Hatsune Miku Project Diva F2nd is a rhythm game and a direct sequel to Project Diva F. I have not played the first game in the series so that may be something to take into consideration. We take on the role of Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka, Kaito and a few other singers that are on a quest to sing I suppose. There is no story whatsoever and Project Diva doesn’t bother to introduce the characters to you. Why do they all have a red tattoo with a number on them, whats up with Rin & Len, and why in the world does Luka carry around a flying octopus who is wearing a copy of her head are all question I still don’t know after over a dozen hours of play time. None of this matters whatsoever and don’t really effect anything but a small character bios would be nice nonetheless.
Project Dive F2nd features over 40 songs, each having four difficulty levels which are easy, normal, hard and extreme. To unlock hard you must beat the song on normal and to play it on extreme you must beat the song on hard. Playing on normal is still no easy task and will give you quite a challenge at first. The songs do get progressively harder the further down the list you go and the last two songs are pretty brutal even on normal. There is a star system that shows you how difficult a song is but I found it to be pretty useless as songs with lower stars are sometimes much harder and vice versa. I found it to be easier to just estimate how hard the song is by how low on the list it is.
Having over 40 songs is kind of worthless if the songs are bad but as someone new to this genre they are just perfect for this type of game as they are all upbeat, fast paced and very catchy. I have nearly 20 hours logged into this game and have yet to bore of a single song which is saying something. Admittedly music is very subjective and you should try the demo first to see if it suits you. If that still isn’t enough songs for you there is a powerful edit feature that lets you make and share music videos with other people. You will have to get the audio files yourself for legal reasons but it is an awesome edition to the game and people make some pretty awesome stuff.
You can not choose a difficultly mode on custom songs and most seem to be a bit difficult for new players so it may be best to get some practice with the included songs. The custom songs are not just about Hatsune Miku either. I have seen Persona 4 songs, rap songs and multiple other types of music. It is difficult to find specific songs though. You can either search for songs by typing in a user name or scrolling through the most popular of the week list. The edit feature is a separate download so you will have to download it before being able to access it. It is nearly a 1GB download so it is a welcome feature to us Vita users since Sony went pretty crazy with the prices of higher capacity memory cards.
After completing a non user created song you will gain Diva points which you can use to purchase new clothing, furniture, gifts and new UI skins to use during gameplay. You can customize everything on a song to song basis and even flat out switch which character is in the song. The song stays the same but it is pretty funny to see Hatsune Miku sing with the voice of a dude. On top of that there is a Diva Room in which you can become friends with any or all of the singers. You win their affection by offering gifts and using the touch screen to rub their heads. It is pretty weird and the temptation to try to jab their eye out is strong but they will get mad at you. It is above the shoulder touching so don’t expect some kind of foreplay simulator.
The rooms start off pretty bland being nothing but a white room but like everything else in the game you can customize the heck out of it. You can turn their rooms into an underwater museum or some kind of feudal Japan setting, place all kinds of furniture like arcade machines, toys, jokeboxes and much much more. In the Diva room you can also use certain objects that you have bought like an alarm or kitchen timer for real life. Or use the Tv to look at the music videos, the Jukebox to simply listen to the songs or the Art book which lets you see all of the tons of art they use in the loading screens which is a nice touch. All the while the character whose room that you are in will be working out, playing, reading or sleeping. You have multiple cameras around the room which lets you change to point of view and it does seem pretty creepy now that I think about it.
On top of all that you have an AR mode which lets Hatsune Miku preform some songs in real life using the back camera. You can even take a selfie with any character and position them anyway you want. This obviously does not with the PS TV and neither does rubbing a characters head for that matter. You can replicate the touch screens via analog sticks but the rubbing refuses to work and you will end up poking them. Everything else like the edit mode and playing songs work perfectly on it though and look great on the big screen. If you prefer to play it on the big screen there is a PS3 version available with better graphics.
All these features would be useless without solid gameplay but luckily Project Diva F2 delivers. There are Playstation buttons flying over the screen which you must press at a pretty precise moment as the game is kind of unforgiving with timing. It can seem overwhelming at first but it is better to press any button and receive a “cool?” instead of letting the note pass you. The ranks of timed presses are missed, bad, good and cool. Bad and missed notes drain a circle which when depleted ends the song while good and cool fill it back up. It is very easy to stay alive, the real challenge comes from trying to do well enough to pass the song. Getting a standard, great or excellent at the end of the song allows you to progress to the next song, unlock items as well as giving you much more Diva points to spend. If you don’t reach atleast standard you will get a “So close…” and receive nothing but a minscule amount of Diva points.
There is also a non Playstation note that looks like a star which you must do a scratching motion on your touch screen to hit. I hated that but luckily you can change it to simply having to move the analog stick instead of using the touchscreen which was very difficult yo pull off. At times a colored directional arrow note will show up in which you must press both the dpad and the button which that color belongs to. If you are not familiar with Playstation button colors then X is blue, O is orange, Square is pink and Triangle is green. It has to be a specific Dpad direction too, such as the traingle being the top button so you want to press up on the Dpad. It sounds complicated when you have to write it down but playing the tutorial well make it pretty clear.
If you are finding the game too hard you can purchase items that let you disable the need for a dpad, relax the timing of button presses and allow you to revive if you lose a song along with some other items. It earns you less Diva points and adds a little heart next to your grade reminding you which songs you’ve used it on though. There are also ones that make the game more difficult like one that makes notes smaller and harder to see, one that makes them appear randomly around the screen and one that makes them faster to name a few. They do earn you more Diva points but the game is hard enough as it is so I never really used them.
Once you get the basics down it is only a matter of time until you are breezing through songs that seemed impossible a few hours ago. It is truly a lot of fun to play this game and it’s amazing songs really do compliment that nicely. Add to that tons of additional content, tons of user made songs and an absurd amount of customization and you have a recipe for a great game. It also supports cross-save with the PS3 version. This is a must have for any fan of the rhythm genre or fans of Vocaloids. Don’t let the anime style of this game deter you away from it. Hatsune Miku Project Diva F2nd is one of the best rhythm games available.