So, How Expensive is Tokyo in January?

Posted by DiGiKerot in idolmaster at September 22, 2013 on 4:47 pm

Because that’s when the newly released iM@S movie PV reveals the movie is released.

Well, I suppose there’s some news to be talking about…

Posted by DiGiKerot in idolmaster at September 21, 2013 on 9:20 pm

…Because someone obviously decided that, for some bizarre reason, holding TGS the same weekend as a major iM@S event was a sensible idea (and, yes, I did deliberately phrase that in such a fashion to suggest that iM@S is more important than the rest of the Japanese gaming industry).

I guess the news about iM@S Channel, the new PS3 application (read “storefront”) that will liberate P-sans from the pain of dealing with the main PSN store, has been out there for a few days now. They did, at least, post a PV detailing what the heck the thing actually is to the official iM@S Channel site today, which is helpful.

It Took You Long Enough, Columbia…

Posted by DiGiKerot in idolmaster at July 17, 2013 on 6:08 pm

Those who follow me on Twitter may or may not be aware of my tendency, once a month, to complain about the fact that the new songs for iDOLM@STER Shiny Festa, the PSP and iOS iM@S rhythm-action game, had yet to be solicited for release on CD – mostly the main theme, Music♪, though I guess I’m slightly unusual in preferring Vault that Borderline to the other game-specific songs (and, honestly, I’m really not particularly fussed about Visionary).

Now, almost a full year after the the initial release of the game, they’ve finally actually thrown out release dates for the CDs containing the full versions of the songs. But whilst Columbia may give with one hand, they take with another – rather than release the songs as singles, they are releasing them across a series of 2CD collections, monikered THE IDOLM@STER 765PRO ALLSTARS+ GRE@TEST BEST!. Or at least that’s what I assume is going on – the CDJapan description currently states that all four of those are on the first CD, but I’m pretty certain that’s a misinterpretation of the announcement description.

But, hey, the actual track listings haven’t been published yet, so the actual contents (and what the ‘+’ in ‘ALLSTARS+’ signifies) is anybodies guess right now. That the CD sets go by the titles of THE IDOLM@STER HISTORY, SWEET&SMILE!, COOL&BITTER! and LOVE&PEACE! somewhat tie into the tone and content of Music♪, Visionary, edeN and Vault that Borderline respectively probably spells at least part of their plan here.

Of course, the annoyance for me is that, as nice as iM@S collection CDs are, I kind of own a lot of iM@S CDs already, and this probably means I’m facing shelling out three times as much as I would have otherwise for the sake of four songs given that I’ve probably got a lot of the content presented here already. I suppose we’ll see once the full track list is out.

The other thing to bear in mind with this, though, is that this is a wholesale dumping of iM@S music content going on here – it suggests the end of the milking phase for this particular content. What this signifies is the expectation of both something causing a bump in interest in the franchise, and something causing a significant content refresh. Whilst I’m certainly looking forward to the upcoming movie, that’s probably not big enough of an event, and I will point out that the last time they released a collection of Best Of CDs, it was six months ahead of the release of iDOLM@STER 2

Which rather stokes the bonfire of expectations regarding the likely upcoming announcement of iDOLM@STER 3 for early next year…

Just saying, you know.

OK, So What’s This “3rd VISION” Malarkey?

Posted by DiGiKerot in Gaming, idolmaster at July 12, 2013 on 9:56 pm

OK, so apparently Namco Bandai have been outed as registering the 3rd VISION trademark. The potential significance of this is likely obvious to at least a few of those reading this – all the iDOLM@STER works span-off from iDOLM@STER2 were tagged as 2nd VISION, so it follows that this is likely to be advance notice of a third core installment to the franchise coming up in the near future.

Its probably make a lot of sense that this is something that’s potentially coming up shortly. Aside from the fact that there are new hardware platforms coming in the near future for them to exploit, and the otaku market are probably easier to sucker into being early adopters than most, there is also the forthcoming iM@S feature film. Bundling the movie’s eventual home release with a new iteration of the game makes an awful lot of sense, particularly considering how well the iM@S2 plus TV anime bundle sold when released on PS3.

Aside from that, though, they’ve pretty much milked iM@S2 as much as they can without bringing in some kind of shake-up at this point – even discounting the mobage, they’ve more-or-less exploited it as much as they managed to with works derived from original iM@S. They’ve had their TV anime (though the A1 Pictures effort was obviously a lot more “core” iM@S than Xenoglossia!) and their three PSP games – this time combined with their rhythm-game-bundled-with-OAV title. DLC for iM@S2 has naturally run it’s course by this point to.

All told, it’s probably about time they did something to revitalize interest in the core franchise, especially now that they are actually facing some degree of competition in the idol game market – I mean, there’s Aikatsu, and there’s an upcoming Love Live Vita game forthcoming, and who even knows what the heck SEGAs Project575 is. Attention is divided.

But, hey, it’s obviously early days right now, so who knows what this actually is, or what they’re going to do with the game. I do have my own suggestions, however…

A Few Notes about Shiny Festa iOS…

Posted by DiGiKerot in Gaming, idolmaster at April 23, 2013 on 6:06 pm

Not that I’ve been able to play it, since BaNam haven’t seen fit to grace these good shores with it’s availability – some joke referencing “The World Is All One” and telling them to stuff their “Unity Mind” would likely be appropriate here, were I feeling up to the necessary level of witticism. I’d be curious to know if there’s any specific reason for it’s lack of local availability, but I wouldn’t like to speculate on that specific point.

Anyway, the Internet exploded with a whole load of annoyed shouting and a whole boatload of misinformation when the games surfaced in the US AppStore yesterday. This, mostly, comes down to the fact that it’s three games priced at $55 a piece, which even I admit is a little on the steep side.