As someone who has never really played a rhythm game, I was interested to see what one was like. I played Idolish7 for a hot second two years ago, but never really got into it. So, was this going to be the game that finally gets me to play it as part of my usual otome game lineup?
On Wednesday, January 24th, Broccoli and KLab released Utano☆Princesama Shining Live, a smartphone rhythm game featuring the characters from the popular Utano☆Princesama otome game series and anime.
Now, I played in the orchestra in school and used to skip 8th period sometimes to play DDR at the mall (I was a bad high school student senior year), so I know how to count the beats in a song to hit notes on time. This shouldn’t be too bad.
Let’s just say, I was pretty overwhelmed by the interface. There are so many things going on and there is an event already on top of the game just being released. I’m going to give you a very basic rundown of what I have learned the past few days, newbie to newbie so hopefully I will be a bit more explanatory. Also please keep in mind, I am also a newbie to this so this information I give you might not be the best, but it will get you up and going for now. There will be people in the comments who might have better recommendations on how to play!
To the Main Screen!
Main is the screen we are looking at. All the button at the bottom are areas you will need to access as you play the game.
The four button under the text box, where Toikya is subtly shaming me for being up at 1:40am, on the left are presents, notifications, friends, and missions.
Want to take a photo of your best boy? There are three ways at the top left! The first button will take everything off the screen, except a back button so you can take a screenshot without all the clutter. The button next to it is basically the same, but your device will go into landscape mode. The third button turns on your devices camera, puts your bb into augmented reality mode and take a photo~
Top right is your level, your Live Points and your prisms. Think of LP as your energy. Once it runs out, you can’t do Lives anymore until you get enough back to play again. Prisms are your game currency, you can earn some in game AND you can buy it with real money.
Now, let’s look at those bottom buttons.
Story is where the visual novel bit of the story is at. Keep in mind, while this is based on an otome property, it is a rhythm game. The Story part is watching the idols talk and do silly things together.
However, when you unlock a character’s side story (we’ll go over that later), you can raise your bond with that character. Reading a main story will unlock more songs for you to play and take a Main Story Pass to read. You can get these by leveling yourself up.
Idol is where you can go to check out your stats with each idol.
You can click into each character to look at your bond with them, change their outfit, wallpaper, poster, see their heart link with other characters (we’ll go over this later), and set them as your favorite.
Live Show is the game! For now, I’m going to skip over this part because there is A LOT more that goes into it than just play it!
If you haven’t played a rhythm game, card collecting fighting game, or poker before there is one thing that you have to know: you need good cards. Bad cards are holding you back, you need those good cards to get good.
If you go into the Live Show area without setting up your deck (called Units in the game), then you are in for a bad time. So that’s why I need to go over the next two first.
Photo is the game’s gacha. This is where you roll/pull for new cards and you need either prisms or a ticket to do it. In case you haven’t checked your presents or looked at this screen yet, KLab gave everyone a UR Ticket to pull for a UR card. So choose the UR Choose-an-Idol and do it now. You need a UR leader before going into the Live Show.
Great! The next thing you are going to need to do is put those 300 Prisms KLab gave you to use. Don’t worry, it looks like your first few days of play will build you back up to 300 in no time. I wait until I have 600 built up that way I always have 300 Prisms in case they drop some special photo shoot I reeeeally want.
Pick another photo shoot and press the 11-Shot. I’m going to suggest you save up 300 prisms and always do an 11-Shot. You are guaranteed to win at least 1 SR or higher when you do an 11-Shot.
Okay, let’s build a deck!
Lessons is where you will do things like edit your unit, train up your idols, strengthen your bond with moments, look at the cards and see just their photo, and there is the medal shop. You can exchange your cards here for things like wallpapers and special gems. You can apparently also win them in events. I’m not worried about that right now, I just need to build a good unit and get better at live shows.
When picking cards other than your UR and SR(s), you need to find characters that give you good bonuses during a live.
Go to the Edit Unit screen under the Lessons menu. You will see your first unit is full of N cards. Switch them out for your UR, as your leader and any SR(s) you have.
Now we are going to go through your Rs and find the good ones. Press and holding on a card in the select screen will allow you to see the special skill each card has. I have found that putting in a few Bad>Good will help you until you get used to playing the game.
I was tired of not getting anything higher than a C…
Great! Take note of the Leader Skill at the bottom. You’ll need to remember for later…
Next step, we’re gonna upgrade your UR. I have read, from playing other games with card systems, that focusing on one card at a time is less stressful and helps one focus on having more fun in songs.
Go back to the main Lesson screen and choose Lessons. Then pick your UR from the list.
Okay, you should have some EXP and some SKILL. Tap on each of them and then max them out. Now, look at the cards you have for doubles. If you have any doubles, tap on them to feed them to your UR. Press the Lesson button and you’re done!
Now we are going to level up our Bond with our UR. Go back to the Lessons screen and press Moments. Select your UR.
Now, get to it! Press “Unlock with Gems” until you can’t anymore. If you come upon a side story, read it. Then go back into the card and continue using Gems. You should go up a few Bond Levels. Awesome!
