Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix Review

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Posted May 19, 2020 by Kyle Simcox in Video Games

I’d like to start by stating that I’ve never really been a fan of Hatsune Miku. There was a time in my life where I was a casual listener and had some of her songs on a Zune(yep a Zune) because an ex-girlfriend was big into Anime culture and introduced me to the cyber celebrity’s music. I’ve always found the concept to be really cool and all the music was actually pretty good but we broke up and Miku dropped off the radar entirely for years. So, when we had the opportunity to review Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix, Miku’s latest game on the Switch, it didn’t take much convincing for me to volunteer.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix is a rhythm game starring Hatsune Miku and a various assortment of her Vocaloid friends. There are two modes to choose from and 101 songs to play. “Rhythm Mode” is the traditional mode where players have to time the appropriate button with the commands that appear on screen to the beat. Then there’s the new “Mix Mode” that’s tailored around the Joy Con controller’s motion controls. Both of the modes are very fun to play and it’s also a genuinely challenging game. I went into the rhythm mode with the difficulty set to normal thinking, “I’ve got this” and it became quickly evident that I did not. You only need to complete 50% of a song for the game to consider it a win but even on normal it’s very easy to skip a beat and throw yourself out of whack as I often did.

Thankfully, the game provides players with a “No Fail” modifier and you’re always welcome to bump the difficulty down so you can practice a song and build up your confidence. I never went below the normal difficulty setting so when I did manage to eventually conquer a song, I felt incredibly good about it. At the end of a song you’re given a breakdown of how well you did and whether you succeed or fail, you’re always given “VP”. VP is the in-game currency used to buy the game’s many items to customize your various Vocaloids. Players can buy whole outfits, hairstyles and other various accessories as well as the ability to customize their own T-shirts for their Vocaloids to wear. Miku herself can get some fun outfits that reference other games like Valkyria Chronicles, Persona, Space Channel 5 and even a Sonic the Hedgehog costume.

Hatsune Miku’s music has always been very catchy to me. While I regret that I’ll never be able to sing along, MegaMix is the perfect place to experience the Vocaloid sensation. As I mentioned before, it features one hundred and one songs to play with ninety one of them returning and ten of them being new to MegaMix. Another thing I really enjoyed about the game were the music videos that accompany each song. Each video is uniquely tailored to the specific song that’s being played. One song might be played at a concert with a packed arena while another might be set inside of an office building with you character meandering about or even on a stage in Earth’s orbit. Black Rock Shooter was probably my favorite video as it brought me back to my anime days.

My biggest complaint with Mega Mix is that(for me at least) the background videos are often clashing with the incoming input commands. There’s also a lot of screen clutter during challenge sections of songs. I found it hard to keep track when the music videos would transition to the next scene using specific visual effects like blurring the screen and I’d often miss a beat, breaking my combos in the process. Another complaint I have is that customizing your Vocaloids is a cumbersome process. You can preview an outfit before you spend VP on it but that takes a second to load, then if you decide not to buy and wear said outfit immediately, your Vocaloid will swap back to the outfit it was originally wearing. This isn’t much of an issue if you only want to look at an outfit or two but you’re intention is to look at all of them, it’s an annoying process for sure. I also experienced some pain in my wrists while playing Mix Mode but I am thirty years old and twenty five years of gaming and tremendous amounts of writing/typing have destroyed my hands.

One thing that is incredibly easy to see when it comes to Hatsune Miku, is that it truly is a work of passion. A great deal of effort is put into the Vocaloid-based music and a large amount of attention to detail went into Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix as well. While it does have some minor issues, it’s a delightful rhythm game that features some pretty badass songs and feels right at home on the Nintendo Switch. If you’re a fan of Hatsune Miku or you’re just looking to experience some amazing music then you should absolutely add this game to your collection.

WeTheNerdy gives Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix 8 beats out of 10.

Pros:
• Fun, challenging rhythm based gameplay.
• A lot of customization options.
• Perfect for Miku fans or anyone interested in good music.

Cons:
• Backgrounds and screen clutter often clash with upcoming rhythm commands.
• Difficulty may be intimidating to newcomers.


About the Author

Kyle Simcox