Since Bamco decided to localize the three iDOLM@STER Shiny Festa games for the iOS (and especially make it look nice on the iPad), I’ve been enthralled with them yet again. Well, specifically, I finally got to play all three this time, thanks to a friend whose favorite is Chihaya, which rounds out the one game that I don’t own in some form. If it wasn’t clear, I own “Rhythmic Record” on the iOS (that’s the team lolicon version) and “Groovy Tunes” on the PSP (that’s the one everyone buys, ie., Makoto, Miki, Yukiho & Takane).
In some ways if you are familiar with iM@S, there are no surprises here. It’s the same smooth cool-aid that I’ve been drinking since almost 2 years ago. The games offer new songs, old songs, popular songs, character songs, meaningful songs, and some duds. I still don’t think much of the music in the game, but seeing the girls dance to the rhythm is a fun thing. Turning the experience into a video game, though, is something else entirely.
It’s exactly what you don’t get when you go to an idol concert. Maybe this is where wotagei can transform these group-participatory experiences into game-like situations. It’s as if someone turned the ritual of Mass into achievements and on-beat motions, or pulling off a PPPH with the preacher gets you bonuses? I’m not sure how to feel about that exaggeration that I just made. But it’s not far off the mark.
Which is to say, Shiny Festa is still a set of video games. It’s fun, because of the songs, of the dancing, of the core game design decisions, because it’s well-polished, it looks nice on an iPad, and it’s got our oshimen in it.
And lots of jokes. Jokes are the studs and buttons and the stitches of iDOLM@STER fandom. The entire franchise is a series of corny jokes, interspersed with showsmanship, gameplay, and spending of money. And I’m barely exaggerating. Continue reading