Review: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X (PlayStation Vita)

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation Vita 5,719 views 8 likes 29 comments
Reviewed by Krista Noren, posted Aug 26, 2016
Aug 26, 2016
  • Release Date (NA): August 30, 2016
  • Release Date (EU): August 30, 2016
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Developer: SEGA
  • Genres: Rhythm
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
  • Also For: PlayStation 4
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Hatsune Miku and co. make the jump to PS4 for the first time, and to the Vita once more. Let's check out SEGA's latest vocaloid rhythm game!
Krista Noren

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SEGA’s iconic vocaloid rhythm series is back with a new title, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X. Diva X is the first game in the franchise to release on the Playstation 4, and eighth entry in the Project Diva series.

For those returning to the series, not much has changed in terms of gameplay. When you start a song, black and white symbols matching the PlayStation’s face buttons will appear on screen, while colorized symbols will float in from offscreen. The player’s job is to match these buttons as they overlap to the beat of the music. There are five different ratings you can get on each note; Cool, Good, Safe, Bad, and Miss, depending on how well you timed the button press. It’s the perfect example of easy to learn, difficult to master. The game starts out deceptively simple, but as you go up in difficulty, the game becomes a frantic rainbow juggle of trying to keep track of all the notes as they zoom by while trying to press the right buttons at the right times. Playing a track a few times over in order hit all the notes feels like an absolute blast, and is very satisfying.

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New to Diva X are “rush notes”, where you quickly mash the button on a single note to get lots of points. These rush notes take the place of the now removed double and link star notes from previous entry, Diva F2nd. Pressing a button in rapid succession and having to immediately jump back to playing regular notes afterwards can often get a little awkward, and it’s easy to get thrown off of the whole rhythm. They don’t really add anything of substance to the gameplay formula, either.

The game also offers a little “story mode”, in the form of “cloud requests”. In these cloud requests, it’s up to you to help Hatsune Miku and her friends bring vitality back to five worlds, each based on a different genre of music. These five zones consist of Cool, Cute, Elegant, Classic, and Quirky and contain songs corresponding to their respective genre. As you successfully complete songs in each “cloud”, short cutscenes will play out between the lead singers as they congratulate everyone on a job well done. It’s utterly cheesy, but cute at the same time.


In order to beat the songs in story mode, you must not only play the song with minimal mistakes, but you also have to max out a “voltage meter” in the corner of the screen. How does one do that? By dressing up stylishly, of course! As you replay songs in story mode, you will receive modules and accessories that you can equip to each of the game’s six main singers. Every item is defined by the same categories as the music, so if Hatsune Miku wears an elegant outfit while singing an elegant song, the voltage meter will have a multiplier added to it, making it raise much faster than if you had nothing equipped. There are over 300 different accessories and modules to unlock, and all of them have passive abilities, so there’s a massive amount of creativity and enjoyment to be had from customizing the perfect outfit for each vocaloid.

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You can also obtain "gifts" from playing songs in cloud request mode. These gift items range from foods, to musical instruments, to random pieces of furniture that you can give to the vocaloids to raise their friendship levels with the player. All of them have specific tastes, so you have to figure out which character likes what item the most, and give it to the right person. Some of the gifted items will appear on the main menu screen, and you can customize that, too. It's an interesting little feature, but it can be a bit time consuming to raise the friendship levels, for little more than a PSN trophy.

There is, of course, a standard “free play” option as well, where you can customize the singers and stage to your heart’s content. The only caveat is that you must complete the song in story mode before you can select it in free play. In this mode, there is no voltage meter, and you are instead graded purely on how accurate your timing is. Diva X offers 24 different songs and 6 medleys to choose from, as well as 4 difficulty levels, ranging from easy, normal, hard and extreme.

Another new change present in this game, is that instead of focusing on wacky music videos where the singers act out crazy stories like in past titles, Diva X opts to focus more on the choreography of the vocaloids moving to the music. Sometimes, there’s just too much movement going on onscreen, making it almost impossible to see where the notes are because of rapidly flashing lights and the camera zooming in and out, which leaves an odd sense of vertigo.

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A few notable features worth bringing up is that the game supports cross-saves between the PS4 and Vita versions, as well as offers support for the Playstation TV. Any and all DLC is cross-buy, though the initial game is not.

Though there are a few less songs than most previous entries in the series, and a few steps backwards have been taken in terms of gameplay, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is a fun, addictive rhythm game that offers a ton of customization, and is more than worth your time.

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Verdict
Pros
+ Fantastic gameplay
+ Immense amount of things to unlock and customize
Cons
- Raising character affection levels is often incredibly tedious
- Sometimes there's just too much action on screen
6 Presentation
While the modules and accessories have nicely rendered models, the characters themselves animate a bit awkwardly at times. Not to mention that the flashy visuals sometimes detract from the ability to play the songs, just because of how busy it all looks.
8 Gameplay
The gameplay, as usual, is fluid and fun. With 4 difficulty levels, there's a lot of fun to be had from mastering the game's mechanics, and getting down note presses perfectly.
7 Lasting Appeal
Completing the initial "story mode" should take no more than 5 hours. Of course, the main appeal to rhythm games is replaying songs in order to perfect them, so with a 24 track list, players will have a good amount of songs to continually work through. There's also extra things to do, such as maxing out the friend meter with the singers, and getting all the accessories and modules.
8
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
All in all, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is a little bit of a downgrade from past Diva titles, but the core gameplay is still as great as ever. If you’re a fan of rhythm games, definitely give this a go
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