War never changes.
The mobile free-to-play rhythm game IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage (Deresute or SS for short for now) launched a couple days ago, but with a lot of leading-up. People who pre-reigstered for the Android version can redeem a code for in-game currency. Since the iOS version isn’t out yet, you can still pre-register for that and get the same deal when that version launches. Go to the link up there.
The hot take? Deresute largely riffs on LLSIF (the link takes you to a beginner’s guide in English), which is the short hand I will use to explain how the game works. Instead of love gems, you have star jewels or whatever you call it. It translates to about 50 star jewels per love gem, to give you an idea on the prices. 2500 heart jewels for a 10-pull, but all the 10-pulls have a guarantee SR or better.
Cards in SS break out similar to the original Mobamas game, N, R, SR, SSR. You “awaken” cards by maxing out the affection on the card, then awaken it via using certain items required by that card for awakening. Awakening increases the card’s max affection and levels.
And besides that Deresute is a rhythm game based on consuming stamina to do “lives,” actually the similarity with LLSIF ends there. The rest of the game is the logical extension of marrying a F2P Rhythm Game with Mobamas.
BIG DISCLAIMER: This game has not yet have its first event yet, and events are what all these F2P games are about. So this hot take is definitely incomplete and only for novelty.
What I really want to point out are first, how Deresute improves on the LLSIF formula, and where Deresute actually is not like LLSIF and more like Cinderella Girls the original mobage. And I’m going to compare a 2-day old F2P platform with a 2-year old one.
- Deresute has notification support…mainly for level timers in the chibi room and stamina full. Where’s LLSIF’s?
- Deresute guarantee SR pull is always available. LLSIF not so much, although it has more variety of pulls now, like the ability to get URs directly.
- Deresute improves on the Mobamas formula again by keeping affection but removing the 2-card kakusei rule, adding another layer of gameplay.
- Deresute SSRs have real background artwork. And SRs. Blows the crap out of LLSIF in this department.
- The chibi floor. Or whatever it’s called.
- I think even the graphics in the 2D live mode blows LLSIF away, to say nothing of the 3D mode. The 3D mode is definitely neat but mostly eyecandy only.
- Uses BNID for porting your game, so you can actually play on multiple systems. There are some downsides to this but the upside outright wins for anyone who’s lost a LLSIF account…
- Does LLSIF story mode have autoplay? Access to audio in the log? Deresute does.
- Deresute has skippable tutorial. It’s a dumb, minor point, only relevant to re-rollers.
- Everyone is equal (minus the few unvoiced idols in this game) as far as their representation in the game goes. This actually means each idol have a much more developed story once you unlock their individual ones. The fact that LLSIF is tiered and focuses on the core 9 is not a plus or minus, but there isn’t much to say about everyone else in that game. It’s a content thing. Of course there is more pure content in LLSIF given its age now, but I wonder by how much really.
I think none of this is really special? LLSIF is 2 years old but that game feels dated even back in 2014. The overhaul helped but that clock has kept on ticking. Now we’re just finally getting something similar to compare with as to what things ought to be like.
Of course there are also downsides to this game compared to LLSIF. The player base, the large number of cards you could possibly get (and good luck! You will need unlimited amounts of that!) now compared to somewhere north of 200 in SS. There are more songs, by far. There are more modes of play, even outside of events. But then we consider one game is 2 days old, it all seems like here we have a game that will catch up and surpass LLSIF in probably another 6 months.
The real test, I think, is how Deresute is still JP only. Will it get ported? It’s entirely likely given that trademark file, and doubly so if Scamco want to copy LLSIF’s plan for success. I would think anyone who paid attention to what IM@S things has happened oversea would guess this will eventually make it out of Japan.
And I think they have a winner on their hands; as long as they don’t screw it up, anyway.