Maybe I’m just spoiled from playing the iDOLM@STER games. Less than a month ago I picked up iDOLM@STER: One for All and was completely blown away with how streamlined that series has become over each iteration. Going from One For All to Producing Perfection really left me sour. Its not that I was expecting Producing Perfection to be on the same tier as iM@S, but I figured this would be a decent little handheld. Its not.
The gist of Producing Perfection is that the Gameindustri Goddesses have been losing appeal ever since a nefarious idol group showed up and stole their followers. In retaliation, the Goddesses summon you to produce them so you can rise their ranks as idols to put down MOB48 once and for all. You have 180 days to boost your Goddesses stats, fans, and affections.
Everyday, you’re given one action to take usually boiling down to Training your character to raise your character’s stats, taking on Jobs to raise your character’s fans, resting, or preforming in a concert. Right off the bat I was pretty disappointed with how they made you raise stats. Instead of having some kind of interactive mini-game to play in order to raise stats, its just a menu selection that seemingly raises your stats arbitrarily. Because this lacks something for the player to do, its wholly unsatisfying. Your stats seem to raise randomly and theres no real way to know if today your idol will do well or poorly. It ends up feeling like you’re just grinding out a selection, not doing anything meaningful.
The concerts, the real meat of the games is even worse. Concerts are done so that you can raise your rank and gain new fans along the way. Because they’re such an integral part of an idol producing game, you’d really expect there to be some kind of gameplay. Now, I will admit I may have missed the finer intricacies of this gameplay system, but considering the game and the game’s manual tells you fuck all about what to do, this is what I believe constitutes “gamplay” : Twirling the camera around and hitting stage effect buttons at certain times during songs.
Its a complete joke. Even not fully understanding how this exactly worked, I was getting the highest rating possible and never failed a song. I have no idea how you could fail a song in all honesty. Theres no challenge. Despite the whole game centering on taking down MOB48 in the rankings, you never actively compete with them in concerts either. I’m actually a bit upset that they didn’t attempt to rip off the iM@S series outright, at least then this game might have been at least decent.
The whole game feels like a missed opportunity. This will probably be North America’s first and last exposure to the idol producing genre. Its a shame too since these games can be incredibly deep and rewarding. If you are honestly interested in checking out this genre, I highly recommend Namco Bandai’s iDOLM@STER: One For All instead. If you just like Neptunia, I’d still avoid this.