Rhythm:Introduction

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Welcome to the second page of the rhythm game walkthrough! This is the introduction page, where Girlfriend Note will be explained in great detail. This is where you will, hopefully, learn a lot about the game, who it's meant for, and whether or not you'd be interested in playing the game.

The content of this page is similar to the about page of Girlfriend Note. If you've already read that article, then you can go ahead and move on to the next page!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Girlfriend Kari series or the original card game, I recommend you checking out the Girlfriend Kari page to briefly learn about the original game and series. After all, the rhythm game uses the same characters!

But anyways, you might be asking - what is Girlfriend Note and why should I play it? Isn't it all in Japanese!? Is it really worth my time?

Well, if you're looking for a cute anime rhythm game, you're in the right place.

Introduction

Girlfriend (♪) (also known as Girlfriend Onpu and Girlfriend Note) is a 3D rhythm game that was supposed to have been released on December 1st, 2015, but due to server failure and a lot of unexpected problems, the game was left unplayable until roughly December 18th, 2015. It's a mobile rhythm game similar to Love Live: School Idol Festival and the [email protected] rhythm games, and is playable on Android and iOS. The game itself is considered a spin-off of the original Girlfriend Kari series, as it uses the same characters and voice actresses from the card game, although introducing new characters from rival schools to advance the plot of the rhythm game.

You might be wondering - what prompted the creation of a rhythm game to the already successful RNG simulator, Girlfriend Kari? Well there are a few reasons.

The original Girlfriend Kari became incredibly popular in Japan as a social card game - with over 6 million registered users to date! Ameba deployed a simple buisiness strategy - use the appeal of cute cards depicting anime girls released at a surprisingly fast rate to keep players constantly returning for more. And even more - make the drop rates abysmally low so hardcore users will be almost forced to dish out cold, hard cash to obtain the super rare cards that they want. It's a simple strategy, but it worked.

Girlfriend Kari has become popular to the point that the series boasts its own magazine, radio, and giant booths at large conventions. Of course, the game is only that popular in Japan due to the game being fully in Japanese and somewhat challenging for foreign players to get into.

Nonetheless, with its rising popularity, an Anime adaptation was created. Although somewhat lacking in quality, the anime was successful as an advertisement to the series. Along with the anime, a bunch of character song albums were released, each containing five to six songs that a specific character's voice actress sings.

Cover for the first character album
Cover for the first character album

Now, what's the best way to make money off of a bunch of character songs that have already been released? You create a rhythm game out of them. And thus, Girlfriend Note was born.

Below, we'll give a brief overview of the story behind the game, and a quick look of what the game has in store for you!

Prologue

See below for the official introduction video of Girlfriend Note. If you haven't seen it already, I'd recommend taking a look - it's super cute, and bound to brighten up your day.

In summary, a new headmaster at Seiou Gakuen (聖櫻学園) has enrolled all special outstanding students into a dance battle royale against rival schools! The winning team will get...prizes...of some kind...

In order to determine who the leader of the new dance units will be, a lottery gacha is run! And guess what? YOU'VE been selected as the leader! Congratulations!

Now, it's time for you to enter the fray, form your units, and destroy the competition with cute waifu power!

Gameplay

As stated above, the core gameplay is very similar to Love Live: School Idol Festival and The [email protected] Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage. Players will assemble units of girls categorized according to various attributes (here, just according to five colors: Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue) and use these units to score well on songs. Below is a brief video showcasing the gameplay of one of the songs!

If you're familiar with Love Live: School Idol Festival, you'll notice that this game plays almost exactly the same to it. The tap zones are eight hearts arranged in a semicircular fashion, very close to SIF's 9-circle semicircular layout. You need to tap the hearts when the heart from the inner circle overlaps with the heart in the tap zone. There are also double notes, which are shown by hearts that have shaded-in hearts within them, and hold notes too! The bottom center, however, gives an entirely different element, unseen in either SIF or Starlight Stage: a disco ball that the player must keep spinning for a score bonus. In order to keep the disco ball spinning, you have to occasionally swipe it every ~8 seconds, otherwise it will stop spinning and you'll lose your score bonus (which is about 20%)!

The video above shows the "hard" difficult for the song, 100% Fresh, which is Ichigo Kohinata's character song. There are four available difficulties for all the songs - Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard (Expert). In order to play a song, you have to use stamina! Stamina regenerates at a decent rate (1 point every 6 minutes, so 10 points every hour), but it makes it so that you can't just keep playing forever. This is a common gimmick found in most rhythm games.

Now, for every song you play, you have to choose a unit! You can't just participate in dance battles without a set of girls! Your units are composed of girls that you obtain from cards. All cards have their own rarity, and the general rule of thumb with cards is that the rarer the card, the better stats it will have. Card rarity goes from N -> R -> SR -> SSR -> UR. You can also level up your own girls by sending other girls to train with them (essentially using other girls to feed another card for EXP gain). There's also evolution - where you can combine two copies of the same card to increase the max potential of the card! Combining three copies fo the same card will then result in substantially different artwork, and the card gaining a rarity level!

A Chloe UR card!
A Chloe UR card!

Unit composition is generally based around a color attribute. You'll want to have at least 5 units built - one focused around each color attribute, so you can choose the right one to maximize score during the performance. You want to set your card with the best leader skill for the attribute that you want to focus on into the first slow (this is generally your rarest card). Then, place other team members around focusing around the same color! A quick note, however - using rarer cards of a different color than the one you're focusing on might be better than using a card of a low rarity but of the color you're focusing on.

Screenshot of the Unit page
Screenshot of the Unit page

Don't worry there's an automatic team builder that creates the best team using the cards from your inventory. You can tell it what color attribute to focus on too! The automatic unit selector will work most of the time, unless you're considering individual skills on the cards as well - but that's far too advanced for this guide. We'll explain more about unit composition later, but this hopefully serves as an introduction to the mechanics.

Auto-creation of a unit based on color priority!
You can use the auto team builder to focus on a specific color! It's pretty useful.

Finally, you have to choose which girl you actually see dancing on the screen when you perform! This girl is independent from your cards, and is called the Center Girl. You start off with only one center girl - which you can choose from a pool of currently available models (Ameba is still releasing more 3D models, so expect more in the future). As you level up, you'll gain more center girl slots, allowing you to have more dancers/models to choose from when performing songs. For each center girl, you can talk to them, poke them, increase your bond with them, and...dress them up?

Yes, you can play dress-up with your cute waifus! You can equip a hat slot item (like glasses, a headband, a barrette, etc), a body slot item (like a dress), and a leg slot item (like boots, sandals, etc). All clothing is also color-attributed and gives a stat bonus, and when playing, you can select up to two of your three clothing items to be used for their abilities, which you can activate while playing the song by tapping on an icon on either side of the screen. The center girl you choose to perform will also be wearing the clothing you selected!

You can change Haruka's clothes!
You can change Haruka's clothes! Isn't she cute?

In short, get cute cards of cute girls and build a team out of them, then use that team along with a 3D model to perform well on stage! We'll explain these mechanics more in-depth later, so don't worry if you're confused about something at this point.

Songs

There are currently roughly 18 songs available for play all the time - most of them from the anime or from character song albums. However, event-limited songs (like seasonal songs) will appear occasionally too! Ameba has also confirmed that they are working on more songs for the game as well. As of March 2016, there are over 50 playable songs! You can check out the full gallery of songs at our Song Gallery page!

Album cover for the newly released song for the rhythm game, Now on Stage!
Album cover for the newly released song for the rhythm game, Now on Stage!

Are you excited yet? Well if you are, let's get started with the game!

Onto the next page! Next up: Installation!