Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix Review – One More Time

The phenomenon round Vocaloid-based music and the anime-impressed mascots that personify these artificial voices is one which brings large pleasure to many. It’s not simply because our beloved blue-haired digital pop idol has been the face for a subsection of Japanese music that we maintain so dear–through the Project DIVA rhythm video games, Miku has represented our approach of personally connecting with a whole bunch of songs composed by a variety of extremely gifted artists. With Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix, now we have one more nice assortment of style-defying tunes and all-new bangers that convey the collection to Nintendo Switch in acquainted, however terrific type.

MegaMix’s rhythm gameplay system follows that of earlier Project DIVA video games; notice patterns fly in from off-display screen to type a steady string of button prompts that sync to the beat of every music. When you select to ramp up the issue, the face buttons or directional inputs (or any mixture thereof) and shoulder button prompts start to layer over each other at a fast tempo and problem you to maintain up. And it is a gratifying thrill while you’ve mastered your favourite songs, as in the event you’re taking part in some position within the efficiency of the music itself, particularly at Hard or Extreme issue when the button patterns start to intensify each intricate a part of the instrumentation.

“COOL” does not even start to explain the sensation you get from a 340-note combo on Extreme issue.

The Switch’s transportable nature makes it handy to fulfill the impulse to crank out a couple of songs or get misplaced in hours of music, very like the need to jam out for some time on an instrument you play. It’s been fairly a while for the reason that PS Vita entries and the closely modified 3DS variations, so the return to handheld type is a welcome one. Thankfully in MegaMix, you may swap out the Switch’s letter-designated face button prompts to as an alternative present up as both the suitable directional arrows or as PlayStation’s face button symbols (which is totally vital since quickly processing Nintendo’s lettered-button prompts can throw you for a loop). Getting the timing proper to rack up your rating and the very best attainable combo is nonetheless fulfilling as a protracted-time fan though it very a lot shares the DNA of those I’ve poured hours into on Sony platforms. It’s a tried-and-true basis, nevertheless it’s no much less joyous right here in MegaMix.

Of the 101 songs within the base recreation’s library, you may hear sugar-coated pop tunes, exhausting-hitting punk-infused tracks, frenetic J-rock jams, digital bangers, and some others that merely defy style.

MegaMix encompasses a model-new playstyle known as Mix Mode, which makes use of the JoyCon movement controls when indifferent. Instead of hitting buttons, you could align the JoyCon sensor with bars that movement downward on the display screen and hit the corresponding set off on the proper time. It’s a singular diversion from the common Arcade Mode. However, it does not have a lot depth because the notice patterns are restricted, and the movement sensors may be too imprecise for the upper issue. Thus, the standard type of play is the place MegaMix shines.

The six Vocaloids featured in the Project DIVA games: Kaito, Meiko, Miku, Rin, Len, and Luka (left to right).
The six Vocaloids featured within the Project DIVA video games: Kaito, Meiko, Miku, Rin, Len, and Luka (left to proper).

Of the 101 songs within the base recreation’s library, you may hear sugar-coated pop tunes, exhausting-hitting punk-infused tracks, frenetic J-rock jams, digital bangers, and some others that merely defy style. Classics from Miku and her counterparts Luka, Rin, Len, Meiko, and Kaito make up a bulk of the tracklist–favorites like “Senbonzakura” and “Akatsuki Arrival” nonetheless bump. The late artist Wowaka, who will all the time be remembered as an all-time nice musician who used Vocaloid, has 4 of his earlier songs right here, together with the infectious “World’s End Dancehall” and the beloved “Rolling Girl.” What makes MegaMix particular particularly is the inclusion of 10 new tracks that make their debut in a Project DIVA game–and they’re certainly prime-tier songs.

“Catch The Wave” acts as MegaMix’s theme music, and the playable model is an absolute delight with an lovable animated music video exhibiting Miku and her fellow Vocaloid mates touring the world. It hits you with uplifting digital melodies and a powerful uptempo beat that’ll enhance your temper. Rin and Len are the celebs in “Roki” which is a cool, quick-paced rock tune with each singers quickly alternating and harmonizing with one another. When they yell at particular factors on this music, their human-like rasp additionally serves for example of how far the Vocaloid sound has come, additional blurring the road between artificial and pure. That feeling applies to a different new music, “Teo,” which options one in all Miku’s most expressive and emotional vocal tracks. While it blasts you with catchy distorted guitars and heavy synths within the minor key alongside sturdy percussions, Miku delivers the heartwrenching lyrics infectiously and convincingly.

