Review: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix is a convenient compilation
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva games tend to fall into one of two different categories. There are the titles that attempt to offer a little extra context and a wider environment to the experience, like Project Mirai DX with its little room and Puyo Puyo game or Project Diva X Live Quest mode, where you attempt to complete certain quests. Then, there are ones that serve as a convenient means of accumulating a library of popular songs and giving people enough options to properly enjoy them. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix falls into that latter category.
Now, to provide some context, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Rather, it’s a means of providing a much needed foundation for the series on a platform that is already becoming known for its rhythm game library. It means that Nintendo Switch owners coming to Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix will find themselves with a game that has certain priorities. Games where the focus is split to offer additional activities, like Project Diva X or Project Mirai DX, sacrifice track listings in the process. The former has 30, while the latter has 48. The base version here, should you not opt into the season pass with an extra 36 songs, gives people 101 tunes. Easy, Normal and Hard difficulties are available right away, with Extreme and Extra Extreme to unlock and optional leaderboards for latter difficulty levels. A system to favorite songs exists, for easier sorting. All of the basic functions you should expect from an entry are here.
When it comes to a Hatsune Miku: Project Diva game’s song library, throwing out a large number isn’t always the most impressive part; knowing how many are entirely new to the series is as important as how many are present.
When it comes to a Hatsune Miku: Project Diva game’s song library, throwing out a large number isn’t always the most impressive part; knowing how many are entirely new to the series is as important as how many are present. Of the 101 songs here, the following ten are entirely new.
- “39 Music!”
- “Alien Alien”
- “Catch the Wave”
- “Dreamin Chuchu”
- “Jigsaw Puzzle”
- “Ooedo Julianight”
While 10 out of 101 tracks might not seem like a lot, there are other elements to consider. The only other Hatsune Miku: Project Diva game to appear on a Nintendo platform outside Japan was Project Mirai DX, and 24 of its songs appear in this installment too. This means the number of “potentially new to you” tracks increases to 77.
Since the focus is on the catalog, the true test of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix is how easy it makes it for a player to enjoy it. Really, there’s a lot here! The Arcade Mode is handled wonderfully. Its Customization option lets you choose which character, perhaps not even the one officially singing the song, appears in the music video and what they wear. A more than adequate number of modules are available, with Miku getting the bulk of the outfits, and you can choose which hairstyles or optional accessories go with each combination for that song. These require you to invest points earned from playing songs, unless you go with the free premade or five user-customized shirts.
See, people can create their own shirt designs for the vocaloids in Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix, though they don’t really work all that well in practice. You have to account for how some characters wear shirts for one. Rin and Meiko have half-shirts exposing their midriffs, eliminating everything in the lower half of the design. So you have to use preview to check how it would look. Also, actually drawing it feels more like drawing a quick, imprecise design in The Jackbox Party Pack 3 game Tee K.O., which… isn’t the best for a professional-looking design. I’m sure some people might accomplish impressive things, but most won’t.
The other options actually can help someone when playing the game. You can choose the button, slide, chain slide and slider control sound effects. You can adjust button configurations to choose what the melody icons look like (even PlayStation button symbols are available) and if there are multi-press assists. Lag can be adjusted as well. It’s all very comfortable and makes Arcade Mode more accommodating. You don’t realize how important indicators or their sounds are until you have the opportunity to play around with them.
Mix Mode exists as not great, imprecise mode that relies upon moving the detached Joy-Cons around to make sure the indicators representing them fall in line with the ones on-screen.
But, you may have noticed I’m focusing on Arcade Mode and avoiding the elephant in the room: Mix Mode. Mix Mode exists as not great, imprecise mode that relies upon moving the detached Joy-Cons around to make sure the indicators representing them fall in line with the ones on-screen. When things line up, you press a trigger button to register a hit. It is there and might be novel for a younger player or beginner, but really feels detached from the primary focus of the series as a whole: refined, accurate inputs in time with often-demanding tracks.
As for actually listening to the songs, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix makes that easy too. People can create Custom Playlists. You can go through all songs or look at ones you have designated as favorites, add them to a list, then either go through them in order or shuffle them to enjoy them all. It’s a means of listening to ones you enjoy or taking time to watch the music videos without any distractions. There are shortcut controls, to make it easier to traverse songs, and it is generally convenient.
I suppose that is a good way, as a whole, to look at Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix: generally convenient.
I suppose that is a good way, as a whole, to look at Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix: generally convenient. The game offers an extraordinary number of songs and has different kinds of difficulty levels, melody icons and SFX options. There are lots of different Vocaloid characters and outfits, with the option to mix and match hairstyles with modules or add extra accessories. The Arcade Mode is great and the Playlists are a convenient means of acquainting yourself with the song library, though things like Mix Mode and custom t-shirts feel like unnecessary padding. Essentially, it is a great fit on the Nintendo Switch.
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