Hatsune Miku Project Diva X is a Rhythm game that has you take on the role of five Vocaloids in an attempt to regain their suddenly lost singing talents by visiting new clouds that contain their traits such as cool, quirky or elegant. I have no idea what that means either and just to get this out of the way beforehand if there was ever a game that didn’t need a story it’d be this one. It adds nothing, dialogue is boring and our role is a producer seems interesting but our few choices when talking to characters result in pretty much no differences.
This odd decision of including a story has changed the series usual way of handling its “campaign”. Songs are now split between 5 “clouds” each containing 5 tracks to choose from and completing them all will unlock the final track of that cloud. At first, we are only given access to the Easy and Normal difficulty modes. Another major addition is that costumes will now provide RPG like bonuses such as extra points if you string enough notes together without messing up and others that make it more likely that outfits will drop, to name a few of their effects.
You must pick the character and costume you’ll use every time you pick a song which immediately presents a few problems. For one the character’s costume will never match the theme of the stage unless you already have the costume unlocked and remember what the environment looks like, causing an ‘out of place’ feel for every song. Another issue that arises is that pretty much all of the songs are sung by Miku and to unlock costumes for other characters we have to pick them, which merely replaces the character model while they retain Miku’s movements and voice. It is extremely bizarre and leads to other vocaloids hardly ever being used.
Essentially all the new additions to this game fall flat on their face but luckily it retains the gameplay that makes the series so good as well as a stellar selection of songs. For those unfamiliar with the series, it involves correctly timing the button press of whatever icon is falling from the screen. The dpad gets quite a bit of use too as some icons will change color and will require you to press both the direction of the dpad that pertains to that color as well as the button in question. Stars mean you have to flick the analog stick and some icons can have a string attached to them indicating that you are meant to hold the button. It’s less complicated when you try the game for a bit and you’ll soon catch the gist of it.
One new addition to the gameplay is a certain icon that requires you to frantically mash the button for extra points. It is not necessarily a good or bad feature, it is just there. This is one of the more difficult entries into the series in no small part due to the new voltage system. In each song, you must gather enough points to fill up that bar or you will fail, regardless if you survive to the end. At times it can be a bit too strict and nearly requires you to actually use different costumes so you may be forced to pay attention to that feature. Once you finish the game you can refill those clouds again in order to receive crystals that will unlock new Events.
Events are one of the few good features introduced and can either be a request from a character or you being given the reign to set up a concert with songs and characters of your choice. You will then have to play them back to back so messing up on a certain section can doom your entire show. It is intense and the first & only time you feel like a producer. I’ve played this on the PS Vita and have not run into major slowdowns that impact the gameplay and it is fully playable on the PS TV though you cannot use the Portrait mode to snap pictures for obvious reasons.
When not playing a song you can go back to the main hub to customize your room, characters and give gifts to increase their fondness of you. It’s all optional and there if they interest you. There are 30 songs overall with all of them being great fun to play. You also have the option to play Free Mode which does away with all the new additions such as costume effects and uses the original scoring system instead of the voltage meter. t the end of the day this may be the weakest title in the series but it is still a great game to play in its own right. I would suggest Project Diva F2nd over this but if you are simply looking for more Miku then this is worth a play.