I may simply go on and on explaining why my favourite new songs featured in Project DIVA MegaMix resonate so strongly, nevertheless it’s all to say that you just’re certain to search out unbelievable music no matter your tastes. These new tracks are a microcosm of what makes Vocaloid-based music an exquisite factor and the Project DIVA rhythm video games effectively-value taking part in.

I need you to understand how disappointing it is to miss just one note in a song of 858 notes.
I would like you to know how disappointing it’s to overlook only one notice in a music of 858 notes.

Every music is accompanied by background music movies both composed of gorgeous hand-drawn paintings or animated performances of 3D character fashions. Even as you are frantically attempting to maintain tempo with notice patterns, music movies ship a spirited layer of appeal to the complete expertise. There’s even an choice to look at them on their own–if you do not perceive Japanese or have not appeared up translated lyrics, you should still get a way of the story behind a music simply from the music video. They’re like brief-type anime episodes peeking into the lifetime of Miku, Luka, or Rin, or what the composers themselves try to speak.

The endearing hand-drawn slideshow in “Dreamin’ Chuchu” is without doubt one of the cutest issues in the complete recreation, and it is fairly clear in exhibiting a determined younger love as Luka makes chocolate treats as a present. And Miku’s lovable dance routine in “Alien Alien” is as foolish because the animated backdrop and lyrics. While some songs and movies may be lighthearted enjoyable, they’re additionally necessary for conveying a few of the heavier messages.

Vocaloid has given a voice to the unvoiced, letting unbelievable multi-instrumentalists create songs with precise lyrics even when they themselves do not have the flexibility to sing.

The collection of paintings and graphics in “Jigsaw Puzzle” and the darkish, offended portrayal of Rin in “Tokyo Teddy Bear” categorical a way of craving and melancholy that is communicated within the songwriting. The quintessential punk-folks hybrid “Senbonzakura” touches on the troubles of reconciling cultural traditions tied to a darkish historical past amid a altering world–it’s mirrored within the lyrics, video, and the instrumentation itself. And a Wowaka traditional in “Two-Faced Lovers” throws movement graphics at you at a breakneck pace and ever so subtly unravels the risks and problems of romance.

Wowaka will always be remembered as one of the greatest musicians who used Vocaloid.
Wowaka will all the time be remembered as one of many biggest musicians who used Vocaloid.

Now, there is a bit extra to Project DIVA MegaMix than music, rhythm gameplay, and movies. As with earlier entries, you earn factors by finishing songs relying on issue and efficiency. These factors permit you to purchase outfits, or “modules,” letting you customise the hairstyles and clothes of the Vocaloid mascots for the 3D animated movies. A Switch-exclusive function is the choice to design your personal t-shirt utilizing the touchscreen, which you’ll be able to put on in movies. Some modules are missing in tastefulness, however a handful of them higher swimsuit a specific music video or straight up look cool–it’s good to combine up Miku’s blue hair and blue tie ever so typically and Luka’s signature getup.

Given that MegaMix is kind of a port of Project DIVA Future Tone, the general bundle is as anticipated: wonderful music, stable rhythm gameplay, and module customization. Past video games like Project DIVA X had a quick tour-themed marketing campaign with extra customization, and the 3DS’s Project Mirai DX even included a couple of minigames. So, all issues thought-about, it is a bit disappointing to see an absence of complementary options in MegaMix.

Miku travels the world in the
Miku travels the world within the “Catch The Wave” video. Must be good.

The solely different shortcoming is that the presentation of notice patterns could cause issues in a variety of tracks on Extreme issue. The display screen will get cluttered, obscuring the sequence and placement of the notes amongst one another, which makes the sample unnecessarily tough to decipher. It’s an issue that lies outdoors of my ability to maintain rhythm with more and more complicated patterns. Pouring time into observe mode and rewinding to retry more durable sections of songs will assist, however this can be a flaw in how Extreme notice charts are displayed, which is inherent to the collection.

Minor shortcomings apart, Project DIVA MegaMix is an excellent illustration of why so many people cherish Vocaloid-based music and, by extension, these rhythm video games starring Hatsune Miku and mates. Sure, there could be a foolish facet to personifying virtualized characters like pop idols, however the music behind it is vitally actual. Vocaloid has given a voice to the unvoiced, letting unbelievable multi-instrumentalists create songs with precise lyrics even when they themselves do not have the flexibility to sing. And these of us who do not have their stage of expertise can no less than participate in taking part in a few of their greatest songs via the Project DIVA rhythm video games, which now lives on Switch in wonderful type.

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