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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva(初音ミク -Project DIVA-)

Hatsune Miku has obviously become much more than just a mascot character for Yamaha's Vocaloid voice synthesizer. While to an ignorant non-jhipster, Miku may be just yet another excuse to say Japan is weird in some lame news filler segment, it actually has made a huge impact on the indie music scene.

Combined with Niconico douga, Vocaloid has become a platform for producers (you know those funny usernames that end with "p") and singers to collaborate on songs without ever working directly together. The line between indie and pro has blurred as many composers and singers have worked their way into the commercial market, including for example, rhythm games like this one. Ryo and supercell are probably one of the most well known example of this kind of dynamic doujin/commercial music landscape and I sure hope you like Ryo, because like 5 of his songs are in this game. That and a whole bunch of OSTER project (LOL futanari).

When vocaloid producers go pro

So how is the first transition of Miku to the rhythm gaming genre? Honestly, pretty piss poor. While I have to give credit to Sega for figuring out how to license and commercialize doujin music, as a rhythm game, this is like the most basic of basic gameplay. Not only can you not use the arrow keys for anything, there are no long notes nor any type of key combination. It's just basically 4 buttons timed pretty much exactly to the lyrics.

I guess it may be a good introduction to the genre for newbs but otherwise, it's about the most simple rhythm game I've ever played. The production value on the visuals are pretty impressive though and if I were to see this in 2009, I probably would have been floored with the PSP (#BAE) graphics. However, in today's standards, it's you know, just standard PSP graphics and the frame rate gets a bit choppy when too much stuff is going on in the background.

Not exactly the best gameplay to put it mildly
As for the song list, I can't be too harsh on it given that there's a far smaller Miku library in 2009 compared to today but I guess if you like Ryo, then you can't go wrong with this game. Personally, I only liked a few jazzy tunes and Dear Cocoa Girls. The rest of the songs were honestly pretty meh.

Notice panchira is not blacked out in the good ol days unlike Miku VR (damn SJWs)

Technically, being able to change dynamic character models with modules was definitely new for a rhythm game. I did not unlock all the modules because the swimsuit ones are just pure grind but had fun unlocking the majority of them. The swimsuit ones are BS though because you have to play ALL songs and score Great or above for each character. I did it once for Miku and was pretty much done.

There's a couple other modes such as unlocking accessories for the Miku room but I didn't really see much point in it. You can also see an art gallery of all the Miku fan art used in loading screens and whatnot which I guess is cool for the fans. I mean, imagine if your fan art was picked up for a Miku game?

Note to self: don't quit day job to become home decorator
Score: 2... ok ok, +.5 moe bonus point cause Miku snow module is so damn cute (moeeeee) out of 5 (12 hours to beat)

I think the whole idea behind the game (by the fans etc.) is really cool given that a similar thing would be totally impossible in the US thanks to greedy record executives and their lawyer sharks. Yeah, the first game kinda sucks balls but it's still a good start to a long running series that gets much better later on. Miku is still as cute as ever too. Oh yeah, and there's NO AUTO SAVE!!! I lost my entire first session because I was too new school and didn't know I had to save my game manually.

Additional screenshots before they're confiscated by the SJW police in our future dystopia.

Gosh, cute ain't she?
No seriously, so cute!
So pure and innocent
Wait, why are the feds at my door?
No, you don't get it, it's MOE!
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely


  1. I have this but I never played it! It was actually my buddy's and he liked it fairly well. I'm glad the series has matured over the years. I still want to dig in to Diva F 2nd before I get Future Tone or whatever the new one is. I'm not a big Ryo fan, but Oster Project is pretty good.

    1. Heh, thanks for commenting. Yeah, I would have bought future tone by now if not digital. I'm still waiting for a sale. Not a big Ryo fan either. The first game's songs are not all that great overall but you gotta collect em all, am I right? :-p