By Spencer . February 23, 2012 . 5:42pm
To use AR mode you need to place a song card on your desk. You can either print one out or display an image of the card on your smartphone. Either works fine. After the game scans the card Hatsune Miku rises from it and starts dancing. You can make her shrink or grow by pressing up or down on the d-pad. She pops out of the screen a bit if you have the 3D slider all the way on top.
Hatsune Miku dances to "Sing & Smile" while lyrics scroll on the bottom. The touch screen also has a 3D focus move where you can move the dial to landscape mode or portrait on manual focus. (It’s set to automatic focus by default.) Most of the time Miku shakes her pom poms and occasionally spins around. You can’t interact with her other than, perhaps, holding the card in your hand.
Rhythm Mode is the game part of Hatsune Miku and Future Stars Project Mirai and there were two songs to sample. "Tricolore Airline" has nendoroid Miku dancing and "LOL –lots of laugh-" uses the original music video. It’s been converted somewhat to 3D with layers, but there aren’t any 3D effects. After you select a song dials with notes pop up. You have to hit the notes on beat, but the songs in the demo don’t feel in sync. I think this is most notable with "LOL" where the chorus matches the rhythm, but other sections you’re just rapidly tapping buttons.
Notes appear in a wheel with a hand moving clockwise. If you hit all of the notes you level up for the next wheel and earn a multiplier bonus. The wheel bonus goes up to five and when that happens you can make extra star notes appear if your stay on target. Miss too many notes and you level down after a wheel ends. Drop below level zero and the game ends. Unlike Hatsune Miku: Project Diva there is no chain bonus for getting notes consistently right.
Hatsune Miku and Future Stars Project Mirai comes out on March 8 in Japan.