Going through my articles from the last year, there have been several occasions where games have been hinted at an English localized release but from there we haven’t heard much detail about them - whereas other series as soon as there is word of a potential release are unveiled by whatever publisher or developer is behind the title.
This was the inspiration of this latest article series of mine, to promote titles that have either been hinted although not confirmed as having an English localized release or alternatively games that have yet to recieve much attention from their English publishers despite having received a release announcement – in order to give you a taste of what we may see / can expect localized this year from Japan.
The first inclusion in this series is based off information unveiled by gaming website Siliconera in December 2012.
To date the only installment in “The Idolm@ster’ series released internationally has been the 2007 anime series “Idolmaster Xenoglossia”, published by Sentai Filmworks months before the announcement. It was then discovered that Namco Bandai Games in Europe and North America had filed for new trademarks – specifically “The Idol Master” and “Shiny Festa” in Europe and “Shiny Festa” and “Idolm@ster” in the United States. While there could have been a reason why they chose to trademark this title… but one of the big possibilities is for an intention to release The Idolm@ster: Shiny Festa on the Playstation Portable.
First some history… The Idolm@ster began in Japan during 2005 as a game in arcades, where users began their journey as a producer and could train up idols, have them perform and take part in rankings. It was a popular release in Japan and in 2007 was first released on the XBox360 and since then has enjoyed several additional releases on the XBox360, Playstation Portable, Nintendo DS and Playstation 3 – not to mention several manga, anime and soundtrack releases amongst other goods.
The Idolm@ster: Shiny Festa was first released on the Playstation Portable in October 2012 – and unlike previous installments which focused more on the idol management / raising / simulation elements of the game, was more heavily focused on rhythm elements. Unfortunately this does result in what seems to be a different experience than earlier games – it does offer the same characters, aesthetic / auditory appeals from earlier games. An example of the games rhythm system can be seen below.
In the Japanese release of The Idolm@ster: Shiny Festa the series is split up into three separate games – “Honey Sound”, “Funky Note” and “Groovy Tune” – each of which essentially split the games main characters into three groups of 4-5 and focus on each individual group with some similarities and some differences in content between them. This does leave the biggest question if the English localization is a reality – will they be able to market all three games in a gaming market where separate game releases isn’t so prevalent.
At the moment, Namco Bandai Games have not yet acknowledged any plans to release Shiny Festa or other games in the franchise, but it is curious as to why they would be interested in the trademarks now rather than earlier.
I wrote up a review of The Idolm@ster 2 on the Playstation 3 last year which can be read HERE. For all my articles on The Idolm@ster 2 click HERE, for all my articles on The Idolm@ster 2: Shiny Festa click HERE.
APPENDIX #1 – Idols per Game Installment
The following idols are included in each game:
Azusa Miura, Chihaya Kisaragi, Haruka Amami and Ritsuko Akizuki
Ami & Mami Futami, Hibiki Hanaha, Iori Minase and Yayoi Takatsuki
Makoto Kikuchi, Miki Hoshii, Takane Shijou and Yukiho Hagiwara