There have been a number of different games to come to the states featuring digital diva Hatsune Miku. We had one less than six months ago so it was kind of surprising that we’d get another one so soon. This most recent release, Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future Tone is even more surprising in that it’s a home release of a Japanese arcade game.
Project Diva Future Tone is a multi-part package. You can download the base package for free from Playstation Network. That gives you two songs to play. If you want more you’ll have to buy one of the packs, Future Sound or Colorful Tone. Each of these packages are available for $30 a piece or as a bundle you save a little bit of money and can get them for $54. Regardless of which package you choose you’re getting a great deal. There are over 220 songs in the full package, easily the most content rich game in the series, in terms of songs. The Future Sound package contains songs that come mostly from the releases of Project Diva F while Colorful Tone takes its song selections from the Project Mirai games on the 3DS.
The modules, customizable costumes for each of the characters, are also broken up across the different parts of the release. If you have both you’ll have access to over 340 different outfits for the characters. Having only one or the other will allow you to change up the costumes or the hairstyles and accessories, but not both. Most of the songs have unique costumes that go with the overall feel of the song and it’s nice to have the costume that matches. Finishing songs will earn you points that you can use to unlock them. Once you’ve chosen a costume for a song it will remain there each time you come back so you won’t have to re-pick the costume every time. You can also change the character that is present on screen, though most of the time you will have the original vocal track regardless of the character. It can be funny to see Kaito dancing around using Miku’s voice. Some songs do have multiple vocal tracks so you can have different characters singing, but most do not.
If you played Project Diva X last year then you’ll be familiar with the controls, but you’ll also notice some pretty major changes to the controls as well. Previously colored arrows required pressing two buttons at once, for example a colored arrow pointing down required you to press down on the d-pad and X at the same time. Also the stars that you flicked the touch pad or the analog sticks for are gone. They’ve been replaced by slide arrows. These are done by pressing one of the analog sticks in the direction the air is pointing. You also now have multi-button combos that require you to press three, or even four, buttons at the same time. Thankfully the developers have given you the ability to customize the controls to your liking and assign buttons to specific combinations. For example I have the four button combo mapped to R2 so that I don’t have to try and hit all four face buttons at the same time. There are plenty of extra buttons on the controller to allow you to map combos to your liking making it just a bit easier to hit all those combos perfectly.
This is the most difficult Project Diva game that Sega has released, but don’t let that scare you off. They have created five different difficulty levels to help make the experience right for your level of play. If found that playing on Hard for this game was equivilant to playing on Extreme in past releases. This means veterans of the series have a lot more to look forward to and even more challenges than they’ve had in the past. The easier difficulties don’t seem too much different than they did in the past, however, so newcomers will be able to jump in and work their way up to the harder difficulty levels pretty easily. I’ve found Hard is the pretty good sweetspot for me while my daughter very quickly bumped up to the Extreme difficulty. Extra Extreme will definitely test your ability to keep up with the fast pace and crazy combos of many of the songs. There are also different modifiers you can add to the game to change up the experience. You can make notes come in faster, you can make the timing for hitting notes more precise or you can make the notes disappear as they fly in meaning you’ll really have to pay attention to keep from failing songs.
The story mode that was present in Project Diva X is gone. This is a straight up arcade experience. You’re playing to get the highest score possible and that’s all you’re doing. I didn’t really care that much for the story mode so I’m okay with it being gone this time around. It’s best when you’re just getting in, playing the songs you want to play and getting out.
Project Diva Future Tone is the biggest game the series has ever seen. Unless you’re a hardcore Hatsune Miku fan you’re going to be introduced to a lot of new music. For the price you’re not going to find a better value on the market for rhythm games. It also helps that the game play for the series is one of the best out there. The Miku games are simply fun to play. I’d be crazy if I didn’t recommend this to anyone out there who likes this type of game. You’re just simply not going to find a better deal anywhere than this.
Review copy of the game provided by Sega
Played through SO MANY SONGS
Total Play Time: 11 hours