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Topic: User Review - Project Diva F

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MadchesterManc

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Well, Its finally happened. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F has finally made its way to the west. I can already hear the groans of the Vocaloid haters n the Japanaphobes at the prospect of a niche vocaloid infused Rythmn game that 'nobody' will play making its way to our glorious shores. Then again, what about everyone else? No doubt theres a lot of people who are intrigued by this release or are sat on the fence but are unsure of whether to take the risk. Well my friends, thats why Ive wrote this snappy review EDIT: Not so snappy as its turned out to be an epic review!

*First things first. Lets deal with the elephant in the room that is no doubt leaving you to ponder on the validity of this review by myself. Yes, I am somewhat a Hatsune Miku Otaku. I adore Miku-chan. The music is awesome, Live shows are a treat n the PsP Project Diva games were brilliant on the go. No, I do not own a life-size huggable Miku pillow before you ask lol So why would you take notice of this review? Simple, Project Diva F is a game. Sure it has Hatsune Miku in the name n also in the game but at the end of the day Im reviewing the game itself, not the Hatsune Miku content. You still reading on? Good! Lets begin!

Features
The Game features a total of 44 songs, Including DLC. From what Ive gathered almost all of these are new for the Project Diva series and to be honest about a 1/4 of them I havent even heard myself, so anyone coming from the PsP games will be happy to see not much reused content here. Then again, I do miss some of the songs available on the handheld versions but there is a neat feature of the game that will no doubt be a good workaround which Ill allude to later. Each song has 4 difficulty settings (Easy, Normal, Hard, Extreme) and when a song is completed, points are awarded that can be used to buy content. This content includes costumes (or modules as known in-game) which there are 84 in total when all the Vocaloids are combined (Miku, Luka, Rin, Len, Kaito, and Meiko) plus theres gifts and content to buy for the Diva room. Im glad to see the Diva room has been kept in the game and also expanded a little over the previous PsP releases. The Diva room allows you to interact with the Vocaloids and build up 'affection' with them which in turn allows mini games or events to be played out. For example I spent a couple of minutes poking Miku in the back of her head upon which she became angry. I gave her a Tambourine to calm her down n build affection which in turn led to an event cutscene whereby Meiko entered the room n proceeded to do a duet dance with Miku while playing the Tambourine. There are also objects to decorate the room with and the room itself can have its style changed by purchasing with points. I must point out tho that everything must first be unlocked by completing songs. Complete a song on Easy - unlock content. Complete same song on Normal - unlocks more content n so on with all 44 songs. Indeed, each song will need to be cleared 4 times to unlock ALL content. Moving on to a suprisingly interesting feature Id alluded to earlier concerning missing songs. There is an Edit area of the game that allows you to create your own Videos and also your own song stages using your own Mp3's. Yes, You can have Miku getting her groove on to Vanilla Ice if you so desire. Your creation can then be shared online via the Network section of the menu! A brilliant inclusion, but also where my first issue with the game is raised. If you share your creation, only the video and song stage is shared. The Mp3 deos not get uploaded too (for obvious reasons like copyright I guess) What happens is that when you load the downloaded edit data you'll be asked to import an Mp3. Yes, you have to have the Mp3 on your Ps3 to import. When I downloaded one for PoPiPo luckily I have the Mp3 so I was able to get it to work and its a really good feature when it all comes together, but a little fiddly otherwise. There is also a Studio option that allows for you to upload pictures and then generate one of the vocaloid to position within the picture before saving it. Im not sure how much use this will get outside of Vocaloid fans. Also a Live stage mode which allows you to watch live performances using the in-game engine. Again, not sure how much use this one will get. Finally there is of course stat-tracking but this raises another somewhat minor issue. There is no online leaderboards, so if your the type of person who just has to be better than John Smith from Nepal at games then its omission may leave you dissapointed. I think thats everything covered. As you can see there is quite a lot of content here for a rythmn game which would take a LONG time to finish, if you was going for that 100%/Platinum (according to Ps3trophies.org - 30+ hours to Platinum!)

