PSX 2016 – Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Future Tone Preview – Same Old Song

December 5, 2016Written by Tyler Treese

Hatsune Miku Project DIVA future tone Preview

Hatsune Miku has had a pretty busy 2016, even if the vocaloid only exists in the digital realm. This year saw the release of both Hatsune Miku Project DIVA X and a rather lackluster VR offering. That’s only in North America, as the blue-haired idol saw her biggest release yet in Japan — Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Future Tone.

This massive compilation puts 236 songs into one package, allowing fans to play all of their favorite tunes. Luckily for North American gamers they won’t have to miss this celebration of Miku’s past. That’s because the game will be coming stateside in 2017, and a build of the English release was shown off at PSX 2016.

While it’s undoubtedly cool that Future Tone features a ton of songs, the game still has to be fun for it to be a worthwhile pickup for PS4 owners. After all, Rock Revolution would’ve still sucked even if it had tracks from The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Thankfully, I can confirm that the latest rhythm title from Sega is a solid one as my hands-on experience revealed that it’s largely left unchanged from previous offerings.

Familiar Rhythm

Like other entries in the Project DIVA series, players will tap the DualShock 4’s face buttons in conjunction with on-screen symbols. If you haven’t played it before, think DDR but notes come from all over the screen instead of straight up. It’s a satisfying design, and it’s just as fun in Future Tone as it was in past installments.

I ended up playing one of the game’s 200-plus songs, and it was a track from the recent Nintendo 3DS release, Project Mirai. Called “Snowman,” the song was rather upbeat in nature. Visually, the game had Miku dancing in the middle of a small village while it snowed. Since it was also my job to tap the corresponding notes, it was pretty difficult to admire Miku’s choreographed performance, but that’s why these games always have a replay mode.

The only real difference I noticed from a gameplay perspective was how the game handles star icons. These have traditionally been dealt with by flicking the right analog stick in any direction, but now they appear with a prompt that tells the player to swipe the TouchPad either right or left. This adds an extra smidgen of depth to the experience, even if it’s the most minor change Sega could’ve made.

Celebration

While I could bemoan the fact that Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Future Tone isn’t switching up the formula any, I believe I would be missing the entire point. Future Tone aims to be a massive celebration of the franchise’s past, allowing players to enjoy all of their favorite songs in a single executable. This isn’t the right time to implement changes, as it should play like the previous games.

That said, I’m hoping that Future Tone will be the final Hatsune Miku title in this line of games. It features just about every song imaginable (although the track list doesn’t feature my personal jam, “Satisfaction“) and can essentially serve as a wrapper for additional songs in the future. The series will need to evolve if Sega wants to continue to put out $60 products, but Future Tone can serve as a fitting tribute to a very enjoyable series.