By Ryan Capak / August 31st, 2016
|Title||Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future Tone|
|Release Date||June 23, 2016|
Hatsune Miku – Project Diva Future Tone is a rhythm game starring Miku, Rin, Len, Luka, Kaito, and Meiko. But it’s mostly Miku, as the Project Diva games tend to do. Future Tone has one important factor, though. It’s a complete port of the arcade title, as in it has the entire Project Diva library, give or take a few songs. The song list for the full package weighs in at a rather hefty 216 tracks. Or, in more scientific terms, a metric shitload. I say “full package” because Future Tone is split into two separate games. People have the option of buying just the “Future Sound” pack, just the “Colorful Tone” pack, or both together. Now, the game is also digital download only, which makes it a bit hard for Non-Japanese players to get it, but I’ll go into that later.
Like every console Project Diva release, Future Tone makes several changes to the gameplay to keep things fresh. Thankfully every change is for the better. Hold notes work completely differently from how they did before. Now when a hold note comes up you have to continue hitting other notes while holding the button down. You’ll keep gaining bonus points so long as you hold the button down, up to a certain point. Of course this applies to linked notes as well, which in turn give you even larger bonuses. You won’t always get to hold the note for the max amount of time either, as pressing a note of the same type ends the bonus counter. Harder difficulties will have several hold notes coming at you in rapid succession, as well. It gets pretty hectic, but it’s always satisfying.
Flick notes basically don’t exist anymore, and thank god for that. Instead, Future Tone has… I don’t know the actual name, so I’ll call them “arrow notes.” While these arrow notes can be hit by flicking the sticks, that’s stupid and why would you ever use the sticks? You’re given the much better option of using L1 and R1 to hit them, based on which way they’re pointing. Left arrow is L1 and vice versa. You could also slide your thumb on the controller’s touchpad but that’s still way less efficient than using L1/R1. These notes are far less common than flick notes ever were, as well. Songs that have them even have a little symbol to let you know and be ready for them.
Future Tone isn’t just a major upgrade mechanically either, as the visuals and customization are pretty stellar. While visuals aren’t exactly important for a rhythm game, it’s still nice. The PVs for every track look great, and the game itself runs at 60fps without any hiccups. More important than the quality of the PVs, however, is what you can do with the models in them. Every costume (referred to in-game as “modules”) you can possibly imagine is in Future Tone. Modules, and all of the various accessories, are purchased with points you get for clearing songs. Every song in the game has a default setup for modules that you can edit at your leisure. Want to give yourself nightmares by having extreme close-ups of a Mikudayo mask every time you play “Rolling Girl”? Future Tone has you covered.
On top of the default setup for each song, you can also create 3 unique setups to use on whatever songs you please. So if you want every PV to star the inarguable best module Future Style Rin you can totally do that, matching vocals be damned. On top of the modules themselves, there are the accessories I mentioned earlier. They’re your typical stuff; glasses, anime sweat drops, tiny Mikudayo figures that sit on the models head, etc. Beyond even that, you can mix and match hairstyles between modules.
Sound design isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about what makes a rhythm game good. As long as the music is good that pretty much covers it, right? Well, yeah kinda. But there is one sound effect in this game that made me think otherwise. The arrow notes I mentioned earlier have hold variants that function the way hold notes did in previous Project Diva games. The sound effect for these notes is incredible. I love it. I prioritized playing songs with these notes just because of the sound effect.
The only negative aspect of Future Tone I can even think of is that it’s a huge pain to obtain if you’re not in Japan. Being digital download only axes any chances of importing it. So, we only have one option. Create a Japanese PSN account, buy PSN codes off of second-hand retailers like Play-Asia, and use that. The full package costs a lot because of this, as your only option is to get the 10,000 yen card for just over $100 US, and the full game costs 7,800 yen. Is the price worth it? Absolutely 100% without question yes. It’s over 200 songs and insane amounts of aesthetic content. However if it is too pricey, you can always only buy one of the packs for 3,900 yen. I’ve sunk nearly 30 hours into it and haven’t even played half the songs. So yeah, it’s worth the money and effort.
Game purchased by author
Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future TonePS4Rhythm GameSega