Yes, I know. 3 years late but better late than never. Had this written up long ago but never made the time to finish off the edit since there's little chance of any English speakers importing this ^^;
Anyway, 120 hours of IdolM@ster 2 on the PS3 and got the platinum trophy. Looks and plays much better than the PSP game which only let you manage one idol.
Despite its appearance that seems to be directed a "moe" fans, it's actually a very fun management sim with a mish-mash of mini games to increase your idol's visual appeal, dance moves, vocals. Then you have to spend time to increase your idols popularity while keeping the fans happy nationwide to sell more singles, win awards and out compete your rivals.
It's not easy balancing it all in a limited number of weeks (turns).
So here is a guide to beating the game with full S rank (Hyper Mode). The conditions for scoring an S rank in each of the following factors are...
- Group Image Label - Level 16
- High Score - 65,000 pts
- Number of Singles Sold - 5.5 million
- Highest Chart Position - No. 1
- No. of Retries - 0
- Academy Awards - All Regions and Idol Academy Award (5 million fans, top 20)
Start off by picking 3 idols although it is best to pick 3 who will get along with each other or you'll be spending a lot of time trying to get them to get along with each other. Choose clothing and accessories that have high stat values which are usually the expensive looking items or near the bottom of the selection.
Sales are determined by popularity (the smiley faces in each region) x no. of fans x high score. Each single released only lasts for 4 weeks before the sales stop. You must then collect lucky stars by participating in Festivals or Auditions to revive them after a total of 10 weeks have passed since release for a chance of reviving them for higher sales numbers. Performing a Live will keep the sales rate constant for one week.
Watch out for the journalists that appear after auditions, lives or festivals. In particular, watch out for Ataku who will increase the rate your voltage gauge increases at and Yamahara who not only increases the rate of your voltage gauge but also number of fans gained and money earned! Makes a huge difference if you're going for that 76,500 points trophy.
Choice of Wear
Depending on what combo of stats you choose to level, go for items that are marked with that colour of stat e.g. yellow starred items if you're leveling Visuals as your main. Every item actually affects all three stats and some give more stat points than others namely the more expensive items such as the 990,000 crown so choose the ones that level your stats the most.
Communications & Events
When you're talking to your idols, it's very important you get the answers right to raise the Unity Gauge. The Unity Gauge determines how many points you get during a burst appeal. Unfortunately, it's too hard to translate everything. You'll have to match up the answers with the Japanese Wiki.
Auditions / Live Performances
What I usually do is use the blue dance first until visual's multiplier has reached 1.5x. Then switch to visuals until there is a burst appeal and then repeat. No point using hearts during auditions or live performances as they are aimed for competing in festivals. You can do the same with a visual/vocal combo stat too with vocal being the main stat or vocal/dance, dance being the main. This works as long as you have a charm that lowers the decreasing score rate.
When the Voltage Gauge fills up for a second time, don't press R right away. Wait for it to disappear and continue hitting the usual buttons. When you're near the end of the song, hit R to get the maximum number of points.
Festivals will be handled towards the end of the game when you should have enough hearts.
There are two ways you can compete against rival idols. You can either use the charm that you would use for performances that slow down your score deterioration or, you can use the charm that increases your Voltage Gauge quickly.
In the first instance, you would do what you do in performances. Knock up the multiplier for your main stat before using it. Once your rival has done one Burst Appeal, use up two of your hearts or more in combo to quickly fill up the voltage gauge. Repeat again once your rival does another burst. You should overtake them easily.
It's all about strategy believe it or not. And you must perform appeal bursts right after your opponent does to get the upper hand.
Pick a high BPM song for the first release. Burst Appeals rely on the unity rating (circle at the top-right) so you'll have to rely on normal scores at first.
If you manage close to 37,000 points, you'll make it into the top 50.
Then for the following 2 weeks, go for a job followed by a lesson. If you have the money, go for the jobs with high fan ratings. It's pretty much essential to get the answers correct during the jobs to level up the heart ratings. Also remember the location.
For the 4th week, you will go up against the Ryuuzakis which you'll lose so, treat it as a practice session. After that, continue with the job and lesson routine for each week.
Once again, start off with a National Audition. It doesn't matter too much about your score but see how high you can get. Go with jobs and lessons again until the week just before release and go for a National Audition again. Right after that week, immediately go for a Live. You will need around 43,000 points or more to get into the top 20 so that you will have even better job opportunities. Otherwise, you'll have less time to level afterwards.
If you didn't make it into the top 20 then, choose a song that is dedicated to one of the idols in your group. For the first two weeks during production, choose events that has the most fans then 2 weeks before release, perform a National Audition. This should get you well into the top 20.
Otherwise if you're already in the top 20, just focus on jobs and lessons to level up higher. It's recommended you have 40,000 fans by this point to fulfill one of the conditions for a rank S.
By this point, if you've been answering all the multi-choice and map questions correctly your Unity Circle should be maxed out so, it'll be a waste to continue doing jobs. So after the first audition, focus on knocking up your number of fans by doing as many events as possible. If you can manage over 50,000 points easily you can try the Festivals that appear once you've reached over 15,000 fans in each area. The northern and southern points are the easiest at level 5 and it gets harder to level 8 in the central region.
Start with an audition as usual, continue with jobs and lessons for the following two weeks. Then finish with an audition just before release and a Live to maintain the sales rates. Now finish off leveling your idols to 16 and use double lessons if the hearts have been maxed out to five. Once that's been done, get the remaining awards by defeating the regional rivals. If your fifth release has passed the 10 weeks mark, switch to that song and compete in the Festivals (you should have around 7 weeks left) to boost your fan numbers as high as possible and revive the single. By the 52nd week, you should have managed to revive the song if you beat all Festival events. For the 53rd week, do one last Live or National Audition to boost popularity again. You will be competing against Jupiter in the 54th and then it will be the Awards Ceremony.
That should be your way to S Rank!