初音ミク Project Diva
Posted by meronpan on March 16, 2010
Approaching a year since its release but it was just last month in Akiba when I acquired my copy. If only the latest and greatest suit your fancy, check back in a few days when my nanoha -stand by ready- review should be going up ^_^ Then again… there was Lost today and St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday… perhaps by the end of the week then? ^^;
back to project diva ^^;
As a miku fan, I was under the spell as soon as I heard miku say/sing the SEGA load screen ^^; Getting right into things and seeing World is Mine at the top of the song list… I dunno, I still just find it fascinating anytime something I see on niconico goes mainstream or is super well executed ^^;; The allure of the cinderella story perhaps?
Forgive the lame images… that’s what happens when you try to quickly churn out images of something like a psp without proper technique orz
Soon After Starting…
Was disappointed to find that my previous years as a musician, ouendan I+II/guitar hero/rhythm game afficionado, and fan of World is Mine were not enough to conquer the song. I’m used to getting to the end of the song being synonymous with a cleared stage. Not the case in project diva. You have to have a certain score? or something? to get a standard passing grade.
On the other hand I was able to adapt to the system pretty quickly and started making my way through songs… usually didn’t have to replay a song more than two or three times. Costumes are unlocked if you’re playing decently, but even if you’re not there’s the bonus of unlocking room items randomly which was nice.
Slowly got used to the game quirks and was able to pass songs pretty easily. Started to notice some of the little things. Like… is it my imagination or is there lag on some songs? Pretty annoying. And I don’t know if it’s my psp or what but it feels like the buttons stick sometimes killing my combo ;_;
…which at first I didn’t think would be a problem since combos don’t seem to affect score much when compared to the chance time. But then I found out that it’s really chance time that’s key to getting a “great” score. During chance time you get 100 points for the first note you hit, then 200, 300, etc. up to a max of 5000 per note. That’s fine and all but to get a great rating (needed to unlock lots of stuff), you basically have to do an unbroken combo for like… 75% of the chance time? Something like that. Doesn’t matter if you got a perfect combo up until chance time (which is usually at the end of a song) – make that 1 mistake in the middle of chance time and you’ll be degraded to a standard rating ‘cuz there’s just no way to make up for the points.
Also of note… if you’re not familiar with the game a pv plays in the background while shapes corresponding to the psp buttons appear on screen in gray. Soon after a colored version of the shape flies in, and when the colored version lines up with the gray outline… hit the button and you get points if you were timed properly. Now imagine miku shaking her butt while you’re trying to time these notes down to the millisecond :P I definitely prefer something interesting happening rather than a blank background of course, but it’s always seemed like a weird conflict to me with these rhythm games… funny/kawaii/whatever animations going on… but you can’t look at them if you’re trying to get a good score ^^;;; Definitely not an issue unique to this game, nor do i have a good alternative but thought I’d mention it ^^;
And Really Nitpicking…
The game isn’t optimized for the fans that want to do it all. One of the simplest things – starting the game up – is plagued by a lack of an autoload of your save data! So every time you have to press O, O, O, X. (Start -> Load -> Accept Save File -> Return). You can’t even jam on the O button, you have to press X at the end! Yeah it’s minor, but it would’ve been super minor to have autoload and get players playing -_- Guess I should use the suspend mode more often…
Next… it’s really hard to track your progress on unlocking things. Some costumes require you to beat songs with a certain costume… but you have no way of knowing which costumes you’ve used to beat which songs! (if there is, pleeease tell me :P) And while there are icons showing if you’ve completed/unlocked pv/perfected a song… I believe it’s only for the normal difficulty! You have to select the song then select the other difficulties before you can see the icons for hard/easy.
Also there’s no indication when playing a song what, if any, conditions are required to unlock a costume. So you’re forced to exit free play mode, go to module mode (costume select), then scroll down the list to the locked costume to see the conditions required for unlocking. Memorize those conditions, exit module mode, reenter free mode, and go back to the song you need to play… not ideal.
…not to mention the requirements for unlocking things. For example, the swimsuit… beat all songs on normal with Great or higher. Fine, not too bad…
Except that it all has to be done with her regular costume! And there’s a handful of other ones with the exact same condition, but a different costume! So in the end you’d have to do a full clear of the game on normal (and i think beating on hard doesn’t count -_-) at least like 3 times? maybe 4 or 5?
Again, I apologize for the terrible images ^^;;;; But yeah… those “wear this costume and beat a billion songs” conditions really suck because half the fun is changing up miku’s appearance between songs -_-
figured I better throw in some proper miku mizugi pics if you suffered through those other images ^^;;
There’s also the miku room mode where you can decorate miku’s room with items you unlock through regular play. During that mode you can take pictures of her to save and use as wallpaper for your psp… but you only have zoom control over the stupid camera! I’m sure they just wanted to keep the lowanglers at bay but as an aspiring photographer it’s really annoying to be locked on with your subject in the very middle of the frame all the time.
You can’t really interact with her in the room so alas it’s hardly much of a mode ^^;; I just used it to capture random psp wallpaper images but that was before i knew you could do the same when watching a pv ^^;
As for the custom song stuff… haven’t gotten around to that yet. (sorry persocom, can’t give you any advice ^^;;) For the moment I’m more interested in unlocking costumes ^^;
Well, I bet the miku fans it would be good for already have the game ^^; On the off chance you don’t, try to find it used or something, you’ll likely get some good time out of it, assuming you like rhythm games at all. I’m a miku fan, but not at all dedicated — so most of the songs were new to me. It’s been fun getting to know ’em with miku up to her antics in the background ^^
If you’re not a miku fan… I must say the rhythm game feels rather mediocre. The scoring method is annoying (to me at least… reward me for those non-chance time 200 combos!!) and the game play isn’t very innovative. And on normal difficulty (hard not available ’til you pass normal with great or perfect) you only use two buttons! Seemed rather watered down.