Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone Review
Songs not sung by ‘actual’ humans – that’s what Hatsune Miku, a synthesizer with a humanoid persona known as a Vocaloid, produces. Hatsune Miku is just one of a handful of Vocaloids that have gained popularity over the years, but her being one of the most popular amongst them. Hundreds of songs have been made using the various Vocaloid variations that have sparked music videos, collectibles, and video games. Based on the singing function of Vocaloids, it’s only natural that the video games would be related to their music in the form of a rhythm game.
While Hatsune Miku and her friends have starred in previous games, they didn’t have nearly as many songs included in them or the arcade experience focus in comparison to this one. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is a port of its arcade equivalent Project Diva Arcade Future Tone which includes more than 200 songs from the main Vocaloid groupie – Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka, Meiko, Kaito, Kagamine Rin and Len – as well as other Vocaloids like Kasane Teto and such. Not only that, but they each have numerous modules/outfits that can be customized with different hair styles and various accessories to mould your ideal Vocaloid for music videos. It’s so much Vocaloid goodness collected together in one place that whether you’re just discovering or are already a fan of Vocaloids it’s just something you have to experience.
“It’s so much Vocaloid goodness collected together in one place that whether you’re just discovering or are already a fan of Vocaloids it’s just something you have to experience.”
With so many goodies, the way Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is distributed on the PlayStation 4 is through two different packs: the Colorful Tone and Future Sound packs. The Colorful Tone pack is comprised of more cute, upbeat songs that mostly did not make their way onto PlayStation consoles and were instead seen on arcade machines or Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai on the Nintendo 3DS. Meanwhile, the Future Sound pack is comprised of more dance-y, rock-y songs that those who have played past Project Diva games will recognize, but probably won’t be strayed away from because it has some of the most well-known and addicting songs to play through. Either way, both have their own charms and it’s your choice whether you want to buy one or both. However, having both packs does come with a pretty huge perk that almost becomes mandatory as it’s the only way you will be able to unlock the hairstyle customization feature.
Given that there are tons of songs to play through and customization options to choose from, a concern would be the quality of each piece of this huge pie. The short answer: it’s some good quality. Each song has unique button sequences that really evoke its tune and rhythm while each customization module is tailored charmingly to each Vocaloid and subsequent song it came from or is related to. Of course you’ll see some returning features here and there, but there are some things that have transferred from the arcade version into this port. For example, slides and multi-button holds are a new and enjoyable addition for the console that adds a challenge, but still maintains the balance of not feeling like it’s an annoyance. Other than that gameplay is the same from past games with the four different button usages of the cross, square, circle, triangle buttons, avoid missing too many sequences to fall below the ‘fail’ line on your life gauge, and of course the music videos that play in the background. It’s all about the accuracy, precision, and timing and really just getting lost in the jam to really feel the rhythm.
Since Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone has a strong arcade experience focus, it really is just that. You don’t get any sort of Concert/Live Editor or Your Home mode to make your own music videos or interact with the Vocaloids – it’s a pure arcade rhythm game through and through. It’s great for those who have wanted a bucket load of songs to play through and earn points to purchase more modules for your Vocaloids, but for those who appreciated the creative and interactive portion of the Vocaloid games you may find it to be a bit bare.
Visually, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is the best looking game from the series to date. It runs at 1080p at 60 frames per second which makes gameplay smooth and button timings much more accurate in comparison to past games with lower frame rate. The Vocaloids and their modules as well as accessories all feed into the colourful and lively ambience being portrayed by the game. In addition, being able to use any Vocaloid, modules, and accessories of your choosing to any song regardless of the original singer(s) is always a great part of the customization and hilarity that ensues. It undeniably looks flawless, but the only concern lies in the different art style mirroring the arcade version instead of past console versions. Visuals look much sharper, shiny, and glossy while in past games they were cel shaded making them softer and more anime-like. It makes them look much more high quality and fitting in 1080p, but some of you may miss the softer Miku and friends.
The meat of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is of course the songs. With over 200 songs, the quality of each song is relatively equal and evenly treated. I wasn’t alarmed by a certain songs tuning or flow at all and felt every song stayed true to its respective Vocaloid and button sequence.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is fitting for those who are looking for a rhythm game to play through in between their other gaming adventures and definitely a must-have for Vocaloid fans. While the Concert/Live Editor and Your Home mode is absent, the game packs tons of songs and customization features that emulates a pure arcade experience. Meanwhile the art style may have changed, but at 1080p and 60 frames per second, it’s the smoothest, most accurate and beautiful looking Project Diva game to date.
***A PS4 code was provided by the publisher***
- Over 200 songs
- Tons of customization features
- 1080p and 60fps makes for smooth gameplay
- Solid and beautiful visuals
- Change in art style may bother some
- Absence of other modes