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Project Diva F: Not Just for Vocaloid Fans?


Everyone knows Miku Hatsune, right?

    My history with Miku isn't really unique; I randomly stumbled upon her on YouTube one day, hearing one of her ever so popular songs. I didn't really know what Vocaloid was at the time, but I liked the music. Maybe I was one of the few people who didn't get turned off by her voice, judging from the thousands of complaints.

   "I don't like her voice," some say. "Her voice is too high, it hurts my ears." What gives I wonder.

   Upon hearing Luka Megurine, I found her voice to be beautiful. "They're two of these singers?" I thought to myself upon learning of her existence.

   Now I know all about Vocaloid. There's not just one or two, but a lot of them! The concept was so intriguing that I decided to purchase Project Diva F. What's the harm in spending a few dollars on a game like this? Who knew from that day on I would become a Vocaloid fan.


Best Friends Forever!
   Starting the game up for the first time, you're greeted with a colorful opening. Unlike most game openings, I had an unbearable urge to sit through it, regardless of the number of times it played. The opening song is pretty good as well, Odds&Ends by ryo (Supercell). Starting off slow then reaching an upbeat tune makes you excited to play the game.

For those interested in watching the actual opening:


Gameplay


   The title is a normal rhythmic game with Vocaloid characters and songs. I haven't played any of the prequels, but apparently the gameplay has undergone some changes. As the Vocaloids dance and sing to the songs in beautifully animated stages, the screen is filled with squares, circles, triangles, and crosses. You must press the required button along with the beat of the song. In certain parts of the songs, stars appear and are inputted by merely flicking the analog stick. The bar lining the bottom of the screen increases as your score rises, filling it up completely grants you a perfect. The musical note circle at the left corner is basically your HP bar. As you miss notes it goes down, when it empties you fail the song. The gameplay is pretty simple and straightforward, even more with the in-game tutorial.

   Simple gameplay doesn't mean it's boring. The game offers around 50 hours of play for the casual player, and can offer 100+ for a hardcore gamer. If you're a fan of Vocaloid music, or even new to the franchise, you'll soon find yourself singing along with the diverse selection of tracks. 

  After a while of playing I did get tired of trying to perfect all the songs, but I still wanted to listen to the music. Thank goodness for PV mode, where you can hear your favorite songs without any annoying shapes blocking the view.


Freely Tomorrow ~ Mitchie M
   One of my favorite features is the Diva Room. You can interact with the whole cast each in their own special place. How far does this mode go? Well you can provide each diva with gifts to boost their friendship level. They all have different likes and dislikes, so you can experiment to find out what their fond of, else you can find a chart online. Watching all the different reactions is entertaining, and you get to celebrate their birthdays if you visit them on the date.

Fans get the chance to rub Miku's hair, and play rock, paper, scissors.
   Graphics

   Graphics were never a deciding factor for me, just an added bonus. Not sure much about the handheld version, Project Diva f, but the PS3's graphics are extremely crisp. Enjoy looking at colorful renditions of your favorite songs, and the easy to navigate interface. Even as a non-native Japanese speaker, you can manage to navigate through the game with little or no knowledge of the language. 
  
   The loading screens also offer generous eye candy, featuring artists to official artwork. They are nothing like your usual dull waiting screen. The wallpapers are bright, colorful, well drawn pictures. Through Diva Room, you can even view all the images you've seen, unlocking more as you play the game. The artists names are shown on the image, but you can easily hide them by a press of the X button. Saving the images is done by taking a screenshot, simple right?

   For your convenience, I've provided a few of the wallpapers from the game. You're free to download and use them as you please, but the images can look a bit blurry when enlarged. 


Music

   If you're not already a fan of Japanese Culture, or Vocaloid...well why did you pick up this game? The music in this game features special renditions of songs made by well known Vocaloid artists. Most songs are in Japanese with English lyrics throughout. Sadly, since this game is only in Japanese, there are no English lyrics. However, you can find translations throughout the web and YouTube. For more info check out the link below.


Overview

  My experience with this game was pretty good. I was genuinely addicted to it for a few weeks. I feel that this game is a good starting point for anyone new to Vocaloid, as it gives you a healthy taste of the music, while letting your experience other voices aside from Miku. A few things could make it better, is a less complicated Edit Mode. (It doesn't help that the game is in Japanese) Faster loading screens would also help, but it's not that big of an issue. Overall the game is pretty great, whether you're a Vocaloid fan, or a normal Otaku, I recommend importing.








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