Lovers of auto-tuned pop music and dressing up rejoice! Everyone's favourite digital pop star, Hatsune Miku, is back for her third entry on Playstation platforms, hitting the Playstation Vita and debuting on the Playstation 4 this August. A button mashing, rhythm action game that sees you dressing up various anime 'Vocaloid' idols and jigging about to a selection of their digital hits by pressing the on-screen button prompts in time with the music, they're certainly the epitome of addictive, just-one-more-go games, with scores of unlockable outfits and accessories on offer. A bit of a guilty pleasure of ours, the news that a new Project Diva game is coming is music to our ears - and Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X sounds like it will be hitting all the right notes next month!
It seems Project Diva X will play a little differently to previous Hatsune Miku games, with a "narrative that centres on Miku and her friends" taking on requests to uncover the secret of the eponymous X.
Mixing the rhythmic button tapping, Guitar Hero/Rock Band style gameplay with visual novel style story sections, this new story mode promises to bring with it various events and conversations between the Vocaloid characters, as you progress through the increasingly challenging musical requests. With one-on-one cutscenes in the down time between songs, these mark the first time you'll actually be able to 'talk' to the Vocaloids, as previous games have mostly relied on nods, gestures and head rubs to get across how the characters feel about you. Looking to let you build more of a relationship with the characters than in previous games, which mostly just revolved around giving them gifts they liked to gain their favour, it certainly sounds like an interesting direction for the Hatsune Miku series to take, bringing some personality to the largely vapid anime characters of previous instalments.
The world of Project Diva X is spread out over five different clouds, each with it's own feel and aura - Classic, Cute, Cool, Elegant and Quirky, with their own set of songs associated with them, and only by earning enough points (known as 'Voltage') on a cloud can you charge up it's 'Prism' and open up more clouds to play on. Every song and costume falls into one of these five auras, and matching the 'feel' of your song and outfit to the cloud you're playing on can give you a significant boost to your score and bring you closer to aceing a particular request, earning you more voltage and bringing you closer to unlocking the next batch of tunes.
Project Diva X has more changes up it's sleeves, too - gone are certain touch screen/analogue stick notes (double star and link sections specifically) which required you to awkwardly leap with your fingers from the buttons to the stick/touch screen, having been replaced instead with all-new Rush sections, where hammering the button in question as many times as you can will give you more and more points.
But arguably the biggest change looks to be the unlockable 'Modules' - a collection of over 300 unlockable costumes and accessories, which would previously been bought with the game's Diva Points currency, earned through playing songs. Now all the Modules are random drops earned during songs as a reward for completing certain sections, or certain requests - we're not sure how this will work in practice though, or whether random drops will be more or less of a grind than amassing the ludicrous amounts of Diva Points needed to buy all the costumes of previous games. What's interesting is that, while each costume or accessory will belong to one of the cloud auras of Classic, Cute, Cool, Elegant and Quirky, each will also have a different skill associated with it, affecting how you play a song - some may have recovery skills that help negate the effects of missed notes, others that boost your score or ones that increase the module drop rate.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X will be jigging it's way onto the Playstation 4 and PS Vita on the 30th August as a digital download only (boo!) in Europe. For keen Hatsune Miku-ers, Sega will be releasing a demo in a couple of weeks time, on the 9th August, for both the Playstation 4 and PS Vita, which includes three songs (Satisfaction, LOL -lots of laugh- and Raspberry * Monster), and two difficulties - Easy and Normal. You'll be able to unlock a handful of costume modules for Miku too, as well as creating your own custom Music Festival medley as a request. In the meantime, why not get yourself in the Vocaloid mood with the announcement trailer below: