Hatsune Miku Project Diva f (PS Vita)
Vocaloids are voice synthesiser programs that can sing any word you input at certain pitches, tones and melodies. They are now a revolutionary breakthrough in the world of music and have become a genre of music on its own.
Not only did they change the world of music with the seemingly never ending songs that feature them, but they have also changed the world of gaming with Sega's very own rhythm game Project Diva on the PSP. Since then, fans have been wanting more, which led to Sega releasing Project Diva 2nd and Project Diva Extend for the PSP before eventually releasing the long-awaited Project Diva f for the PS Vita.
As mentioned before, Hatsune Miku Project Diva f is a rhythm game created by Sega and Crypton Future Media, the mastermind behind the popular vocaloid Hatsune Miku. As do all other games with the same title, Project Diva f features not only Hatsune Miku, but also other popular vocaloids such as the Kagamine twins, Megurine Luka, Meiko and Kaito.
However, if you're expecting vocaloids like Gumi or Gakupo, you may have to look elsewhere because they're not under Crypton Future Media. (Gumi will be having her own game in March though, so all hope is not lost)
If you're a fan of Project Diva and have been following the series of games for a while now, this game should feel both familiar and new at the same time.
The gameplay mechanics from the previous games are back with additional features. New notes called Star notes will appear instead of the standard notes and to clear them, you have to swipe the touch screen, once for each Star note.
Another new feature is the Technical Zone. If you clear the Technical Zone, you'll be rewarded with a huge point bonus. If you fail, however, you'll be deprived of the bonus. Here's the catch: the moment you make a single mistake in the Technical Zone, it will end immediately and count as a fail.
The difficulty of this game ranges from Easy to Extreme. The learning curve for this game is very well balanced and it keeps beginners and hardcore rhythm game enthusiasts such as myself entertained. If you feel that Easy is too easy for you, you can skip to a higher difficulty. Extreme mode, however, requires you to finish a song in Hard mode, but Hard mode itself is already quite challenging, and does a great job in getting me excited to play the Extreme mode.
Returning to Project Diva f is the PV Edit mode. This mode allows you to edit the PV of an existing song or your very own song from the MP3 folder in your Vita. This is one mode that requires a lot of patience as you're not only allowed to edit the PV, but also the notes itself. It's like creating a PV from a game developer's point of view, but of course with limited features.
I have to admit that the whole process is very tedious, but the end result can be rewarding.
Diva Room also returns with some new features added in. As usual, you can see your favourite vocaloids in their rooms minding their own business, but when you touch them (I mean tap them on the touch screen), you can engage in a "friendly" conversation" with them.
Here, you can either harass them and piss them off or pat them on the head and make them happy. After a few times of patting them, they'll ask you to play a minigame with them, and surprise surprise, it's a game of Janken-Pon (Rock Paper Scissors). This is where the Vita's capabilities can be used. You can either use the D-pad and the buttons or you can use the touch screen and the accelerometer to play the game. Whether you win or lose, the vocaloid becomes happier. It's a pretty pointless mingame, but still fun nonetheless.
A new feature is the AR (Augmented Reality) mode, where you can make Miku come to life with the AR Live marker provided (only useable for the AR Live mode). There are two more AR markers from the website itself, but as interesting as it sounds, there really isn't anything much about them. Despite the lack of variety, this feature is... unexplainably fun.
Unlike the past Project Diva games which recycles some songs from their predecessors, Project Diva f features an almost entirely new list of 33 songs (37 if you count the 4 to-be-released DLC songs).
Some of the popular songs include "Fire◎Flower" by halyosy, "World's End Dancehall" by wowaka, "FREELY TOMORROW" by Mitchie M and so on. Being a rhythm game, music (or rather audio in this case) is of utmost importance, and I personally feel that this game nailed it just about right.
There is also an option to turn on or off the button sounds during gameplay, and even though it's available right from the start, it's still a great option to have.
Project Diva f’s graphics is a vast improvement from its predecessors, partially because of the Vita's enhanced graphical capabilities. The 3D models don't look as blocky as they did in the previous games and there are more things going on in the background as well.
Another interesting addition I noticed was when you finish a song with a Great or higher, extra things would happen in the PV. For example, a normal Secret Police PV would just end with Miku (I'm talking about the default here) saluting, but finishing the song with a Great or higher will have a prison cage coming down and supposedly locking her in.
Logic wise, this is ridiculous, but it's these small details that bring the experience of the game to a whole new level.
Project Diva f is a game that I would recommend for both Vocaloid fans and rhythm gamers alike. It's got great visuals, great replay value, and not to mention great music.
Even if you've not heard of the songs featured, I guarantee that you will love them by the time you finish playing this game. Wait, let me correct that. There will NEVER be a time when you finish playing this game. That's how addictive it is.
Thanks for reading my review, and may you Get Inspired Now!