My games of the year 2016 (GOTY 2016)

Best Action game

GOD EATER 2 RAGE BURST_20150308231448

God Eater 2 Rage Burst (PSVita/PS4)

Without a natural leader like Bloodborne last year, hard to choose between the three great ones today. But God Eater 2 Rage Burst somewhat stands out, because of its memorables momenta and heated battles. Full of adorable characters and playable in coop, it goes well beyond the hunting genre to become a great saga.

Runner-up : Fate Extella (PSVita) & The Division (PS4)

Best Shooter

Battlefield™ 1_20161110225149

Battlefield 1 (PS4)

In Spring, I would have bet anything on Overwatch for this title. But that was underestimating DICE’s efforts to make Battlefield not only innovating by its theme, World War I, but also a thrilling sniper experience thanks to the best TDM maps since I know the series. The remarkable atmosphere and the gorgeous graphics are just the cherry on the cake.

Runner-up : Overwatch (PS4)

Best Strategy game

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Kan Colle kai (PSVita)

Kan Colle kai is the new Advance Wars. The addictive management of units and the desperate defense of positions brought me tears of joy when the final trophy popped. Gifted with rich and unique design and having a game system as enjoyable as Pokemon plus outstanding challenge, Kadokawa’s game is one to remember.

Runner-up : Pokemon Sun&Moon (3DS)

Best RPG

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Persona 5 (PS4)

Persona 5 being my first «true» Persona game (after Persona 4 Dancing All Night last year), I hadn’t how massive this series was. And here it is, the hype is 170% deserved, because Persona 5 is an RPG like you seldom see. Great narrative & characters, fantastic combat, dream-like design, deep game system, overflowing content… the new King of JRPG is here!

Runner-up : Tokyo Xanadu (PSVita)

Best puzzle game

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Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight (PSVita)

After a superb Yomawari, Nippon Ichi Software is at it again with Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight. Not adventure this time but pure a 2D platformer featuring lots of puzzles for hours of intense brainstorming, with far better controls than The Firefly Diary.

Runner-up : Ace Attorney 6 (3DS)

Best Sountrack

初音ミク Project DIVA Future Tone

Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Future Tone (PS4)

The tracklist in Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future Tone speaks for itself : in the 228 tracks, you’ll surely find dozens of your liking. Every J-pop style is widely represented, with a lot of novelties compared to portable Project Diva games (Hôkai Utahime, Gothic and Loneliness). Yet this PS4 game also features classics like Remocon or Envy Cat Walk.

Runner-up : Hatsune Miku Project Diva X (PSVita/PS4)

Best graphics

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The Division (PS4)

Open world of impressive scale, The Division is visually the most striking game I’ve seen this year. Ubisoft re-created New York with great realism and the post apocalyptic touch makes it an immersive experience.

Runner-up : Battlefield 1 (PS4) & Hatsune Mike Project Diva X (PSVita)

Best innovation

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Overwatch (PS4)

When Blizzard does something, it rarely fails. Overwatch is a competitive FPS like you’ve never seen before. Close to an RPG by its characters and skill mechanics, it allows for a great variety of gameplay blowing everything else in the genre. You’ve got an innovative set of roles like defenders (D.Va) or support characters of which the recently added grandma Ana is a stunning example.

Runner-up : Mary Skelter Nightmares (PSVita)

Best narrative

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Persona 5 (PS4)

Persona 5 is the master of suspense and intrigue. The passion in those personal destinies, the will of the characters, the bond uniting them, all this conjugated with the onimous plot set by wicked elites is a delicious cocktail that you keep pouring during dozens of hours.

Runner-up : Tokyo Xanadu (PSVita)

Best atmosphere

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Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight (PSVita)

Nippon Ichi Software is at its best when creating dark and crooked universes. Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight is no expection and delivers gloomy art that chills the bone : blood, death and despair are the key elements here. The developments, the very logic of the game and the touching conclusion make it emotionally beautiful.

Runner-up : Battlefield 1 (PS4)

Best design

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Kan Colle kai (PSVita)

While Persona 5 sure blows things out in terms of design, I might stick to Kan Colle kai for this one. Really unique concept with risqué fan service included, Kantai Collection does a great job drawing friends and foes, and decorating your HQ is a lot of fun too.

Runner up : Persona 5 (PS4), Mary Skelter Nightmares (PSVita) & Pokemon Sun/Moon (3DS)

Best game you might never play

nagato

Kan Colle kai (PSVita)

I’m actually pretty sure you won’t play Kan Colle kai, unfortunately. Kadokawa has already announced that the game would be pulled back from shelves, further evidence that relations with the IP owner DMM.com aren’t exactly easy. You still have a few weeks to order an import version and a fat kanji dictionary with it.

Runner-up : none

Most disappointing

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Sword Art Online Hollow Realization (PSVita/PS4)

You’d need to be really incompetent or seriously cynical to keep this unwanted «title». Mr. Futami Producer of Sword Art Online games, must be this kind of guy. Incapable of keeping the progresses made in Sword Art Online Lost Song, he’s badly rehashed Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment with Sword Art Online Hollow Realization : romoved playable characters, boring linearity, thin storyline, outdated engine… everything indicates he wanted to maximize profits by minimizing efforts. This logic seems actually be going on with Sword Art Online vs Accel World, the first screens of which are horrendous. This time, my money will go the more capable and ambitious developers.

