Hatsune Miku Project Diva Megamix+ Review – The Most Miku

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When Hatsune Miku voice software debuted in 2007, few could have guessed the huge impact it would have. The concept of a virtual singer – whose songs were almost entirely user-generated – was a bizarre and intriguing novelty. 15 years later, Miku and her friends have endured, cementing their reputation as pioneers in music, internet and gaming cultures. Sega’s Hatsune Miku: Project Diva is a powerful testament to the singer’s lasting legacy with aquamarine hair, and Project Diva Megamix+ is a phenomenal reminder of Miku’s musical significance.

Like previous games in the series, Project Diva Megamix+ is a rhythm game built around the popular Japanese “virtual singer” characters of Hatsune Miku, Kagamine duo Rin and Len, Megurine Luka, Meiko, and Kaito. Each game in the series features a selection of songs from independent creators who have created songs using those characters. Most of these tracks also feature an elaborately choreographed real-time music video that plays in the background, which can be customized with character costumes and accessories that you earn with in-game currency.

Megamix+ is an enhanced port of 2020’s Hatsune Miku Project Diva Megamix for Switch, which itself was a “best-of” compilation based on the arcade and PS4 game Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future Tone. This might sound a bit confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the series’ timeline, but the important thing is that it means Megamix+ doesn’t run out of music. From the moment you start the game, over 100 tracks, many of which were DLC only on the Switch version, are ready to play. There’s also an optional paid DLC to add most PS4/arcade Future Tone songs that didn’t make it into the Switch game, and with up to five unique difficulty levels available for each song, you get a huge amount of bang for your buck no matter if you go for the DLC.

What makes the amount of music in Megamix+ even better is the variety that can be found among the songs. The music of Hatsune Miku and Friends is largely made up of independent creators with varying musical styles and tastes, and the selection of tracks here shows just that. You can find a bit of everything there: cheerful and bouncy pop (LOL Lots of Laugh, Clover Club, Dreamin ChuChu), rhythmic rock (Rolling Girl, Ghost Rule), techno-industrial (Sadistic.Music∞Factory), bossa nova (Tricolore Airline), progressive rock (Meltdown), novelty earworms (Po Pi Po), eurobeat (Luka Luka Night Fever), jazz and piano (On ​​the Rocks, Piano x Forte x Scandal), classical game music with new vocals (After Burner, Like the Wind) and even ridiculous memes (Nyanyanyanyananyanya! aka the song Nyan Cat). There are also plenty of offbeat tracks that are hard to categorize into specific genres, like Alien Alien, Jitterbug, and Ooedo Julianight. To sweeten the selection, each song comes with a unique, lavishly produced video featuring distinct backgrounds, choreography, and character models. Needless to say, even if you’re not familiar with the world of Miku’s music and producers, you’re bound to find plenty to enjoy here, making Megamix+ an ideal entry point for those curious about the series. .

Like many music games, the mechanics are deceptively simple at first. The notes you need to hit are displayed on the music video as it plays. The control pad and face buttons are used to strike these notes as they fly across the screen, while a rotating needle indicates the correct timing for each note (the perfect timing being 12 o’clock). Both d-pad and controller buttons are usable for the same inputs – for example if you are using an Xbox controller you can press the d-pad or Y to successfully hit a note labeled ↑ or Y There is also slides, which can be performed by tilting the left or right analog sticks in the indicated direction for a set amount of time.

Sega’s Hatsune Miku: Project Diva is a powerful testament to the aquamarine-haired singer’s enduring legacy, and Project Diva Megamix+ is a phenomenal reminder of Miku’s musical significance.

Simple, right? But where things start to get a little tricky is in the introduction of sustain notes and connected notes. Sustain notes give an extra score bonus when held down, but you’ll frequently be asked to hold that note down and hit a bunch of other notes at the same time, requiring skillful use of the D- pad and face. button inputs. Tied notes require you to press two or more buttons at the same time and can also contain notes.

As simple as it sounds, things in Project Diva can start to get out of hand very quickly. A song that begins with simple rhythmic button presses can evolve into a complex composition of sudden sweeps, rapid-fire simultaneous multi-directional inputs, and difficult sustain patterns that require you to carefully (and quickly) coordinate D presses. -pad and face buttons. Since so much of the screen is used to display inputs, notes can come in from all directions, forcing you to keep your eyes fixed on the entire screen, lest some spurious input zoom in for ages. parts unknown. There’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to anything above normal difficulty, as the inputs that start to get used frequently in Hard can be quite daunting. The game’s solution to this is Challenge Time, a brief period during songs on the easy and normal difficulties where you’re given some of the more demanding entries frequently seen on the highest difficulties. You can’t fail a song during Challenge Time, which makes it relatively risk-free – although your performance does count towards your overall score, giving you an incentive to perform well. It’s a nifty way to help players get comfortable with more difficult mechanics and push them to try higher difficulties once they feel comfortable. The graphics across all difficulties are well-designed and engaging, making you feel like you’re part of the song – an absolutely decisive element for the rhythm games that Megamix+ expertly nails.

Along with the expanded music selection, Megamix+ offers a few extras over the Switch original. Players can now freely switch between the simpler character models of Megamix and the more detailed, higher polycount models of Future Tone. You can also change the display of notes in the song to match a variety of controller types, including PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch controllers, or even just directional arrows. You can also use and customize a keyboard layout to play songs, though it never feels quite “right”, especially when doing slide notes. (You also can’t customize the display of notes to exactly match the keyboard inputs you’ve chosen – even if you play with WASD and the numeric keypad, you’re stuck with displays of arrows, symbols or controller buttons.) Mix Mode and Tap Play, the Switch version’s JoyCon and Touchscreen modes are both missing here, but given how gimmicky and unsatisfying those modes were, I think most gamers don’t won’t miss them.

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Is Megamix+ worth it if you already own Future Tone or Megamix on Switch? It’s a very comprehensive package, but unless PC is your absolute favorite platform, it’s hard to recommend it to series veterans who already have all the DLC packs for previous console games. The extra features are nice, but not enough on their own for a double or triple dip. Also, in order to unlock Extreme and Extra Extreme difficulties for each song, you have to clear each of them individually to Hard, which will be cumbersome for music game enthusiasts who want those crazy graphics but have to manually unlock them all yet. Again.

But for newcomers to the series and PC-focused gamers, Megamix+ is an easy recommendation. There’s a ton of content here, built on a solid rhythm game foundation that challenges you to develop your skills and aim ever higher, all while having fun watching music videos, dressing up, and collecting. all the cool and goofy customizations for the entire cast. But above all, Megamix+ is the best showcase of Miku’s legacy to date, showcasing the unbridled creativity and variety of online musical and artistic subcultures she inspired.

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