When it comes to pazudora, I’ll admit I’m a little obsessed. Having had an extensive period of non-IAPing, interspersed by short bursts of somewhat uncontrolled but still moderate IAPing, then another few months of being a free player, I’d have trouble placing myself in a category as a player. Juxtaposing myself with the average japanese IAPer however, I’d be more inclined to label my sizable amounts of everyday thinking about this game as fantasizing and theorycrafting than actual planning that those with fat wallets can do. After all, one can only have so much proactivity with the limited stamina pool that each day provides, along with many, many distractions and deterrents along the way. Perhaps this is why I tend to have such a critical outlook on every piece of news (let alone a huge update) – rather than just swallow it whole and start acting on bringing those novelties to life like the other players.
Let’s have a look at the new update banner shall we? What do we see?
Idunn and Idunna.
Provided you can stop swooning from their cuteness, the next emotion almost everyone will feel is bafflement. Why them? The expectations of the player base were certainly high prior to the long awaited Fan Festival that promised to unveil a lot of uvos and game elements that GungHo had previously hinted at. With that in mind, any surprises would not have been very surprising. But come on – with many important monster evolutions behind schedule (JP 2.0 gods, Genbu, Angels, Devils) one would expect to see one (or two, maybe three) of those cards’ artworks in the spotlight, not a side-branching version of a Norse god out of the blue (pun intended). Notwithstanding the welcome art update (Loki and Freya need them the most), much more fitting subtype and that sexy new leader skill, this entire pantheon is already fully realized and thus, hardly a priority for the game’s balance. They have their place in a variety of teams, decent stats (they will be getting a small boost nonetheless), skill-ups…wait…did you say skill-ups? Hmm, come to think of it, there was a biweekly dragon dungeon series with their skill-up monsters, and Groove Coaster collaboration is just behind the corner. Heh, well that explains it. Next thing you know they’ll “coincidentally” hold a Norse GodFes…
Regarding my opening paragraph, I cannot help but wonder what’s in it for GungHo when they do these updates. Sure, they want to maintain the balance, show that they care, keep improving the game and strengthen the players’ trust. They also have their sublime way of cashing in on just about anything they do to this game ever so imperceptibly and without ever truly enraging us. Heck, you even have a smile on your face as you’re getting punk’d. How can you not? The game is obviously becoming more complex and enjoyable, only at the price of umm…well, money. And I&I are oh so cute.
Truth be told, one of the two remaining Chinese gods without a uvo will also be included in the update and that is Byakko (and she’s in a banner, although not the update banner). Her branching uvo is nothing short of spectacular – both Dragon and Devil subtype are very desirable and fit perfectly in their respective teams. Yet the big surprise here is the change in the pattern for the tricolor Chinese gods’ “better” uvo. Devil Byakko’s subcolor is dark like her main color, not blue, and she has now TWO dark row enhances accordingly. Personally, I think that the devil subtype alone would have been a substantial boost to the aging playstyle but I guess this is as much a shout-out to her numerous fans as it is an invitation to the ones who don’t have her to pull and then max skill her via that arduous chaser trial.
The rest of the uvos are the utterly uninspiring ultimate Beelzebub and the only-for-the-pros ultimate Koryuus. The latter don’t have row enhances and our poor beetle seems to be just as pointless as he was before the uvo (hopefully, someone will prove me wrong here). Also, the requirement of orbs in his uvo (250+ stamina at a minimum) seems entirely unjustified.
Last but not the least, we have the technical changes like the buffs for the crappiest awakenings ever (now not as crappy but still horrible)…
…and the much anticipated Friend System Overhaul. It’ll actually be pretty nifty to be able to present more leads to your friends and select theirs. This could pretty much double our choice of friends without the need to add new ones and buy box slots; also, more pal points. Still, “overhaul” is a bit too strong of a word as the system remains just as rudimentary as it was before. No chat redesign, no fluid interface, just a welcome expansion.
Oh there’s also the increase of the monster box’s maximum capacity (now 1100) and something about the special dungeons not appearing if one doesn’t have enough stamina that I don’t quite understand.
This concludes my analysis of this upcoming update. Despite the glaring omissions of the more important uvos for the older gods, and the update’s somewhat small scope, it’s still a big enough change to stir the pazudora community and make the players lucky enough to have these gods to contemplate new teams for about a month or so until the next update, or start +297ing some new monsters. YamaP did not exactly deliver this time as without the technical changes, this is still just a regular update, even a small one when compared to some major ones. But worry not, he’s already making big promises for the next month…a word to the wise – don’t hold your breath, it’s the “silent” updates that really count.