AKB1/48 Times 4!07 August, 2012 by Chad
As reported yesterday, fans of AKB48 sister groups can finally get a chance to virtually date their favorite idols in the latest offering from Bandai Namco. AKB48/153: Renai Sousenkyou (Love General Election) expands the game’s roster to a whooping 153 girls with members from SKE48, NMB48 and HKT48. Today we take a more detailed look at the third title in the AKB1/48 series.
As an overtly simplified dating simulator, AKB1/153 will hardly differ from past titles in the series. Though traditional Japanese dating games usually involve the player pursuing a specific anime girl or boy, past titles in the 1/48 series have been quite novel.
In the AKB1/48: Idol to Koishitara and AKB1/48: Idol to Guam de Koishitara all of the characters start out lovesick with the player right from the start of the game, and it is the player’s job (if you can even call it that) to reject all but one girl. This is done through just a handful of interactions with the virtual depiction of the AKB48 members, a big departure from other dating sims, which usually involve a more tedious process.
It’s simplicity allows the game to cater to the idol group’s larger, more diverse audience. Previous AKB1/48 titles have sold well and with members from the 3 other groups added to the mix there are at least 105 more reasons why this new game will sell. For those interested in specifics, AKB1/153 will feature all official members as of June 16 2012 from all of AKB48’s 4 teams (61 members), SKE48’s 3 teams (43 members), NMB48’s Teams N and M (32 members), as well as HKT48’s Team H (17 members).
An official source has confirmed that AKB1/153 will also feature entirely brand new content (movies, pictures and voices) for all the members featured. Group dates, which were introduced in Idol to Guam de Koishitara will be making a comeback.
A concern though is that if space was any concern in the past games, fitting all 153 might mean a cut in (already scarce) content per member. Official statements so far suggest that this will be the case. This wouldn’t be an issue if AKB1/153 was simply a PlayStation Vita release. Instead, the game will be available for both the Vita and PlayStation Portable platforms, a straightforward decision considering that Vita sales have yet to impress.
Still those who do have a Vita will definitely want to grab the newer portable version for the improved resolution, especially since both the Vita and PSP versions will retail for the same price. The game, which will be released on 20th December will come in just two different box sets this time round: a standard version for 7,329 yen and a more elaborate special pre-order only first press box set for 14,679 yen.
Standard versions will come with the AKB1/153 game, bonus behind the scenes content (on card for the Vita version but in a separate UMD for the PSP) and 3 random photo cards.
For twice the price, the pre-order boxed set will add 10 “making of” DVDs, a mini-photobook containing bikini photos of all 153 members, a key-code to redeem exclusive bonus download content (likely extra in-game photographs), and will come with 10 random photos instead of the usual 3.
A note to consider is that the the normal version of AKB1/153 is really a “limited edition” in terms of pricing and content when compared to previous 1/48 releases. The boxed version is also more than 1,000 yen more than the previous version, despite actually having less bonus content. Though at this point even fans of the AKB48 franchise know it is already long past the point of cashing in.
Personally, while I was intrigued by concept of the series, I couldn’t quite bring myself to play the game much, nor the second one at all. Still, if you’re an AKB48 fan and are going to spend any money on related merchandise at all, AKB1/153 is a recommended buy. Moreover, looking at the video trailer above, it actually looks pretty good. What do you think. Will you be getting AKB1/153: Renai Sousenkyou? And who will win out in the general election for your heart?
A lot of work would have undeniably been put in by both the girls and Bandai Namco to create the sheer amount of content required for such a game. And while it doesn’t look like the AKB48 members will be needing your money anytime soon, it is at least some money toward the developers who had to toil for months behind a desk to make this game a reality.
Edit: Note that the game has since been renamed AKB1/149, after the departure of a number of members.Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.
Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.