Hatsune Miku is an international celebrity who has crossed over from her origin in Japan to countries all around the globe. From appearing in Toyota commercials to starring alongside Lady Gaga, she is recognized as a virtual idol and digital diva by fans all over the world. After the success of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F on the PS3, Sega has answered the prayer of fans by releasing the sequel, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd on the Playstation 3and Playstation Vita in North America.
The Rhythm Game is the main game mode that allows you to choose from your favorite songs with the easy difficulty at the start and the rest: Normal, Hard and Extreme as difficulty levels that are unlocked once the previous difficulty level is successfully completed. Exactly like the game’s predecessor, melody icons drift in from various sides of the screen that require you to time and press the respective action button to fill your Song Energy Gauge. The higher the gauge, the better your performance will be and the higher the likelihood of earning unlockable content like different costumes and accessories. Timing grades vary from Cool, Good, Safe, Bad and Miss. In the event that you fill the Song Energy gauge completely and deliver a flawless performance, you will earn the coveted Perfect grade rating.
The Diva Room mode is a place where you can interact and spend time with the Vocaloids off stage in between performances. By engaging in Communication Mode, you form a bond with your favorite character by poking them or patting their head within a certain timeframe. Be careful with this as touching a character too much will cause their Heart Balloon to pop and even cause them to grow resentful or angry towards you. The option to shower them with gifts is present as they can be purchased from the shop but once again, be cautious as each of them respond differently to the type of gift they receive. If your favorite Vocaloid is in happy mood, they may ask for a special request and granting that request results in a mini-game that boosts your overall affinity with them. It does a bit of time to get used to as it initially felt strange and awkward to be observing the characters from different angles and deciding what course of action is best for the situation.
The Edit mode is a more ambitious feature that allows you to build your own videos and rhythm designs by utilizing an editing tool that allows you to select a song, set the tempo, time signature or beats per minute, select a sound stage and to choose the appropriate module. While the editing tool offers many options and shows much promise, it is difficult to use and many players will find themselves giving up on it long before they craft their perfect music video. Only the most patient and dedicated players are likely to devote time and effort to braving through the tools and resources to produce something spectacular as the end result.
Setbacks in the game are mostly attributed to the loading times and the steep difficulty. The game is very demanding especially on the higher difficulty settings and you may find that you need to practice or retry the same song numerous times to obtain a “Great” or “Excellent” grade rating. The inclusion of double stars and linked stars is sure to provide a challenge to players and veterans shooting for a perfect score. Cross save support between the Playstation Vita and Playstation 3 is a welcome feature that will please fans who wish to play the game on both the large screen and their handheld device. It also works for fans that imported the Japanese version and wish to transfer their data over to the North American release.
Hatsune Miku: Projet Diva F 2nd is a solid successor to the original game and features loads of songs, in-game content and fast-paced rhythm gameplay that will keep you busy for hours. With a more challenging rhythm mode, variety of song selections, added English subtitles and planned DLC in the near future, the game is a perfect addition to any J-pop and Vocaloid fan’s game library.
PROS: Fun Gameplay, Beautiful Visuals, Catchy Music
CONS: Loading Times, Steep Difficulty
SCORE – 85%