初音ミク Project Diva

Posted by meronpan on March 16, 2010

Click for gelbooru

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 ^^;

First Impressions

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.

click for gelbooru

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.

Settling in…

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.

click for gelbooru

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.

click for gelbooru

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 -_-

click for gelbooru

figured I better throw in some proper miku mizugi pics if you suffered through those other images ^^;;

click for gelbooru

Other Modes

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 ^^;

click for gelbooru

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.

click for gelbooru

If you haven’t seen ’em already, cleartranquil, aaron, and kyourankyodai all posted reviews many  moons ago.  They actually have shots from the game that are worth viewing to boot :P



16 Responses to “初音ミク Project Diva”

  1. yamada said

    I sometimes rage whenever I lost my combo ^^; I heard there’s the second game of it called Project Diva 2.

    • meronpan said

      yes, it can be very frustrating ^^;; i had heard of the sequel but unfortunately i don’t know anything about it ^^;; hopefully it’ll be out soon? ^^

  2. Yeah, it sounds cute, but I’m not a huge Miku fan and I have no PSP (DS only) >_<
    The costume changing sounds fun though. I would probably play it just for that xD
    Also, isn't the sequel coming out soon?

    • meronpan said

      the costumes for miku are indeed fun ^^ hopefully the sequel will improve on the gameplay. did a quick search… saw a reference to it coming out late july? that would be nice ^^

  3. Q said

    Ah, you’ve decided to make a review on the game. Even though I have commented about it when you have just bought it, I think this is more of a better place to talk about it properly.

    I remember when I first play World is Mine on Easy – Fail / Cheap?! Isn’t there some kind of pass line like many rhythm games out there? I thought that the orb at the bottom left would have got something to do with it, but it appears that it will only tell you that you fail miserably with a MISSXTAKE if that’s depleted and nothing else (correct me if I am wrong). Having to guess whether you are doing well or not can be a pain, and I often have to look up on sites to see what the pass score mark to get Standard and Great etc.

    And some songs seems to be easier to pass on Normal than on Easy – one such case for me is Marginal, and I still don’t get it at the moment…

    Gameplay… Notes do have to be played fairly accurately, and that “FINE” might as well be “BAD” since that breaks the combo already (laughs). And as you said, with notes flying left and right with Miku potentially distracting you with her cute look or shaking butt etc it’s not easy to keep your concentration focused. Cool for those watching the game being played, not quite so for those who are actually playing it ^^;

    Combo is so important for this game, since the score is the deciding factor on whether you pass or not. Mess it up often and it’s pretty much doom for me (ack). If only there is a progress bar of some sort I can see how well/bad I am doing I suppose.

    Project Diva is a demanding game compared to games like Taiko no Tatsujin or even Ouendan. It has its flaws, but still playable and can be fun. Miku’s portrayal here in this game is pretty cute I have to say. I don’t mind watching some of the PVs for sure, like Miracle Paint. Nice thing to get for fans I agree, worth a try I guess for non-fans. I heard there will be note holding and directional keys included for next Project Diva on PSP, but I hope other problems will be addressed on it as well. We shall see.

    • meronpan said

      i had that exact same problem with world is mine ^^;; yeah, very frustrating that finishing with the orb full doesn’t mean pass -_-

      i’m surprised they put so much emphasis on combos during chance time. i get nervous when i get to those parts when I’m trying to get a great score because i know if i mess up once, it could ruin my chances (even if i had had a perfect up to that point! orz)

      with ouendan combos are even more important for scoring since you keep getting more and more points for longer combos but it must be easier to time the notes or something because i don’t remember having so much timing difficulties.

      i also hope they make some gameplay adjustments for the sequel ‘cuz it’s already a joy with all the miku stuff. being a great game would make it epic ^^

  4. I liked the images in that post. I particularly liked kaito in the background with his scarf still on with the bathing suit.

  5. Persocom said

    Yay Project Diva post, I wasn’t aware that in order to unlock things you need to wear the default outfit. Rerhaps that explains why I’m unable to unlock Haku now after beating the right song several times.. orz. I just had to jump and use the first outfit I unlocked right away didn’t I? XD I’m enjoying the game so far, still having problems getting a working BRS song, but I have successfully gotten a couple songs in to play (and fail horribly at). I only have Luka and one costume so far, so there’s quite a bit left to unlock for me. Reading this post got me in the mood to go play it lol.

