Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F Review
It's crazy and fun, which are about the only and best things you can say about a rhythm game; The variety of songs is nice
It can become monotonous quickly, Star notes are a bad addition, Backgrounds can sometimes get in the way of playing, No English subtitles
I honestly didn’t know what to expect going intoÂ Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F. I knew it was a rhythm game, and I figured it was from Japan because of its title, but I had no idea if I’d be able to understand or even play it. I also assumed I would hate it. Well, I was right about not understanding it as I still don’t, but shame on me for jumping to conclusions otherwise.Â Project DIVA FÂ is pretty fun.
In the world of theÂ Hatsune MikuÂ games Hatsune Miku is the world’s biggest pop star. In reality, she’s completely made up. She’s actually a vocaloid (a singing voice synthesizer), so her voice isn’t even a real person’s voice. However, in the game, she and her friends just like making music and having fun. They want you to join them!
Project DIVA FÂ is just about the same as any other rhythm game. Buttons appear and you press them. Sometimes you have to hold down a button for a few seconds. Sometimes you’ll have to flick the analogue sticks to hit “Star notes” as the game refers to them. That’s about it.
The fun starts once you get a grip on it all.Â Project DIVA FÂ is not an easy game. Even on the easiest difficulty some of the button prompts still appear pretty damn quickly. I was actually foolish enough to attempt a song on the hardest difficulty in my early hours with the game and realized my mistake quickly.Â Project DIVA FÂ is all about practice, practice, practice. I eventually started hitting notes all over the place, and it felt great.
Graphics & Sound
The art style inÂ Project DIVA FÂ is simple and clean. The visuals are very cartoon-y and PS2-ish, and they fit the game nicely. Most of the time they’re barely even noticeable. Who really cares about the graphics in a rhythm game anyhow? Worrying about them is like worrying about a dusty shelf when an asteroid is about to hit Earth.
But how’s the music, you ask? This is a game centered around music, after all. Well…it’s very Japanese, and it’s very strange. I really enjoyed it. I found myself tapping my feet at times or shaking my head at the absurdity of it all. A lot of the songs inÂ Project DIVA FÂ just plain rock (my favorite is “Secret Police”, which I’ve posted the video for below). Some songs are dark, and some are sweet. There’s even a song about a computer that wants to be a cat. It’s a nice mixture of craziness and playfulness, and every song is worth experiencing at least once.
Each diva in the game has a room. Players can visit their rooms in a mode called, fittingly, DIVA Room. Players can interact with different characters in this mode by giving them presents, playing rock-paper-scissors and even touching them (don’t ask). The whole point of DIVA Room is to increase the levels of the characters, which allows the player to become better friends with them. It’s pretty useless, but at least it’s optional.
The other main mode inÂ Project DIVA F, Edit Mode, offers players the chance to create their own music videos. It truly does offer players complete freedom, and as such it’s very, very complex. It could take a person hours to create a video inÂ Project DIVA F. Edit Mode leaves everythingâ€”everythingâ€”to the player’s imagination. Kudos to the developers for including it.
Also, a whole bevy of unlockables exists inÂ Project DIVA F. Characters, gifts and objects for the rooms in DIVA Room are available for purchase with the game’s currency. Performing well on a song on a certain difficulty unlocks new stuff. There’s plenty to discover, which gives the game a significant amount of replay value. Good luck getting everything, though.
As with any rhythm game, a sense of boredom can easily creep in from time to time while playingÂ Project DIVA F. The game features a wide selection of songs, but all that button mashing can get a little tedious. Not helping matters are the Star notes, which really break up the flow of the other notes and feel completely out of place. Every time I saw a Star note my heart dropped a little.The Star notes are worth going for as they can lead to a completely different grade on a song, but they’re still annoying.
Sometimes the backgrounds of a few music videos can be a little too flashy or whatever, which can lead to confusion and a few accidental missed notes. When the game decides to go all OUTER SPACE SHOOTY POW POW it can be a bit disorienting. Also, I don’t understand the complete lack of English subtitles. I mean, thank God nobody decided to dub English over the top of the music, but is wanting to know what the songs are about really that big of an issue?
I feel like such a jaded idiot. I judgedÂ Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA FÂ by its cover, and I really shouldn’t have. It’s not revolutionary or anything, but it is a good time. The nextÂ Hatsune MikuÂ game is set to release next spring. I’ll be playing and most certainly enjoying it as well.