The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars is a more streamlined Idolmaster experience. It’s nowhere near as complicated or strict as previous games. As long as you continue moving forward and working with your heroines, primarily by sending them out to perform and occasionally through training or promotional endeavors, you’ll succeed. Still, it doesn’t hurt to know exactly how the game works. Even if your Japanese isn’t perfect, it’s still possible to enjoy its rhythmic elements!
Building a Group
In The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars, you start with one idol. Once the game begins, you’ll input your name, pick one character to work with and choose your first song. Don’t worry if this seems limiting. As your producer rank rises and the game proceeds, you’ll be able to add the other characters and tracks to your collection. There are 13 heroines to choose from and five songs to start. All the girls are rather balanced, in terms of stats, and all of the initial songs can be performed by solo artists, duos, trios and quintets, so go with whichever ones appeal most to you.
The first thing The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars will do is have you arrange a Live performance. These tasks, for lack of a better word, appear under the microphone icon in the main menu. The only option at the outset is The Debut, which will have your first idol perform the first song you chose at the Debut difficulty level, introducing her to the world, earning her some experience and getting you her first fan. After confirming the activity, you return to the main menu and select the left most performance icon, which has a young woman holding a microphone, to perform.
After your first few successful performances, you’ll be given the chance to pick to more characters in rapid succession and name your group. Pick wisely, because these three will be the only ones you’ll be using for about the next hour. Again, they’re all balanced, so choose the ones you think are cutest and have the best voices.
Once you have a trio, it’s time to get familiar with The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars’s other offerings. We’ve already gone over the Lives you can arrange. But, there are other opportunities idols can enjoy. It’s possible to send your current lead singer out on promotions or to workshops by selecting Activity Select. It’s the icon that looks like a scheduling book with a pencil on top of it. Promotions sends the girl out to an event or on an interview, while giving you a scheduling book with dice dropped on top of it. Successfully “rolling” certain numbers determines how well it goes, resulting in certain numbers of fans. Minigames requires a certain monetary investment, then lets you match icons or input button presses to raise the girls’ idol stats, like appeal or omoide, or help them earn additional experience.
Eventually, you’re going to have access to all 13 idols. It’s a lot of people to keep organized; you’ll want to try and keep them all at the same level and rank. Which is where the Setting menu option comes in handy. The icon with a microphone and sheet of paper with a check on it lets you divide your available icons into preset groups. You swap lead singers here, which allows you to evenly rank up and train characters. This is also where you arrange your duo, trio and quartet group. It’s not the most exciting element of the game, but is important. You can put together outfits with the clothing option, represented by the coat hanger, arrange the group by selecting the three girls, arrange a song by going to the musical notes and use items by selecting the wing.
Tailor Oshitate is The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars’s shop. It’s represented by the dress on the stand. Here, you can combine duplicates of existing outfits and accessories to create improved versions of the items, craft new dresses with tickets you earn or buy new items. The first two are probably the most important. The former allows you to level up existing items, improving their appeal by spending some money and giving up a duplicate, allowing older outfits and accessories to remain relevant. The latter is a reward for good Live performances.
The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars’s Stage For You, stylized as S4U on its icon, lets you see the characters perform without the pressure of succeeding in a Live first. You choose the outfit, performers, song and stage, then get to watch your group do its thing. You can arrange the camera angles and appeals, creating your ideal music video.
The other The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars menu options have to deal with in-game mails, DLC and online activities. They aren’t critical to success. Also, playing the game while logged into a non-Japanese account will keep you from any online elements anyway. Go ahead and pretend they aren’t there.
Lives are everything.
Perform as many Lives as possible. Repeat completed Lives with a different idol as your leader, to help build up her fanbase and experience levels. Your goal here is to have at least five characters you can really count on in The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars. While you can take part in promotions or train, you can earn as many fans through continuous performances. Succeeding in the promotions minigame, where you roll the dice, is all up to luck. Leveling and ranking up characters will build their fame and abilities. Rely on your music skills to carry you through this affair.
Also, don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes, it’s going to happen. Especially with an All Star performance, where all of the 765 idols step out on stage to sing. These are characters you haven’t had a chance to work with yet, who at this point only earn experience from these sorts of events. The first time you fail, you have an option of rearranging your character’s outfits and retrying. Take that chance. In the worst case scenario, you learn more about a song’s nuances and see how you can improve next time.
The Idolmaster: Platinum Stars is probably the most import-friendly entry in the series. The menu icons all have images associated with them. It’s easy to fall into a routine that will help carry you through the game. It focuses more on playing through songs that shaping characters with correct answers, promotions and classes. If you’ve always wondered about this series, this might be a good place to start.