What on earth is a Hatsune Miku?!
In a world full of new technologies and virtual pop stars, it can be hard to know what a rhythm game is and what to expect out of one. This can be especially true when it comes to Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix+, an enhanced PC version of the 2020 Nintendo Switch exclusive Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix+ is an arcade-style rhythm game featuring virtual singers known as Vocaloids, products of the vocal synthesising program VOCALOID. The game includes over 170 songs, character customisation with more than 500 pieces of clothing, and two visual style modes — the modern style found in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix and the older visual style from Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone.
For the casual gamer, that may mean nothing. So let’s dive deeper: what exactly is Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix+?
To answer that question, you first need to know who (or what, perhaps) Hatsune Miku is. On the surface, Hatsune Miku is a virtual pop icon. She has been seen opening for Lady Gaga during the ARTPOP Ball tour, guest-starring on late-night television shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, and performing at VOCALOID-centric festivals (many of which revolve entirely around her). But behind the cute anime girl visual is a machine: a vocal synthesiser.
Hatsune Miku, also known as CV01, is a VOCALOID software voicebank sampled from Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita. The music that she and the other Vocaloids perform is created by users of the VOCALOID voice synthesiser, professional producers and casual fans alike. Because of this, there are hundreds of thousands of songs performed by the Vocaloids that are available to the public, each varying in style, genre, range, and tuning — perfect for a rhythm game.
So what is Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix+? It’s an enhanced version of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix, duh. But what is Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix?
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix is the sixth mainline entry in the overall Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series, a rhythm game series that spans across various platforms, including PlayStation and Nintendo consoles. The game has a layout similar to the classic arcade rhythm game series Dance Dance Revolution, with each song being available by scrolling through a wheel. Unlike Dance Dance Revolution, however, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix lets the player choose their Vocaloid and customise them to their heart’s content. The game also features some of the most unique and challenging gameplay seen in the genre.
Like other rhythm games, the player must tap the button prompts on the screen in time with the music. Seems simple, right? Unlike other rhythm game series, however, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA games and spinoff series Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai make full use of the charts, music, and visuals. Floating coloured symbols will cross the screen from various areas, all quickly overlapping with the strategically placed grey button prompts. While this aspect of the Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix separates it from other rhythm games outside of the series, the controls are similar to some aspects of the Persona Dancing series, using analogue controls for “Slider Notes” — comparable to Persona Dancing’s record scratch. Aside from that, the game uses the standard cross, square, triangle, and circle buttons alongside the directional pad.
Overall, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix+ is an original rhythm game that promises to give any player a challenge, something many rhythm game fans are in desperate need of. With so many songs, items, and Vocaloids, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix+ promises hours of gameplay. But don’t just trust me on this! You can see it for yourself by checking out the game here!