Last Friday KanColle was down for maintenance, and I was bored as hell (since the project at work is in the very last stages, there’s hardly anything left to do), I tried out ShiroPro. Formally it’s called 御城プロジェクト (oshiro project, castle project), although it started out as ShiroColle. I guess it’s better to set the game apart from KC, though it’s still compared to it all the time. After all it’s a “collecting” game again, just instead of WW2 warships, this time it’s Japanese castles.
It’s a totally different game though, at least the central element is. While in KC “sorties” are basically random lotteries where the player has no means to intervene other than deciding whether to continue with 5 heavily damaged ships or not, ShiroPro is a tower defense game. That brings along all the fun and annoying parts of tower defense, and it definitely demands more attention than KC.
The characters’ art is even more diverse than in KC. Of course there are great castle girls, but some have really weird art. Not necessarily the kind of weird like bob’s old KC art, but weird still. Then there are goddesses like Iwabitsu, Wakimoto or Shinpu whose lines I just can’t get enough of (and they have really nice art too).
The difference between the different rarity castles is very obvious. Basic ones have low stats, while even silver (the second most common) have much higher (sometimes even double the basics’) capabilities. Castles’ repair times are quite short too, about the same as destroyers in KC (a full repair of my level 20 Iwabitsu would take about an hour).
Castles all have native elements, that define which spots of the map they can function best on. They can still fight in other spots too, but that lowers their range (and probably other stats too). Beside their elements, they also have a set weapon type, that’s either sword, spear, bow or gun. These all differ in range, damage, speed and the way they crit. All castles also have abilities that charge up during battles, and can be fired manually when ready. These vary from dealing small AOE damage to boosting the attack range of everyone on team and healing.
They can be recalled during a fight too, thus saving them from potentially falling. Fallen castles don’t get permanently destroyed, but they can’t participate in the ongoing fight anymore and they don’t get any XP for it either.
Then if you happen to lose a battle (or give up to evade heavy damage and costly repairs), you have to pick a castle to serve as your rear guard. Depending on their “rear guard” stat and some RNG, they can repel the chasing enemy troops, but if they fail they (and/or other castles on team) can fall hostage. Hostages can be bought back at the cost of resources or a specific item that can be bought for real money. If they aren’t freed in 24 hours, they are probably gone for good (I’m not gonna try and confirm though).
While KC has all the RNG hell during sorties, there’s at least some consistency in crafting or expeditions. In SP I could barely see a difference between building full-cost (10 all) and minimum (0-all) castles, and crafting equipment seems absolutely random too. Though it might be just an issue of the lack of statistically significant amounts of data like in the case of KC.
Expeditions like to fail every now and then, but at least they still have some returns even then. They work very different from KC though. Individual runs give resource gains (even if failed), but they also drop castles occasionally, and the best part of it is how once you get the gauge full (with about 20-30 expeds), you get some further reward (rare items mostly).
There’s also this interesting system of territories. Areas drop in sorties just like castles, although it’s not so common. Then you can choose a few of them (the number depending on how far you’ve conquered the maps), and you get bonus resource incomes based on those areas’ characteristics. So if you plan to use a lot of stone, then you can just pick areas that yield stone to balance your expenses.
Certain stages are also defense maps, where you have to defend one of the areas you have selected at the moment. So picking easy maps make things much easier (and a joke to farm resources and XP), while forgetting to change some hard-to-defend area can make the fight hell.
There’s also an option (though I never used it so far) to set up a support unit with a few castles, that you can summon mid-fight to your aid if the tide of battle turns against you.
Ah, and get used to being called tono instead of teitoku.