Project DiVA X is currently available on PS4 and PS Vita. This review is for the PS4 version only.
Learning my lesson from the last Project DiVA game, I decided to take extra time off, just to play through the entire game and see how many unlockables I could discover before doing a full review. I'll be going over everything from DLC to songs, so stick around, this will be a long review.
The game is half in Japanese and half in English, but honestly, you don't need to speak or read either to play. The menu is self-explanatory, you just click on the round you want to play, click on the face of your Sumo Wrestler, click on a Street Fighter character, then hit "START" and wait for the game to load.
Once you have been greeted warmly with the opening ceremony, it's time to play, and while the controls are simple, timing is key.
See the blue and green circles? Those are little Taiko drums that make your horse speed up. Each time a drum hits the arrow on the left side of the screen, you need to hit one of the arrow keys on your keyboard.
↑ controls the blue drums, while ↓ controls the green drums.
When you see a long drum line, you need to tap the ↑ or ↓ button furiously for extra points. If the drums fuse into one, extra long line, you need to tap both ↑ and ↓ as fast as possible, to activate your home stretch combo.
And then this happens.
Yes. Your horse will suddenly catch fire and speed you past the other horses.
But if your horse makes it across the line, you are rewarded with a screen where you can enter your name, and bask in the glory of your score.
But watch out! All of the Street Fighter characters are anticipating you catching up, and each one is ready to spring their famous attacks from past Street Fighter games.
Which can lead to comical results, as seen above. Currently, Ryu, Chun-Li, Blanka, Dhalism, Guile and M. Bison are all potential opponents, while more characters are expected to be added soon.
The overall serious nature of the polygonal Street Fighter characters just adds to the game's charm. It's energetic, goofy, and as much fun to watch as it is to play. Like most Street Fighter titles, it's pretty short, making it a good casual game, but the replay value is high.
When you first start the game, you are greeted with a colorful and cute video of Chibi Miku about to meet up with the other Vocaloids. After pressing "Start", you need to set up your "Mirai" name. This will be the name that pops up for anybody who spot/street passes you. Once that's figured out, you are asked to pick a Vocaloid, and then you are to hang out with your new friend in one of five rooms. Playing through the game will allow you to unlock extra rooms, songs, food, clothes, furniture and all kinds of cute items to share with your Vocaloids. You can even talk to them, and making them happy will allot for even more bonus content.
You unlock new features by playing through each of the 47 songs found in the game. As the Vocaloids sing, an animated line with command circles will appear. Depending on what mode you're playing and how you've set it up, you must either tap the screen or the buttons on the 3DS in time with the circles. The higher your score, the more points you get and the more you can unlock. The music should help you time your taps just right, but if you;re starting to annoy your parents with Japanese autotuned singing, (Or in my case, my husband, sorry!!) you can always challenge yourself by muting the game and just tapping when prompted. I doubt Miku would mind. You will later have access to a movie theater, which lets you play the music videos back again, and yes, all of it is in 3D if you flick the switch. A handful of songs also allows you to swap out one Vocaloid for another.
To switch singers though, you must beat the song in easy, normal and hard mode, and each song has a different combo. For example, Snowman let me beat the game on tap mode in easy and normal, so I could choose between KAiTO or Len. But for Romeo and Cinderella, I have to beat the game on all three levels in tap mode (or button) and then in easy on button mode. (Or tap if I didn't choose it before.) I've beaten it only on easy and normal on tap, which lets me switch between Miku and Rin, but the other two will let me unlock Luka for the same song.
Unlocking the characters for each song and finishing the tracks will unlock bonus outfits, room items and in the options menu, extra videos to watch.
Here's a list of the singer-swap songs you can unlock:
The AR cards allow you to snap some incredible photos with your Chibi Vocaloid. The more the merrier and this does open up for replay value.
You can also play a Vocaloid copy of the SEGA classic Puyo Pop. American Sonic fans may already remember this game as the graphically lacking Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, but thankfully, the mechanics in this game are much smoother. For those who are new to the game, all you have to do is match color-to-color. If you've played Dr. Mario, then you already know how to master this.
Another bonus game is hidden in the "Hang out" mode. When you hit that button, press and hold the Y/Mic button to call your Vocaloid over. From there, you can choose to feed him/her, give him/her an allowance, or play Reversi with them. Reversi is a challenging game where you either get black or white pieces, and you have to take over the board with them. I'm sorry to admit, Miku has beaten me twice so far. The smart A.I. of the Vocaloids is incredible. They even know how to make "poker face" and when to mock you. If you're starring at the top screen, you can easily fool yourself into thinking you're winning.
Project Mirai DX is colorful, fun, funny and the perfect introduction to the Vocaloid universe. It's a great game to have on a long car ride, and is neither too long nor too short. The replay value is heavy, and the launch copy is a must for any Vocaloid fan.
Codename Sailor Earth
Codename Sailor Earth first started tinkering with her mother's Atari 2600 when she was only a year old, and then branched out to PC gaming on a GeoWorks computer shortly after her 4th birthday. Today, she is an avid collector of all things Nintendo, but makes time for PlayStation, SEGA and XBOX. She is a huge fan of Retron consoles.