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Android/iOS: Idolm@ster Starlight Stage (Deresute)

To All,
The days are steadily getting much colder and daily rainfall is intermittent with the winter months drawing closer. As holidays have recently started, I finally found some free time to start on one of my most anticipated rhythm games this year, Idolm@ster Starlight Stage!


In Starlight Stage, you play as the Producer and your aim is to scout (Gacha) cards of girls to build an idol team for songs. Cards come with their own ranks (SSR, SR, R, N), stats and skill sets (Score up, Stamina refill, and turning all Nice or Greats to Perfects).

Up until here, Starlight Stage might sound eerily similar to other rhythm games which came out earlier in the market, such as Love Live! and Aichuu, however rest assured that there are indeed factors which set this game apart!

1. Stamina and Stamina refills

Each Stamina takes only 5 minutes which is a refreshingly short amount of time compared to the 6 minutes which I am used to. Believe me, 10 minutes makes a lot of difference when you are waiting for the last 10 Stamina to refill for your last song before bedtime.

Starlight Stage also makes use of energy drinks for Stamina refill other than their Star Jewels. Energy drinks come in 3 different kinds and help to refill 30, 20 or 10 stamina respectively. Sadly, you would only be able to hold up to 10 of each in your inventory and unfortunately I’m running low on my supplies as I attempt to rank in their current Medley event...


2. Room Decoration

There’s this fun new feature in Starlight Stage which allows you to bring out your inner girl! With the exception of several compulsory furniture for power-ups, you are completely free to organize your own room!

With Christmas just around the corner, Starlight Stage has came up with a whole new set of Christmas-themed furniture and personally, I don’t wish to turn my room too Christmas-like yet or I’ll have to buy new furniture for every festival that comes up in the future.

Other than decorating, you can also upgrade the compulsory furniture. Each increase in producer level comes with a brand new upgrade, giving you a whole array of power-ups. The only downside to this is that some upgrades are painstakingly long and the only way to speed them up is to use star jewels.


3. Gameplay

In songs, there’s awesome 3D CGI (you can turn them off if they are too distracting) which are a nice and creative touch to the game, giving it a total new idol feel since you can see the girls dancing to the song in the background while you tough out the songs on Master mode (equivalent to Expert level). With the 3D animations, I can feel the amount of effort which the creators put into Starlight Stage.



4. Scouting

Each individual scout takes 250 star jewels and the 10+1 scout takes 2,500 star jewels. With experience, the 10+1 scout is obviously more worthwhile in the short run, but perhaps you could turn to Starlight Stage’s single scout for only 60 star jewels if you spend money.

Yes, you’ve read that right. The 60 star jewels scout is only applicable for the jewels which are bought in-game. Isn’t that a good way to lure more players into spending for this idol-scouting-hell?


5. Idolizing

For idolizing in Starlight Stage, you do not need two of the same cards. I repeat, you do not need two of the same cards. All you need is a maximised bond and the different costume parts needed for idolizing that card’s rank. Of course, higher ranked cards (SSR) would need more parts than lower ranked cards (R).

Sorry, I ran out of SRs to idolize so I can only use a N card as an example.

However, due to this lowered difficulty of idolizing the cards, I don’t really feel much attachment to the un-idolized version of the card. Thankfully, it is possible to display the un-idolized version of the cards even though they are idolized. Good for me since most of the cards I like are the un-idolized versions!

There’s also ‘Star Practice’ where you use two of the same cards for practice. This would help to boost the fan number gained per song by 0.1x per star practice up to 1.05x. As number of fans is a condition in unlocking stories for jewels, perhaps Star Practice shouldn’t be overlooked, more so if you are looking to gain enough jewels for scouts as fast as possible.
6. Event


Similar to Love Live! and Aichuu, there are events in Starlight Stage, and the most recent event is a medley event. In this event, you would be allocated to three songs in the same category (Smile/Cool/Passion) and after you hit a certain score, you would be asked for an encore, which is the event song, making up to a total of 4 songs.

For this event, you would get 1 SR from getting hitting 10,000 points and a second copy of the same SR from hitting 15,000 points.
Unidolized:

Idolized:


From ranking in the event, you would be able to get up to  2 copies of another SR.

Unidolized:
Idolized:
If anyone knows the need to get 2 copies of the same SR, do let me know. As much as you can use Star Practice to increase the fan count gained from completing songs, idolizing the cards would probably yield more benefits in the short run and I don’t exactly see the point of having two of the same SR.

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In conclusion, the feature which I like the most in Starlight Stage is the room. Honestly, I never did expect myself to enjoy decorating a room in a game as much as I did, and this actually inspired me to start decorating my figure display sets to make them look more like an integral part of my apartment instead of having them stand out nastily.

The songs in Starlight Stage are really catchy, especially the choruses. I have not heard much on the game yet, judging by my low producer level. Thanks to the event, I came across songs that I absolutely adore: Nation Blue, Kaze Iro Melody (Ogata Chieri) and Venus Syndrome (Nitta Minami)

Although I’ve scouted several time, I’m still unable to acquire all the cards which I desire. The two I have left are:

I’m saving for a scout on Xmas, hope I get both then… or at least Mika. It’ll be a nice Xmas gift, with Mika wishing me Merry Christmas as well!

From Your Fellow Gamer,

Reina-Rin

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