As someone who was previously ignorant to J-Pop, the Hatsune Miku Project Diva games have quickly risen to be one of my favourite rhythm games available on the market. The gameplay is challenging, the customization is on point, and the music is so damn catchy that you’re not ashamed to load a few on your Music device/Streaming App.
With a new year, Sega has released a new Project Diva, under the title of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva – Future Tone. The game serves as a compilation of some of the best songs from Miku and her idol friends, taking songs from the Project DIVA, Project Mirai, and Hatsune Miku arcade games series and adding them all in one game.
To be more clear, Hatsune Miku Project Diva – Future Tone is a mix of two huge compilation, Future Sound – a list of rock and heavier songs, and Colorful Tone – a list of pop and techno songs. Both compilations feature 100 songs each, which doing the math will give you 200 songs to keep time to.
For those who’ve come off of playing last year’s Project Diva X, you’ll notice some major changes in Future Tone’s gameplay. For starter, the game is now designed to feel more like the Arcade versions and features several new type of commands. One of the major changes of this multiple button presses, while the Project Diva series used double presses on the same directional button (for example, Square and Left would be pressed together as they point to the same direction on your controller) Future Tone can use different buttons, so it’s not out of place to see Circle and Up needing to be pressed at the same time. While this wouldn’t be something drastic in most rhythm games, coming off the old play style can take some getting used to.
This goes double with the likes of hold, which can be held as long as possible for bonus points, and the new slides. Slides can be activated in two different ways, the L and R shoulder buttons or with the analog stick, removing the stars analog flicks from the Project Diva series.
While the new control scheme may take some getting used to, it becomes second nature after a few songs. From there, it’s time to up the difficulty. Some songs become ridiculously difficult even a the hard stages, but for those who like punishment, the inclusion of EXTREME and EXTRA EXTREME is available for a large amount songs.
Another major change from the Project Diva series is the customization. Previously the customization Modules and items (as well as other songs) were unlocked after successfully beating a song or a specific goal. In Future Tone, all songs are unlocked from the get go and modules are unlocked by spending money based on beating the songs. All Modules are able to be unlocked at any point and time, however loading the customization while selecting a song will give you the option to choose the recommended outfit for the performance.
Some bonus costumes have also been included into the list including Miku’s Persona 4: Dancing All Night costume, Ulala from Space Channel 5 and a Sonic the Hedgehog costume. Another Sega added gem is Magical Sound Shower, a classic tune from Sega’s Racer series Outrun which despite it’s relaxing tropical sound can get crazy difficult even on lower levels.
There isn’t anything really bad to say about Hatsune Miku: Project Diva – Future Tone. While this iteration of the series feels more like a celebration of the virtual idol and her friends as well as the series longevity in the Arcades, the game doesn’t do much to move itself forward. While Project Diva X attempted a story with various scenarios and the ability to attempt to earn friendship with the characters, Future Tone keeps to its Arcade Roots but offers more song choice to find something that will earworm its way into your head.
If you’re a newcomer to Hastune Miku or the Project Diva games, Future Tone will be the one to start you off for a marvellous trip.