Idols and rhythm games?! Count me in! Truth be told, I didn’t know I would love rhythm games and be plunged into the depths of idol hell until one of my wonderful friends introduced me to the [email protected] anime (so many cute cosplays that I can do) and then strongly suggested to me to download Love Live! School Idol Festival for my cell phone to play… I wasn’t too sure how I would like the rhythm game (and idols) for my phone, but not too long after I was introduced to the game, I poured hours into the game. I’m pretty sure I did the same with The [email protected] Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage to the point my friend thought she created a monster… Anyways, I did stop pouring hours into my mobile rhythm games after a while but when she told me about The [email protected] Million Live! Theater Days, I knew I had to check it out!
If you don’t know know much about [email protected] games, the player is in the role of the Producer where he/she interacts with the idols to earn items, affection points, or Gatcha Medals. At the beginning, players only have a small selection of songs to play through and as the player progresses through the story, more songs are unlocked.
The [email protected] Million Live! Theater Days follows the same format that is found in the other [email protected] games. Players interact with the idols to earn various rewards and tap through various songs on a range of difficulty to raise the idol’s fanbase, affection points, and awakening points. The game is similar to its predecessor, Starlight Stage, but it is an upgraded version of it.
The unit selection remains the same from Starlight Stage along with awakening the idols. Players will have to collect enough awakening points to awaken the idols to their idolized form which will increase their stats. In Theater Days, the idols are divided among 3 different types, Princess, Fairy, and Angel, and by using certain types of idols for certain songs, players will get a boost in score.
The gameplay is similar to Starlight Stage but the timing box to tap the notes feels a bit more lenient compared to Starlight Stage. While I was playing, I noticed that if I tap the button slightly earlier than normal, the tap would be counted as “Great” in Theater Days while in Starlight Stage, the tap would register as “Miss.” I have no complaints about the timing being lenient because sometimes the notes flood the screen and make it difficult to tap at the exact time.
The timing isn’t the only thing that has been modified. The difficulties are different in Theater Days as well. The difficulties are from 2Mix (easy) to Million Mix (expert). In 2Mix, considered the game’s easiest difficulty, there are only 2 icons near the bottom of the screen where I can tap the incoming notes. Thankfully, Bandai Namco realized that easy shouldn’t mean decreasing the speed of the incoming notes but rather to create a rhythm that involves fewer notes to tap while keeping the same speed found in the other difficulties. The change to easy mode has made the game much more enjoyable while playing through 2Mix to obtain the rewards for clearing the song. 6Mix is considered the game’s hard mode and there are 6 icons at the bottom of your screen. Sometimes, the tempo will change throughout the song which will make the song a bit more difficult to get a full combo but it keeps me on my toes (err… fingers I guess).
There is also a new mode as well in Theater Days! I’m able set my iPad vertically, not horizontally like most rhythm games, and play the game like that. This mode is called Solo and I can only select 2Mix and 2Mix+ once I clear 2Mix. In this mode, I can only use the center idol on the team and that idol is the only one who will gain affection points, awakening points, and fans.
Then there is the gatcha where you can hopefully try to obtain your favorite 765Pro idols by saving Million Jewels which can be obtained as either a daily reward, event reward, or fulfilling certain requirements while clearing a song. There is the standard gatcha where players have to save 2,500 Million Jewels in order to do a 10 roll (which guarantees 1 SR idol) or 250 Million Jewel to do a single roll. The premium single roll is still available and it is only with the paid Million Jewel and it is only the 60 Million Jewel. A new gatcha has been introduced and it involves obtaining the 100 Gatcha Medals by either interacting with the idols or receiving them as a reward for clearing a song. After collecting 100 Gatcha Medals, players can roll in this special gatcha and they can pull an idol that is R or higher. I found this gatcha to be more beneficial to me as a free-to-play player because after a while, the Million Jewels will become scarce and a bit more difficult to obtain as the game gets older.
Overall, I’m really enjoying the game and the improvements that Bandai Namco implemented into Theater Days! I’m still playing the game and I already got a couple of my favorite idols. I’m not too sure how the events will be held but I wouldn’t be surprised if the first event is where players have to collect a certain amount of points in order to obtain the event idol which was seen in Starlight Stage and School Idol Festival. Or maybe, Bandai Namco will surprise everyone and the event will be something completely different! I can’t wait for the first event.
The [email protected] Million Live!:Theater Days was released on June 29, 2017 in Japan for iOS and Android devices. There has been no announcement or hints about a Western release.