Random Wafflage: The World Is All One Edition

Posted by DiGiKerot in Free Talk, Gaming, idolmaster at July 3, 2010 on 7:55 pm

Hey, it’s certainly been a big news weekend this week, and no news has been bigger than the announcements from the big show.

By which, of course, I mean iDOLM@STER 2. This is, of course, not surprising to anyone, given that they essentially announced last year that they’d be announcing details of it this year, but it’s still kind of cool to see. Less cool is that my NTSC-J 360 is still somewhat on the broken side. Guess I’ll have to get that replaced at some point.

As for the key matters of importance that I’ve been able to ascertain thus far, the game is set “about six months” after the end of the first iM@S, and all the characters are a year older. Yes, Haruka announcing that she’s 17, funny as I found it, wasn’t actually an anime injoke but rather an announcement of fact. Still, some characters look to have grown more in a year than others – Ami and Mami seem to have shot up a good foot or two in height between the two games. Mami’s also grown out her hair a bit – the two characters are now separate, rather than essentially being played as the same character as they were formally. They’ve also pulled in the characters from the PSP games (though not the DS ones, yet at least).

Still, no new blood announced. Infact, there’s at least some fan speculation that personal favourite Ritsuko may have been reduced to the role of assistant producer rather than idol – the silhouette of the cast on the games official site looks to have her in office wear rather than stage costume like the rest of the cast.

Otherwise, the aim this time around is to build a “national idol group” – perhaps less focus on TV auditions and more on touring and promotion? I find it interesting that one of the stages on display in the promo video is, if anime has taught me correctly, the roof of a department store, a prime location for idol promotion events (and superhero shows). Actually, the stages look more elaborate all round – I do like the model train on that stage, it makes it rather more interesting that the rather pedestrian sound stages of the previous games.

Makoto is barely recognisable ^^;

Apparently solo and duo management has been thrown out the window as well, which is probably a good thing – it was just something to get in the road of being able to manage a group in the first game. “Group unity” is important this time around, in so much as you’ll also have to achieve some kind of balance as well as manage inter-character reactions. In the first one, you could just get away with focusing all your attention on one character. This should also mean an improvement in the dance routines, as they’ll not have to choreograph them to work with fewer than three people – note how the characters actually touch during the dance in the video.

What else… The new song is pretty catchy. As sad as it is, the main thing I actually noticed the first time I watch the trailer was the improvement in their hair technology, which looks to be a massive advancement. They’ve used the one-year ageing to complicate the hair styles quite a bit (Iori’s forehead is a little less aggressive not it’s not all pulled back, but only slightly), and it all flows and suffers the effects of gravity better than in the original. They’ve still not got around fixing the clipping issues – note how Makoto’s hair still clips through her collar. That’s a minor issue, though.

In other news, I got around to watching that Evangelion 2.22 Blu-Ray last night, at about midnight – I waited until it was pitch black and pretty much silent before sticking it on, as that movie really requires, neigh, demands the right ambiance to be properly enjoyed. I admit, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it half as much when watched away from a big theatre screen surrounded by people who were really into it, but you know what? It’s still damn awesome. However, I’ve got this horrible feeling that when 3.0 (Q – Quickening) is eventually completed, I’m going to end up spending a small fortune chasing a cinema screening of it. Perhaps not quite so crazy as flying to Japan (or perhaps Singapore), but certainly most of the way across the country in an attempt to see the first screening in good old Blighty.

Of course, it’s also AnimeExpo this weekend, and there’s more licensing news floating around than there has been in previous years. Very little of it is really worth me regurgitating given it can all be read elsewhere. Utena is kind of tempting for me – I already have the CPM disks, but I’m sure that if I ever get around to rewatching the show, they’d be near enough unbearable quality-wise these days. But, really, the big news is more that Geneon, by which I mean the Japanese parent company, is back to licensing things out after the long drought of not doing so after their purchase by Universal, rather than any individual title. It’s nice that the new episodes of Black Lagoon will show up on disk media with English subtitles at some point in the future.

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