Idolmaster Starlit Season Delayed to 2021, More Idols From Cinderella Girls, Million Live, Shiny Colors Revealed, New Gameplay
Idolmaster Starlit Season, coming to PS4 and Steam, was unsurprisingly delayed to 2021, but Bandai Namco revealed some new gameplay and characters.
Bandai Namco held a live stream for Idolmaster Starlit Season on October 6, titled the Starlit Report stream. The stream featured Idolm@ster General Producer Yozo Sakagami, Producer Hayato Kutaragi and multiple seiyuu: Wakana Maruoka (Rinze Morino), Rei Matsuzaki (Kirari Moroboshi), Arisa Kouri (Kaori Sakuramori), and Shimoda Asami (Ami Futami and Mami Futami).
In particular, the stream started with both producers apologizing for the lack of news on the game, as multiple events for it throughout 2020 were canceled, including an event that was online only. They noted the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down development and promptly announced Idolmaster Starlit Season is delayed from 2020 to a 2021 release, on PS4 and PC via Steam.
Following next, new characters appearing in Idolmaster Starlit Season were revealed. As a reminder, the game includes the original 13 characters from 765 Production in the original Idolmaster game, and then five characters from Idolmaster Cinderella Girls, five girls from Million Live, and five idols from Shiny Colors. When the game was first announced, the character list was partly revealed. We now know got to see everyone:
Nana Abe and Kirari Moroboshi from Cinderella Girls were revealed. The full group will include Mika Jougasaki, Ranko Kanzaki and Anzu Futaba.
From Million Live it’ll be Tsumugi Shiraishi and Kaori Sakuramori. They join Shizuka Mogami, Mirai Kasuga, and Tsubasa Ibuki.
Lastly, the Shiny Colors characters revealed were Rinze Morino and Amana Osaki. They’ll appear together with Sakuya Shirase, Kaho Komiya, and Tenka Osaki.
New screenshots were published as well. Starlit Season is in full 3D and runs on Unreal Engine. The Producers noted Shiny Colors is illustrations based, so it’ll be the first time in a way we’ll see some of its characters moving in 3D.
We also got new Idolmaster Starlit Season gameplay, with explanations of the game systems:
Starlit Season has a main story, during which there are also Free Time parts where you can freely explore and spend time with a specific idol, to raise their bonds levels.
We got to see an example of these events at the 36:16 timestamp, with the producer meeting with Rinze Morino. She asks producer san about what they did overseas before returning to Japan:
Next, they highlighted how Idolmaster Starlit Season (Stamas) is a crossover between Deresute, Million Live, and Shinymas, so you get to see idols from the different agencies chatting with each other for the first time.
There are tons of events like that. The gameplay example we saw is Kirari Moroboshi from Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage chatting with the Futami twins Ami and Mami from the original game, saying she’ll make them outfits, at the 39:27 timestamp:
Next, players will have their work as a producer, following the idols around and managing their jobs, supporting them with the right words when needed.
These are timed choices in Sakura Taisen fashion. The producers noted the idols wear not their casual clothes but their stage outfit during these jobs, so they’ll wear the outfits you selected. Some job offers need to be handled in groups.
We got to see an example of idols at work with the gameplay at the 42:26 timestamp, showing Kaori Sakuramori singing at a kindergarten. One of the kids starts crying, and she asks Producer san how she could help:
Next, Idolmaster Starlit Season has Lesson parts, where the idols enhance their Skills: Vocal, Dance, and Visual.
These are the idols’ dancing, singing, and appearance. Each skill to improve has its own mini game you need to play. We got to see gameplay of the dancing mini game at the 45:39 timestamp of the Starlit Report stream. Basically there’s a succession of directional buttons in rhythm shown on screen, and players need to reproduce it:
The producers explained you have a new song to train on each month ingame, with the difficulty increasing little by little. All the characters also wear the Luminas training outfit during lessons.
An Idolmaster Starlit Season yonkoma manga will also be published weekly on Twitter to introduce the game to fans.
A Twitter campaign to win shikishi of the characters signed by the seiyuu was also announced:
— アイドルマスター公式ツイッター (@imas_official) October 6, 2020
The next live stream for Idolmaster Starlit Season will happen in January 2021. This stream will reveal live gameplay for the concert parts. As the stream ended (an after stream happened on Niconico Premium though), the producers asked fans to be a little more patient.
The Idolmaster celebrated its 15th anniversary in July 2020. The Idolmaster Starlit Season, first announced on January 20, 2020, is part of the anniversary projects. It’s the first console game following The Idolmaster Stella Stage, which launched on PlayStation 4 in December 2017.