Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd for PS Vita Hands-on (TGS)

Miku’s second trip to the Vita plays almost identically to her first, about which you can read about here. The only difference is that the worst aspect got even worse. The touch screen star notes in Project Diva f were a minor annoyance, but I liked the music, charm, and the aesthetics enough to brush it off and overall have a very enjoyable time. The newly revealed Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd introduces a new kind of touch-only note, that comes in a group. One must hit the first one, and then trace the shape. So you’re hitting the screen, then drawing a zig-zag or a square or a who-knows-what. There are also notes marked with a ‘W,’ which indicate the need to swipe with two fingers instead of one. As someone who already dislikes touchscreen gaming, this is anti-fun.

In my review of Project Diva f, I said that the touch notes were, “not so jarring as to actually mess up your groove.” When we make those into elaborate shapes that have your hands rubbing all over the whole damn screen, however, we get a Michael Jackson situation. That’s right, I’m referring to Michael Jackson: The Experience, a rhythm game on Vita which is held back by the fact that your fingers have to move all over the place and end up shielding the notes that come next. It’s the same thing that ends up happening in Miku 2.

Hatsune Miku 2

I can see how the developers thought it might be a good idea, but that assumption is based on thinking the star notes in Miku’s other Vita game were a good idea too…but they weren’t. The PS3 version of that game ended up being the better deal, in part thanks to the removal of the gimmicky touchscreen requirement. Now the gimmick’s presence is even stronger, and I don’t feel the game is any better for it.

I bought the original and didn’t regret my purchase—a year later, I still have it, despite the high resale value. The Vita version of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, however, isn’t on my radar. The PS3 version might be another story. Since all this moaning might not apply to you if you play on PS3 or if you like heavy use of touchscreens, well then there’s that; look forward to another catchy rhythm game loaded with endearing vocaloids.

The version I played at the show was the handheld one, so that’s all I can comment on. It’ll hit Japan in 2014. No other localizations confirmed.