First Impressions| BTS World Mobile Game — Cuz I’m A Hella Basic Asian Chick

First Impressions| BTS World Mobile Game — Cuz I’m A Hella Basic Asian Chick

HIHI BAYOG FAM! I know what you’re thinking, “Uh….BTS?? WTF MINTY??” Y’all. It’s a mobile game. Okay? Also…I’m BAYOG’s resident Hella Basic Asian Chick ™. We shouldn’t be surprised by now. However, you may be surprised at what I’m gonna say about this game…

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Before I get into the game…

So anyway…like I said, I’m a hella basic Asian chick. I’m Asian, and I’ve always been into Asian music, movies, and dramas. Duh, that’s why it’s your specialty for BAYOG… Bish you stupid… I’ve been into K-Pop and Korean dramas since like 2001-2003?? I was more into it when I was in college. It’s literally how I made friends too. Like, y’all…I used to be on top of -everything-: the latest music releases, latest drama releases, the latest news, etc. However, I started to transition myself out of the K-Pop hole around 2013-2014. There were too many groups coming out, and I was transitioning to more Korean R&B, Hip-Hop, and indie music. 2013 is when 방탄소년단 , or BTS, debuted. Like I said in the [Save Me webtoon post]…I heard of them, but didn’t really pay attention to them (or any of the new idols). I was a first and second generation idol fan. I got hella lost when the third generation started. I also just felt like I was growing out of fan-girling. It wasn’t until the 화양연화 /The Most Beautiful Moment in Life albums that I started listening to some of their music. I casually listened to their music and enjoyed it, but I wasn’t really deep into it or them. I told myself I didn’t need to look into them or their music too deeply. I didn’t want to become too invested and fall into the hole again. It wasn’t until the Love Yourself albums that I started paying alot more attention to them. This is also when they started really blowing up into worldwide recognition. They’ve literally made K-Pop go mainstream in the West. It’s a surprising and incredible achievement.

Y’all. I said I wouldn’t get invested and I wouldn’t fall back into the hole. I kept telling myself I was a casual fan of their music. I said I didn’t know very much about them. I said that even though I enjoy their music, I don’t really consider myself ARMY. But um…I bought all the versions of the Love Yourself albums, and of Map the Soul: Persona. I have the BTS and BT21 stickers and themes for LINE. I have the BT21 face masks. I play the SuperStar BTS mobile game. I freakin’ have all the versions of the VT x BTS toothbrush/toothpaste sets, and the VT x BTS pacts. I read (and actually paid for) the BTS Save Me webtoon. I got BTS stickers on my laptop…

When did I get here?? How did I get here??? 헐 ….

Like I don’t know how I got here, but I’m here… I got pulled deeper into the hole than I expected. Real talk though, I have to say that I just really appreciate the amount of dedication and work they put into their music and projects. I think what really pulled me in was that they really do touch on some very relateable and personal issues, and they promote positive messages. I think that’s why I was so invested in their Love Yourself albums and promotions. Their whole story is really fascinating. They literally started from the bottom. Underdogs from a small company. Now they’re global superstars, and for sure made K-Pop mainstream. As an Asian American I recognize their success as a positive step for Asian representation too. They literally shot their small company into one of the biggest entertainment companies in Korea; Making it the Big 3 into the Big 4.

Now onto BTS WORLD

A while ago, it was announced that a BTS mobile game would be released. Previously, the only official BTS game was a rhythm game called SuperStar BTS. The new game was to be called BTS World. BTS World would have you interact with the members as their manager. It was said that you’d be able to interact with the members’ characters, receive calls, as well as receive and send messages. There was also supposed to be special videos and pictures. Honestly, I didn’t plan on trying the game. I didn’t really know what I was expecting, but I was like, “Okay. I’ll give it a try and see what the hype is about.”

So what’s this game actually about?
You’re basically on your way to a BTS concert. However, you suddenly find yourself in 2012; Before BTS even existed. You have no idea what’s going on. You just notice that the pictures of the members are gone on your concert ticket. You also find out that you somehow work at Big Hit Entertainment, BTS’ management/entertainment label. You realize that it’s your job to find the members, get them to sign to the label, and bring them together. You realize your purpose is to form and guide BTS into the group that you know and love.

Basically this game is a visual novel that takes ARMY through BTS’ journey to debut and to become the international superstars that they are today. Netmarble said that some of the stories are fictional to a point. However, they say that it is based on the members, and some of the things they say and feel. So yeah. This game was basically a visual novel. It was basically an otome game. Which, if you didn’t know, is not my kind of thing. However, I decided I’d give it a try still. I should also note that the game comes in several languages. You can play it in the original Korean, English, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, Italian, Russian, etc.

