Hatsune Miku is a well-established virtual pop idol and her Project DIVA series provides a lot of rhythm fun so let's blast this Mega Mix.
Right off the bat, allow me to say that I'm not a huge Hatsune Miku fan which may perplex you seeing as I enjoy lighthearted colourful games from Japan. The only game in the series that I've spent a significant amount of time with is Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F which was a fun rhythm game that I enjoyed. To my surprise, the gameplay hasn't changed much between that release and this one which is strange considering that came out back in 2013. Last year, I had the pleasure of playing Groove Coaster: Wai Wai Party!!!! and that game truly felt like a contemporary take on the genre as it's intuitive, challenging, and supremely enjoyable. However, Project DIVA Mega Mix still relies on merely tapping and holding buttons to the onscreen prompts which feels rather dated in this modern day and age.
Of course, Hatsune Miku is more about the spectacle than it is about revolutionary gameplay and thankfully, Project DIVA Mega Mix is full of amazing upbeat songs, gorgeously animated characters, adorably choreographed music videos, fabulous cinematography, and an overall sense of delight that's sure to put you in a good mood after only experiencing a few of its many, many songs. I haven't talked to many folks about Hatsune Miku but I'm assuming that this over-the-top air of spectacle is the franchise's main appeal and if it is; I totally get why many gamers become absolutely thrilled with the release of each new entry in the series.
Although Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix's gameplay is somewhat rudimentary, it poses a steep challenge so if you enjoy mastering rhythm games then you'll be satisfied with the level of difficulty on display here. You can play with either standard controls or motion controls via Mix Mode but the latter is needlessly frustrating and I don't recommend it. Anyway, you basically select which song and difficulty you want to play then have at 'er. Between songs, you can customize characters, configure things such as making the icons match the PlayStation controller which is cool, create playlists, and browse records and such in a gallery. However, I wish there were more modes such as the mini-games that were in Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! or some sort of multiplayer content.
After doing some research in the community, I discovered that Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix is simply a port of Project DIVA Future Tone which is a free PS4 game that has a surprisingly inexpensive season pass. With that being said, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix is a Switch exclusive as of writing this which means that it's portable. That aspect is sure to play a big role in certain fans' decisions whether to purchase it or not and I'm happy to say that it plays extremely well in undocked mode. Of course, it wouldn't look as good compared to playing it on PS4 and it lacks the cool 3D feature of Project DIVA F but being able to play it portably is a fantastic feature nonetheless, especially considering there are 101 songs to enjoy which should make plane rides much more bearable.
Hatsune Miku may have been around for a good chunk of time yet Project DIVA Mega Mix doesn't really push any boundaries. It's still a very fun rhythm game so whether you're a fan of the genre or the Vocaloid herself, it's definitely worth checking out.
- + Simple yet surprisingly challenging gameplay
- + Awesome music and delightful animation set in a charming game world
- + Performs well while undocked
- - Gameplay hasn't evolved much over time
- - Basically the same content as Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone
- - Could use additional modes