She may just be a digital creation, but Hatsune Miku – a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application developed and distributed by Crypton Future Media – is very real to many people around the world. She has an impressive amount of record sales. She has sold-out concert venues. She is, to put it simply, the future of pop to many people. One of the most unique things you can do with turquoise pigtail-sporting songstress is easily incorporate her into various forms of media, including video games. Sega has done just that by bringing yet another sequel to the Hatsune Miku video game IP.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd doesn’t have much of a story to it, and quite honestly it shouldn’t. This title is strictly a rhythm game where you input button presses as you are directed to on the screen. There are various difficulties that change the variety of inputs you have to use in order to complete the song and get an excellent score. Compared to games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, this title is extremely random with the way the inputs are presented. Just a few seconds into the video below and you’ll see how the inputs fly across the screen in a seemly unorganized fashion.
The game is difficult even on normal mode for rhythm genre devotees, such as myself, and I would hesitate to recommend new players start on normal mode. Some inputs require you to use two buttons at the same time on opposite sides of the Vita, while others require you to use the front or back touch screen. The game isn’t impossible though and can be mastered over time. Working your way up the difficulty ladder is extremely fun and actually feels rewarding, unlocking more content along the way. This game is NOT light on the unlockables and has plenty of customization options for the songs and the character’s attire.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd does bring back songs features in previous Sega-published titles, but with new videos. The soundtrack isn’t all pop either; there are songs with genres similar to jazz, electro, eurobeat, and many others. The soundtrack is greatly expanded compared to the earlier titles and all now have English lyric subtitles alongside their Japanese subtitles. That’s not all Sega has improved on, as data import options for previous games are available to unlock bonus content and item checklists are available. I found myself constantly returning to the checklist to see what content I still needed to unlock.
It’s not all about the singing. You can go into The Diva Room, which is where you can casually hang out with the game’s main characters. Through this interaction you can attempt to grow a friendship with Miku, which can unlock new items when done successfully. If you try to hang around with her too much, she will start to show an attitude, making you realize that you are an annoyance. It’s very humbling to have your feelings hurt by a piece of voice software, let me tell you.
Project DIVA F 2nd improves on nearly everything across the board and brings a whole new twist to the rhythm game genre, especially for the handheld platform. It is obvious that difficulty progression is a thing in this title, as the difficulty spikes much faster in this title than it does with the original Project DIVA F title. If you are up for the challenge and want a very polished experience, this title is absolutely wonderful to pick up and enjoy.
A solid improvement upon the Project Diva F series
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Design - 7.5/10
Replayability - 8/10
- Excellent variety in soundtrack
- Best Hatsune Miku game to date
- Customization options and unlockables are plentiful
- Any difficulty past Easy can be a turnoff for newcomers