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Gameplay
The game retains many of the staples of its gameplay from the previous PsP iterations. Anyone coming from those releases will feel right at home. For everyone else, You'll be dropping into a superbly refined rythmn game thats easy to pick up but devilish when the difficulty its ramped up. Basically, as with all rythmn games, the face buttons are pressed in time with the music to yield points. On Easy only the Circle button is used (also the analogue, more on that later) which is a perfect starting point for anyone new to the game. Up the difficulty and this is where Project Diva really comes into its own. On Normal not only is another face button added but another symbol is then used in-game, an arrow coloured the same way as the face button. Whith this you have to press the face button and the corresponding D-pad direction - ie Square+Left for an arrow the same colour as the square button facing left. The jump up to Normal takes a little getting used to, especially if you have just finished Easy, but the Jump to Hard isn't too bad once you've cleared Normal. Its the same but just uses all the buttons (except LI,R1,L2,R2) I have yet to try Extreme but if the PsP versions are any indication, Ill be sobbing in the corner after 30 seconds. With this being a new release there are a few changes to the old formula. The most notable is the 'Star' symbol which requires a flick of the analogue although these tend to usually only show during the new 'Technical Zone' portion of a song. The Technical Zone is another new addition whereby you have to maintain an uninterrupted combo within a time limit for bonus points. Another change somes with the 'Chance Time'. While bonus points are still awarded during this segment like in previous releases, A star in the corner will also fill up ( 'Cool' will fill the star quicker than 'good') which when filled will enable a singular rainbow star to appear at a later interval in the song. Hit this Star and not only will you get a nice boost to your points but also a bonus event will happen during the song. Now on to the gritty stuff. Ive only come across a couple of issues with concerns to gameplay. The first is the new 'Star's that requires the use of the analogue. With the analogue having an obvious deadzone, during fast paced sections when symbols are flying everywhere there can be the odd occasion when you have to be quick with the analogue. The deadzone can on occasion cause a quick small jab during a fast section to not register. On Project Diva's sister release on Vita, the touchscreen is used but with there being no such input for Ps3 they've had to use something different. While by no means is it a game breaker, it is something to ensure you are aware of. The other is Delay. Yes, this game can have delay caused by your TV which will in turn effect your gameplay. Luckily SEGA have included a delay option in the options menu for you to tweak to rid yourself of the TV delay if it rears its ugly head. In all honestly I can't really find fault with the gameplay. Its been superbly refined from previous PsP releases of the game to almost perfection in the rythmn game stakes. I would've preferred a Vita release in all honesty though. It deos feel somewhat odd using a Dualshock3 after spending so long playing Project Diva via a handheld.

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Graphics & Sound
Well you'll be pleased to know that this game deos in fact run at 1080p, and it shows. Scenery and characters are very well detailed and the high resolution ensures everything remains razor sharp. There is also AA employed to smooth off those jaggied edges that may crop up on the odd occasion, although there is some slight alaising still if you go looking for it. The game is a large improvement over its prodecessors due to the increase in capabilitys of the Ps3/Vita. Character animations are improved with smoother movements for clothing etc (and Miku's gravity defying hair!) which leads to also better facial animations and the new real-time lighting fleshes out the visual improvements. Framerate is key and Im happy to report 99.9999999999% of the time its flawless. There was a momentary Judder during Meiko's Stay with Me when it began to snow, but it only lasted a moment and is the only time Ive noticed any slowdown. Luckily the same art style is maintained from the PsP games which is a huge bonus for me as it looks good and ensures the game is detailed, smooth and colourful. The anime stylings of the characters n levels will do nothing to endear you to the game though if you absaloutly dislike that styling. There has been the odd occasion when the button icons have been lost in the colourful backgrounds though, notably during Kagamin's Hachi Hachi Flowery Battle, but it is a rare occurence. As for sound, well its a rythmn game so as you'd expect there isn't much to go on other than to confirm that the sound quality is superb and the songs haveen encoded perfectly for this release. There is currently a bit of whining on the internet concerning the games Dolby Digital 5.1 status. NO, the songs haven't been re-encoded into 5.1. Instead its been encoded as multitrack stereo, thereby preserving its original stereo track while utilising the other channels when needs be. For those that use a 5.1 set-up at least you know beforehand (unless you've already purchased) So while there is the odd minor issue with the games presentation, I would say SEGA have done a stellar job of transporting its PsP series to more powerful hardware. Im not too sure what can be improved for the release of Project Diva F 2nd next year though to be honest.
3D - The game also has 3D! It only works when playing back videos of songs you've cleared and when watching the Live performance segmants. At first I was suprised it didn't have 3D during the game but it makes perfect sense upon reflection. There are depth & pop-out sliders to tailor it to your needs, but then again unless your a Vocaloid fan you wount be rushing to try it. I found the 3D to be pretty good, although putting the pop-out slider on max can confuse the hell outta your eyes so that one will need to be lowered for optimal enjoyment.

