Hatsune Miku: Project Diva: I’m Your Diva

By Jenni . August 6, 2009 . 1:31pm

hatsune-miku-project-diva-4

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva just arrived in the mail and has taken up semi-permanent residence in my PSP. While it’s still too early for me to hail it as the second coming of PSP rhythm games (I’ve only logged about two hours playing), it has been long enough for me to decide it is definitely one of 2009′s best PSP games.

 

So, the first thing that greets you when you log into the game is a menu giving the option to start a new game, load a saved game file or enter ad-hoc mode to share songs and such. Well, technically the very first thing that greets you is Miku singing the Sega jingle. Then the opening menu with options to get started.

 

I recommend choosing none of those options. Instead, let the opening movie/PV of “The Secret Garden” run. It’s gorgeous, and you can see a brief glimpse of it in the beginning of this trailer.

 

 

I was mainly familiar with Hatsune Miku thanks to the YouTube videos with songs and such. Thankfully, many of those famous songs are included in the game! Including “Ievan Polkka.” If you want the Luka Megurine look, you have to clear that song with a Standard or higher on the Normal difficulty setting and get a combo of over 100 on it. Surprisingly, all the songs are incredibly addicting and cover a wide range of genres.

 

Initially, I had a bit of trouble chaining together combos. Particularly on the first song I played, “World is Mine.” Halfway through my second playthrough of that song, I realized why my combo counter wasn’t getting above 9. Turns out only cool or fine hits continue combos. Safe, worst and sad are all combo breakers. So while it’s pretty easy to play so far, if you want to master the game and unlock everything, you have to develop perfect timing and memorize the songs.

 

I’d also like to blame my initial atrocious scores on the first three songs I played on the PVs playing in the background. The way the game is set up, with the buttons you need to hit appearing all around the stage, seem to encourage you to watch the video that’s playing in the background. Some of these PVs are absolutely adorable, or feature pretty cool dance numbers, making it quite distracting. At the same time, it’s totally obvious and apparent that all the dance moves used motion capture to appear more realistic. None of it’s choppy – everything is smooth and fluid.

 

There are 32 costumes to unlock – you start with Miku’s standard attire. What’s nice is, after you’ve unlocked a song, it seems like the game will let you know what goal you need to achieve to unlock the others. There are also 39 songs included in the game. Not that many are immediately available though. A lot of unlocking’s required. Thankfully, you don’t need perfect scores to unlock – clearing the Easy or Normal difficulty level of a song should do it. Getting the Hard difficulty level for songs is often more difficult than unlocking more songs, or even some items, as you need a Great or better score on the Normal difficulty to unlock it. Sometimes unlocking things is as simple as playing and clearing the song 5 times.

 

Here’s what I’ve noticed you can unlock:

  • Songs
  • Costumes for Miku, including the ability to appear as the other Vocaloids (except Kamui Gakupo) or fan Vocaloids Neru Akita and Haku Yowane.
  • Furniture for Miku’s room
  • Character art/fan art that will appear as loading screens or can be saved as wallpapers.

 

Now I’ve pretty much gotten to be a master Project Diva player. At least, I’d like to think so. I managed perfect scores on both the Rin and Len versions of “Kouyato Morito Mahou no Uta” at the very least. (Only got a Great on the Miku version.) Except on OSTER project songs. I LOVE the OSTER project songs, but seem to have the most trouble perfecting them. (Something to do with the pacing and wide range of styles.) Still working on unlocking costumes and other Vocaloids – though I did manage to gain access to Haku Yowane, Rin and Len Kagamine and Luka Megurine.

 

Be sure to check back soon for an extended playtest, brief overview and look at creating songs in the editor and more Hatsune Miku: Project Diva coverage!


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  • QBasic

    I had some serious doubts about this one….but, who knows. :P

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      It is surprisingly good and incredibly addictive.

      Plus there’s an option to import your own mp3s into the game and create not only your own song, but your own PV/music video for it. If you really want to go all out, you can even make it look like Miku’s singing the song with the different mouth shapes available.

