Monthly Archives: August 2016

Sword Art Online TV Thing

Lizbeth & Silica

So today the news of a SAO TV adaption by a US media company was out, which I am sure is not coincidental to the fact that last week was SDCC. Or this/these kinds of things are happening out there. In search of media gold, Hollywood is asking people to ship them their mines. Japan happens to be actually pretty good at doing exactly this, so why not pick through their trash for some variety for a change?

And why not? I think it’s a good fit. Fire up that Ouroboros!

Idols with Smarphones

Smartphones were already a thing when OFA came out in 2014, but it hasn’t taken over the game like it did for Platinum Star. This is a quick impression piece on the latest console entry to the mainstay IDOLM@STER games.

Overall, it’s OFA in hyper mode, but where the song minigame in one is figuring out the timing of bursts and bombs, now it’s just Project Diva EZ-edition. Make no mistake, though, Platinum Stars is not really a rhythm game. This is more like the usual idol production sim with a rhythm game delivery mechanism. By delivery mechanism, I mean everything comes down to these climatic lives in which you have to not screw up doing rhythm gaming. Doing well at it gives you a slight edge but it pales to the amount of work that it takes to get far in the game regardless.

  • The idol mobile mail has been a long a cherished thing in these games, and the additional 3000yen or whatever it is enables this idol with smartphone thing, so please go grab it if that intrigues you.
  • P Drops is exactly what you think it is. I went for it because I am now a firm Kakkin-type player and to be honest I sort of wish I didn’t. It makes the game a little easier because when you miss, often times you get consumables which all tend to upgrade your stats in some way. So you end up leveling up your characters/songs pretty fast. Do you get nice gear fast too? More on that.
  • The game has now implemented two ways to balance gear. Outfits now have types that usually have to match with the live type to get max use of its appeal stats. Idols wearing items higher rank will also see reduction on the appeal benefit. This for the most part works but I imagine a lot of new players would run into problems until they figure it out. I had problems with this until I was told to just osusume in the outfit screen. Later on the game evolves big times on this front and gear selection becomes a major aspect of the game. By then osusume will not cut it.
  • The early game is pretty hard I think, once the game opens up more it gets easier, especially if you were able to get some good gear via luck and/or timely EX Clears.
  • The game “ends” after you clear the Extreme Live set of events. Doing it for the first time unlocks M@STER difficulty for songs.
  • Song difficulty for the most part doesn’t matter in terms of score, but it does give an edge if you can FC hard songs. This edge increases as your song rank increases. Thankfully for most people this is something we can live without.
  • The game boils down to the following: fans, appeals (levels), burst, omoide (and hearts), and the gear/outfits you own. The rest are just resources to increase these values. I put outfit in here not because it adds to your overall score (beyond just adding stats–they give skills, which effectively can multiply your base score), but because later on the specific outfits you have determines if you can clear a live or not, as a factor of outfit type and the skills they bestow on your idols.
  • The game plays up a lot to a modern view of SNS-driven fandom. I like it, because it’s like every retelling of the IM@S girls the characters move on into a new era.
  • The cute little animations between each part of the turn is something to watch for. But it’s hard to say anything about those. Just that sometimes I wish I can just look at it and do nothing else.

A couple personal notes. I bought a PS4 just to play this game. What’s nice is that earlier this year Sony enabled remote play on PC, and that made playing this game so much easier. Second, I joined a chat with some other guys talking about the game, and we did a quick-and-dirty FAQ. Like, buying it off PSN and playing it on launch? Watching the countdown timer hit 0 and boot into the game (while at work, because I remote-play via a Vita)? That was really cool. Thanks Sony.