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Hatstune Miku is an international celebrity who has crossed over from her original debut in Japan to countries all around the globe. Her widespread popularity as a virtual idol and digital diva has led to her publicized appearances from Toyota and food-based commercials to performing live in concerts. Following the success of Project DIVA F and Project DIVA F 2nd, the third time is the charm as Miku makes her return in Project DIVA X on the PlayStation 4 and Vita. 

Project DIVA X is a rhythm game starring Hatsune Miku and her Vocaloid friends: Megurine Luka, Rin & Len, Meiko and Kaito. The gameplay is very similar to that of Project DIVA F with the inclusion of the new Cloud requests. You are brought closer to the Vocaloid cast through lively interactions as you explore five unique clouds: Classic, Cool, Elegant, Cute and Quirky. You guide Miku and the other Vocaloids by filling up the prisms from each cloud with Voltage earned from successful performances that unlocks other songs, stages, modules and accessories. In simple terms, Voltage is the power of music that flows from the digital clouds. Miku and her friends have lost their ability to sing and look to you for aid as you learn about their unique personalities. Accessories emit a distinct aura that may increase your Voltage rate if aligned properly with the corresponding song. Modules are customized costume designs that are individually crafted for each Vocaloid to bring out their unique charm during live performances. Experimenting via trial and error can lead to many interesting bonuses, through multiple combinations and links between modules, auras and accessories.

As you meet specific criteria in completing cloud requests, event requests are unlocked and received throughout the game. Event requests are highly dependent upon your progress that brings you closer to Miku and the other Vocaloids. The biggest requests take the form of Music Festivals that permits you to choose your most favoured songs to fit the top three billing. Playlists are created by choosing three songs with the third song offering a module drop based on the aura, skills and transformation effects. You can enlist up to three Vocaloids to perform in a variety of concert halls. The three songs are performed in succession that puts you in the coveted role of a producer as the Vocaloids dance and sing to the enormous delight of large audiences. Voltage that is earned automatically carries over giving you the opportunity to earn substantially increased energy levels. Chance Time in songs allows players to complete to test their skills by completing a short sequence to unlock a new character outfit. These occur halfway during the song as you may even find yourself unlocking a rare module for your favourite Vocaloid on stage.

There are many stages in Project DIVA X that are uniquely designed to match and correspond with particular songs to bring them to life. Adding the modules and accessories on top of that, you can give stellar performances to your heart’s content. Stages include but are not limited to: Twilight Shrine, Secret Base, Sweet Dreams, Music Dawn, Lilies and Shadows, Techno Club, Autumn Sakura, Digital Concert, Park of Promises, Ninja Village, Deep Sea, Capsule Room, Sky Garden, Halloween Party and more. Music festivals scheduled through Event requests will draw large audiences to one of six concert halls: Ultimate, Elegant, Cute, Cool, First and Quirky. You can also test your producing skills with the Concert Editor mode to customize and create your perfect concert with track edits, lighting effects, camera angles, timeline signals and One-Shot effects. Regarding the PlayStation Vita version, you need to download the Concert Editor Pack from the PSN store to activate and use this mode.

An abundance of downloadable content is available for purchase with two song tracks: Sharing the World and Hand in Hand accessible at launch. For a short time, the Snow Miku 2010-2015 pack is available for free for Miku fans worldwide. The Persona Dancing All Night to Racing Miku is slated for release in September with cross buy DLC items like extra character super packs, snow and racing miku and the adorable Mikudayo-san as an extra module. Aside from the paid DLC, giving gifts to your favourite Vocaloids may unlock exclusive cutscenes and events of them using it to the delight of fans who pride themselves in thoughtful gift giving and generosity. Vocaloids can react from a lukewarm reception to overwhelming enthusiasm. Different reactions for different auras occur when you poke your favourite Vocaloid to evoke a variety of emotional responses.

Despite the limited library of songs, Project DIVA X is a solid improvement over its Project DIVA F predecessors. The Vocaloid cast has returned and with the inclusion of modules, accessories and the concert editor, the game is the most enjoyable game to date in the Project DIVA series. Vocaloid fans will no doubt love Project DIVA X for its more interactive and engaging gameplay. Although the game has its minor quirks and issues, it’s an excellent music rhythm game to sing and dance along to as the Vocaloid community awaits the future release of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone.

Second Thoughts (Misya Danielle):

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X is a must have addition to your game collection if you enjoy all things Vocaloid. Unfortunately, those who enjoyed the previous two titles primarily for their great selection of songs might not enjoy Project Diva X as much unless you are willing to trade the quality of the songs for a bit more of a story and more character interaction. The story fits the Vocaloid universe fairly well despite a few weaknesses in storytelling. Although it exceeds that of any other rhythm game don’t expect the story to be the quality of what you would get from role playing games or you might become disappointed. The game does of course have other positive points that become noticeable as soon as you start the game. Upon starting the game Miku will introduce herself and later the others. During the character introductions the characters are far more interactive and seem to communicate with the player on a more personal level. The story and character interactions are the game’s highlights.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X also features it’s own unique set of costumes which will actually play a very important role in the game’s story mode. You will have to match the outfits of your characters to the mood of the songs. It can be fun if you enjoy mixing and matching your character’s outfits but not so much if you feel attached to those one or two special outfits. The outfits and accessories range from cute and beautiful to outright strange in design. As far as graphics go some of the outfits and doesn’t seem to match the rest of the graphics which can look a bit odd at times but it isn’t detrimental to the game’s overall quality. Overall the quality of the character graphics was great and even exceeded the quality from the previous titles as expected. Despite its weaknesses Project DIVA X manages to exceed expectations in respect to its story line, interaction, and graphics. Be sure to pick up a copy if you want a rhythm game that is both beautiful and unique. 

PROS: Improved Gameplay, Concert Editor, Character Modules

CONS: Short Song List

 

SCORE – 8.0/10

This game is based on a digital copy of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X on the PlayStation Vita provided by SEGA.

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