Date A Live: Spirit Pledge Global | Anime Dating Sim First Impressions

Date A Live: Spirit Pledge Global

Have you heard about a new and somewhat unique game that recently released? Date A Live: Spirit Pledge Global is a game where you must save the world by taking cute waifus on a date. Sounds just like the thing that could happen to any of us in real life, doesn’t it? Well, this game is based on the Japanese light novel series and anime and stays true to the original lore, so fans are bound to be pleased. It intricately mixes dating sim, action stages, and gacha gaming in a clever blend that feels light, appealing, and lots of fun, putting you in many awkward situations during the dates.

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Date A Live: Spirit Pledge is a game where cute anime waifu spirits are waiting for your help. Most of the time you’ll be either fighting your way across side-scrolling stages or dating spirits to seal their powers and better understand why their arrival on the planet causes millions of casualties. You, the hero, and your adoptive sister Kotori are part of an organization that is trying to prevent these threats, but the only way to do so is to make the girls, aka spirits, fall in love and kiss you. No, I’m not making this up.

This is easier said than done mostly because of the grind. Yes, this is a gacha game after all, and your progress is tied to the spirits that you unlock or summon, and your overall player level. While things start smooth, soon enough you’ll need to resort to dailies, limited time events and all sorts of achievements in order to advance and unlock new stages. Date A Live is the kind of game that asks you to return every day to collect new stuff and go out on a few more dates – these require energy that slowly recovers, so you won’t be able to do more than two or three each day.

But it is more fun than I was expecting, I’ve got to admit. Dates often place you in tricky situations that turn out to be extremely funny, such as one where you unwillingly go on three dates at the exact same time, without any of the girls knowing about the others. As you can imagine, this involves a lot of hurried excuses to go to the restroom, but things obviously won’t end well. The anime graphics are cute and sometimes suggestive, but luckily never dip into vulgar territory, this is not that kind of game.

Dates aren’t linear, making you choose between three answers a few times, sometimes within a tight time limit. Your choices will drive the date toward one ending of several, encouraging you to replay the date and try every option to get the best ending – you may even find a hidden ending as well. The more dates you complete, the more favor you get with the spirit, eventually unlocking new features and enriching the game’s codex.

Date A Live: Spirit Pledge Global

Then you have the battle stages, which reminds me of a simpler Closers Online. You usually pick a team of three spirits and one backup unit from another player, fighting your way in short stages that sometimes end with a boss battle. You can switch between girls at any time, much like Honkai Impact, and apart from your main skills, you can activate a devastating ultimate. Combat is fast and smooth, with a nice feel to the hits, making this loads better than other gacha games where you just tap the auto button and watch things unfold. This actually requires some skill, although you still need to upgrade your spirits and boost their stats with Sephiroth, which is just another excuse to show more cute girl artwork.

The gacha part of Date A Live isn’t the friendliest of all. It takes quite a bit of collecting to collect the fate badges needed for a 10x pull, and after that first try it feels even more difficult to achieve than before. Sure, you can go for one summon at a time, but that’s kind of pointless and you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. Just keep on collecting diamonds and then go to the store and trade them for fate badges, that should be the best way to go about it.

Date A Live: Spirit Pledge Global is a surprisingly fun game to play occasionally, mainly for the enjoyable and often awkward dates. Without the action stages it would be little more than a visual novel, a good one at that, but it has more stuff to keep you entertained, so give it a shot, you won't regret it.

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