I have a tendency to get addicted to rhythm games. Elite Beat Agents, the Rhythm Heaven series, Theathrhythm Final Fantasy, Gitaroo Man, the list can go on and on. If I divulged how many hours were spent tucked away in a basement with a large amount of people playing Rock Band and Guitar Hero, you’d think I was insane. Hatsune Miku games have always had that special appeal to me. Enjoying anime and the Japanese culture, I have been a fan of Miku’s for quite some time. Read on for our full Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X review. The latest entry does not disappoint fans of the series and genre.
Title: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X
Available On: PlayStation 4, PS Vita
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Copy Supplied by Publisher
The story is simple enough. Within this virtual world, there exist five clouds, each representing a different type of aura. There’s classic, quirky, elegant, cool, and cute. You’ll be introduced to Hatsune Miku and the other virtual singers that inhabit this world. You start by going through the Classic Cloud, completing the five songs to get to the Main Event. This is how you unlock all of the available songs for use in other modes. The five songs are all basically a music video that you’re watching, whereas the Main Event is performed in front of a live audience. After you finish the first set, you’re free to select one of the other four clouds, but once you do, you’re locked to that one until you complete all six songs.
Also within the story are Music Festivals. These requests appear from time to time, and allow you to choose which three songs will be a part of the festival, and the singers that will be performing them. Each song gets one singer, but only the last one is able to transform into a new module.
What does that mean? During the songs, there will be an area where, if you do well, the singer has the ability to transform into a new module, which is basically just another costume with a different status effect attached to it. Each idol has multiple different costumes available for unlocking, and there are DLC ones on top of that. You can also unlock a ton of different types of accessories to fully customize each idol. These accessories come from simply completing the songs. The costumes and accessories all have various status effects on them, which can range from Voltage % Increased, Rate Up Notes increased, Accessory Drop % increased, Module % increased, Voltage increase after a set amount of combo points, etc.
Fans of the series and rhythm games in general should be familiar with how the game is played. Once the song starts, there will be an outline of a shape on the screen somewhere, such as a circle, square, triangle, cross, star, or arrow. The corresponding button prompts will fly in from somewhere off screen, and the idea is to press the button when it is overlapping the actual outline. Hit it too early or too late and you won’t get as many points as you would if you successfully hit it when it’s touching the outline, or even better, directly over it. Anything that counts as Good or Cool will keep your combo multiplier going. Anything that triggers as Safe, Bad, or Miss will reset your multiplier.
The button prompts are also color coded to match the buttons on the controller. Circle, square, triangle, and cross (x) should be simple enough to figure out. The star prompts can be done by flicking either the left or right stick, or swiping on the touch pad. The arrow require you to press the correct direction on the D-Pad and the correct color coded button at the same time. There is an extremely useful Tutorial that I highly recommend for newcomers or anyone that wants a basic refresher, because it does an excellent job of teaching you the mechanics. But please, make sure to calibrate the input lag at the start of the game. This can help tremendously when it comes to actually doing well for certain TVs.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X also has a Relationship and Gift giving portion to it. Every so often, one of the idols will give you a hint as to something that they want or need. You are then free to select a gift from one of several categories, and if it matches what they asked for, their Friendship level will slowly increase. You can also give gifts to them without them asking, if you so desire. Their affection level toward you can be checked in the Friendships menu, whereas gifts can be given in the Gifts menu.
The rest of the ways to play are fairly straight forward. There’s a Free Play mode, which allows any song to be played so long as it has already been unlocked in the story. A concert editor, which can be used to create and customize concerts featuring any of the idols. And a photo creator, which is a very robust photo creating and editing tool that allows for some very creative photos and screenshots to be made. Playing through the multitude of songs available on the different difficulty levels, and getting that feeling of mastering one after another, is a great feeling to be had.
That isn’t to say Project Diva X is without its problems and short comings though. One problem I have always had with these titles, and still do after playing an extensive amount of this one, is actually being able to focus and pay attention to the buttons as they fly in randomly around the screen. There’s so much going on that sometimes I find myself missing notes as my eyes try to figure out what is happening on the screen. Another issue I ran in to a few times… the game would completely freeze for a few seconds, yet the music would keep going. Once it unfroze, the button prompts were still going, which caused me to have to restart the song since I had then missed a handful of notes. I’m still not sure what the problem was that caused this to happen, but it occurred twice while going through the story mode.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is certainly not for everyone. Those that cannot stand the idol culture in Japan probably won’t find much enjoyment out of this, even if they are a fan of rhythm games. However, those that greatly enjoy rhythm games, and can look past the cutesy nature of what’s there (or those that are truly in to that culture) will find a very enjoyable game here. And if you walk in to this with an open mind and an open heart, you may just find yourself falling in love with what Hatsune Miku has to offer.