IM@S 2 is a proper time vampire
A week in-game can go pretty fast depending on your schedule, dialogue can be breezed through quickly and entire stage performances can be skipped if you don’t feel like watching.
Even so, The IDOLM@STER 2 can be real time sink if you let it.
Case in point? Somehow, memories of last Saturday and Sunday are hazy but I remember idol performance statistics and surprisingly good music.
I’m not sure if the PSP IDOLM@STER games give a good example what the first arcade/360 games was like, but while the PSP games didn’t do all that much for me and I found the anime mildly annoying, IM@S 2 is an engrossing game.
It’s not perfect however. A guide or wiki is handy to have, especially since the most difficult moment in the game isn’t the music performances, which by the way plays out like a basic rhythm game, but the odd jobs & promotions.
By letting your idols successfully work at different events, act in movies/radio or produce PVs you gain “appeal levels”, as represented by a heart icon. Once a heart is filled you gain one more “memory appeal”, which is a points boost – basically – something very useful to have whether you’re participating in an Audition, Live or Festival – where you go up against other idols in a duel.
The difficulty is to make it through such work while earning “perfect communication” with your idol of choice, which gives the biggest boost to the appeal-meter.
It starts out tricky for us westerners, as you must (often while a timer counting down) find the prefecture you are currently visiting on a map of Japan. Thankfully you can pause the game pretty much whenever to get some breathing room. So, a map with all the prefectures written out is a good thing to have for sure.
It gets hairier during the actual work-part where you have to make sure your idol does a good job of whatever she’s supposed to be doing. The situations these girls get themselves in, I swear. Sometimes you have to pick one out of three options which would help the situation at hand the most. However, these are not always very straight forward and even a “correct” answer (in my head) can yield surprising and ultimately disappointing results. Even more difficult is when you’re asked to physically interact with your idol, or point out things using using the body as an example. (For “use your head”, click on their head etc).
I found it really hard to know what the game expects you to do and you just don’t know what’s going to happen sometimes.
Still, figuring these sections out is fun in itself.
But I must be going.
Only a few weeks left until the fate of my idol unit “HiMiAmi@<” will be decided.
(With Hibiki as the leader, Miki & Mami as supports, currently level 15)
I need to reach one more memory level before that…