I’m no stranger to Hatsune Miku and most likely you aren’t either. Let’s get right to it- how does Project Diva Mega Mix on the switch stack up?
Released in February for Japan and May in the US of this year, Project Diva Mega Mix serves as a compilation for the series. It plays more akin to the arcade style releases (Future Tone on the PS4, the arcade game itself) with directional sliders and hold notes over the traditional handheld games with chance times and star notes. If you’ve played Future Tone on the PS4 without a doubt you’ve seen a ton of the content this game has to offer aside from the ten new songs added.
The game’s portability is a huge plus for me. I started with the old Project Diva games on the PSP I was used to playing on a handheld device so playing this game in handheld mode felt natural than playing with a controller on a console.
Let’s get this out of the way right now. This is a straight up rhythm game. No story mode, no interact with Miku (or your vocaloid of choice) mode like the past games. You can get right into the game as soon as it’s downloaded. It really makes it feel like an arcade experience where you just walk up and pick the song you want to play.
This game boasts a song list of 141 songs as of writing this which includes the six DLC packs (you can get the base game+ the DLC packs for $59.99 total on the eshop). All of these songs are playable from the moment you boot up the game.
New songs such as Roki, Alien Alien, and Catch the Wave are included in the base game if that’s what you’re looking for. It boasts old favorites such as Rolling Girl, SPiCa, The Intense Singing of Hatsune Miku, World is Mine, and of course, Senbonzakura. Rin and Len’s Remocon returns as well along with Luka’s Luka Luka Night Fever, Just be Friends, and Blackjack. Kaito and Meiko return with a handful of songs as well which I can’t remember off the top of my head.
Now onto the new songs! Ooedo Julianight by Mitchie M is a breath of fresh air since the producer’s tuning of Miku is just right. Kaito raps in it too…it’s just so good! The original PV of the song is the video at the cost of not being able to change out modules, but it is a pretty good video nevertheless.
Jigsaw Puzzle, Dreamin Chuchu, and JitterBug follow the pattern of keeping animated PVs for the song which is good if you’re a fan of the original. My only complaint is that JitterBug’s chart is just fast…it’s not very good! I really like the song since it’s a good Meiko/Miku swing sounding song but the chart just flies at you at 2x speed so you really need to buckle up and get ready to smash those buttons. It’s one of the harder songs I’ve played in the series so maybe one day I’ll get good at it.
My second favorite song is Roki (ロキ) by mikitoP. It’s a really, really popular song and that’s because it’s really good! It’s in a lot of music games like Wacca, Pop’n Music, and even Bang Dream. The chart is decent but the video for the song itself is static- you can’t change out Rin or Len in it which is lame considering I wanted my two favorite Miku modules to duet in it.
Alien Alien is another song that shouldn’t come as a surprise to Vocaloid or music game fans considering it’s crossed over into a lot of games as well. 39 Music is a pretty solid song and chart that reminds me of the earlier Project Diva games. It’s a really catchy song as well that gets stuck in your head. Catch the Wave is the iconic song of the game by kz(livetune), a producer everyone is familiar with as well.
I haven’t played Hibana or Teo yet, but that wraps up the new songs added to the game.
I’m going to be real with you- I can’t remember the last time I bought DLC for a rhythm game. I live close enough to a Round1 that I’m used to just going there and having the newest songs at my disposal. This game boasts six paid DLC packs and one free DLC pack music wise.
The free DLC pack aptly titled Theme Song Pack includes iconic songs such as Kocci Muite Baby and Sekiranun Graffiti by Ryo. Along with the base game it’s a good start to having a bunch of classic vocaloid songs to play whenever you want.
Unfortunately for me, a lot of the songs I liked were spread out amongst the DLC packs. My favorites Musunde Hiraite Rasetsu to Mukuro, Negaposi*Continues, and Clover Club were all in different packs. So I ended up getting all of them. The DLC packs have a good mix of songs from the Project Diva f series along with a few from the arcade games, so if you’re a fan of them you’re probably going to want to pick them up as well.
Without a doubt I’m sure they’ll add DLC with more songs and modules as well over the course of the game’s lifespan. Interestingly enough if you have Project Diva on the PS4, they’re releasing a DLC pack of the new songs from the switch game so you can get them on that release as well. It’s a good compromise you can get the new songs without buying another game that has a lot of overlapping content since the PS4 version of Future Tone shares a majority of the songs and modules with this game.
