Forgot password?  |  Register  |    
User Name:     Password:    
Blog - General Entry   

Can Hatsune Miku Sing Her Way into Your Heart?

On 03/08/2013 at 04:39 PM by chocobot

See More From This User »

Hatsune Miku fans everywhere have had a reason to rejoice with the recent release of Project Diva f for Playstation 3. But now is the time for even more excitement as Sega has surpisingly shown an interest in expanding the fanbase even wider with a possible western debut. Vocaloid enthusiasts are ready to unite and show their love on the Facebook page where Sega is gauging interest for this potential release. For those not familar with the virtual pop idols, don't ignore this just yet! I'm here to convince you that this rhythm game series may be just for you.

How could you resist that face?

But wait, who is this Hatsune Miku character and what is a Vocaloid? Well to quickly summarize, Vocaloid is a voice synthesizing software developed by Yamaha. This has introduced an innovative opportunity for musicians and song writers, giving them the ability to add a voice to their music without needing an actual singer. This technology has been embraced in Japan with the help of super cute and instantly lovable anime characters representing each different voice of Vocaloid. Of course, the true appeal of Vocaloid is the hundreds of songs and music videos that populate Youtube and NicoNico have been created by a huge variety of different artists despite featuring the same animated pop stars. Because of this there is no lack of creativity and there's a little something for everyone.

Now that you have been somewhat educated on Vocaloid I will be talking about my experience with Project Diva f for Vita. It's nearly identical to the PS3 release with the exception of lacking the six new playable tracks and unlockable costumes. Even with my measly 32 songs I have been playing PDf since its release last year in August and still can't seem to break myself away from it. Maybe I am too deeply captivated by the adorableness of Hatsune Miku and need professional help. Or it could just be that this game is too much fun. The Project Diva series isn't only successful because of its cast of characters and fan service. This is a truly solid rhythm game that is nearly impossible not to become addicted to. Luckily Project Diva f polishes the usual formula and delivers in bringing the best button tapping experience yet.

This tends to happen when you're sucked into the world of Vocaloid.

Gameplay is simple and very self explanatory. Button commands will zoom across any direction of the screen and it's your job to press those buttons on time along with the tempo of the music. It's one of those games that anyone can pick up an play and is instantly accessible. Don't get the idea that this will be too easy though, the unlockable Hard and Extreme modes will be quite the workout for your thumbs and I admit that I can only successfuly clear a handful of songs on the latter difficulty. I also commend anyone who has not been distracted by the wonderfully animated music videos, which are always beautiful and colorful, and sometimes a little bizarre. Each song is successfully brought to life with the help of these amusing PVs. 

The Dreamcast lives on in Project Diva.

While mastering the tougher difficulties adds some replayability, what really gives a rhythm game unlimited appeal is the music selection. I can say with confidence that Project Diva f delivers in this area with flying colors. While there are fewer instantly recognizable hits as there were in past Project Diva entries, none of these songs are recycled from the other games and I feel this is the best setlist as a whole. There's a great variety ranging from the quirky Remote Control to the rocking Unhappy Refrain and electronic pop beats of Weekender Girl. I had actually never heard of any of these songs before Project Diva f but quickly bought them all from iTunes after enjoying them that much. Honestly, there are very few songs that I have no desire to go back and play (I'm looking at you, horrible nyan cat song).

It's okay, Miku. We've all had those rough nights we regret the next morning.

Other than the awesome rhythm game there are quite a few extra features such as unlockable costumes earned from in-game currency called Diva Points and even an edit mode in which you can meticulously choreograph your own music videos. There's also the inclusion of the rather odd Diva Room where the only goal is to interact with and befriend the Vocaloids. You can buy them gifts and unlock events if they love what you chose for them and they'll beg to play some rock paper scissors (just don't play with Kaito, I'm fairly certain he cheats). Then you can just watch them sit around and sleep or gain their approval by rubbing their heads. I find this addition a little strange but I suppose there are people out there who enjoy keeping anime characters as their virtual pets. I confess that unlocking new furniture and having the freedom to decorate their rooms however I see fit is atleast a little entertaining.

