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  1. #1

    Retro|Spective 034: Hatsune Miku

    There has long been a history of music rhythm games coming out of Japan but in recent years they've really taken to home on portables with a key trinity of series taking the lead, Namco's Taiko series and DJ Max make two but there's only one queen...

    Hatsune Miku


    Mainline Entry 01 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA
    Formats: Playstation Portable and Playstation 3
    With the vocaloid singer taking centre stage, the original game set up the formula that the series has followed ever since. Timed with the many songs the game features, button icons drift into the screen space in front of the video until they align with a prompt where the player attempts to hit the corresponding button in time. With 4-5 difficulty settings, controls rise from a basic X only mode up to a frantic level with the player trying to keep pace with the entire controller.



    Spin Off Entry 01 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Arcade
    Formats: Arcade
    Porting the first game to the arcade, the machine added large buttons and updated the visuals along with some physics changes.



    Mainline Entry 02 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA 2nd
    Formats: Playstation Portable and Playstation 3
    Adding in extra prompts and a hold button feature, the sequel expanded the combination options whilst offering a third of the track list as returning songs coupled with two thirds new.



    Spin Off Entry 02 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Extend
    Formats: Playstation Portable and Playstation 3
    Mainline Entry 03 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F
    Formats: Playstation Vita and Playstation 3
    A new handheld brought on a new entry with F, though this time a port arrived on PS3 also with the series taking its first official steps to broaden out to western audiences. Along with improved visuals the game brought in the Star and Chance Systems.



    Spin Off Entry 03 - Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai
    Formats: Nintendo 3DS
    The new handheld from Nintendo was slow to start off but quickly proved far more popular than Sony's platform forcing Sega to branch out with this side game that Nenderoided Miku. Using a different input approach and art style, the game none the less continued the spirit of the other entries and repurposed many of the tracks.



    Spin Off Entry 04 - Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2
    Formats: Nintendo 3DS
    Mainline Entry 04 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
    Formats: Playstation Vita and Playstation 3
    The new entry followed closely on the first Vita title but added the more troublesome addition of touch controls, handled by the right analogue stick in the console port. Other than that addition it was a very typical sequel and performed well despite the change.



    Spin Off Entry 05 - Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
    Formats: Nintendo 3DS
    Mainline Entry 05 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X
    Formats: Playstation Vita and Playstation 4
    The title of this sequel referred to its place of being the tenth entry in the series though not quite as you see here with Sega classing the mainline titles and side bits as Dreamy Theatre and updates as mainline entries. Rush notes where the player hammers buttons was added in place of other systems for this entry whilst introducing a mild quest mode though the game took a knock due to a lack on content compared to previous entries.



    Spin Off Entry 06 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone
    Formats: Playstation 4
    Released in DLC chunks, the port of the arcade games came as a free initial three song download then in two DLC batches. Future Tone contained all 127 songs that had appeared in the DIVA series whereas Colorful Tone contained the 95 Mirai and Arcade songs. Due to the arcade games basis on the earlier entries the gameplay is pulled back to a purer form and it (almost) represents the most definitive way to play the series.



    Spin Off Entry 07 - Hatsune Miku: VR Future Live
    Formats: Playstation 4
    Spin Off Entry 08 - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone DX
    Formats: Playstation 4
    The most recent release is a slight expansion on FT, combining every module and adding a slim number of additional tracks, this being the culmination with every song you'd ever need.



    Share your thoughts and memories of the Hatsune Miku series

  2. #2
    This is one of those series where there's a fairly minimal distinction between most entries, probably one of the reasons it's done so well in this instance. The three PSP games were what caught me, great games and Extend is a great culmination point. I was eager to move onto the Vita versions etc but from there on they got worse due to the tweaks in controls. I ended up switching to PS3 but didn't like that either, the screen size combined with icon sizes against larger screen space made it harder to track notes. From there I pretty much tanked out until recently getting Future Tone complete edition in the PSN Sale. I've not done much but it's so much better than the post-DIVA PSP games and has an obscene amount of content. Doubt I'll need another entry

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Superman Falls View Post
    This is one of those series where there's a fairly minimal distinction between most entries, probably one of the reasons it's done so well in this instance. The three PSP games were what caught me, great games and Extend is a great culmination point. I was eager to move onto the Vita versions etc but from there on they got worse due to the tweaks in controls. I ended up switching to PS3 but didn't like that either, the screen size combined with icon sizes against larger screen space made it harder to track notes. From there I pretty much tanked out until recently getting Future Tone complete edition in the PSN Sale. I've not done much but it's so much better than the post-DIVA PSP games and has an obscene amount of content. Doubt I'll need another entry
    I always thought of Miku as primarily associated with some software that allows you to make music using her voice (which was based on samples provided by a singer/actress who was anonymous until recently) - aren't the games just a spinoff of that?

  4. #4
    Pretty much though the company behind her has done sterling work in building a whole audience around it. The amount of merchandise, content, videos, live concerts etc is mind blowing

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Superman Falls View Post
    Pretty much though the company behind her has done sterling work in building a whole audience around it. The amount of merchandise, content, videos, live concerts etc is mind blowing
    I find Miku interesting because, as a teenager, I was a big fan of Macross Plus, which features a "virturoid idol" called Sharon Apple, a kind of computer generated pop-star. I remember as a kid wondering if that would ever be a real thing, or just science fiction, but it seems that we're already approaching that point.

  6. #6
    It'll be the perfect culmination for the absolute sea of disposable chart guff out there, studios just dispensing with the turnover of forgettable ego faking human acts altogether

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Superman Falls View Post
    It'll be the perfect culmination for the absolute sea of disposable chart guff out there, studios just dispensing with the turnover of forgettable ego faking human acts altogether
    I'm not completely sure of that. Say what you want about X-Factor and the like (I would rather stick needles in my eyes than watch them) but they thrive on drama. Pop singers and their acts are ten-a-penny; many of them are very similar. There are a dozen singers doing pretty much the same thing as Ed Sheeran, a dozen doing pretty much the same thing as Adele...

    The ultimate examples are boy-bands, who fall into a few categories, but within those they're all very similar.

    What makes them successful is the way their personality is marketed - that they have "the whole package", with a "legend" (a term I hate but hear all the time with this stuff; basically a mixture of their origin story and defined personality traits) and a reason for them to stand above the rest.

    Virtual pop acts are novel, but whether they can ever replace human personalities is another thing. I don't think it'll happen until we get further down the road with AI.

  8. #8
    I absolutely loved the first Vita game, was disappointed by the second and never bothered with the third. I never played the PSP entries for some reason, and I've never tried the Project Mirai entries.

    This thread serves as a good reminder to pick up Future Tone. It's far better than the PS3 versions of the Vita games, which as SF points out were just literally handheld games on TV, with massive, off putting icons to match.

    I tried the Future Tone demo and really liked it though - the graphics are excellent and it's nice to hear the songs through my sound system. I see that both halves of it are now compiled on a single physical disc, which is great.

  9. #9
    I don't know about the drama thing, WWE managed to fabricate it to great effect in wrestling

    This makes me sad now, I wish reality TV would die off already

  10. #10
    Clue for thread 35:

    Clue - Tetsuya's Race

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