|It's surprisingly easy to tell who is who, even in Mii form.|
AKB48+Me (not you) for the 3DS! I purchased the digital version.
Ok. So what is the game about.
You choose a Mii to play as, it has to be female of course.
The game starts off with you going to see an AKB48 performance with a friend. After the performance, you're really impressed, and your character decides she wants to become a member of AKB48 too.
So you go to an audition, and pass, and become a kenkyuusei for 3 years.
During this 3 year period, you raise your popularity, to achieve higher results during the senbatsu. At the end of the 3 years, if you do well enough, you are made a regular member, and the game ends.
Now let me talk about the game system.
The game is kind of divided into two parts, the weekly schedule/raising stats, and the rhythm game stage performances that happen every two weeks, and on other special events. You raise stats during the week, so that you can get better results during the rhythm game part, so that your popularity rises faster.
There are 3 stats, which all are for the sake of raising the one main stat, ninki (popularity).
Dance, song, and variety. Your dance and song level determines the bonus points you get on top of the base points for completing the song on the rhythm game part.
|Me doing a performance.|
So for example, you perform the song Heavy Rotation, and you do good. You get 40 base points. Your dance stat is at level 20, and song is at level 24. It divides your level by 2, to determine the bonus points you get. So 10 points for dance, and 12 for song in that case, giving you an end score of 62. Those 62 points go into your ninki stat, which levels at every 100 points. So the idea is you are raising your dance and song before performances, to get higher and higher points.
During the weekly, there are always days where you appear on a variety show. The show you either succeed at, or fail at. Succeeding raises ninki, failing lowers it. The variety stat gives you additional ninki for the show. Sometimes the variety show, instead of just being a "beep you failed/passed" 3 second occurrence actually has you play a minigame, and if you succeed at the minigame, you get ninki up plus usually an item.
At the beginning of each week, you are in your room, where you can save, check personality, items, etc. You decide your schedule for the week here. On the days you have nothing already set in stone (events, variety show, performances, etc) you can choose dance, song, variety lessons, or to have the day off. Doing anything other than resting takes stamina, and resting replenishes it. If you run out of stamina during the week, you will miss other lessons/jobs/etc planned.
So again, the point is to raise ninki, so you perform better during the senbatsu.
The other thing you're minding while playing, is your personality. Many of the events, even just stuff like before every stage performance etc, there will be decision points, where the choices are colour coded. These change your personality. So if you want to become an idol like Maeda, you generally choose responses that are cool/my pace.
Your personality, I believe, affects random events. So my first play through, I was aiming to be like Maeda, so I had events about acting in dramas and stuff, and she and Yuuko would give me advice etc.
They also have other events like the Janken Tournament, Tokyo Dome performances, end of the year song battle, etc.
OK SO NOW I WILL TALK ABOUT MY IMPRESSIONS OF THE GAME
Some complaints I have would be.....
-There isn't enough to do! There is no real story or anything, you just raise stats, see random events, then at the end get an epilogue based on how you did. At the time, I didn't even realise the game was going to end. I was like, alright, done being a kenkyuusei, I placed first in the senbatsu, let's get this show on the road! But then the game ends... lol...
-Another thing, not necessarily a complaint, but it doesn't make sense that you are a kenkyuusei for 3 years. In my first play through, during the second senbatsu I came in like 6th. It doesn't make any sense to me that I wouldn't be made a regular member then and there. During the 3rd senbatsu, the end of the game, I came in first. I'm supposedly still a kenkyuusei at that point, and it's not till after the results it's decided I am a regular member. Can you imagine if a kenkyuusei came in first in the senbatsu? Crazy...
-There aren't enough songs! The game has like 10~12 tracks or so, with one song being original to the game, but it's not enough. In the second Janken Tournament, I came in first. But.. there weren't any more songs, so they didn't even do a single or anything! What is the point of the Janken Tournament, aiming to become a member for the next single, when there is no single!? The only Janken that had a single was the first one. And there isn't much benefit in becoming senbatsu either, aside from the increased work and events, because there aren't any senbatsu PV etc you participate in to raise your popularity, aside from one single. After that, there isn't anything.
-The game is SUPER easy. I've never not gotten kami, the highest rank, on any of the rhythm game parts. And I'm bad at rhythm games. I feel like I didn't put much effort into getting into the senbatsu. At the end of the game my ninki was level 99 which was max. Just so easy. No challenge.
Ok. Some things I enjoyed...
-I like these kind of stat building games, so it's fun.
-The game is pretty cute, and doesn't take itself seriously.
-The game at a couple times was weirdly meta. When the next single, the game original song 'kimi ni niteru' or something, was announced, the character literally says "This song is original to the game!". The narrator too, sometimes talks to you, the character, and even gave me an item one time :s
-The game is obviously low budget. All characters are just Miis, there is no voice acting, etc etc. so it could not have cost much to make. I'd like to see them to another game, but with a better budget.
All in all, the game is a pretty good time waster. If you're an AKB48 fan, then you'll probably enjoy it. My first play through took about 12 hours, and there is replayability in playing as different personality type, trying to achieve senbatsu faster, etc. It's a game made for kids though, so keep in mind it's pretty easy, and also easy to read, if you have poor Japanese.
I don't remember what I was typing about, or what I wanted to write about this game, so sorry if none of this post made sense. Maybe I'll edit the post later and include the track list, or maybe I'll edit the post to be funnier so it's a better read. I wouldn't count on it though.