love Live! School Idol Festival (LLSIF). LLSIF is a highly addictive rhythm game that has sucked up all of my spare time. At work, I find time to play songs during breaks to use up my life points. I play the same song over and over again to full combo it in expert mode. I grudgingly play on mute in busy places just to rack up event points. Yes, LLSIF is a time sink that may or not have ruined my life, as Undertale did before.

Oddly enough, it’s not the main part of the game that’s addictive.

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Playing the songs is no longer fun for me. This should be enough to make me quit, because why continue playing a rhythm game when you’re bored of the rhythm part? It turns out that fake video game rewards are more pleasurable to me than actually enjoying myself playing the darn game. So while I don’t get any joy out of playing the songs, I love the reward of collecting more idol girls to strengthen my party. It’s like going for a jog when you hate jogging because you love rewarding yourself with ice cream afterwards.

The whole scheme of LLSIF is planned in an insidious way so that you just keep playing for the rest of your life, despite containing a core gameplay that you’ve grown tired of long ago. Many phone apps have similar concepts, but LLSIF does it so well that I can’t put it down. There are events every month, and you have to play every day of the event to be able to get a super rare idol out of it. Then there’s the fact that not unlike Candy Crush, you have life points, and once you use those up you have to stop playing for a while. This infuriated me at first, and I questioned how anyone would want to keep playing  game that constantly barred you access from it. It turns out that having to wait means you don’t burn yourself out playing all at once and instead start getting excited while you wait to play again.

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Poor Cool looks like a chump next to my name

It also tempts you to spend hard-earned love gems to replenish your life points…which can of course be bought with real money. The urge to dump the contents of my bank account into this game so I can get an intangible, cute idol girl is strong. Strong…and disturbing. I’m in so deep that I’m willing to make it rain for girls that aren’t even real. I think it says a lot about how personable μ’s is that I feel so attached to all of them, and I haven’t even seen the show.

LLSIF is a clever trap, and I’m afraid to recommend this game to anyone who is easily suckered into these schemes as I am. I often feel the same way with JRPGs which make you grind levels. The whole grinding process isn’t fun, but the end result of levelling up and becoming more powerful is. It’s also similar to offering trophies/achievements for completing objectives in games. I feel no joy in the process of completing grueling tasks and replaying games over and over, and yet I do it so I can hear a little “ding!” and see the trophy/achievement pop-up congratulate me for my efforts. It’s something I’m acutely aware of, and yet I can’t change how addicted I am to these sorts of cheap rewards. I’m hooked. I’m in idol hell.

So if you don’t want to end up like me, just watch the anime instead. Enjoy the songs, the silly antics, and cute characters. If you fall into LLSIF idol hell with me, there’s nothing I can do to help you.

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Even the cat can’t escape idol hell…


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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13 Responses to “How LLSIF Ruined My Life (In A Good Way)”

  1. Highway says:

    I tried to play LLSIF a bit, but it was on my old clunky phone and that made the music parts difficult, and then I really didn’t understand the non-music parts. I didn’t understand the friends thing. I didn’t really get the training mechanism. I didn’t see what the improvements to characters based on level were. So I just kinda fell away from it.

    • Overcooled says:

      Ahhhh I see. And yeah, the game kind of stops trying to explain things after a certain point so you have to study up online about how to maximize your efforts. :B

  2. Hoshi says:

    ~My sister and I started playing LLSF last winter as a joke, but we fell so deep into idol hell that we’re both now hardcore fans even if we both find the anime to be super embarrassing. We also recently started watching the live performances and looking up the voice actresses LOL. (Mimorin ftw)

    For us we actually like the music so it’s mainly why we still play, aside from the events and card-collecting of course (in fact we’ve already bought a good chunk of their discography). We also kinda battle against each other to see who can level up faster or collect the better cards to make it more interesting. In fact, if you hear us screaming at each other it’s probably because someone got a SR/UR card of a member one of us likes lol.

    LLSF really is an evil, but genius scheme. I like to describe the game as playing pokemon, but you collect idols instead of pokemon…

    • Overcooled says:

      This is what got me into idols in the first place, when I used to think it was silly. Jokes on me…I’ll have to check out those live performances next hehe

      I like the songs, I just kind of zone out while playing them. Haha, I can imagine the fun (but also frustration) of trying to compete against someone. I’d be so mad if a fried got more URs than me…

      Idol Pokemon Go would win me over in seconds

  3. Karakuri says:

    Ah yes, idol hell. The best kind of hell.

