So, I completed another playthrough of One for All (for recording purposes, I only completed a couple of idols’ EX episodes). The only other main Im@s game I played before is Idolm@ster 2. Unfortunately, I never I got the chance to play Idolm@ster 1
or Live for You or SP. (No longer interested in SP or Live for You). I saved a bunch of videos from youtube for Im@s 1. I wish I could have played Im@s 1.
I think in general One for All is a great improvement when compared to Idolm@ster 2 . Interestingly, I actually really liked the relationship building and story with Chihaya in both games. Of course, One for All being the newer game has an advantage in that there’s more communications (so more Chihaya relationship scenes) and no time limit to restrict gameplay. There’s also the RPG element (level up/skills), and the ability to produce all idols so more communications and office events between idols. In addition, you can see all scenes in one playthrough where as in Im@s 2
needs multiple playthroughs to view all the scenes for one idol. (actually you can view all scenes in Im@s 2, but you'll need to repeat weeks to do that). Despite this, One for All has some major flaws that I will point out below.
1. Grinding – A major gameplay mechanic is the rhythm concerts whether it’s lives, audition, festivals, or rank ups with lessons added. So, basically you’re pretty much doing the same thing every week in the game over and over again with very little variety. It does exhaust you from the repetitiveness, which is alright if you’re focusing on one idol. But, in order to complete certain tasks you need to level/rank up all 13 idols which make the repetitiveness a torture to go through. They ease this grinding (unfortunately way later in the game) by giving you lesson magazines that you can buy so that you don’t have to do the same lessons again and again. But, the repetitive grinding is still there.
2. Memories – I don’t mind the system of memories and ways to build it up like through communication. But, even still to get max memories (5) requires again immense grinding, which is fine for your leader and two other idols you frequently use since they will eventually get max memories when you’re far into the game. But, the problem lies with the other idols you don’t frequently use. If you want to complete their EX episodes you’re going have to grind for their memories by doing the same concerts and repetitiveness that I mentioned in the above paragraph. Unfortunately, if you don't have the stamina to grind for memories for the other idols, then you likely won't be able to pass their EX episodes which means you won't able to view some group communications that involve your favorite idol.
3. Produce goals – Okay, I really hate the president for making do jobs, when I want to go on in the game. It’s frustrating when I want to do rank up festivals or EX episodes, but I have to waste almost my entire season meeting his objectives. The worse ones are those where you do 8 lives/8 auditions. It’s not a problem if he just does it once a while. But, one time he ask me to do this 4 seasons straight, which drove me crazy.
4. DLC – Yes, I know every Im@s game (even Idolm@ster 1) had catalog DLC where you end up paying several times more than the actual game. So, there’s no point in bringing this up. T
hough, I think they introduce DLC episodes for the first time here in the games (I could be wrong). (I think previous Im@s games such as Im@s 1 and SP had DLC dramas, I'm not 100% sure).
5. Random Scenes – This is more a convenience issue when recording. Some scenes pop out of nowhere, and if I missed the recording, then I have start the week all over again (or if I get the choice wrong). But, there are certain communications where I would like the background to be spring/summer, but with the randomness of some morning/evening communications you don’t have that choice (though you can choose which season outfit you can wear). Also, the morning office scenes are pretty random. So, it's annoying to keep going through weeks trying to record the office scene I want.
6. Watch previously seen scenes - it's good that you can view story scenes again, but you can't change the stage outfit. So, you'll have to start over and play the scene in the game again if there's a costume you would like for them to wear. Also, you can't view board, morning, or evening communications again. Once they appear, they're gone forever unless you start a new game. Also, previous rank promotions can't be viewed or played once you do rank up.
7. Festival difficulty - I think the difficulty was fine overall except for a few festivals like the Leon battle in the EX episodes. Even with 5 memory appeal and counter bursting she'll still wins, so I had to sort of "trick" her by keeping her voltage really low as long as possible and pray she doesn't do an appeal during our voltage gain. If she doesn't, I barely win. If she does, then she bursts and I lose. So, I felt luck was extremely important, which I don't think should be something that's required to win. Other tough battles that were very stressful were the S1 rank up and the last menu Leon battle. I wish the mentioned festivals were toned down a little bit.
But, overall I think this was a vast improvement to Idolm@ster 2.
I wish I could have recorded Idolm@ster 2 story, but I don't have that game anymore. I'll just stick with the youtube videos I saved. (I actually recorded Idolm@ster 2)
Hopefully, the PS4 idolm@ster addresses these issues somehow. There’s also some stupid requests I would like to have in the next Im@s game, but I know it wouldn’t work out. *Sigh* oh well.
Edit: Added one more point.
Edit 2: Added some more info