By Steve Baltimore / August 29th, 2016
|Title||Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X|
|Developer||Sega and Crypton Future Media|
|Release Date||August 30th, 2016|
|Platform||PlayStaiton 4, Vita|
It’s been a while since I had the pleasure of taking on a game in the long running Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series. Now that the release of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is upon us, I jumped at the chance to review it. This title promises a bit of story, which is vast departure from the rest of the franchise that focuses solely on the rhythm game. The big question is how did this turn out? Let’s find out!
The story follows Miku and the other Vocaloids as they have run into a big problem. They have lost their singing voices due to the five Song Clouds running out of song energy. It is up to you, the player, to help the crew refill the clouds with voltage and regain their former glory. If you are looking for a deep and engaging story line, you won’t find that here, but I did like that it gave you a bit of insight into the personality of each of the Vocaloids. Having this change a bit depending on which module / costume you have equipped is a very nice touch as well. I do wish they had changed up the event sequences when giving Vocaloids gifts up a bit, since these have been pretty much the same as far back as Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F
Graphically this title is gorgeous. I played the PlayStation 4 version for this review and it is by far the best looking title in the series. The Divas have never looked better and all of the costumes and accessories are highly detailed in glorious 1080P. The game runs at a solid 60FPS that never dips no matter how many notes are flying across the screen. I never thought I needed a 60FPS Project Diva title, but I stand corrected, as this was simply amazing.
The first big change you will notice is there is no in-game Diva Shop. Instead, now all modules, accessories and gift items are obtained by completing songs in Live Quest Mode. Modules are obtained from completing the “Chance Time” section of each song. Your Diva will transform into a new module upon hitting the big scratch note at the end. Best I can tell these are given out randomly, unless you’re doing an Event Request and one is specified as the reward. Accessories and gift items are given randomly at the end of each, but you get more and possibly better quality ones if you performed well. Certain modules can also increase your odds for a rare module and accessory drops, so you may want to keep that in mind as you grind for them later on.
The core gameplay is basically the same as other titles in the series. Notes fly across the screen from all different directions and you must hit them with good timing to score points. What is different however is the scoring. If you are playing in the Live Quest Mode the module and accessories you have equipped will play a huge role in helping you complete your song objectives. Since the Song Clouds have five different attributes, wearing a module of the same attribute will give you an aura bonus from the start. What this means is the notes you hit will score you more points from the get go. For example, if you’re doing a song in the cute cloud you will want to equip a costume with the cute attribute and accessories that match to get the biggest boost possible. The accessories can be a bit trickier to figure out, as certain sets may give you an even bigger bonus than just matching to the attribute of the cloud. If you put on a maid hat and use the wind up key for the back accessory you get a bonus called “Mecha-Maid”, so you will want to try a lot of combinations to see what gives you the best boost. Once you have completed a song in the Song Cloud you will be able to play it in Free Mode using the classic scoring system.
Each Song cloud will contain six tracks; five standard songs and one Ultimate Melody. There is plenty of variety to be found in the standard songs and I found the track selection very enjoyable overall. The Ultimate Melodies are songs that take bits from popular songs in the franchise history and remix them into one fantastic track. I really enjoyed these tracks since they gave me a feeling of nostalgia and hearing them them remixed was pure joy. Once you have initially refilled all of the five Song Clouds’ voltage that is when the game really opens up. Additional difficulties will open up in Live Quest Mode as well other song challenges. You will need to complete these in order to unlock all of the modules and obtain all the accessories the game has to offer. This is where using your modules and accessories effectively will really come into play. This also opens up a lot more of the Event Requests for you to test your skills with.
I really had a blast with Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X. The new play style makes this feel a lot more interactive and less like you are just playing a list of songs. I find this change welcome, but I still love the more classic setup of the older titles as well. The songs have great variety and the Ultimate Melodies are great. The silky smooth 60FPS gameplay and fantastic looking character models are just icing on this already delicious cake. The only issues I have with this one are that the random drops can make this more grindy than it should be. This can be really annoying if you’re trying to get a certain gift item or module. The other minor issue I have is when you obtain a new module it automatically equips it. This forces you to redo your setup after each song in the Song Cloud. This can be easily fixed by adding your current setup to your favorites from the menu, but it’s still annoying.
I played this one for around 20 hours and I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the unlockables that can be obtained. I could probably spend a ton of hours playing around with the new Concert Editor and messing around with Photo Mode as well. If you’re a fan of the series, this is a no brainier at the $49.99 price tag for the PlayStation 4 version or $39.99 for the Vita version. If you are looking for a good title to jump into the series with, I would recommend this one. While there is plenty of challenge to be had here fulfilling the Event Requests, the game steps you up gently and the Live Quest Mode scoring system is much more forgiving than the classic system.
Game provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Hatsune MikuProject DivaProject Diva XSega