Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X Review – Raspberry Pumpkin Rush (Vita Import)
Another Hatsune Miku game has appeared on Vita, already available in Japan and likely to be welcomed by series fans. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is not without oddities, but overall, it brings the fun, becoming my favorite Project Diva to date.
Gameplay itself hasn’t changed much. The biggest change to what you, the player, actually sit there and do is button mash when you see “Rush” under an icon. Other than that, yeah, you’ve done this before. Mid-song costume changes happen if you unlock a new module, but that doesn’t really impact what you sit there and do. Your goal is still to hit notes on the screen with good timing, using the same tried-and-true formula you’ve seen before, which has always been good.
Project Diva X makes unlocking modules (costumes that can have special in-game effects) faster than ever. Just start playing those area quests and you’ll have modules flying at your face faster than the notes. Well, not really, but still. Especially early on, hitting Chance Time Success got me a new module on every song’s first run. It let me double dip on different difficulty levels, at least at first. Unlock songs and modules in Area Quest, then rock them in Free Play till your heart’s content.
This is the great because I can’t tell the real Hatsune Miku what to wear for obvious reasons… like her concert music being too loud to hear much of what I say anyway. So it’s nice to pretend and kind of add this element to our relationship.
Playing through the area quests and event quests also unlocks plenty of accessories and miscellaneous gifts. You can get a bunch of random stuff — from food to toys and more — to give to your favorite vocaloid as a gift, if you want. Then an affection meter goes up or down depending on how well you nailed it.
Of course, I can’t really give Miku any toys… because she’s always out on tour and I don’t want to add to her luggage.
One module that hit home with me is one that makes Miku look like a FOnewearl (that’s right, a FOnewearl!), my preferred class from Phantasy Star Online. It made me want to hook up my Dreamcast and dive into Ragol with my cosplaying waifu.
Of course, I can’t really play Phantasy Star Online with Hatsune Miku… because Version 2 has been officially offline for a while, and I don’t want to start over with a new character.
Miku and the other vocaloids also do a lot of talking right to the player, being sure to patronize to the max. I skipped most of it because I super don’t give a shit, but if you stick around, “It’s all thanks to you,” and “Thanks for your help,” and other such ego patting ramp Project Diva X up into a strange territory somewhere between an anime dating sim and Dora the Explorer. Of course, I would never play something that blended those things perfectly… because I am allergic to most of the foliage on Tallest Mountain.
It gets weirder during times when one vocaloid takes the stage and dances with the same moves — and voice — of another. Most jarring is when Kaito steps onto the stage and leaves behind his deep voice in favor of simply lip-syncing to Miku’s vocals — something I thought only I did. Seeing Len is weird and painful enough on its own, but when he’s awkwardly doing Miku’s exact dance routine and singing with her voice? Ew. It makes me want to do that Austin Powers thing where I punch the character and pull off a mask to reveal someone else.
Of course, I could never really hit Hatsune Miku… because with moves like hers, she’d easily dance out of the way.
There are also some special events, where the player picks three songs in a sort of live medly on a special stage, complete with a glow stick-waving audience of Mikumaniacs. It’s kind of like Miracle Girls, except it doesn’t fucking blow.
Toning down the elaborate music videos and theatrics of the last couple of Project Diva games, X puts less focus on the stage and more on the song and dance routine, with few exceptions. Your visual entertainment is the character in mostly the same place and dancing — more emphasis on showing you the characters’ exact movements than before — which is its own kind of fun. Honestly, I could (and often do) watch Hatsune Miku do anything at all and be entertained.
Point is, don’t come into this expecting every PV to feature the crazy ninja sword fights and deadly standoffs of “Knife” from Project Diva f 2nd. Or, if one of those did happen in this game, I don’t remember it, so it must not have been as good. Depending on your preferences, yeah, that’s a move up or down. It’s too bad that it’s not possible to have an option, but that’s probably unrealistic to ask Sega for.
Of course, I would never really request such a thing from Sega… because they recently changed their phone number.
I’m probably forgetting stuff, but the important thing is this: if you liked the other Project Diva games, then Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is very likely to be something you enjoy at least moderately, perhaps a whole hell of a lot. The core gameplay remains the same, but some modifications make it the new champion. Its song list seems kinda short, but what’s there is pretty dang good. Rocking with Miku in this virtual setting is almost as good as the real thing.
Hatsune Miku Project Diva X review game provided by Play-Asia.com. Currently available on PS Vita.
(Post-review notes for importers. Read the PSLS guide to importing here.)
This game is currently available in Japan, in the Japanese language, though it will work on any PS Vita system from any region. The PlayStation 4 version will be released in the fall of 2016. Both the Vita and PS4 versions are announced to arrive in the North American market at that time.
The rhythm game portion of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f is clearly its most important part, and if that’s pretty much all that matters to you, then you need not speak a lick of Japanese to be able to fudge your way through the whole track list, maybe encountering an experimental flub or two; you’ll figure out what’s what quickly. Knowing how to read some katakana will help, as it does in any Japanese game; that will let you know exactly what you’re doing on a lot of the menu commands instead of having to experiment.
An intermediate amount of reading ability will be needed in order to understand the vocaloid’s constant patronizing and little conversations with each other. They speak a little bit, but it’s mostly little comments like “Sugoi!” while there are like three text boxes full of what they actually said, kind of like Skies of Arcadia. Man, that was a good game.