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The Idolmaster, also romanized as THE iDOLM@STER, is a rhythm and simulation game by Namco Bandai originally released as an arcade game and later brought to the Xbox 360 platform. The entire game focuses around ten Japanese girls and their career as famous pop idols. Their career is in the hands of the player who takes the role of the producer for the fictional 765 Production Studio, who can be kind and protective of the girls (but also a little perverted if he so desires).
Each idol has different statistics, which are important for dealing with her personality or the style she will perform in. After choosing an idol to work with, the player is able to talk with the idol. The answers that are chosen can give a positive or negative effect on the attitude towards the player from the idols. After this, the game is divided by days, which in turn are divided in activities for the idol throughout the day. The first stage of every day is entirely optional, and involves sculpting the idol's image such as choosing songs to practice or changing her costume. Many types of clothes are available ranging from cute and girly, cool and sexy to cosmic and funny outfits. In addition, the player is able to accessorize the idol. The clothes and accessories the idol wears can have a major impact on her statistics, allowing her to perform better and feel more confident. After this, the idol can start her training which are a series of mini games to raise the idol's statistics.The most important part of the game are the auditions, which are composed out of another series of mini games. By performing well in the mini games, the player can improve the idol's performance and impress the judges. After the audition is completed successfully, the player is able to watch and record the entire performance.
THE iDOLM@STER features many original Japanese pop tracks, each song can be sung solo or by up to three different idols. Because of the popularity of THE iDOLM@STER in Japan, several soundtrack CD's and collections have appeared on the market, such as THE iDOLM@STER Master Box, Drama CD's and a Christmas album. Each idol has its own solo album as well, featuring the idol's most favorite songs.
The arcade version of the game will be ported to the PSP and released in 3 separate versions, each with their own exclusive characters. Perfect Sun has been fan-translated and is currently the only game in the series to be available in English (albeit unofficially). Here's a list of what version contains which girls:
The Idolmaster SP: Wandering Star
- Yukiho Hagiwara
- Iori Minase
- Ami Futami
- Mami Futami
The Idolmaster SP: Perfect Sun
- Haruka Amami
- Yayoi Takatsuki
- Makoto Kikuchi
The Idolmaster SP: Missing Moon
- Chihaya Kisaragi
- Azusa Miura
- Ritsuko Akizuki