Once the game is fired up and your past the usual SEGA screen (done in a cutesy way with Yui's voice) a short introduction is done with the characters and away you go with the first song. Ok I'm gonna get a little issue out of the way first. There are only 19 songs in total. Compared to its peers, K-ON!!'s list is a little short. Ive said its only a little issue as it is somewhat alleviated by the fact there are 5 characters (Yui, Azusa, Mio, Tsumugi & Ritsu) that all play different instruments which gives each playthrough of a song a unique flavour. Normal & Hard modes also switch things up a little. It just wouldn't be an eastern released rhythm game these days without the customary costume changing etc so that's all included. You unlock Items & clothing as you progress which can be used to boost performances or even unlock special events, all depending upon how high your final grade is at the end of each song played. During you time through the story you will unlock events anyway (kinda like a story segments) but also having certain characters in certain locations (more than just the classroom to visit) with certain items you give them can unlocking more (40-50 events reputed in total) Playing through the game also unlocks more options for you on the menu. Making MV allows you to create your own MV's with a select amount of options, A clock option turns your PsP into a talking K-ON!! clock and of course, Multiplayer! Having a multiplayer surprised me somewhat and it seems a decent take on the usual affair. 5 players are able to join via ad-hoc and as you've guessed each takes the role of a band member and plays there part in each song. At the end each person is graded on how well they contributed to the performance to add a little bit of a competitive edge. Aside from the game's minor issue of only 19 songs, which are all pretty much great to listen to by the way, the game is packing a lot of content and activities. Interacting with the characters in multiple locations to unlock events & boost performances while improving your own scores to unlock more goodies should keep you busy for quite a while.
*I use a PsPgo which features a screen half an inch smaller than other models so games tend to look a tad crisper*
SEGA has struck gold again in the rhythm game stakes. Only having 19 tracks & the odd nuance here n there prevent a perfect score, but unique playthroughs for all 5 characters & wealth of unlockables coupled with a surprisingly good ad-hoc mode ensure theres much to do. A perfect handheld game that matches its peers, maybe even exceeds them, and a must for the discernible Otaku PsP owners out there.
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Footnote: Ill use the footnote for these 'Otaku Review's to let you guys know of any translation patches or difficulty in playing native. This game doesn't have a fan-translation but it is relatively easy to play native. Little knowledge of Japanese is need, but if you get a little lost theres a handy little guide here - LINK. A very easy game to figure out tho for those interested