In regards to the tone I set when starting this topic, it was entirely intentional.
I don't post much on here as I used to, so not many people seem to know the kind of person I am. I take a strong stance towards certain things, and have strong, blunt opinions. I also left the topic very open to interpretation, because I'd rather have the following couple of replies dictate the direction of the post. I'd rather then clarify my position. So it's not changing. People kinda understand the point of the topic now.
We're all iM@S fans here, so we all know very well how tight of a grip NBGI can have on our wallets when it comes to any sort of iM@S game. The difference between Mobage titles and the flagship titles, is the design philosophy behind them. One is set up as a game, first and foremost, in terms of gameplay and visuals. The other is set up to put out a service people can pour money into, with as little effort as possible. I'll let you decide which is which.
I know a lot of people on here got into this series thanks to videos on the internet. It's how I instantly fell in love with the series. Before iDOLM@STER on 360, I never really saw anything like it. Well thought out, visually appealing character designs, coupled with bright colors and catchy music to boot. What does ML and CG offer in that regard? Nothing. You're looking at a browser with pictures. It's pathetic.
So about the characters. In vision 1 only four new characters were added, Miki, Hibiki, Takane and Kuroi. That was a period of 4 years. In this next 4 year period we have over 200 new idols, although honestly I don't know exactly how many due to the amount added. Overwhelming doesn't even begin to cover it. Expanding the cast isn't exactly a bad idea, but at this pace is just asking for disaster or a ton of duds. I liked before how the cast was just the right amount, somewhat large, but not too small or too large. This allowed for every character to get proper development. Right now they seem to be going for a quantity over quality approach, and this seems to be becoming an increasing trend as mobile games increase as well unfortunately. For the designs I like some of the CGs, but the ones I like are far outnumbered by not so good designs. With ML it's pretty much a fan fantasy honestly. A bunch of girls join 765 out of nowhere and are now close to them because they say so. The designs aren't so great either. Not only do they not fit in with idolmaster's style, they just look like a mess outside of that. With all of the announcements for CG and ML in the future I'm just a bit concerned about where the series is heading. I don't hate them, although I highly dislike their current game formats, but I'm not really fond of them at the moment either.
You hit the nail right on the head here for me. At first, I would think back to my initial reaction of why CG rubbed me the wrong way. I thought it was because of the deluge of idols, and the shotgun approach NBGI had in order to introduce new idols in future flagship installments, and while that's still a factor, I came to a different conclusion. Hibiki and Takane's reveal was nothing short of perfect for me. It was a great way to sell people on SP, and it tied into the story. Granted, these two characters had been planned since the beginning of the series, but time and effort was put into them. With CG, NBGI left it in the hands of fans to pick and decide based off of looks alone. We never even got to hear their voices. It's a good way to alienate a ton of fans, because they could see first hand the popularity contest between all these uninspired
idols, and perhaps many didn't agree with them.
I just want developers to put work into what makes them money. It disgusts me when mobile crap becomes successful. It's cheap, it's lazy, and it's exploitative.
I have no idea how DS fits into that, never really seen it outside of a few scenes on YT (I liked what I've seen from characters, though).
It doesn't fit with the points I made. I just never liked it because how they shoehorned in some shota character, and how Eri is forever trapped with those two lesser idols. It wasn't a very good game to begin with, really.