aka the recently released 2nd title from the company that did Ichu/Aichuu (as I revive this blog to provide a semi-review + tutorial)
Join the adventures of Tachibana Izumi (aka Manager or M-chan), who’s trip in the hopes of finding her missing father after receiving a letter from an acquaintance ends in disaster.
The theater company her father once led would not only be in great debt, but also in danger of being immadiately destroyed as a way to collect the unpayed money the current owner had accumulated.
The only way to escape that situation? Only if she fulfills the Yakuza leaders 3 conditions, which would include Izumi becoming the new manager of the group to avoid anymore damaged that could be caused by the current one.
Gameplay: Pretty much elements from I7+Ichuu meets…ensemble stars in a way?
With the main story being fully voiced, the best way to describe the system is that it’s great if you’re looking for something that you can multitask the more repetitive bits by (as an attempt to tutorial the basics can be found later in this post) as the gacha’s rarity rates seem pretty decent both cost-wise (145 crystals isn’t that hard to earn) and result-wise? (Since without pulling shenanigans or actual money investment, I’ve gotten around 4 ssr + over 10 sr cards)
Characters: 20 in total, divided in troupes labeled after each season there is a pretty big chance someone will stick out as likeable. For example, simply by going through the prologue/Episode 1 the Spring group has Masumi (who makes one question why this didn’t get the otome label) and Itaru (the gaming neta nerd) who stand out in their gimmicks.
Izumi, much like the previous titles Producer, also gets points on not really being a silent bystander but instead is another quirky member of the plot who deals with both recruiting and teaching the people she recruits while learning their eccentrics
Conclusion: Personally, I’ve been enjoying A3 a lot since the character interactions have been entertaining and the lack of well….dedication it demands for the player to keep taptaptapping the screen feels refreshing since stuff like affection grinding to unlock side stories can grow old really fast if it’s the same thing over and over.
So instead the player can just focus on either reading said stories or messing around with the other mechanics.
Which brings us to the more in-depth tutorial. Staarting with
The self-explanatory starting page which features the character you’ve chosen as your main favorite who you can poke to hear various voiced lines that can change depending on the time (if the clock looks to be server-based to be the current time that’s in Japan, so depending on time zones the guy can be grumbling about you getting up when to you it’s like midnight). Present icon is well…presents like login rewards and such. Letter icon is in-game news.
”Story” again is…easy to figure out as there the section for the main one that you can choose to view either voiced or unvoiced that unlocks new chapters with each player rank. ”Backstage” is the character-focused side stories earned by filling up the bond meter of the characters card.
”Cross-Backtage” looks to be the main money-trap where the condition unlock a story is having the listed SSR cards of the character combination that’s shown there.
”Mini-talk” are the bits that are shown during ‘play practice’.
”Members” is your token section where you can manage your card inventory and such. Options start with ”Unit edit” as the 1st one
As said teams are divided in the ones used during ”Play practice”, the teams in charge of ”Play performance” (aka the one place where the numbers become important) aand…the players ”Favorites” where the characters chosen as the leader is featured on your main page.
2nd option is personal training….that’s the token ”sacrifice cards you don’t want/exp coaches to raise another’s level”.
3rd is ”Special training” that if I7 is to go by, you gather specific items to give a stat boost (as the higher the rarity, the more bothersome the item requirement is)
4 is ”Bloom” or what others mobage call evolve/limit break/ascend/etc where you need two copies of the same card and sacrifice one of them to raise the others level limit (which can be done twice, but the cards image only changes the 1st time)
Doing this tends to include hearing the character chant ”Bloom-bloom-Blooming!”
5 is ”Member list” aka your card inventory where you can put a lock on the ones you don’t wish to accidentally lose.
6 is where you sell them……as a voiced character will actually pipe up to comment on being ‘fired’ from the troupe.
”Stageplay” after picking what play you’re focusing on gets 3 sections. First is the Practice course (that would be the most deja vu to people that’ve dabbled in enstars), where the lp points are used as in return you earn bond points/exp/item+character card drops as filling the pink meter (30%,60%&100%) earns a mini-talk with the character that’s listed as the practice partner for the course you picked. Orange crowns are sub-missions that reward free gacha crystals as the general pattern that I’ve seen until now is –
1 is having the fev-I mean Actors High mode trigger during the course, that can only be achieved by having your deck team be of the same troupe as the practice partner so each time they pop up gives 4% to the tension bar (aka the note symbols). Said mode itself rewards in more exp/bond points(?) while active.
2 lists having cards of a different season group present (ie 1 winter 1 spring even though the course partner belongs to autumn etc)
3 is the trickiest, as it lists the name of a character who has to pop up 3 times during a single run of the course…that is easier done if you have multiple cards of said character (as there are no restrictions) and also rewards in a 4th minitalk scene.
Don’t want to bother having to sit through the many repeated runs it takes to fill out a course? Hello auto-button, as the game will pause when a mini-talk in unlocked! Motivation on why the player should bother full-clearing each course? Well, aside from the gacha crystals the reward for full-clearing a play earns the achievement that unlocks the vocal song featured in said play by the jukebox.
”Play viewing” aka the ticket icon is where you can watch the characters you’ve picked to perform act out the play the course is for at the price of one ticket item (that’s pretty easy to get). No restrictions present here either, so you could in fact make a play consist of all roles being played by the same dude as long as your inventory allows it (and it is silly yes)
”Play performance” is where the sp points get used for another way to earn coins/card drops…as long as your team’s total score is larger than your opponents (as this is also where finally the other players pop up as a helper for boosting your team)
”Street Performance” would be the closest to the main minigame where you select 2 characters to watch interact before/after a scene of them juggling as the players job is to tap the hearts that pop up from the audience as the reward is either coins or items.
As this neither uses lp or sp, the limiting factor instead is that each location has a cooldown period before you can go there again (as the places look to be unlocked by reaching certain player ranks?)
And lastly, ”Menu” is well…the menu. Most options are obvious as the list there can be translated as – Shop, Player Profile, Items carried, Title list (aka Achievements, as earning one also gifts items and such) , Member album, Illustration (aka CG) Album, Juke Box (where you can set up what music plays on your main page), Support, Options, Help (aka the basic Q&A for common issues), Data transfer, Cache clear, Back to the title screen, Movie playback (aka view the op again?).
As thus ends the tutorial so happy playing to whomever else may decide trying this out?