Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X Review (PS4)

I’m a big Hatsune Miku fan and I’ve put over 100 hours across the other 2 Project Diva titles alone. I’m basically always waiting for a new Project Diva game to have more vocaloid songs to sink my teeth into, and Project Diva X is perfectly scratches that itch with fantastic tunes, improved gameplay and visuals and more!
New to this iteration of Project Diva is a story that follows the six vocaloids (Miku, Luka, Rin, Len, Meiko and Kaito) and you, as their manager, to bring light back to the five clouds in their digital world. Without light in these prisms, the vocaloids are unable to sing and only you can help them sing and bring light back to their world! Each cloud has a different theme such as cute or quirky and culminates in a main event which sees you tackle a medley of songs. There are choices you can make too but they don’t have an impact on anything, but it’s nice to feel properly included in all the festivities! The story is cute, light-hearted and gives the characters more personality which is a huge plus, especially for those who might be introduced to vocaloids through this game.
Each cloud has 5-6 songs with the final song being a medley and once you’ve completed that cloud, you can choose to reconnect to another cloud. There have been a few gameplay changes other than this that include successfully activating chance time for a chance to grab a new module rather than using in-game money to buy them, and each song has a ‘rare’ module which is the same one reflected in that song’s art bubble. I quickly became fond of this way of unlocking items, as accessories and gifts, etc, are also unlocked randomly at the end of each song, as it’s exciting and the vocaloid will change into that outfit after the chance time finishes. It’s fresh and whilst getting duplicate drops can be less than great, it really is a fun time unlocking modules this way and it makes the performance more dynamic and thrilling.
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The story is cute, light-hearted and gives the characters more personality which is a huge plus.

The rhythm gameplay is more or less the same with a few changes, such as ‘rush’ notes where you can mash that button multiple times to increase your voltage and, well, voltage is new too! You can mix and match certain accessories to make the voltage goal easier to hit, too. Voltage isn’t in free play mode but it is in the story mode and festivals, and you need to reach the voltage goal to not fail the song – voltage is also used to bring light back to the prisms, so it plays a vital role in the story. Vocaloids might request you play certain songs or use certain modules (such as they want to sing with a certain person or a certain type of song) and you get item drops in exchange, but otherwise it’s similar to the previous games where you match the icons on-screen with the buttons on your controller. You can interact with the vocaloids by giving them gifts and such to increase your friendship level with them, as well as remodel their room and what modules they wear both in and out of song. I feel that Vita is still the optimal place to play rhythm games due to not input delay, but the PS4 version feels great and I had no issue with it, and you can change the input delay if you wish via the options. One thing I do feel worth noting is that I feel that Project Diva X is easier than the other installments, with me being able to clear Extreme on my first try for many songs – I can’t say the same for the other games, but maybe I’ve just really improved!
This is visually the best looking Project Diva game to date with both versions looking superb although the PS4 version takes the upper hand. Whilst the lyrics tell a story, I do have to note that the video don’t so that they tie in with the theme of producing and performing music but they’re still wonderful to watch. Each song has its own stage and each module, and there are over 300 modules to unlock in-game! You’ll be unlocking items for a while and considering everything is randomly dropped, there’s plenty of reason past how great the songs and gameplay are to keep on playing. It feels as smooth as it looks and SEGA and Crypton Future Media keep on improving upon rhythm game perfection with each iteration. I found that with the other Project Diva games on Vita, the character models could sometimes look a bit blurry particularly in the customisation menu but no more! They’re crisp and clear now, and now you can better look at the modules and vocaloids in all of their gorgeous glory.
As expected, the soundtrack is outstanding stuff with some of the best vocaloid songs around! With clouds having their own themes, it’s only fitting that the songs match those themes! There’s plenty of rock, techno, pop and other genres being represented and it won’t be long until you have your favourites – just great for when you hold your own festival and have to pick 3 songs to perform! In case you’re curious, and it’s hard to wittle it down, but my favourite songs in the game include Solitary Envy, Satisfaction, Patchwork Staccato, Slow Motion and Strangers. All songs come with the choice of English or Romanji lyrics now too, which is a nice and much appreciated touch. Being a game based on music, it’s only right that this has one of the best soundtracks in 2016 and in gaming, of course!

Project Diva X boasts an outstanding soundtrack, stunning visuals and engaging, addictive gameplay that’ll keep pulling you in over and over again.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is easily one of my favourite games of 2016 and a great installment to the Project Diva series. It seems unlikely that Future Tone will come to the West but I’d love to see it happen, but at least the Project Diva games are receiving great support overseas. If you’re a Hatsune Miku fan then you don’t want to miss out on this, and it’s a great introduction to the world of vocaloids and I hope to see the Project Diva series to continue to flourish. Project Diva X boasts an outstanding soundtrack, stunning visuals and engaging, addictive gameplay that’ll keep pulling you in over and over again. Expect to see this on my top ten list at the end of the year!

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