Another thing you can do, once you get the time, is go to your N cards on this screen and max them out too. The only have four tiles, so they’ll be quick.
Okay. One final thing before we Live. Go to Options>Live Settings. Scroll down to the bottom until you see a button labelled “Adjust.” Here it will now show you a musical note with a beep and a symbol sound. Press either – or + until the two sounds line up. This is just to make sure your taps are as accurate as possible during the live.
Now, it’s time to Live!
Go back until you can see the Live Show and press it.
Don’t get too hasty here. You need to get used to a song before you start immediately going up the stars. Notice the stars next to Easy, Normal, Hard, and Pro? This tells you how hard the song is. I have found playing a new song on Easy, to get used to how it sounds, and then making my way to Normal, then Hard (I still fail hard A LOT) helps ease into the song more. Also, a lot of the songs have a HUGE jump in difficulty from Normal to Hard.
The next screen that comes up will be your guest screen. It’s time to play a game of match three! You may or may not be able to do this when it comes to your unit right away, but let’s not worry about that right now.
Remember when I told you to take note of your Leader’s skill? Okay. You now need to find someone with a Shining icon (that little red sun) AND they need to have a skill that is not the same as your Leader’s skill. So if your Leader has a Voice Skill, you need to find a Charm or a Dance Skill. I don’t know if this matters, I also find a card with high level.
Now it will take you to your Unit Screen. You will only have the one, and that’s fine for now. You will want to have multiple Units at some point with Leader’s with different icons and skills.
First there is the Performance bar. This is basically going to tell you how well you should expect to do on the song. This doesn’t mean you can’t do better (or worse), just that this is what to expect with your cards.
The next two are Your Leader and Guest Leader’s Skill. This works for now, but in the future, as I said, you want them to have the same icon as well as different skills.
At the bottom are two buttons.
The first button is an Auto Button. This will play the song for you, but it will only give you all Good taps. You need to get good, so why press it? (Maybe it’s because Oresama Rondo is what hell sounds like, Vehura and you can’t pass it….) If you want to that is up to you.
The second is Boost. Boost will x2 or x3 the points you can get on a song. Until you get better at the game, I would hold off on it. Also, when you x2 or x3 it will double or triple the LP required to play the song.
Okay, I have my Unit, my Guest and my song. Let’s play.
Let me explain the notes besides the obvious one taps.
This note is a hold. Press the note and don’t move your finger until the trail end on the white note. You don’t have to lift up at the white note, but it doesn’t hurt to get into the move of doing so for faster songs.
These notes work by pressing the start and sliding to the end note. You might need to slide up or down depending on the arrow. These get crazy in Hard.
These Yellow notes indicate you are to press them at the same time.
You may also see some notes with Hearts or Music Notes in them. These are boosts that the Idols throw out at you to help. The Hearts help your life meter and I believe the Music Notes help your overall score. BTW, if your Life reaches zero, you fail the Live. You can refill it with Prism if you want to, but I usually just let myself fail. lol
Guess what, even with my low meter and non-matching cards…
I still did really dang good! Better than the Performance meter predicted! All right!
The game will now award you items based on your performance, your cards will rank up, and your Bond with each card will also rank up.
I feel like I’m probably missing some stuff, but that is the very basics of the game. Please remember to use your prisms on photo shoots to get more cards and to level up your high cards first.
I came into the game confused and not really thinking it was going to be my thing, but a few days in and I’m starting to enjoy it more and more. (I love my RBF robot son.) The songs are fun (there are few I’m already not liking, but you can’t like it all). Hard mode was the challenge I needed when Easy was boring and Normal was getting easy. I enjoy collecting the cards and leveling up. It’s a nice addition to the 47646 other games I already play and I can bang it out in about 20 minutes with an LP refill every few hours. Refill is 1 every 3 minutes so time it accordingly so you don’t miss Live time.
Like I have said, don’t come in expecting an otome game with romance. Your Home Screen Idol might say and do cute things, but that’s as much romance as you are going to get out of the game.
I hope that you are less confused reading this and if you have any questions, please comment below. If I don’t know the answer, someone else might! And if you have any tips for people that I have not discussed, please feel free to leave a comment below too!
Good Tips from the Comments
– On the right of the Main Screen, there are some rotating banners that showcase the current timed gachas, the event, and special sales. The last banner is for watching ads to earn a total of 60 LP and 5 prisms by watching 3 ads once a day. The banner for the free goodies will disappear after you gained all three rewards.
Utano☆Princesama Shining Live Overview
Title: Utano☆Princesama Shining Live
Supported OSes: Android™ 4.4+, iOS 9.0+
* Not available on some devices.
Genre: Rhythm game
Price: Free-to-play (In-app purchases available)
Supported Regions: Global (Excludes Japan and Mainland China*)
Supported Languages: English and Traditional Chinese
Official Website: https://www.utapri-shining-live.com/
Official Twitter Account: @shininglive_en
Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ShiningLiveEN
Copyright: ©SAOTOME GAKUEN © KLabGames
* For more information on the Mainland China version (available in Simplified Chinese), please see the official site.
Thank you to KLab for the Press Kit with information and screenshots for me to use!