Also on: Playstation 4
I’ll be completely blunt here: This is my first time ever obtaining a game in the Hatsune Miku series. I’ve been interested in checking out the series since the North American release of Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX. However, now that this new installment for the Vita has come around I figured I could start here instead. As a result of my newbie status, this review may not quite be helpful to those more familiar with the series than I am. I will at least say that those who are into rhythm games at all should still listen up.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is essentially the latest installment in a music game series centered around an adorable digital girl that goes by…Hatsune Miku. The game starts out a bit visually lonely; the first song or two just features Miku onscreen with nobody else or any special visual flair. Fortunately, when other stages and characters come into the mix things become a lot more lively and filled with eye candy.
There is a great amount of energy as a whole. Miku and co. are graciously choreographed, the camera angles are dynamic and plentiful, and the backgrounds swarm with a sense of motion and creativity. The game itself is practically dancing to the music! It even provides subtitled translations of its purely Japanese score during gameplay. It’s just too bad the player will be too busy trying to hit the notes properly to notice many of the little details that play out!
While the only way to understand the music is if you know Japanese or can read the lyrics while playing, the songs are still pretty darn fun to listen to. People often say a rhythm game is only as good as its music, and Project Diva X is no exception to the rule. With over thirty upbeat (even when there’s emotional meaning mixed in the lyrics) and catchy tracks to play through there’s quite a lot of content to be found here.
Project Diva X tries to be a little more than a rhythm game by featuring some story and allowing the player to accessorize the room Miku stands around in between song sessions. Honestly, I never really found any significance in these parts (which is why I didn’t put a Story category for the review). The characters are pretty one-note in terms of established personality, rendering dialogue to be rather tedious. The other features, like giving a singer a gift or decorating the room, just don’t seem to do anything. They’re just there. I suppose the outfits for the singers could be up to personal taste and such, but there’s nothing outside the song choices that impacts the actual gameplay.
Since this is a rhythm game first and foremost, though, what I’ve said didn’t really impact my enjoyment with Project Diva X as a whole. The gameplay itself is purely addictive! It’s like a combination of Rock Band: Unplugged‘s general mechanics with the style and substance of Elite Beat Agents. Considering the Japanese melodies are sure to stick inside the player’s head, Project Diva X is sure to engage with its robust play. It may mechanically follow along the traditional rules of rhythm games in which you press designated buttons at the right timings, but the way it’s done here is nevertheless wholeheartedly entertaining! It also provides a fair, but tense challenge (and Hard mode is sure to further hammer that part down) as players pay careful attention hitting notes as they swiftly make their way across the screen – wherever side they may spawn from – to score high enough to progress in the game.
Overall, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X has won me over as a new player. I’m now looking forward to seeing where the series goes from this point! If they’re going to be doing more of those other features, I hope SEGA/Crypton Future Media figures out how to integrate them more properly with the rest of the game. I would also be just fine with them taking those things out entirely. Whatever the case may be, I’m sure to have a great time with any new soundtrack selections that may pave their way over to future installments!