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CONCLUSION
What we have here is a superb rythmn game. There is no denying that fact (Personally I couldn't help but wish I was playing this on the Vita though, damn SEGA!, but maybe that will come with the sequel next year). While people who have no interest in Vocaloids or rythmn games will probably give this game a miss regardless, any open-minded gamer out there looking to try something new could do a lot worse then to give Project Diva F a chance. There is the odd little niggle here n there, lack of online leaderboards probably the most glaring for a console release, but the gameplay has almost been refined to perfection that anyone who endears themself to Project Diva F can have hours of enjoyment. With the game also sporting the Studio n Edit features and the ability to share data online, even more hours could be lost creating your own content or downloading others. With bags of content, Stunningly refined & addictive gameplay, smooth graphics and a great soundtrack that all adds up to a must buy for Vocaloid fans. For everyone else, I cant recommend this game enough. If your still on the fence though you'd be a fool to pass up on this when theres a sale/price drop. All in all, a superb entry in series! Did I mention it features Hatsune Miku!!??

9/10

(With this being on PSQR Ive used PushSquare's scoring policy http://www.pushsquare.com/scoring )

Apologies for the Japanese screenshots lol Ive spent a few hours writing and editing this so I hope its useful for you. Feel free to ask any questions below or raise any issues Ive missed and Ill see if I can help out, but above all..Discuss

Edited on by MadchesterManc

http://www.otakugamers.uk
https://twitter.com/OtakuGamersUK

"Love is a device invented by bank managers to make us overdrawn" AJ Rimmer

PSN: MadchesterManc | Twitter:

ShogunRok

Wow - such detail. Sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed this one, and hopefully it can help out people who are interested in the game. You even stuck to our scoring system!

Thanks so much for posting!

ShogunRok

Twitter:

MadchesterManc
ShogunRok

Wow - such detail. Sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed this one, and hopefully it can help out people who are interested in the game. You even stuck to our scoring system!

Thanks so much for posting!

Thanks for reading Im quite proud of that review to be honest lol About 3/4 of the way through the few or so hours Ive put into drafting n editing the review I almost considered cutting it down to a more bite-sized review. Seeing as though ya impressed with the detail, Im glad I kept it thorough. Not bad considering I haven't reviewed games like that since college lol Hopefully a review like this is good for you guys too with the talk of User Reviews at the moment.

Ill keep looking into niche games that Ill be picking up or I have and if there's no review in the current pipeline by you guys Ill keep writing them here, Ill even stick to PushSquare's scoring system to add some validity to the community members reading. I think Ill keep pushing the review on Twitter for now, hopefully more people come n read.

Thanks again. Its good to know its been read at least lol

Edited on by MadchesterManc

http://www.otakugamers.uk
https://twitter.com/OtakuGamersUK

"Love is a device invented by bank managers to make us overdrawn" AJ Rimmer

PSN: MadchesterManc | Twitter:

Epic

Nice review, now I can understand why everyone was so hyped for this game so much.
If I were a Miku fan I wouldn't even think it twice to get this but that's not the case.
I might download the demo and let that be my guide.

PSN: Epic-ZX

PSN: Epic-ZX

MadchesterManc
get2sammyb

Great review, sir! Certainly not my cup of tea, but I'm stoked that you enjoyed it so much. Thanks so much for posting.