When the game doesn’t allow you take screenshots/videos; Saying it’s illegal, and saying that they can take legal action against you…but BTS’ leader does it anyway lol

There are basically 2 kind of stories for this game. The main game is you trying to form and guide BTS. Another Story, is like your side story game.

Another Story is basically an alternate reality where BTS just doesn’t exist. The members are all living very different lives, and doing very different things. For example, Yoongi (Suga) is a music student trying to get into a music competition. You also have Taehyung (V) is running his family’s farm in the countryside.

In both game modes, you have the part of the story with text and where you pick your dialogue options. Then you have your missions. So this game basically has you collecting cards. The cards are different themes and pictures. They have different levels and stats. They’re used to help you clear you missions so you can progress in the story. You can also level up your cards and whatnot. You also have to use “Wings” to attempt a mission. You get x amount of Wings depending on your level. They do get more wings after a couple of minutes. You can also basically dress the members up as you earn more items and stuff.

In the main story, you also have event missions where you may receive a call or message from a member, or maybe you need to respond to a social media post (it’s basically Instagram). All these things help determine your affinity levels with the members. So yeah. This is an otome game….

First Impressions — So We’re Stalkers/Sasaengs??

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So my first impressions… First of all…600 mb to download stuff for the game??? WTF??? The aesthetics for the menu looked nice. I do like the pictures. I love the music. I love that they have a music box version of DNA on the title screen. I also love the OST for this game (more on that later). I love the concept of being a part of BTS journey to debut and international stardom. I think it’s also an interesting idea into exploring what kind of lives the members would be living if they chose different paths in life. However, I’m not loving this game. It does come off a bit corny at times. However, I can understand that the target audience for this game is on the younger side (teens to mid twenties probably). I’m okay with a bit of corniness. However, I really dislike the player’s character. I find myself thinking, “Is the character dumb or something??” However, I think I mostly dislike it because it gives me sasaeng, or stalker fan, vibes.

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Actually, not even vibes. The player’s character literally says and does things that stalkers or sasaengs would do. So if you’re not familiar with sasaengs ( 사생/사생팬)…they’re basically HELLAAAAAA EXTREME and obsessed stalker “fans”. They cross that boundary, finding out personal information, and following their idols to anything and everything. They’re the kinds that camp out of an idol’s company and home. Some will even break in, and/or steal stuff. Some send creepy and WTF letters and shit. There was a year where male idols were being sent fan mail with pubic hair, used sanitary pads, and even letters written in blood. They’ll literally do anything to try to get close to their idols or get their attention. Even if it’s gross, crossing the line, illegal/criminal, and dangerous. No one likes them. They call themselves fans, but they’re far from being true fans. As I first started the main story I was like, “Uh…okay…this seems to be a bit…” It was a little weird, but I couldn’t really say it was totally stalker-ish. Then I got to the Another Story.

For Namjoon (RM), your character lies about moving to Namjoon’s neighborhood. You basically say something like, “I need to find a place and move here soon before Namjoon finds out I lied to be closer to him.” Yeah. That’s some stalker/sasaeng shit.

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Me as I’m playing this game

I was like, surely this can’t really be the case of all the stories?? It can’t be that you’re blatantly stalking the members? I was wrong… You are.

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For Jin, he runs a hotel. You book a room there in hopes of running into him. Then you go around asking for him. For Taehyung (V) you find out which PC room he likes to hit up. Then you literally follow him to the countryside.

I don’t blame him. I’d be uncomfortable if a stalker lived in my house…

For Jimin, you basically go everywhere looking for him. You find his granny’s rice cake shop. You then keep stopping by in hopes of seeing/talking to Jimin… Then you overhear the granny talking about renting out a room, and you’re all “OOH! ME!! I’LL TAKE IT!!” Just so you can be closer to Jimin. Bruh. That’s literally what a mother effing stalker does.

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It made me feel pretty uncomfortable and gross. I don’t condone the actions of stalkers and sasaengs. So it was a weird and gross feeling to be playing a character whose actions fall in line with that of a stalker… Like…That’s no-no.

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Masta Wu said it best

It just feels like the player’s character tries too hard to find and meet the members. That’s why it feels very stalker-ish. I feel like it would’ve been better to make it seem like actual coincidental meetings/occurrences. It may seem pretty cliche, sure. However, it seems alot better than being someone who is constantly going out of their way to find, run into the dudes, and purposely find a way to put themselves next to the guys. Like…honey…that’s just wrong. It ain’t healthy either. Yeah, yeah. I know it’s just a game, and you’re probably thinking that I’m thinking too deeply about it. However, I feel like that kind of mindset just isn’t right or healthy man. It just seems to normalize that kind of behavior. I just got a problem with it because there are real crazies who do that and worse.

