Choreographed dance moves. Elaborate staging. Songs with earnest lyrics about friendship and unity. No, your wildest dreams of a Eurovision simulator have yet to come to fruition – but Ensemble Stars!! Music definitely occupies that same territory.
Featuring not one but two exclamation marks in its title alone, Happy Elements’ massively popular 2020 mobile game is an explosion of wholesomeness and dangerously catchy beats. And after hoovering up awards including “User’s Choice Game”, the “Best Pick Up & Play “on Google Play, and the “Best Music Game” from Sensor Tower APAC Awards 2021, it’s making its way to PC on October 12th, 2023 with a new multilingual stories mode.
This lets you choose between following along its stories in either English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, or Korean, making it much more accessible to get your fix of earworms and, to be fair, beautifully drawn animation.
Ensemble Stars!! Music is a few game archetypes in one. There’s the rhythm element, where you bash away at cues on screen while your idols perform their stage routines, and this is the real skill-testing, hand-melting component. Particularly on hard difficulty, which looks like Ikaruga on fast-forward overlaid over a J-Pop festival.
Good news though if you’re new to rhythm games, or just not into a super-high difficulty – the staging is exactly the same on all difficulty modes, so you can enjoy the intense lights and dance moves.
This is presented in 3D LIVE mode, where you can pick which idol in the ensemble is center stage and center camera. You can customise your idols’ outfits too to accentuate their special performances (SPPs).
Then there’s the story layer that adds a broader context to all those banging beats and that elaborate stage management. The narrative’s written by renowned Japanese light novelist AKIRA and tells the story of young hopefuls trying to make their way in the music industry, with a focus on emotional storytelling.
40+ voice actors bring that story to life, including Hikaru Midorikawa, Yuki Kaji, Tetsuya Kakihara, Showtaro Morikubo, and Tomoaki Maeno.
Then there’s the idol zone customisation element. Here you can design and customise a space for your stars-to-be to chill and rejuvenate between the rigors of being a performer. Drop in furniture and decorations, apply themes, and watch your idols react to them. They might relax on the beach and enjoy shaved ice, or put on their fluffy sleep masks before going to sleep.
Ensemble Stars!! Music has been one of the most popular music idol training mobile games since its original Japanese release on mobile platforms, with more that 10 million players in Asia.
And that explains why pre-order numbers have exceeded 200,000 since this English language PC version went live. There’s a sweetener too – during the launch period, users who log in to the PC version will receive five original 3-star cards and enjoy exclusive recharge discounts.
Ensemble Stars!! Music is accessible via direct download from www.ensemblestars.com.
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