Monday, 10 March 2014

Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F VITA Review

(Thanks once again to @gloriousbagel for another guest review & his last as he joins the team! Welcome aboard!)

It's a good thing that Sony's hardware is so import-friendly, I mean such a niche game like Hastune Miku will never make it to the west. Surprise!!! Being the first entry to ever being localized, HM: Projecta Diva f is probably the best entry to localize and is argueably the best entry to date. Project Diva is available on both the PS3 and Vita.

Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F is very similar to its earlier entries, which isn't a bad thing. Project Diva f offers a new song list, enhanced graphics, gameplay additions, and general refinements. Hastune Miku does something that many other rhythm games fail to do, offer a great soundtrack list with amazing visuals. Project Diva f has incredible replayability, you can switch Vocaloids, change their outfits and you can even customize your own tracks in the Edit Mode.

True to series form, Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F features a large song list that crosses many genre lines. The pop fluff of "Freely Tomorrow" and the rock riffs of "Unhappy Refrain" show off the variety and creativity from the various music producers. Once again, the other Vocaloids make appearances, and whether it's KAITO's slow "Ashes to Ashes" or the up-tempo "Romote Controller" of Rin and Len Kagamine, everything just seems to fit, and an overwhelming majority of the song list is memorable and downright fun to play.

The difficulty curve is beginner friendly, and the difficulty scales nicely as each song is unlocked. There are four difficulties to choose from, Easy, Normal, Hard and Extreme. As with most rhythm games, familiarity with the songs is key to receiving a great score. Luckily, there's lots of replay value in Project Diva f, and those unacquainted with these songs will catch on quickly.

Each song is accompanied by a music video starring a certain vocaloid. These videos tell a story or at least help solidify the vibe of each song. The player has some creative control over these videos. The characters are interchangeable, costumes and accessories are plenty and there are special scenes that are unlocked if the Challenge Zones of songs are successfully passed.

Gameplay is pretty standard for a rhythm game of this style. Notes appear as outlines of Playstation controller face buttons or arrows with a clock hand rotating inside. The notes fly in from all angles and line up with the outline once the clock hand makes a full rotation. Sustained notes simply need to be held and released at the proper times. New to Project Diva F are scratch notes that appear as a star and are accomplished by swiping your finger on the Vita's screen in any direction. The addition is welcome and feels natural almost immediately, which is rare for a any game that requires touch control.

But wait! There's more! In addition to the rhythm game mode, there's some extra goodies to be found. The DIVA Room is an area to customize with furniture, view special scenes, play Rock Paper Scissors with your favorite character, or just be a creeper and watch them sleep, (guilty as charged). There's also an edit mode where custom videos and note tracks can be made for any song in the game and then shared online.
Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F will appeal to any rhythm gamer or fans of Vocaloids. It's actually pretty surprising that the game made it West. It deserves it, and so do the fans. Let's hope we'll be a surpirsed with a localization announcement of Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F 2nd later this year.

Other Postive thoughts
-plays really well with the Vitas' firm buttons
-touch controls don't feel forced
-visuals really stand out on the Vitas' OLED screen

Some Negative thoughts
-There are some tracks that are left out of the Vita version and must be purchased as DLC


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