Thanks for reading Its good to know the staff members here have enjoyed the review

Epic

Nice review, now I can understand why everyone was so hyped for this game so much.
If I were a Miku fan I wouldn't even think it twice to get this but that's not the case.
I might download the demo and let that be my guide.

HAHA yeah the game was a little hyped in the niche gaming circles. Its not suprising considering how good the PsP games are yet they never made it to the west. The demo should give you a good idea of the game. I think it features 3 songs so theres enough to sink your teeth into n try to see if it clicks. At least you can go retail in the states so you could trade towards or look for a sale to get a cheaper price if you do decide to buy We got stuck with digital in the EU but I managed to get mine as soon as it was listed at £31.99, the price has gone up a tad lately.

http://www.otakugamers.uk
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"Love is a device invented by bank managers to make us overdrawn" AJ Rimmer

PSN: MadchesterManc | Twitter:

Batman

My goodness, you're clearly a huge fan!

I've got to echo the sentiments of Sammy though, I wouldn't touch this game if my life depended on it! It was, however, thanks to your in-depth analysis of the game that allowed me to reach this conclusion, so great job!

Sweet review, dude

Podcast Editor | Staff Writer

PSN: Confused_Dude | Twitter:

turtlelink

Wow, that was a really in depth review! I've never been interested in vocaloids, but I do like rhythm games so your review kinda piqued my interests lol. Will there ever be a Vita version?

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MadchesterManc
Confused_Dude

My goodness, you're clearly a huge fan!

I've got to echo the sentiments of Sammy though, I wouldn't touch this game if my life depended on it! It was, however, thanks to your in-depth analysis of the game that allowed me to reach this conclusion, so great job!

Sweet review, dude

Thanks for reading Its unfortunate these type of games dont appeal to everyone and people will no doubt skip the game. Then again theres games Ive lately skipped purely because they hold no interest to me so we're all the same in some way lol

turtlelink

Wow, that was a really in depth review! I've never been interested in vocaloids, but I do like rhythm games so your review kinda piqued my interests lol. Will there ever be a Vita version?

There is a Vita version which is the same as the console release but its not been released in the west. Its only available via import Still, if you like rythmn games this release should be right up your street. There is a demo of this on the store that contains a few songs you could try. Its from a few months back but considering the game had already been released in japan it should be using the same build as the released version so I dont think theres any quirks to report. As a rythmn game fan Id be suprised if you dont enjoy the demo somewhat as the gameplay is one of the best features of this game

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"Love is a device invented by bank managers to make us overdrawn" AJ Rimmer

PSN: MadchesterManc | Twitter:

rastamadeus

I'd like to echo every single word MadchesterManc has said. I'm starting to think you're me from another reality, haha. Top review too. Sadly I've not been able to get hold of this (English) version yet as babies need food and nappies - who knew? - and not vocaloid rhythm games. Pft.

"Oh smeg. What the smegging smegs he smegging done? He's smegging killed me."

PSN: Rastamadeus | Twitter:

Gemuarto

I hate vocaloids.

Gemuarto

rastamadeus
Gemuarto

I hate vocaloids.

Good point, Gemuarto. Let's take that on board, shall we? Look, just because vocaloid is like an armour-plated alien killing machine that salivates unspeakable slobber doesn't mean it's a bad thing. What we've got to do is get you and some vocaloid anime, songs and games round a table, and put together a solution package. Perhaps over tea and biscuits?
   Erm, moving on a step - and I hope no-one thinks that I'm setting myself up as a self-elected chairperson? Just see me as a facilitator. Erm, Sanquine, what's your view? Don't be shy.

(if you don't get the references, don't worry, I'm just inanely sprouting drivel due to lack of sleep and far too much Pepsi Throwback. Have you tried it? My word it is lovely!)

Edited on by rastamadeus

"Oh smeg. What the smegging smegs he smegging done? He's smegging killed me."

PSN: Rastamadeus | Twitter:

Gemuarto

Have no idea what Pepsi Throwback is(will google it, though). But I can reconsider my opinion about vocaloids, if Kojima-chan will make Quiet Project Diva Hideo extra super double  extreme alpha omega ultimate edition F

Gemuarto

Madd_Hatter401

Super happy fun time? No thank you I'm miserable lol.. Jk, all jokes aside great review but not my type of game, I actually read this review having no interest in the game.. Very in depth.. Very professional.. I'd read more reviews posted by you just for the effort you put into this one.

