August 30th 2012, 4 a.m, not yet. 5 a.m, still nothing… At 6 a.m, Project Diva f finally appeared on the PSN! I started the download and got back to sleep. I wasn’t lucky, because it stopped during the day and there’s still 2 GB to go. After checking countless times, the game is finally installed at 2h30 a.m on the 31st. Despite the lack of sleep, I’ve played lavishly during the week.
New generation, new graphics : the technical leap is astonishing. Sure, it’s not perfect, as I noticed some rough textures and a few bugs in Diva Room. But honestly, there’s never been something that neat on a handheld. The devs really gave their best in making the PVs. They were excellent on PSP, they’re close to perfect on PSVita. Sadistic Music Factory, Flowery Battle of the Kagamines for example have such a strong identity that I never have enough of it. Similarly, the track list is wonderful. Nearly every single music is a surefire hit. Unhappy Refrain, Secret Police, World’s End Dancehall or Remocon to cite a few, provide a immense pleasure. I just wonder how this NyaNya thing landed here, because I looks like noise an not music (the PV is really impressive though). It’s so good that I would have wanted more than the 32 available (there were 40 on PSP). Last regret, I really lament the disappearance of Haku and Neru.
As for the gameplay, it’s still a musical game in which you have to press the buttons following the tempo, but there are a few new things in this iteration. An additional button appears, which is in fact the touchscreen. The Technical Zone is a limited number of buttons within a music that can reward precious percentage points if you make a perfect. Last but not least, you will trigger a special and more spectacular ending if you succeed during the Chance Time.
Even if it was already on PSP, the Diva Room returns in an enhanced form, thanks to the refined graphics and the touchscreen. More than reality TV, it becomes a sort of dating sim, and a pretty nice one for that matters. Every character has a friend level that goes up and down depending on your actions (presents, etc.). Miku and the others have somewhat limited base actions and you will have to spend your DP in some items to get more variety. I personnally preferred the random event system that we had in Extend.
The AR mode allows you to insert Miku in your daily life. The AR camera is already cool, but the AR live is even more exciting : fans rush across a country to see a Hatsune Miku concert, but now you can have your own private session at home!
There’s one last key-element : difficulty. I had the occasion to try the game during my stay in Japan, but the normal mode didn’t last long. I’m really happy with the final product, because the hard mode has been almost perfectly set. In between 2nd and Extend, most songs put pressure without being discouraging. Unhappy Refrain, Remocon or Sadistic Factory are hard as hell, just like Rolling Girl and Uraomote Lovers were. It depends on the player though, some probably have cleared the extreme mode already…
More beautiful than ever, more addicting and richer, Project Diva f is concentrated fun like you seldom have. It fully benefits from Vita’s capabilities and sublimates the concept born on PSP.