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General rundown of DCD Aikatsu 2014 Guide for people who don’t have privelage to play the game and can only watch fom youtube

Before starting

You will most likely play this in arcade/game center with card-based membership. If you are going to play this in one arcade for a long time, go straight for higher level membership than standard. This will give you bonus e-currency to play more. if not that at least buy the ID. You can play more song in single player mode. 1 ID card is roughly 5 US$:
Unless you are playing with friend, came to arcade when it open. Ask staff to turn on the Aikatsu machine, if could just 1 machine because the song is barely hearable by its own. If all machines are on try gauge the sound from the machine’s speaker, the speakers quality are not same, sometimes the speaker doesn’t work (could be temporarily or permanently)

Game Components, Version, and Backward Compability Issue

There are 4 components of the machine you are about to play: the machine case, outside picture, Aikatsu software and the cards inside the dispenser. A good arcade will replace the latter 3 with new one when the new version rolls (machines are expensives you know). But sometimes, one or two things doesn’t get changed. Here’s some mismatch machine I ever use:

# Picture Software Cards Remark
1 S1V6 S2V6 S2V6 One of the oldest mall in city. it's been 2 years, change the picture dammit
2 S2V4 S2V4 S2V3 At least I get Otome card
3 S2V4 S2V4 S2V5 At least I get Yurika-sama's coord

This game’s backward compability involves the machine software, the coords and the ID. New cards can be used in old versions. The ID can be used in newer version BUT once you use it in newer version, it cannot be used again in lower ones. This only become problematic if you want to clear Constellation Cup but new season roll and every machine in the city changes. [1]

Playing the Gmae

Intro

After slashing the card you will given 3 options: 1p mode, 2p mode or buying card from the machine. The description said buying 2 cards using ID will give you in-game item but I haven’t tried. Chosing 2p mode will give you option to play versus or cooperate playing. There is probably a separate storyline of playing together in co-op mode but I don’t know. [2]
After chosing the mode, a random character will greet you and give you a card. The card will appear from dispenser below. In case of jam, the machine will beep but if it doesn't beep, find staff to help you.

Inside the Game

You are given 99 seconds to move around and chose which mode to play including song and difficulty. If you are too late, the machine will select first song Main Audition mode. You can play Constellation Cup but your progress won’t be saved without an ID. Any songs you see are fixed but on rare ocassion, few of them can disappear.

Playing the Song

Song is roughly 90 seconds and separated into 3 parts, we will call them Top, Bottom and Shoe. Few second after the song start a string of Green/Yellow buttons will appear. 3 times in a fixed time in a song, you can do an appeal. An Appeal window will automatically open. If your level is lower than 4 by the time the window open or not having Special Appeal set, you only get a normal Appeal, this only required pressing the red button when the ring came close to the button on screen.

Scoring

Scoring System

I already write about the rundown of a song above, now on to scoring. Final score = coord’s total Appeal Point (AP) + score from (Special) Appeal + score from pressing buttons.

Your Appeal Point is your coord total AP + bonuses. Using coord corresponds to the song played will give + 200 for each, (Special) Good Coordination + (600/)300. Wearing same type coord doesn’t give bonus. [3]
Normal Appeal only calculate AP from corresponding coord but Special Appeal use total AP. Appeal score is 150%-250% (number needs refining) of whatever is calculated.
1 button = 500-600 depend on how accurate you hit it, the button aren’t affected by your coord

Scoring works the same in 1p or 2p. only that in 2p, player with most Perfect will be awarded + 3000 score.
Additional info: in 2☆☆ diff, pressing just 1 button in entire song don't count as score (confirmed twice). Still 2☆☆, not pressing buttons can give you a hidden -2400 score penalty.
I will make a google doc later on how I obtain these numbers.

Winning Score Threshold

There are 3 difficulty level on most of type of games: ☆, ☆☆, ☆☆☆. Assuming you play properly, you can win ☆ without any coords. Higher difficulty means more buttons thus more scores. Here are computer score I record
2014 ver 4

# min avarage max
2214 7452 10704
☆☆ 17222 18977 21241
☆☆☆ 25261 29815 32311

2014 ver 5

# min avarage max
9278 9638 10190
☆☆ 16571 16571 16571
☆☆☆ 27445 30013 31999

After Playing

Cards Rarities Ratio

Now you got your cards. Maybe Premium if you are lucky. Based on cards I have, for each 13 cards you can expect 5 normals, 4-5 normal with Brand, 2 rares and 1 Premium.

I tried playing 14 times consecutively to test this twice. First time I tried it, on the 13th tries the machine ran out of card. The second time, the 13th card jammed. I call the clerk to open the machine, he removes the bottom most card (looks like Nightmare Capricorn) and return the card storage. So much for playing 14 times.

Even when I start playing I take notes of cards rarity pattern. Looks like Premium come BEFORE Rare card. Normal and Brand could appear 7 times in a row, don’t push your luck, wait another day. If you get a Rare, stop playing, wait another day. If you get a Premium, try 1 more time. You are more likely to pull a Rare after Premium. Accecories are even rarer than Premium.

Having Fullset

If you are interested in fullset of any Rare coord, the last thing you should do is playing the game. Buy it online.

Cards Storage

If you are attached to this game, buy a 3x3 card binder filler then buy a binder that could hold them. Basic Aikatsu binder is 2x2, the size is just right for playing in arcade but only good until it is full. The card that came from cardass might or might not bend inward. Most of Stars cards I saw in Japanese site bends but if you got some that don’t bend, store them separately from the one that do (especially Premium)

Afterword

There is it. 1 + 1 year playing Aikatsu. I’ve been playing Aikatsu since 2015 February in ver2 of original incantion. There is a lot of things I wish I known earlier. So if DCD Aikatsu haven’t reach your place and you want to give it a try, I hope this will provide sufficient information so you won’t spend too much on figuring how things work
Footnote

  1. In my case I want to clear Capricorn Cup in S2V5 but current season is S2V6, every machine changes, except that #3 machine I mentioned above. That machine is in my hometown, still with S2V4 software and S2V5 cards. I want to play with Yurika-sama dammit
  2. At time I just buy the card, I didn’t have ID yet. And when bring and use my ID, I need to play the game.
  3. Here’s something weird I need to research more: Bohemian Sky fullet doesn’t give bonus but iirc, Loli Gothic dress give me a bonus. Or was it the accesory?
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