29 August 2013
Battleship Girls Game: Kantai Collection
Within the recent months, and especially with last month, there has been an increasing popularity with anthropomorphic versions of Japanese WWII warships. The source of the popularity? A social web browser game from DMM called Kantai Collection (艦隊これくしょん, meaning "Fleet Collection"), which is simply known as Kan Colle or Kancolle (艦これ).
Kancolle is one of those freemium social games where you build / collect warships anthropomorphised as girls, customise their weapons/equipments, and send them out to battle or expeditions. Much of the process, especially the battles, are automated, which makes it ideal for one to run the game in the background while you do other stuff, and come back to check on it now and then.
As for girls, there are already quite a few favourites out there among the fans:
Destroyer Shimakaze. This was one of a kind, using a special steam engine to achieve high speed. There was a plan to produce more ships of such class, but was never realised due to a lack of industrial capacity.
And this is Shimakaze in Kancolle.
Shimakaze is so popular that Max Factory revealed a figma action figure is now in development during WonFes Summer 2013.
Japanese battleship Kongou, the lead ship of her class. She was designed by a British naval engineer, and was one of the last Japanese warships to be built outside Japan.
And here's Kongo in Kancolle. Due to her historical background, she throws in a bit of English here and there in her lines.
Each girl has normal appearance as well a "damaged" one. Here is Kangou looking "damaged", with parts of her cloth torn off, with the guns smouldering on her back.
Of course the famous Yamato made it through as well, which was one of the biggest battleship ever made.
And not surprisingly it's one of the best ships in the game.
Overall, Kancolle is more of a management game, where you build and customise your fleet of girls and enjoy the artworks and voiceworks. It's one of those social games where it's for burning time
For those who are interested, someone posted a video introducing it with a brief history and gameplay information:
As DMM restricts overseas users from accessing its service, one would require VPN or a proxy IP address in order to register and start the game.
For more general information you can read it up on Kotaku.
I started playing very recently, after having to queue for daily lottery to get into the server (as servers are now very full due to increasingly popularity). Each ship, or girls, have their voices and say various lines depending on the actions done or the situation they are in, and some of the stats and dialogs reflect on their performance in WWII, therefore those who know about their real ship counterparts may understand some of the internal jokes. There is a lot of waiting involved, especially for repairs if you just came out of a nasty battle, but you can just leave it in the background while you do other stuff. You can actually lose the ships you own for good if their HP get depleted to 0, which can be quite a heavy blow if they are high level ships that you've been training with for a long time, so retreat when necessary is always a good choice.
With the game mainly featuring warships from Imperial Japanese Navy (at least for the moment), Kancolle is a kind of game that is unlikely to be available or localised in other places. Who knows? Maybe ships from other navies will also be introduced?