What is Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X?
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is a musical rhythm action game, where players play along with songs, pressing buttons in time with prompts in order to earn points - the better your timing, the better your score. The game's story mode sees you helping out six of the most popular digital singers, in a world where the clouds that power their music have been drained of their energy, having a knock-on effect on their abilities to sing. By helping them sing their way through the game's thirty or so songs, you can help recover the lost voltage and restore the power of song, unlocking all kinds of cute and crazy outfits and accessories along the way, from bunny ears and moustaches to backpacks and school uniforms.
How do you play Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X?
As Project Diva X is a rhythm action game, your sense of rhythm and reactions are key to doing well. Using a combination of the triangle, circle, square and x face buttons, as well as the occasional directional button, you simply need to press the right button at the right time, tapping or holding it as each symbol crosses its marker in time with the music. Certain sections of the songs offer you the chance to hit every note in each Technical Zone or Chance Time for a bonus point boost too - passing the latter will let you unlock new outfits for the divas.
When playing in story mode, the points you earn from each song count towards recharging each of the world's five clouds, each of which has a particular theme associated with it - from cute to cool to quirky. By matching your outfit and accessories to the corresponding aura, as shown by the five symbols, you can earn bonus points to make songs easier to clear, as well as adding various additional effects to your game. For example, new outfits unlock randomly when you clear a Chance Time section, and some clothes increase the odds of earning a new costume rather than a duplicate. Other effects include increased points, rewards for longer combos or making a song's timing more lenient.
How easy is Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X to pick up and play?
For the most part, Project Diva X is pretty scalable. With multiple difficulties on offer, from easy to extreme, the game can cater well to different skill levels and abilities, while you can tailor your outfits to give you a points boost when you need to. Picking a costume with either the 'Rate Up', 'Combo Bonus', 'Safety Judge', 'Tech Up' or 'Bad Voltage' effects will up the points you receive from the notes you hit, or make the timing of the song a little easier, hopefully letting you clear the song in question more easily. It is possible to fail songs, however, by not managing to rack up enough points before the end - so you'll need to practice if you want to unlock everything.
The game does also feature a variety of side missions, known as event requests, which sometimes ask you to play a song on the hardest difficulty, "extreme". Whilst not strictly necessary, this is the only way to unlock certain outfits in game.
Given Project Diva X's new story mode, reading is more of an issue in this game than previous instalments, as all of the story-related scenes are unvoiced/in Japanese, so you're relying on subtitles to make sense of what's going on. That being said, none of it is especially critical to the rhythm action game, and you could skip over it all without much in the way of consequences, but there is a lot to wade through if you choose that route. Occasional conversation options could confuse the non-reader too, although again, none of them are critical in the slightest.
- "You can wear up to four accessories at a time, but don't just choose them at random. Combine them wisely, and they'll be that much more effective."
- "That was intense. The air was so charged with Voltage I though I could almost see sparks flying! It feels like the other songs were just opening acts before the main event!"
- "And I just can't put my finger on what I'm doing wrong when it comes to giving off a Cute Aura."
While for the most part, Hastune Miku: Project Diva X isn't too bad, there are a few innuendo references in the lyrics. A song called 'Holy Lance Explosion Boy' is the main culprit: "A solo cry of pleasure, orgasmination, overflowing, gushing, spurting", while another song features the word 'sh*tty" at one point. That being said, you don't actually hear the lyrics in the game in English - the songs are all sung in Japanese, and as you'll be paying close attention to watching the icons and pressing the buttons at the right time, you may not actually have chance to notice the innuendo and language.
It's also worth noting that some of the outfits you unlock for the female characters can be a little revealing, giving you a bit of an eye full at times, but nothing much worse than a bikini and nothing too risqué.