      • QBasic

        Oh snap… I can’t wait to upload some Tom Waits shit! I’m thinking the song…Black Wings maybe… >:3

        • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

          The best part is, you can also share these original PVs and such online. You can save the routines you’ve made and upload them if you have the USB cable. The only thing is, the person downloading the custom routine must also own that MP3.

          • QBasic

            So it doesn’t have a record/edit feature like Dissidia where it dumps them as video files?

          • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

            Nope. Instead, another person can take the song you’ve created and play it in their own PSP. Which is kinda better, I think. Expands the tracklist for the game.

          • QBasic

            But….then I can’t upload a youtube video of Miku lip syncing to Amish Paradise… :(

          • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

            Sure you can. You can change her mouth positions so it looks like she’s lip syncing.

  • superdry

    Project Diva has pretty much taken up permanent resident on my PSP. This is one of the few games I could not wait for in 2009. I must’ve played each song at least 10 times (to unlock stuff and just to play them for fun).

    SEGA got so much right with the game…from song selection, great motion capture, tons of unlockables, the cute ending credits and edit mode. The PV are all great and Miku is unbelievably cute in most to all of them. It’s ranks up there with some of the best rhythm games.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      I think you’re absolutely right, and the more I play, the more I think it’s going to end up being one of those legendary, must import games.

  • Aoshi00

    How many songs are there, any iconic anime songs? I’ve watched the videos on youtube where people made Miku hum Megaman or sing the US national anthem, so amusing. Frankly I have a hard time getting into Idolmaster, but Miku’s voice (while annoying) is so adorable, and I would like to give this a try.

    • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

      “Miku’s voice (while annoying) is so adorable”
      Hmm…

      • Aoshi00

        I know it sounds contradictory, but it’s true :) This weird computerized hamster voice singing songs that we’re familiar w/…

        • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

          That is kind of true. When I showed a friend, she said it sounded like K.K. Slider from Animal Crossing.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      39 songs, and they’re all Miku Hatsune songs.

      If you want to have other songs in there, you can add them in on your own. You can import practically any mp3 in and create your own routine.

      • Aoshi00

        Too bad there are no existing anime songs, I thought it would be like Donkey Konga or other rhythm games including some familiar classics.

        Not sure if I understand this right, so I can just import say, “Fly me to the Moon” (either Claire or Utada Hikaru ver), and the game would render the song w/ Hatsune Miku’s voice? If so, that’s very neat.

        • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

          Nope, doesn’t render it with Miku’s voice.

          It’ll be the song you have, but just with Miku (or one of the other Vocaloids, if you’ve unlocked those “costumes”) in the video running in the background.

          • Aoshi00

            I see.. I guess that can’t be done other than using the actual vocaloid PC software then, slightly disappointed :(…

  • http://madebyluke.com madebyluke

    Maybe you should explain less about what you can unlock and more about how you play this game, even a brief comparison (ouendan meets DDR eg.) or a youtube video.

    *searches for gameplay info*

    • superdry

      The gameplay is pretty much like Ouendan, but without the touch-screen. You’ll see the buttons (X,O, triangle, square) on the screen and then see them fly on the screen and you have hit the corresponding buttons in time with the song (if that makes sense).

      @Aoshi00 – There are 36 songs to play, but none of them are iconic anime songs. They are all songs composed using Miku Hatsune as the vocalist. The one song that is recognisable to people into anime is Levan Polka.

      • Aoshi00

        Thanks for the detailed description about gameplay and modes, sounds like a good game. I’m actually not very big on rhythm games, but both Ouedan were very fun, I liked it because it used some familiar pop songs, didn’t even realize they were covers at first.

        Hatsune Miku is indeed very cute, there are many times I want to buy one of her SD figures.

        I just listened on youtube and actually don’t know where Levan Polka is from (haven’t seen too many new anime in recent years..).

        • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

          I’ve found that it’s a lot easier than most rhythm games. At least on the earlier songs where you play the Easy or Normal difficulty levels. When you take on the Hard mode, all bets are off.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      I’ll cover that in the review that’ll be coming soon. I just wanted to quick give my first impressions of the game.

      Basically X, triangle, O or square glide across the screen to an icon in that shape with a little second hand on it. When the second hand is pointing directly up, you press that button. It’s a lot like Guitar Hero or DJ Max Fever. Superdry did a great job of explaining it.

  • Reflect

    I’m playing the game right now in class. =P Class is boring!

  • http://www.tomopop.com colettebennett

    I love the game too, but some of the unlocks are way too hard for me. I guess I need to keep practicing if I want to unlock Kaito….

  • http://www.younganimal.com/berserk Mr_Qoo

    Also, at work, and wondering how this game plays. Was it “meant” for the PSP? I know it’s a rythm game but some just don’t translate well to what they are made for. Example: Gitaroo-man lent itself very well to the PS2 controller and also worked fine on PSP (Though the screen is a bit cut off on the top and bottom for my taste which hampers Master Play a smidge). Is this game similar to Gitaroo-man? Buttons appearing on screen like Ouendan sounds decent but is there a way to differentiate the order? Is that how it works? Things will pop up like Ouendan and you press the buttons in the order they had shown on screen, timed with the beat? I’ve played both Ouendan’s to death and love them dearly so this might very well warrant an instant-purchase for me. [/<3RhythmGames<3]

    Edit: Found this on the wiki: "The gameplay is as you play the song certain buttons colored gray appear on the screen and you must press the correct button when the colered buttons overlap the gray buttons." I will be buying today, especially with SC5 and VC outfits.

    Thanks for the reminder article Jenni!!

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      It is created with the PSP in mind.

      It’s kind of similar to Guitar Hero or the DJ Max games.

      Each icon indicator for a button press (X, O, Triangle and Square) has a little timer icon on it. When the arm points up and it lines up with another indicator that is gliding towards it, you press that button.

      It’s a simply wonderful game. <3

  • http://thestoppableforce.net/ stoppableforce

    Huh. I hadn’t even given this one a second look but now…

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      I definitely recommend checking it out. Highly recommend even.

  • http://ofurotaimu.dreamwidth.org shirokiryuu

    Still playing Project Diva after a month of getting it! I was unsure of how good it would be, since it looked like it was milking the Vocaloid name, but it’s really a great game. Lots of replayability.

    I’m pretty mediocre at rhythm games, even getting “greats” are tough for me. I second that the OSTER Project songs are the hardest to perfect. Miracle Paint and Marginal were the last ones I had to get a great on (stupid “safes!!”). Although nothing drives me nuts like Kogane no Seiya Sousetsu ni Kuchite that song still make my thumbs numb even on normal. Even Hatsune Miku no Shoushitsu was easier to get a great on.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

      It definitely is.

      I second “Marginal”! I’m still trying to get a “Great” on the Normal mode to unock hard mode. Plus the there’s a bunch of songs near the end of the tracklist (my PSP’s at home so I don’t have it with to check the song names) which are VERY difficult to get a Great on.

      • http://ofurotaimu.dreamwidth.org shirokiryuu

        The problem with me with Marginal is that I get great combos at the begining of the song, then JUST when it gets to chance mode I screw everything up =/

        The Christmas one gives me nightmares (second to the last song). Merry Merry Christmas haunted my dreams for a week.

        • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

          YES! It didn’t exactly haunt my dreams, but it did seep into my subconscious. When I least expected it, I’d hear Miku’s voice chime in my brain, “meh-ri meh-ri crease-mass.”

          It actually didn’t register that was what she was singing the first time I played it. I kind of tended to zone out on the lyrics while I’m playing, focusing on hitting the beats, and the first time I played that I figured, “My, how festive” and then when I watched the PV I was like, “She was singing that?”

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