I’m not sure if I should be comforted or not that the game begins with a disclaimer that “rules and techniques have been changed from real-life.” It’s not an auspicious beginning. One wonders what they got right and what they got wrong… and how annoying it will be. But, I soldier on.
First, I choose a skater. All choices are girls in the large-eyed, cute anime style. I’m going for the pink-haired pixie with the pony-tails. Her response is an annoying, high-pitched, “I did it!” Now, I get a coach, a young anglo-looking woman with green eyes and wavy brown hair. Her name is May Summers. She’s a world-class coach and is strict, but not tough without a reason. Summers introduces some of her famous, former students, causing my first cringe of the game. One student was the first in the world to ever complete a “Quadruple Spin Jump.” Perhaps this is just a translation error (this the literal translation of the term used in Japanese). I’ll let it slide for now. Now Summers introduces my avatar, saying she’s been skating since she was 3 and is very talented and hard working.
It appears from the top screen that I’ll have weekly goals and a monthly competition. The first one is the Town Competition. The first week, the goal is to increase stamina and learn a double toe loop (incorrectly capitalized as Double Toe Loop). The coach cautions you not to just skate. You must interact with people to “grow as a person and become more expressive.” You must win competitions to earn training money. As you earn training money, your KP increases–don’t ask me what KP is other than Kitchen Patrol. Maybe I shoulda read that manual! Oh now, wait, with KP, I can… go shopping?!?!? Say WHA?
After this long speech, the interface dumps me out next to the ice surface. I click on the Coach’s Office and once inside, Coach Summers explains that the best way to raise my stamina is to play mini-games. She also wants me to visit the Training Center. Back out in the hall, I click on the Rink and trade small talk with the rink owner. That was pointless. Trying the Exit puts us on a cute map of the town. You can scroll right and left with the pink arrows at the bottom.