I’m a sucker for any game where you can change outfits and put the characters in music videos. A majority of the modules (skins for different vocaloid characters) make a return from the past games. My two personal favorites are Factory Tyrant and Infinity Miku.
This game also boasts a good selection of seasonal Miku variants such as Sakura Miku and a ton of Snow Miku designs from over the years.
In addition to the usual Crypton Vocoaloids making an appearance, slightly obscure favorites Kasane Teto, Akita Neru, Yowane Haku, and Sakine Meiko are back in the extra characters category. I almost never hear about them anymore so I’m happy to see they haven’t faded into complete obscurity.
The module screen should look familiar as it hasn’t changed much from the PS4 release of the game with the ability to change between characters, outfits, and even hairstyles. There are three shared sets as well so you can line up your favorite outfits for different songs without having to go back and forth between the module screen and the song selection screen.
You earn VP which you can use to unlock different modules to use in the videos for the songs. I don’t mind the system at all, though I usually stick to the same few modules and accessories that I use.
My biggest fear about this game was the controls. I’ve played it on sony consoles for years, so the XYAB popping up on screen instead of X O □ ∆ really threw me off because of muscle memory. Thankfully there’s an option to play with the old button prompts on screen, so I didn’t have to struggle for long. I’m sure a lot of the veterans of the series are thankful for this inclusion as well, as I was back up to speed playing hard and extreme charts in no time.
If you’re not familiar with how Project Diva plays, you hit buttons to music. It’s pretty solid as far as rhythm games go. The difficulty ranges from easy to extreme, so you can pretty much play the game no matter what your skill level is and not be bored. The arcade-style Project Diva games always seemed a little harder than the original and f series and even introduced a new difficulty for certain songs called extra-extreme.
Hold buttons are a big part of this game, and you get a lot of score bonuses if you hold down the buttons while still hitting other buttons so it’s really fun getting good holding a button with one hand and then hitting the others with just one other hand. I also recently realized you can program one button to hit all four which would have been useful to know earlier.
The sliders are back from the arcade games as well where you hold the shoulder buttons down while an arrow goes left or right, and for some reason I always get them backwards. I also realized halfway through writing this it’s a pain to actually get gameplay screenshots while concentrating on the game. I also realized that I’ve never really written about rhythm game mechanics before for as much time as I’ve spent playing them the past few years.
I’m a diehard fan of the arcade mode, and I can’t say mixed mode is my cup of tea if you want to wave your switch controllers around and hit buttons at the same time it’s there.
If you play between docked and handheld mode, the game offers an offset function to make sure your timing is just right no matter what screen you play on.
Now here’s my biggest problem with the game. If you’ve read this far you know what’s coming.
I know what the switch can and can’t do. I know it wasn’t going to look astounding compared to the arcade and PS4 versions running on different hardware. But jeez, the graphics are a huge downgrade if you’ve played the other games. Some of the modules for the characters look straight out of a 2010’s MMD video. A lot of the modules have a weird brightness to them and look cartoony so it takes a little bit of getting used to.
While the game was going for a simplified artstyle, it just looks weird in comparison to the other entries in the series. There’s a ton of side by side comparison videos on YouTube if you’re interested in seeing the artstyle changes.
The physics are also a little funky as well for some clothes and hair. If you’ve played any game where dresses stick out like flat objects instead of having clothing physics, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Luka’s module from Just Be Friends is the most noticeable to me since her white dress just kind of does whatever it wants instead of having clothing physics. Some character’s arms look strange and stringy as well though it may just be uncanny looking to me.
I can say wholeheartedly I’ve been a fan of the Project Diva games from the beginning so picking this game up was a no brainer for me. I enjoy the fact that you can play any of the songs without having to unlock them. The difficulty of the game to me feels just right and I know I can get better to eventually clear all the extreme charts.
I played this game with both fancy headphones and speakers- the audio quality is clear. Nothing sounds crunchy or too quiet. Playing with headphones in handheld mode was the way to go for me.
While Future Tone on the PS4 has more songs than this game, Mega Mix is a good purchase if you want portability or don’t have a PS4 to play the game’s predecessor. Most of the videos are interesting enough to watch if you’re not playing the rhythm game portion if you’re into that.
It’s a solid experience with decent controls and a good variety of music and modules. The portability is a plus. The graphics are a minus but if you play enough, you get used to it. There’s enough songs not to get bored of if you’re a Vocaloid fan, so what are you waiting for?