By Steve Baltimore / December 19th, 2014
|Title||Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd|
|Developer||Crypton Future Media, Sega|
|Release Date||November 11, 2014|
|Platform||PlayStation 3, Vita|
|Age Rating||ESRB – Teen|
Being a long-time fan of the Project Diva series, I was pretty stoked when SEGA announced that Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd would be localized for the West. They followed this up by announcing for the first time they would be translating the song lyrics into full English, and this made me even more excited. Here is the big question: does it uphold the high standards set by the series? Let’s find out!
This is probably the best-looking title in the series so far. Miku and the other Vocaloids never looked so good! They are very detailed and look great on the Vita screen. The music videos themselves are very impressive, as well — lots of action going on in some songs with no slowdown or lag anywhere to be found. The concert effects are nicely done, as well. If you played the older entries in the series, you will really be able to tell a difference when one of the classic tracks come up.
You can tell lots of care was taken when selecting tracks. There are 40 tracks in total; 20 new tracks and 20 classic tracks. For most, these will all be new unless you have imported previous games in the series over the years. The new tracks, such as Clockwork Clown, Doubleganger and Decorator are fantastic and very fun to listen to. The classic tracks are some of the best the series has to offer. The World is Mine, Kokoro, Meltdown, and Cinderella and Romeo are just a few of these. You would be hard-pressed to find a better selection of tracks in any other game in the series.
The basic gameplay hasn’t changed a whole lot from Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F. You can refer back to that review if you need to know more about it. Now, for what is new, the Star Notes have changed a bit from the last time. There are now Linked Stars, which are Star Notes linked together with a line, and, when you hit the first one, it will travel the line to the next note and you have to hit it when it lines up. You have no idea how fast it will travel up the line after hitting the first note, so this requires some trial and error. There are also new Double Star Notes that you have to hit with two fingers or both analog sticks.
The biggest change in the Star Notes by far is now you have to hit them like you would any other note. Folks that have played the last game know that you could pretty much just rub the screen wildly during these sections and get at least a good rating on each note. That is not true this time around, and this decision was likely made since some complained these sections were easy in the last game, and only served to break the flow of the songs, but making them where you have to hit them more precisely has made a mess. Using the touchscreen or back touchpad on the Vita is out of the question now. It is not nearly responsive enough to hit all the notes, and, while using the analog sticks on the Vita helps, you can still not hit that many notes in some cases that fast and still be counted. I’ve tried this using both sticks as the manual recommends, and, while some may be able to do it, I’m still having trouble. Now, this is only an issue with certain songs when you get up on the hard difficulty setting, but the series has always been about practice and persistence. Neither of those help when the controls will simply not allow you to do what you need to.
The Diva Room is back, with most of the basic features being the same as the previous game. There are a couple of new things to talk about. This time around when you rub the diva’s head there is a little heart balloon in the top-right corner. You want to rub till this is full and then stop. If not it will burst, and the diva will become angry. It takes a lot to win them over when they get angry, I got to tell ya. Rin was mad at me for a while when I first started playing. Also, you can only give one present or do communication time a few times to build up your friendship with them before you have to play the rhythm game to let you do it again. Just like in the last game, building up your friendship with each diva will unlock stuff for the rooms and other goodies you can interact with.
You still unlock costumes, room items and other goodies by completing songs on the various difficulty levels or using a diva a certain number of times. This time around, they have added five or six challenges to each song to unlock certain items. Most of these are fairly simple and range from merely attempting the song on each difficulty level to completing the song using a certain challenge item. Not to worry, though, since you can complete the song on any difficulty level using the challenge item, so it’s not so bad. I really enjoyed this since I usually skip the easy difficulty altogether. This way I had a chance to check that out, as well as replay songs I normally wouldn’t have over again.
All things considered, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd is still one of the best games in the genre. It has has a lot of great tracks, lots of content for its $39.99 price tag and some great gameplay. I spent over 30 hours playing the game, and I love the fact that SEGA translated the lyrics this time around and that they added more calibration options. The cross saving feature is also very nice and a welcome addition. However, the changes made to Star Notes bog this experience down a bit from the previous games in the series. Still, if you’re looking for a solid rhythm game game with plenty of content on the go, you really cannot go wrong here.
Review Copy purchased by the reviewer
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd is available on Amazon:
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