    The system is pretty genius though, with the bi-monthly releases of new cards and the constant events. I’m definitely hooked. …Though I spent a long time suffering because even with that blue ticket system, it took me a year and 8 months of playing to get a single UR. OTL

    But on the bright side, I met one of my closest friends in university because she was playing the game before class, so yay for that I guess.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s so smart. They’re constantly giving you reasons to keep playing since new stuff is always happening. I was also pretty unlucky so I took a while to get my first UR T_T Whereas my friend got one in his first draw and then quit…

      Awww that’s so cute!!

  4. il-Palazzo says:

    Yeah, the events can be really repetitive, I can remember that. It’s all the same, just with new song.

    I stopped playing LLSIF to concentrate on my graduation project, thinking it would take some months. It ends up taking about 2 years (I’m very lazy) and now I’m too afraid to get back. I now play Tokyo 7th Sisters instead. Wouldn’t say it’s a better game but it’s sure less repetitive.

    The only thing I miss about LLSIF is the songs. Some of its songs really hit the right notes with me. Still can’t find that kind of spark in T7S’s songs yet.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, you end up playing the same songs 5-10 times a day and it gets…repetitive.

      Sometimes I need to take LLSIF breaks to get work done too. Good luck with the project! Oh no, now I want to play this other idol game too….

  5. gandalf8 says:

    I don’t know if I should be proud of this or sigh at all those hours I could’ve been more productive in my life, but I installed the English version of the game on the very first day it came out on the Android Play Store. And if my memory serves me right, I don’t think I’ve ever missed playing the game a single day, collecting all the daily bonus logins, and I’ve also never missed getting a single SR card from all the events up to this day.

    I still play the game for free, but have been severely tempted to buy some love gems with real money at times, usually during a new scouting set (especially if the UR is Ericchi. I wasted hundreds of love gems during the last set with the UR Swimming Pool Eli, and only got rares for all of them, even from all 14 scouting tickets I saved up). I have felt like playing it is becoming more of a chore lately, but playing in events seem to light a fire inside me (for example for the current medley festival 6 event I always play expert and 3 songs, and each time I feel the adrenaline kicking in at the start of the medley and after my fingers have danced all over the screen trying to get a 1000+ combo to achieve a full combo, I always feel drained at the end. But once I start another 3 expert song medley, my energy just returns, and the cycle repeats itself).

    I usually never play in the events to rank in the higher tiers, feeling satisfied to just get one SR card of the event by playing every day without spending any love gems, except for certain cards (almost all Ericchi cards, or cards with good effects). But nowadays I find that if I want to rank in the top 2 tiers I’m going to have to spend an insane amount of love gems and more time playing the game, so I’ve been a bit more choosy for the events that I want to rank (although nowadays all the SR cards in the newer events look so good. I’m targeting tier 1 for the current event and have used more than 20 love gems I think, and the event is only halfway through too).

    I’m also watching the new season of Love Live. Can’t really say if Aquors will be able to dethrone Muse from my heart, but the new girls are definitely interesting (current best girl for me is You-chan) and although there are some parallels with the first Love Live anime, Sunshine has tweaked it just enough that I feel it can give a different spin on the Love Live formula.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I’m the same as you in that I don’t play events to rank in the higher tiers (mainly because I suck at playing rhythm games). I usually call it a success if I can get the event card.

      My goal has always been to never spend any money on love gems, but I have such bad luck with scouting that it’s getting more and more tempting, so I feel your pain…..

    • Overcooled says:

      Wow, you’ve been playing a long time. So impressive! I’m definitely a fan of the medley events too (mostly because I get it all over with at once) but it does feel good to get a Full Combo on 3 expert songs in a row. I don’t rank in anything higher than “hey, you got the SR, good job” because it’s just too much trouble. Good luck getting tier 1 in this event!

      I like Aquors, but I’m not sure which members I like best at the moment…we shall see!

  6. akagami says:

    Ho? I thought this was a VN for a moment, which would have been neat. I’ve only played one VN but it was pretty fun.

    • Overcooled says:

      Nawww, it just has little sequences where you can see mini stories in a VN style. You can’t choose any dialogue options.

      I’ve only played one VN too, actually…I should get on that more.

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