First created in 2007, the vocaloid Hatsune Miku has been a cultural phenomenon in Japan. However, she’s made an international splash in the past few years with the rhythm game Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Arcade . The console port, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is probably the best gateway for everyone interested in the character’s illustrious history to experience the wonderful and wacky world of vocaloid.
What is Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone all about?
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Arcade is a simple rhythm game where you have to a set of four face buttons (based on the PlayStation button scheme) and have to tap them as symbols appear throughout the song. You also utilize hold notes and a touch slide bar on the cabinet; while the gameplay is relatively simple compared to other rhythm games, the game will break you on extreme and extra extreme difficulty. Better get to practicing! Each song renders in beautiful 3D and covers everything from the classics like Ievan Polkka and Popipo to newer songs like Sand Planet (Suna no Wakusei) and LOL (Lots of Laugh). While initially having a sparse songlist, since 2017 the game has exploded with songs that feature Miku, Len, Rin, Kaito, Luka, and Meiko, and the game looks stunning while playing.
Why should you play?
Why get Future Tone over playing the arcade version? For one thing, the cabinets are pretty hard to come by in North America. Unless you have a Round 1 arcade near your house, it’s nigh impossible to experience the series outside of Japan. The PlayStation 4 version alleviates this problem by letting you play in the comfort of your own home. There are two different expansion packs to buy, but purchasing them both will get a tracklist of over 220 songs. (The other songs are available via a post-launch DLC season pass.) The amount of content is nothing short of breathtaking for a rhythm game; since these songs are full versions, you’re looking at a soundtrack that lasts nearly 20 hours long! The complete bundle retails at $39.99, so it’s a no-brainer if you want to check this game out!
In addition, unlocking modules (costumes for the in-game models) is a bit easier than the arcade. In the original, you’d have to grind dozens of songs to earn outfits, which translates to a bunch of credits using real-life cash. Here, the rate of earning in-game currency is much more generous. While there’s an unlock key that does unlock all the modules, I think you’re better off just playing through naturally. Aside from this, the game is an arcade perfect port of the original, and comes with some replay features where you can snap pictures during songs and use them as loading screens, or even check out leaderboards to track your progress with fans around the world.
Put simply, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is a loving tribute to the world of the Crypton vocaloids, with hundreds of songs included and an arcade perfect port with all the bells and whistles attached. It’s a great jumping on point for diehard fans and those who only know Miku from the memes, and rhythm game players will definitely love this title.