Written by Twisted Ideas
So far two Hatsune Miku game to be localized outside of Japan and they have been helping diversify and revitalize the rhythm game genre. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX is the newest title to be localized and will have a new look and gameplay from its PlayStation titles. Do these changes mean that the game won’t be as good as Project DIVA?
Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
Developer: Sega, Crypton Future Media
What is it?
Hatsune Miku is a popular character in a line of voice synthesizer programs called Vocaloid. Due to its popularity there has been a series of games created based off of the songs and music videos created by fans. The latest Hatsune Miku game localized is Project Mirai DX, featuring chibi versions of the main Vocaloids.
How does it play?
The core of Project Mirai is the rhythm game. There are 48 songs that can be played in touch or button mode in three different difficulties. Each control mode separates your score and awards earned. Songs has you follow a track of notes which you need to hit in the timing of the music and you’ll be graded for each note which influences your score. Touch mode had you tap, swipe, hold and spin on the touch screen. There are up to three colored notes you can hit and are in fixed spots on the touch screen. Button mode uses the face buttons on the 3DS and occasionally the D-Pad. You fail songs by missing enough notes to drain you health but it’s regained by successfully hitting notes.
Sections of each song has SP sections. The track turns gold and if you hit every note then you get extra MP (money) at the end of a song. Occasionally some hold notes will have a rainbow across itself. If you spin the stylus or roll the D-pad or circle pad you will get extra MP too.
Outside of the rhythm game is My Room where you can play with the six Vocaloids. You can buy them food or clothes and furniture for their room. You can also give them allowance so they can buy their own stuff. You can play various minigames with them for extra MP. There isn’t an Edit Mode from Project DIVA so you can create tracks for songs but you can create tunes and dance performances as well as take pictures. You can send tunes and dances to players via Street Pass.
How does it look?
The 3DS isn’t a graphical powerhouse so the decision to use chibi versions of the Vocaloids is smart. The cutesy look is probably more appealing for a 3DS audience who are unfamiliar with Hatsune Miku.
The default costumes for each song are unlocked by default. You still have to buy the costume if you want to dress up the Vocaloid in My Room or use a costume in a different song. Apparently the music videos were redone from the Japanese version and made in real-time. The videos are very creative and seeing the dance routines done by the chibi Vocaloids is adorable.
How does it sound?
The sound quality of the 3DS isn’t at the level of the PlayStation 3 and VITA but it’s quite good regardless. My main issue with the audio (something fixable in the options) is the volume of the chimes. By default, every time you hit a not a loud chime occurs that overwhelms the sound of the music. Also, every 100 notes in a combo, Miku congratulates you. Both of these are very distracting when you’re trying to focus on the song.
The soundtrack features 48 songs and overall is a better soundtrack than Project DIVA F 2nd’s soundtrack. There are a few songs that come from the both localized Project DIVA’s but they are good songs so I’m not too bothered. The soundtrack is mostly filled with Miku songs but a few songs lets you change the singer after you beat it on every difficulty.
You can use the 3DS’ mic to choose songs as well as talk to your Vocaloid. You’re never told what phrases you can say though.
What do I think?
I’m always a fan of new rhythm games, especially quirky ones. Project Mirai DX is fun, controls well and the soundtrack and chibi visuals are great. Project Mirai controls similarly to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call and the track is reminiscent of Guitaroo Man. There’s a fair amount of replayability as the touch controls and button controls are considered different in terms of recording awards.
The My Room is needless like the DIVA Room was but it has a couple of fun distractions. You can’t play users songs but the creative type can still have fun creating their own tunes and dances. The editor for both is simple and you can make something quickly and easily.
Project Mirai isn’t the most difficult rhythm game. The touch mode is quite easy even on their hardiest difficulties and songs. The timing feels more lenient than button mode and you only have to worry about three colors instead of four face buttons. The button mode on the other hand can be challenging. Only a handful of songs may stump you but the real difficulty comes from trying to get a good grade. Project DIVA is harder because it the tracks are physically harder and you had to hit certain percentage of notes in order to complete a song. Oddly there is an extreme difficulty but only for six songs.
Should you get it?
Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai is a rhythm game filled with anime music from several genres. If you’re a fan of anime music to any extent and a fan of rhythm game then try to find this game. The soundtrack is great and since more people own a 3DS than a PlayStation VITA, you’re more likely to have a great rhythm game on the go. This isn’t the most difficult rhythm game out but it’s very cute and is fun regardless; Plus there is gameplay outside of playing the songs if you need a break.