Basically, I REALLY love this game. I never see myself growing tired of it and I think if more people gave it a try it would be widely accepted for its charm and simple fun. So if rhythm games, quirky japanese music and cute virtual divas shaking their behinds captures your interest, head over to the Sega Facebook page and show your support. And if it turns out that Sega is just a huge tease or not enough people show interest in this title there's nothing but a higher price to keep you from importing Project Diva f. There is no language barrier to worry about since this is a rhythm game that requires no reading and the only struggle will be initially fumbling through the main menu (with the exception of edit mode, that would be quite an adventure with no Japanese knowledge). For now, let's keep our fingers crossed for a much more convenient and inexpensive western release!



Matt Snee Staff Writer

03/08/2013 at 05:07 PM

I do like rhythm games that AREN'T Guitar Hero or Rock Band.  Anyway, you get points just for use of the word "vocaloid."  Those are nuts, and I almost bought software to do it myself. 


03/09/2013 at 01:50 AM

The whole concept of vocaloid really fascinates me. If you like rhythm games maybe you can give this one a try :P and ha, I loved me some guitar hero back when it was cool.


03/08/2013 at 09:23 PM

I think it's time for Sega to start pushing this property in the West.  It's been rather popular in Japan for a while now, and there's a good chance the same thing could happen over here.  Sega has a number of versions they could market and release over here (especially the iOS version), and it would silly for them not to try it.


03/09/2013 at 01:54 AM

Well Hatsune Miku already has quite a following outside of Japan so the franchise would certainly have its niche here. I'm not sure how much they need to sell but at the very least I could see them just selling it as a downloadable game. I'm really hoping Sega atleast tries. 

Cary Woodham

03/08/2013 at 09:37 PM

I played this game at E3 last year.  I also have an import Taiko no Tatsujin game that has Hatsune Miku songs on it.  The voice is a little weird, but I like her blue hair.


03/09/2013 at 01:56 AM

Her voice does take some getting used to and I wasn't instantly a fan. Now I'm addicted to everything Hatsune Miku these days though! I also love her blue hair :P

Kayshire Cat

03/09/2013 at 12:09 AM

I've always wanted to play these games but never got around to importing them cause importing usually costs money i dont have XD. I really love the Vocaloids my favorite songs are the Yuyoyuppe tracks though I do like a lot of the other ones too.


03/09/2013 at 01:59 AM

Yes importing is so expensive, I don't even want to talk about how much money I've spent on this franchise and anything Hatsune Miku related haha.. That's why I'd love to see PDf come here, and I'd also finally be able to purchase DLC for it. Buying JP PSN cards is where I draw the line apparently.


03/11/2013 at 03:26 PM

I have a guilty confession. Yes, I have enjoyed watching some vocaloid/Project Diva videos on youtube! Not in the creepy "These little anime gurlz are hawt" kind of way. More of the "Awww they're so cute and this is a catchy beat!" kind of way.

Someone who was a close enough friend could probably guilt-trip me into playing one of these games. Of course they would snap multiple incriminating pictures to hold over my head later! (I also like the cartoon Power-puff girls. Let's keep these dark secrets between us!)


03/11/2013 at 03:40 PM

Haha, see Ben, you understand what moe really is! It's not wanting get into the cute little anime girls pantsu, they're just so adorable you want to hug them and go "awwww".

And it's okay, there's no shame in liking cute things like Powerpuff Girls and Hatsune Miku. Silly gender expectations! Reminds me of the days I was shunned for liking Beast Wars back in elementary school. But no worries, I don't think you're any less manly :P


03/11/2013 at 11:38 PM

I'll have to check out the vocaloid videos on You Tube. They sound very interesting to me. And I do like cute anime girls. Well,within reason. You are right about that. Nothing wrong with men liking them.  Just that some men can get obsessive about such things. Like bronies! I don't get that sort of fandom,probably never will. As for Japenese import games? People should really give them a chance. Very fun and innovative gameplay and great music.


03/14/2013 at 03:09 PM

Yeah I don't understand the whole brony thing. It seems like something guys were doing to try to be different and funny but its not so unique anymore. I could be wrong about that but whatevs. But anyway, I hope you found some interesting vocaloid songs and videos on YouTube, I know I was really addicted for awhile. 


03/16/2013 at 01:26 AM

I did! Amazing how any topic or thing in the world can be found on YouTube. Never ending source of amazement. Scary thing about bronies is how serious they are. Like it's almost their religion or something.  It's like they have tunnel vision.

Log in to your PixlBit account in the bar above or join the site to leave a comment.