With the latest release in the ever awesome Project Diva rhythm game series seeing its latest iteration launch just last week in Japan, I thought it may be a good idea to check on the Japanese demo. So I put my drinks with Setsu at the Dream Club on hold and gave SEGA's 4 track demo a run through:
As you would expect, the gameplay is very similar its predecessor, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F, which is no surprise as the gameplay has already been refined to almost perfection it'd be difficult to change things up drastically without damaging the core mechanics. It means series veterans can just slot in like they've never been away. There are some new additions to the formulae though in the form of sliding touchscreen notes, and double scratch notes, but with me playing the demo on the Ps3 - these actions were replaced with a push of the right-analog stick. The Ievan Polkka tutorial, is there to help show how the new mechanics work. While things are similar with the gameplay, there was one difference that was quite noticeable. The difficulty seems to have been taken up a notch, on Medium in particular. At times the previous release was a breeze, so this is a good move towards tightening up a oddity. The songs on offer - Cinderella, Packaged, Suki Kirai and Lariat, offer up a nice variety.
Whilst subtle at first, there does seem to be quite an improvement with regards to the games presentation. The most notable aspects seems to be with how the characters are animated, with more realistic choreography & movement making the performances look a more smooth and natural. There seems to be a slight bump in detail as well (on the Ps3 anyway) that hasn't impacted the smooth framerate we saw in last years release. The detail increase isn't too noticeable in all 4 tracks though so it may be dependant on how lively the background performance is on whether you'll notice it.