For the last couple years, the crowded ranks of AKB48 have stood at the top of pop culture in Japan and have gained a significant number of fans throughout Asia. I personally have zero interest in them, but it's also kind of embarrassing to be completely ignorant of such an omnipresent cultural phenomenon.
With that in mind, I've decided to give the most recent AKB48-related app, Stage Fighter a go to see if I can up my AKB literacy.
The main point of the app seems to be remembering each member's face, but I'm curious to see how the game manages to simultaneously appeal to die-hard AKB maniacs.
First you pick your member. Many of the numerous AKB and AKB-related group members are available for your choosing, so for a novice such as myself, the selection is a bit overwhelming.
I'll pick someone I've actually heard of before: Yuko Oshima.
Your usual social card game makes you use action points to gain levels, etc. Well implemented variations on this motivate you and keep you playing. Stage Fighter instead works like a luck-based slot machine, and the app features smooth animations and up-to-date graphics.
Lucky me! I got Mariko-san!
You can then use cards you get to power-up your main card. Powering up treats you to a slick animation that reminds me of popular fighting animes from my childhood.
After a flurry of punches and kicks from the two dueling idols, the winner is rewarded with Center Aura!
You're of course familiar with Center Aura, right?
Me neither. It appears to be something related to being the center figure among the AKB members during a performance, akin to being the "leader" of the group.
Stage Fighter's gameplay is really simple, but the star of the show here are the high-quality graphics and animations. Big AKB fans have probably already downloaded Stage Fighter and are playing it now, but I think even AKBeginners can have fun with this app.
I was questioning what effect the somewhat low-brow implementation of slot machine gameplay would have on AKB's squeaky-clean reputation, but AKB-licensed stuff is everywhere already, including AKB-branded pachinko machines, so AKB fans have already seen the worst and shouldn't really be surprised.
I actually played AKB1/149 Ren'ai Sosenkyo to get a little background on AKB48, but the game includes members from all 48-style groups (HKT, NMB, etc.) and was so overwhelming that I gave up. I maybe would've like this game a little more if it included Yuka Nakanishi (NMB48) or Rino Sashihara (HKT48). Oh well.
- Start Another Day with a Call from Japan's Top Idol: AKB48 Atsuko Maeda Morning Call
- Play a Sexy Game of Rock Paper Scissors with Japanese Idol Lookalikes - AKIBA Yakyu-ken Kai
- Start Your Day with a Call from Japan's Top Idol :AKB48 Yuko Oshima Morning Call
Device used: ELUGA Power (P-07D)
Publisher: GREE, Inc.
Last updated: 1/25/2013
Compatibility: 2.2 or higher
Translation by Jason Morgan