By: Uma Smith
The unexpected has happened to the PlayStation 3. Project Diva, a rhythm game that never left the Asian borders, has finally reached North America! If you’re a fan of Hatsune Miku, then this news should be equal parts unbelievable and delightful. Until very recently, only gamers in Japan and other parts of Asia were able to play alongside this beloved anime character on their PSPs, Nintendo 3DS and even the Vita. Well now, the wait is finally over as SEGA has introduced North Americans to the phenomenon with the release of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F. Are you ready to jam?
Typical of a rhythm game, you’ll be pressing buttons according to what you see on screen. Specifically, you’ll see a button that will move toward its matching marker. Depending on what type of notes you see, you’ll be tapping or holding down the button (if it’s an extended note involved). Additionally, there are other notes that will have you tapping the matching direction on the D-pad along with the face button simultaneously. Lastly, there are star notes that will have you swiping either analog stick.
The concept is simple enough to dive right in, especially with an effective tutorial included in the game. Nonetheless, the combination of notes appearing on screen makes for a challenging yet satisfying experience.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F’s gameplay is presented mainly via music videos. Right off the bat, the degree of quality and number of colors you see on screen is astonishing as well as outstanding. Each music video from the game offers a beautiful and uplifting experience with its unique theme. Everything from the background to character designs and animation appear to be out of this world.
With at least 30 tracks offered in Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F, you get a huge variety of music genres covered. However, considering that you get an artificial voice developed by a computer all throughout, some may find the way it sounds to be weird. For me, the voice is unique and welcoming, especially as a fan. Nevertheless, the songs aren’t typical of any rhythm game you’ve come across in North America.
Although you won’t be able to choose, there are six characters that’ll make appearances throughout the various songs you play. The experience one gets from Hatsune Miku can be as uplifting and enjoyable as those from other rhythm games. However, there’s a charm, mainly due to the cute and style-savvy characters including Hatsune Miku herself, which makes this PlayStation 3 title stand out from the rest.
Additionally, there are some subtle differences that make its gameplay that much more pleasant. There’s the inclusion of the “technical zones” that reward you with a multiplier bonus whenever you encounter a certain aspect of the song where you must receive a “Fine” or “Cool” rating. This feature makes the game livelier and dynamic to go through. But it also adds further challenge if you want to achieve a high enough feedback.
When it comes down to content, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F delivers in terms of both quantity as well as diversity. First, you get the Ranking and Awards, which obviously lets you view your progress under the Diva profile you create. There’s also the ability to enter into the game’s store where you can purchase outfits for each of the six characters. On top of that, you can purchase items that provide assistance if you happen to be struggling to get a high score.
There’s also the Diva Room where you can just observe Hatsune Miku as she does her own thing. You’ll also be able to add decorations to the room as well as accessories for Hatsune to wear on her hair, neck and face.
Finally, there’s the Edit Mode where you can customize and create your own music using the songs included. With the ability to share your work online, it not only adds replay value, but it also opens the door to bear witness to the level of creativity that other players have to offer. Thus, you get a community of fans that can relate to each other and exchange their art.
If you’re a fan of the genre, you can enjoy the wonderful graphics, superior music and straightforward yet challenging gameplay that Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F has to offer. So pump up the volume as you’ll be jammin’ away with Japan’s most stylin’ divas!