[Review] Hatsune Miku : Project DIVA Mega Mix (Nintendo Switch)
So , I haven't played a Hatsune Miku Game since Project Diva f 2nd on the PSVita, and I was really looking forward to this game. I've seen people online compare this game to Project Diva Future Tone , a PS4 Port of the Japanese Arcade game. But this game is more than a port of a port, it's the first switch Miku game, as well as a return to form for the franchise. What do I mean by this ? The project Diva games started out on the PSP, then made their way to the Vita before eventually making an appearance on home consoles. My first Project Diva game was on the PSP, and so I associate the Project Diva Series with handhelds. With the PS Vita long gone, it's nice to see Sega bringing Project Diva back to where it belongs ... on a handheld. I can't tell you how much I've missed playing rhythm games on public transport, or in a long queue at the post office. There is a new engine being used specifically for this game, gone are the days of plastic looking character models. Instead the models rendered in this new engine, give Miku and Pals a more anime look to them, similar to Virtual Youtuber Kizuna Ai (one of my favourite youtubers btw, go and check her channel out, really entertaining content)
For fans of arcade style rhythm games, this game is fantastic, very simple yet effective UI. I wasn't confused at all, and I can imagine people new to the series can pick up and play without even being told what to do. It's very self explanatory. And I like that. However the game is a bare bones experience, there is no story mode, or social interactions with the vocaloids, as with previous entries. It's leaves me wanting more, although that's not to say that the game isn't worth playing for long periods of time. There is a lot of unlock-able content that can be purchased using VP (an in game currency earned only by playing the game). This content includes Modules, Hairstyles and various accessories. Over 300 Modules are included in the base game. With over 100 tracks this game has alot of content, yes the track size is half of Future Tone's , however if you are new to the game this is more than enough. Or if you are someone like me you'd be happy because this game has more tracks compared to the older handheld project diva games. If you want more Sega has got you covered with dlc with around 40 DLC Tracks to tickle your fancy, I'm hoping they continue to support the game by adding in more tracks in the future. Customisation in this game is wonderful, and I'm glad they dedicated a main menu slot for it. You have the ability to customise vocaloids, on a song by song basis, with the ability to swap out character models to your liking. Meaning if you wanted to play Senbonzakura with every character replaced with Miku Cosplaying Sonic the hedgehog, you can do it. This game gives you the freedom.
On the topic of customisation, you can access the menu from the song select screen, but more importantly you can freely remap buttons however you choose. Making this game easily playable with one joycon, or using one side of a pro controller. Oddly enough the game allows you to change Melody Icons (your targets on screen). You can change them to be arrows , XYBA, or Square, Triangle, Circle, and X. It's great that sega included this for players coming from the Playstation, but I wonder how they were able to do this ? After all those icons are registered trademarks of Sony and we are seeing it on a Nintendo Console, and with the original colours I might add.
Exclusive to this version of the game is the T-Shirt Editor, which is lovely in theory. It's got a-lot of potential but it needs a lot of work. You'd assume it works similarly to the animal crossing pattern editor, and you'd be right. The T-shirt editor is alot easier to use compared to animal crossing, you can choose to draw using the touch screen or the thumb-sticks, and you have full control over the colours you want to use. My only issue with the T-Shirt Creator is that, at the time of writing this there is no way for people to share their creations or download other people's creations. I know for a fact this isn't a feature I'm going to use, because I can't draw and there is a lot of talented people out there who could make awesome designs that I would want to put on the vocaloids. Now on to the gameplay, the game is fantastic to play, simple and sweet. Nothing too crazy, no rear touch pads like the PS Vita or Touch Pad button like the PS4, just your regular buttons and triggers for slide notes. And you know what ... it works incredibly well. I must say that when playing the game in handheld mode, I recommend using a 3rd party joycon solution, something like the hori split pad pro, as the game can be very uncomfortable in hand held mode and there is risk of damaging the joycons, with quick harsh button presses. Also the joycon is clearly not designed for rhythm games ,but there is a mode in this game known as "Mix Mode" that uses Trigger buttons and motion controls to hit tones. I prefer playing the arcade mode, but it's great to see more games on the switch using motion controls in new and interesting ways. All in all , I love this game and I would give it a perfect score if it wasn't for 2 issues that I have, first being load times, and the second being some textures in the background of certain tracks that are hazy or low res. They aren't really deal breakers, but it gets on my nerves a little bit. So I gotta give this game a 8 /10 , great fun and I see myself playing this game for a good number of years unless they release a sequel on the switch.
Overall Rating : 8/10
+ Over 100 Tracks included in the base game
+ 300 unlockable modules for Miku & Friends
+ Awesome Track List
+ Easy to pick up and play, especially for newcomers + Very Customisable , can be played with one handed
+ Beautiful New Rendering Engine
- A few noticeable of graphical flaws
- Long loading times - Can feel barebones at times
This review covers Hatsune Miku : Project Diva Mega Mix for Nintendo Switch. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Sega for providing me with the opportunity to play this game and write this review.