By Richard Ross / June 9th, 2012
There seems to be an influx of rhythm games nowadays. From Theatrhythm to Rhythm Heaven, there’s definitely no shortage. But add Hatsune Miku to the mix and you’re talking about a whole different realm of fandom. Hatsune Miku, for those who don’t know, is a character born out of a vocaloid program that is extremely huge in Japan and has a cult following in other countries including North America. Project Diva is the rhythm game based on her, and it was at E3.
I’m not going to lie and say I’m a Hatsune Miku fan, I understand why people like her, but personally I’m not really a fan although I don’t hate her (if hating a made-up person is even possible). However, the game is enjoyable for even the most Mikuphobic person.
The game uses the Vita’s touch controls very minimally with only the star notes needing to be swiped on the screen. Every other note is represented by the corresponding button, a circle for the circle button and the triangle for the triangle button. Every now and then there will be an arrow and a color that represents the button which means you need to press both the arrow and the button at the same time (example, a green up arrow would mean you need to press up and triangle at the same time).
The difficulty of the game is challenging and fair, never have I felt like anything was out of place or cheap. Basically you tap to the rhythm of the game, which can be tricky when it comes to eighth notes and whole notes (when you need to hold down the button and release on time).
While I’m not too familiar with Hatsune Miku’s catalog of songs, I found the song I played to be rather catchy, which most certainly helps you get into the game more.
The game is not set for release in the United States at the moment, but if SEGA ever decides to release it overseas, I would definitely buy it. And if you are one of the many people who would also like to buy a localized version, I suggest you keep reading:
Want to see this game leave Japan?
By Steven Boaz, Editor
It would have been easy to miss the Project Diva game at E3 2012. The game was tucked away in the corner shoved aside by several other Vita titles in the Sony booth. While our primary intention in playing the game was to simply see what was so special about the title, the SEGA rep on hand had something far more interesting to say.
Apparently, SEGA America employees have been playing the game for some time now, and enjoy the Project Diva games, but because of the reception of similar titles in the past, they never managed to get past marketing and become a real localized title. However, as the Vita version of the game has given Hatsune Miku a complete graphical overhaul, SEGA employees figured now would be a great chance to give the vocaloid super star another chance.
The Vita demo on display was mostly localized into English, and while Richard was busy with his hands on with the game, we had a chance to talk a bit with a representative from SEGA regarding the demo version. Since I did not intend to go into this as an interview, but more or less initiate casual conversation, I’ll be paraphrasing what the rep had to say.
Unaware that the title was not confirmed for release outside of Japan, I started off the conversation by asking who the publisher would be in North America. The Sega rep replied that the game was not officially planned for localization and no announcements had been made, but rather, that they had the game on the show floor to gauge interest in the title. My next question was in regards to the response the game had seen so far. The rep said that a surprisingly good amount of people had stopped by the demo station, despite its relatively hidden location. When asked why past games in the Project Diva series were never localized, the representative stated that they receive many questions, comments, petitions, and requests for the games they publish in Japan, but when Sega listened in the past and ended up localizing the games, the people that asked for them never bought them. In essence, there was never really a 1:1 correlation between those interested in the game and sales numbers.
So why was Project Diva on the floor? To gauge interest. Miku is getting another chance, and Sega wants to know… do you want to see Miku overseas? Let them know if you do. Send a tweet to @SEGA expressing your interest in #ProjectDiva. Let them know that you heard about the demo on display at E3 and would like to know more about the game.
Finally, I asked about the 3DS version of the game, and whether Sega had thought about that particular version as well. The representative said that since the Vita version was a complete overhaul, it would be the best way to showcase the title to Western audiences, but if the title is given the green light and the Vita version is well received at retail, they could possibly look into releasing a 3DS version in the future. Again, none of this is confirmation that the title is definitely heading to Western shores, but for those looking forward to seeing the computerized pop-star outside of Japan; this is their ray of hope and their chance to let Sega know that they want the game.
E3Hatsune MikuProject DivaSegaVita