SEGA are a company known for making some great games. Sure in recent time’s games like Sonic haven’t been as great as they once were, but due to a loyal fan base and people clinging on to the hope games like Sonic will come good again, they continue to sell. But what possessed them to create a vocaloid rhythm based game with Crypton Future Media based around a virtual singer is beyond me. That’s right a virtual singer which is created using vocaloids, singing synthesiser software, to create virtual pop stars. Now I’ll listen to all sorts of music from Frank Sinatra to Metallica and Deaf Havana to Andrea Bocelli, but I really don’t think I can handle a virtual Japanese pop star. I just don’t see how it can work. That said, it was only due to Hatsune Miku’s huge popularity that SEGA decided to announce that they were going to release the game in the west for PS3 and the PS Vita. So what has it got in store for gamers?
Well rhythm based games for me work on only a few levels; I mean you have games like Guitar Hero and Rocksmith where you play and sing along to the songs you pick, you also have games like Just Dance which works well with the Kinect, the Wii Controls or the Playstation Move where you are actually moving to the rhythm with your body. The other way it works is with dance mats that you can buy as an accessory for consoles or down in your local arcade on the old dance off machines, and this game for me belongs in an arcade. There is nothing fun about hitting buttons to a rhythm on a small mobile device; it’s not fun in the way you can pretend to play an instrument, and if you started dancing around with your PS Vita in your hand people would look at you and think you were probably dropped on your head as a baby.
That being said, the game is obviously targeted at a unique audience who actually have an interest in vocaloids and more precisely Hatsune Miku, so for them it will probably be quite pleasing with the amount of content the game has packed in it. There are 44 songs in total available for the game, a mixture of old and new and some that are obtainable only as DLC or in certain game modes, so there is a wide choice of tunes to pick from. There is also a useful video editor mode that allows you to create your own tracks and music videos which is quite easy to use, and there is the added bonus of being able to share your creations with other users across both platforms. There are also apparently some new features with the addition of a star symbol that requires you to scratch the touch screen on the Vita rather than pressing the normal X, O, , ∆ and also some old features like the DIVA Room that allow you to spend time and interact with Hatsune Miku herself.
The graphics again are something I’d expect to see in an arcade on a big screen with two dance floors in front of them. Although they are apparently improved on previous games, and I understand a vocaloid is meant to be an animated, virtual pop star I just can’t help but feel that other games that have an anime style to them look much better. I did like the design of how it told you what buttons to press though, with each symbol popping up with a countdown timer on so you knew when to hit it at the perfect moment to increase your scores and combo’s, rather than having to rely on aligning the chosen symbol up with an empty shell of the same shape. The only other noticeable thing about the graphics is when it comes to DIVA Mode and you can interact with Hatsune Miku and the environments around her, there is a lot of detail that went into some of the images, and almost everything can be interacted with.
Overall though this is a game that is for a very unique target audience who are a fan of vocaloids and don’t mind playing rhythm based games that only require you to tap buttons. I can only imagine it’d be better suited for an arcade on a caravan park or in a local bowling alley as the only way to really get fun out of a rhythm based game is by giving the gamer something to do other than bash buttons, or to give bashing those buttons a real purpose which this game failed to do in my eyes. That said the tunes themselves were catchy, it was just the voice that drove me insane and believe me the game only gets worse playing it on mute. The only other positive is that the game has a lot of content and a few different modes in the game to keep those who purchase Project Diva f entertained for a while. I just wouldn’t recommend it unless you were actually a fan of this kind of stuff.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.