    • meronpan said

      ah, i think i may have mislead you ^^; it’s just for some of the outfits (mostly the swimsuit ones?) that you need to be wearing a particular outfit as part of the unlock conditions… ummm like miku’s swimsuit one – i believe it says the name of her default costume and then やりこむ – which, if i can trust what i’ve read, means either beat every song w/great or clear 5 times (all normal difficulty? not sure if required but i did it on normal).

      but most other costumes you can unlock wearing anything. one thing that was confusing to me though was that when it says something like NORMAL / GREAT 以上, that means you *must* beat it on *normal* w/great or higher. beating it on hard will do nothing? (i think?) At the very least i know that applies to the “beat the song 5 times” condition – i beat a song on normal like 4 times and once on hard… no unlock ;_; had to go back to normal -_-

      one other thing i noticed is that if the two conditions are something like normal/great and max combo 100 or something, you can get the great on one clear, and the max combo on a separate clear (i.e. and only get a standard) – and it counts. no need for a max combo 100 *on* the great clear.

      it’s addictive ^^ glad you got some songs in, though weird brs isn’t working for ya.

      • Persocom said

        well, even though you don’t need her default to unlock all the costumes, it’s probably a good idea to use it just in case I happen to do great anyway, I would like to unlock the swimsuit eventually. I did manage to unlock Haku and a few more outfits yesterday though :) Do you happen to know if Yukkuri Shiteitte ne!! has been made for Project Diva? If nobody has done it I might try and make it in the editor myself one of these days. Oh, and is there a way to add Miku videos into the editor? If there isn’t hopefully that’s in PD2 XD

        • meronpan said

          yeah, that’s actually actually what i decided too… as much as i wanted to use the extra costumes… really wanted to make progress on getting that swimsuit ^^;;

          alas, don’t really have any answers for your questions. tried looking in the manual for loading vids though and wasn’t able to find anything. indeed, hopefully the sequel will cover that ^^

          • Persocom said

            no problem ^^ I still haven’t unlocked all the songs yet so I got quite a way to go to unlock the swimsuits, but eh I’m making progress whenever I’m alone (so I can concentrate properly). Guess I’ll have to mess with the editor, I really want that song in my game XD

  6. Cheuk said

    As a fan of all music/beat games, I have to say that I really like Project Diva. My opinion might be biased, but I think it could do with some more “Hardcore” songs like Disappearance of Hatsune Miku :)

    I’ve unlocked nearly everything, just missing Rin’s swimsuit costume and I think a few random drops for the Miku Room. The thing I don’t like about the game is actually the random dropping of items. If they had both a random drop and a set way to unlock stuff, then those who are “good” can unlock them quickly while those who are “normal” can just spend a bit more time with the game to unlock the stuff. (I’m one of those crazies out there that tries to get PERFECT score for all the songs :P) Both parties would be able to get everything out of the game.

    About the slight lag in the songs, I agree with Meronpan completely. I bought the game and played it for about a month before I couldn’t stand it anymore and… *ahem* requisitioned a copy without the UMD… and the lag was gone :p

    There’s a few blogs/wikis out there with some nice information on unlocking stuff and custom songs. Try here and here.

    • meronpan said

      i wouldn’t mind more of the harder songs either, even though i’d fail pretty hard at ’em for a while ^^;;

      dang, you’ve got all the other swimsuits? you really are a fan ^^; well, not that i wasn’t planning on doing the same eventually ^^;; surprised after unlocking almost everything you still don’t have all the miku room stuff… agree they should’ve made alternate ways to get ’em. doesn’t make sense that they put in so much stuff to unlock but then make it annoying for the people actually good at the game…

      i kinda assumed that the lag was also the reason they just went with slideshows for some songs (esp. fast ones) rather than the animated pvs. perhaps not… but at any rate, i guess what i’m getting at is they have to have known about the lag… why didn’t they fix it? ;_; it’s a timing game!!! gaaaaaaa

      despite that, still having lots of fun ^^

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