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  • Iris Chu

Lovelive School Idol Festival Terminating its Service: Its Past and Future

Lovelive School Idol Festival is a rhythm game in the multimedia franchise Lovelive, and is often abbreviated as LLSIF or SIF. It has gained worldwide fame since it was released on April 16, 2013 for iOS devices, making it have a little under 10 years under its belt. It is one of the games that have had a gigantic part to play in giving rhythm games the popularity that they have nowadays, and it boasts more than 50 million players worldwide. In the game, players gain scores by tapping nine buttons on the screen in rhythm with the song that's playing, and scores or timing can be enhanced with skills. There is also a great range of songs that can be played in the game, with over 300 songs from µ's, A-RISE, Aqours, Saint Snow, Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, Liella!, and Sunny Passion, and has five difficulties of easy, normal, hard, expert, and master.

There are also many cards in the game that each have different skills enabling them to boost scores, recover stamina (somewhat like hp), widen timing windows and more, and all have different card illustrations. They also have side stories that can be unlocked. There are the main stories where players can have a peek in the characters' everyday lives, and event stories which are unlocked by participating in different game events.

Minami Kotori “Trick to rallies” top unidolized, bottom idolized

But sadly this great game will be ending its service at the end of march, with a successor to the game called Love Live! School Idol Festival 2 MIRACLE LIVE! announced on September 25, 2022 and set to release on the 15th of April. It is often abbreviated as LLSIF2 or SIF2. It has been announced that it will be possible to transfer the card data from SIF to SIF2, but that it only allows for accounts that have never been opened in Europe, which already exclude around half of the players in the worldwide server, causing many players to lose all of their progress that they have gotten over the years. In the demo versions of the game that was played by the voice actors in the livestream informing about SIF2, it was shown that there would be a change to the live screens, adding more movement, which I personally think is a bad idea because it would distract the player from the gameplay.

Demo gameplay from SIF2

There have also been “skip tickets” visible on the screen, which has concerned the community, as in SIF’s sister application, Love Live! School Idol Festival ALL STARS, there are skip tickets too. This means that in events it is not those who have built better teams that win, but those who are willing to use the most skip tickets that top the leaderboards, as with skip tickets it is possible to clear songs and/or players to rack up their scores with such a speed that can not be rivalled by any human. And while this is not such a big problem in SIFAS as it is not skill based but rather a strategy game where you HAVE to have good cards to pass levels, SIF is a skill based game, and so until now the rankings had been a clear show of a players talent. This is likely to change in the future.

Screen showing slot for skip tickets

But there is still one good thing that has come from all this, and that is the announcement that KLab Games is not going to be the one producing this game, and this is great news, as KLab Games have really been on a downward spiral these few years. One of the most notable examples is the infamous story from SIFAS Season Two which caused great chaos and wreaked havoc on the fandom and the game's reputation. Also there will be more than 500 songs in this game, even including those from Hasunosora Girls' High School Idol Club and those from the School Idol Musical.

Although this decision was unfavorable to many players, there is nothing that we can do but hope for the best, and hope that European players will not have to endure this pain again.

Bonus Mini Article: New Voice Actress for Yuki Setsuna!

In the AnimeJapan 2023 Love Live! Series Joint Special Stage - a presentation of the latest information for Genitsu no Yohane, Nijigasaki High School Idol Club and Hasunosora Girls' High School Idol Club, the new voice actress for Yuki Setsuna was revealed to be Hayashi Coco.

This decision was greeted with much positive feedback from fans and with many agreeing that it was a good choice. This is because she has a very good voice that is very befitting of Setsuna, and her middle range is very powerful when singing. She was also in Wake Up, Girls! in the unit Run Girls, Run!, giving her stage experience before Nijigasaki.

In her introduction she has said that she has been a fan of Lovelive since she was in elementary school, has also been to their concerts, and she has had mob roles in Love Live Sunshine! The School Idol Movie Over The Rainbow as someone aspiring to be a school idol, and in Love Live! Superstar!! as a student in Yuigaoka Girls' High School. She has also stated that, as she admired Mizuki Nana through her concerts, she was aspiring to be a singer before aiming to be a voice actress.

So even though it is sad to see Tomoriru go, we should all welcome Hayashi with open arms and see what the Setsuna she will voice will be like, of which we already have a little snippet from the PV of the niigasaki OVA. We wish her all the best.

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