A summary.

As for game play, I understand the concepts. However, I find that it was really too hard to level up and progress through the story. Despite having higher quality cards and leveling up my cards, I found myself struggling to pass the missions. Depending on how well you do, you can get 1, 2, or 3 stars from completing a mission. However, I found myself stuck getting 1 star…2 if I was lucky. Although, most of the time I just kept failing the missions. On a minor issue…I understand the legality and why they want to disallow screenshots/video recordings of the game. However, I feel like it’s weird that there’s no option for you to share your member card as a way to share your game code to make friends. As for the story concept…I like the ideas, really. However, I felt like the story just felt a bit weak.

The Soundtrack

I will say that I did enjoy the soundtrack. Yes, the game has it’s own soundtrack. A few of the tracks were released leading to the launch of the game. 3 of the songs were collaboration tracks with other artists.

The first track was, “Dream Glow”. It was by Jin, Jimin, and Jungkook. It featured English singer Charli XCX. It’s not my favorite BTS track, but I did find it catchy. So it’s not my favorite, but I still enjoyed it. Apparently it’s a reworked version of Charli XCX’s “Glow”.

The second track was, “A Brand New Day”. It was by J-Hope and V. It featured Swedish singer Zara Larsson. This track wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t a song that I’d have stuck in my head. It was just alright. I do have to say that I love the inclusion of Korean instruments in this track though.

The third track to be released was “All Night”. It was by RM and Suga. It featured American rapper Juice Wrld. Again, not my favorite track. I didn’t hate it though. I could see myself playing this in the background. Although I have to admit I wasn’t really a fan of Juice Wrld’s part? Maybe I just need to listen to it more for it to grow on me? I don’t know.

“Heartbeat” was released the same day that BTS World was launched. This is my favorite track from the soundtrack. It really does have that OST vibe to it. To be honest, I could see it being the OST for a movie or drama as well. It shows the BTS that we know and love. However, it also shows the BTS members living different lives that we may not know. I love seeing the shots of the members in their alternate universe. It’s an interesting way to see a different side of them. The MV is beautifully shot and done too. What I like most about it is how you can think of it as a very personal message from the members to their fans. BTS has always been vocal about how grateful they are to their fans. They’re known to be very humble, and they’re vocal about their love to ARMY. I’m sure that the members always think about what they could’ve been had they not taken their current paths in life. I take this song and MV as the members saying that they’re grateful to their fans. That they are what they are, and where they are because of ARMY. That it’s something they’ll always cherish, and they know that ARMY is always with them. I found Namjoon’s “Youniverse” line pretty clever and touching.

Final Verdict

To be honest, I didn’t really love the game. Again, I –liked– the concepts behind it. However, there were story aspects that just felt really weak. I found the player’s character really annoying and dumb at times. It just ultimately felt like this game was a fanfic.The audio of the members speaking during the story parts sounded a bit off for me. It just felt random. Sometimes all the members would have some sort of speaking audio, but 1-2 members wouldn’t. Also, I just felt like the audio quality was kinda low at times? The audio for the calls were fine. It was more natural, and kind of cute. The only thing I actually really liked was the story videos and the music. The videos showcased the members’ acting skills. I liked actually seeing the story. The cinematography was pretty well done too. Which I guess was one reason why the game felt weird to me. Sometimes I felt like the story quality and the video quality were on totally different levels. It almost felt like, “Is this the same game…?” It was also just really hard for me to make progress in this game. It took me forever to finally get to Chapter 3. Even then, I can’t even clear the second mission. My biggest gripe and turn off for the game was also how the player’s character seems more like a stalker/sasaeng… It’s a stark contrast in how ARMY is typically very respectful of the members and their privacy too. Sure, alot of fans can be overzealous. However, true fans, of ANY fandom, should also know boundaries and respect. Again, it just felt like a fanfic made by a stalker fan at times…

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Sames, Namjoon.

So will I continue playing this game? Probably not… I hate feeling like a stalker/sasaeng. I find myself stopping, making a WTF face, and feeling hella disappointed and grossed out at myself. If I were to continue the game, it would be just for the videos and the aspects of seeing the members’ journey.

I will say that I am enjoying the memes that have come out from all of this though lol. Who’s ARMY here? Have you played the game? What do you think? Hate it? Love it? What’s your favorite OST track? Who’s your bias? Let me know!

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