Madd_hatter401 Proud owner of: PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, PS Vita, Xbox one, Xbox 360, 3DS, Nintendo 64, Gameboy advance, Sega, and Sega Nomad.

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rastamadeus
Gemuarto

Have no idea what Pepsi Throwback is(will google it, though). But I can reconsider my opinion about vocaloids, if Kojima-chan will make Quiet Project Diva Hideo extra super double  extreme alpha omega ultimate edition F

It's made with "real sugar" it says on the can. I think it's just how Pepsi used to taste when they used brown sugar before they changed the recipe in the mid '90s. Whatever, it's delicious, haha.

"Oh smeg. What the smegging smegs he smegging done? He's smegging killed me."

PSN: Rastamadeus | Twitter:

MadchesterManc
Madd_Hatter401

Super happy fun time? No thank you I'm miserable lol.. Jk, all jokes aside great review but not my type of game, I actually read this review having no interest in the game.. Very in depth.. Very professional.. I'd read more reviews posted by you just for the effort you put into this one.

Thanks for reading Its suprising that poeple who have no interest in the game are at least enjoying the review. Ill be looking to post some more reviews in the future. I may do one for the game Im currently playing through for next weekend but Im not sure yet.

@rastamadeus Erm, but here's my proposal: Let's get tough. The time for talking is over. Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit it hard and hit it fast with a major -- and I mean MAJOR -- leaflet campaign, and while it's reeling from that, we'd follow up with a [whist?] drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre and possibly even some benefit concerts. OK? Now, if that's not enough, I'm sorry, it's time for the T-shirts: "Mutants Out" ... "Chameleonic Life Forms,No Thanks" ... and if that's not enough, well, I don't know what will be.

http://www.otakugamers.uk
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"Love is a device invented by bank managers to make us overdrawn" AJ Rimmer

PSN: MadchesterManc | Twitter:

rastamadeus
MadchesterManc

@rastamadeus Erm, but here's my proposal: Let's get tough. The time for talking is over. Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit it hard and hit it fast with a major -- and I mean MAJOR -- leaflet campaign, and while it's reeling from that, we'd follow up with a [whist?] drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre and possibly even some benefit concerts. OK? Now, if that's not enough, I'm sorry, it's time for the T-shirts: "Mutants Out" ... "Chameleonic Life Forms,No Thanks" ... and if that's not enough, well, I don't know what will be.

I think we're all beginning to lose sight of the real issue here, which is "What are we going to call ourselves?" And I think it comes down to a choice between 'The League Against Salivating Monsters' or my own personal preference, which is 'The Committee for the Liberation and Integration Of Terrifying Organisms and Their Rehabilitation Into Society', one drawback with that - the abbreviation is 'CLITORIS.'

"Oh smeg. What the smegging smegs he smegging done? He's smegging killed me."

PSN: Rastamadeus | Twitter:

MadchesterManc

@rastamadeus tumblr_lsm3xl4XFN1qeplwxo1_400.jpg

With the view count standing at 1,676, my mind is officially blown. I would've been content with just a few hundred but it appears that Project Diva F has turned out to be somewhat an attention grabber. Thanks to everyone here who has given the review a read The coverage elsewhere no doubt helped with the views but it was mainly for the community here anyway. Hopefully helped anyone out interested in the game! Ill be looking into doing more reviews in the future, hopefully as good as this one turned out to be. If your interested, check out new my blog for gamers interested in Niche/JRPG releases due or released in the west (http://otakugamersuk.blogspot.co.uk/) I Started it the other day n Im enjoying it so far (more work than you think doing it though lol) Thanks again Everyone

Edited on by MadchesterManc

http://www.otakugamers.uk
https://twitter.com/OtakuGamersUK

"Love is a device invented by bank managers to make us overdrawn" AJ Rimmer

PSN: MadchesterManc | Twitter:

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