Runner-up : Summon Night 6

mini Platinum-trophy Game of the Year

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Persona 5 (PS4)

mini gold trophy Kan Colle kai (PSVita)

mini Silver_Trophy Rose and the Old Castle of Twillight (PSVita)

mini-bronze_trophy Tokyo Xanadu (PSVita)

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Review – Hatsune Miku Project Diva X

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X kunoichi rin

When you’ve been bearing for years a principle as simple as pressing buttons in rhythm, surprising your public is no easy task. Hatsune Miku Project Diva X will thus split itself in two distinct parts : the “old” Free Play mode and the brand new Live Quest mode.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X arcade mode

The Free Play mode sees little change, and neither does the base of gameplay : we’re still in a pure rhythm game. The Playstation icons still show up everywhere on the PSVita display, and you also have to consider the direction buttons, plus the analog stick (or the touchscreen) to succeed with the star-shaped notes. The only changes are the removal of the big and linked stars seen in Project Diva F 2nd, and the introduction of Rush notes, for which you have to mash the corresponding button (which doesn’t get you anything besides a few more points).

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X AR1

In that part of the game, you find once again the AR photography stuff. You can therefore use the AR capability of your Vita to insert Miku and her friends in your daily life. The number of poses/costumes has further grown so really the only limit is your imagination.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X cool

Let’s enter the big subject that is Live Quest. The universe of Hatsune Miku Project Diva X is divided into five zones that have some sort of theme, featuring musics that share a similar atmosphere. There’s Neutral, Cute, Cool, Beauty and Chaos. For example, the Cute environment has kiddy or joyful tracks, while Chaos features weird design and unsettling paces. When you start, all those worlds have lost their vitality : Miku, Luka, Kaito, Meiko, Rin and Ren dedicate themselves to restoring the lost shine. By the power of song, of course.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X areas1

Each zone will ask you a definite objective of “voltage” you have to get from four or five songs (all new or so), and a medley which is a mini-concert featuring several extracts from well-known vocaloid tracks. Each song in each difficulty has its own numbered voltage objective you have to meet, otherwise you have to do it again from scratch. Let’s say a song has an objective of 131’000 : if you finish at 129’000, all is lost and nothing gets added to the current zone. If you achieve more, then total goes directly in the zone total. To make voltage go up, you just have to do usual : push button following the rhythm. Here again, the fundamentals stay as they are. The player starts with the choice between easy and normal, so you won’t get stuck because of the challenge.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X end

Once all the zones are fully restored, the game is “finished”, but not over. All zones will receive new voltage assignments, each time a more important figure. You can then replay your favorite songs as you like to earn the numerous remaining trophies. Hard and extreme mode will have been added too and those ones will earn you a lot more voltage (but as you imagine, it gets a lot harder).

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X extreme

The extreme mode in Live Quest is particularly interesting because the music doesn’t stop even if you do a lot of mistakes : non-expert players can then see the full extend of the challenge in this mode. The hard mode is less tough than in Project Diva F 2nd, as there are fewer tricky spots and the average game speed is a little lower. To make the pleasure longer and more intense, Hatsune Miku Project Diva X adds little challenges that are some handicaps : icons vanishing, zigzagging, or twice faster! Quite some stuff to test your skills and make the fun last.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X module get

Modules (which means a costume in Project Diva) are no longer for show but have a huge impact on gameplay in this third installment. You don’t trade them for Diva points at the shop anymore (the shop is gone, as well as Diva points), but earn them by succeeding in the Chance Time of a song. Every time playing a song, a gauge will appear at some point and you’ll need to avoid mistakes as much as possible in that timeframe to fill it. Once it’s filled and if you’ve hit the last star, your character will “transform”, kind of, wear a new outfit and finish the song with it. The problem is that the module you get is chosen at random, so you can actually get duplicates! Because of that, the system is less convenient than Diva points in order to collect the 300 (!) modules. After you’ve clocked 20 hours or so, it becomes really frustrating.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X coordinate

Modules will directly impact your progression as they allow voltage bonuses. Divided into the sames categories as the areas, they give a 20% bonus if the element matches with the environment. Choosing a Cool module in the Cool area is advantageous, but the same module in another place will earn you nothing special. The various accessories (earned on the result screen) work in the same way. In harder settings, it is necessary to coordinate your character’s look so that he or she receives a maximum bonus rate. Note that you can register some appareance sets so as to save time in menus. Besides, each modules bears a special skills likely to help you : it may be extra voltage in certain conditions or a higher chance to get a rare module. Your current goal will dictate your strategy in that matter. The bad news is that it makes it inevitable to use modules or accessories that aren’t your taste. To be totally free, you must go back to Free Play (which you can do anytime).

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X comm

Despite Sega’s enthusiastic communication on the matter, the interaction part has been lightened. Proof enough, Diva Room has just vanished! No more gazing at Miku and the others as they occupy themselves in their loft. Instead of that, the character is facing you in the main menu and you can enjoy some funny reactions, with a bit of touchscreen stuff. It is not as rich as Project Diva F 2nd in that department, but it’s more lively and in the end, entertaining.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X Rin comm

The friend level still exist, but you can only make it go up by offering presents : stroking the character is no more on the agenda. The presents being obtained at random too, you don’t always have the right one at the right timing. That doesn’t help you get the friend level to the maximum… Too bad, because the friendship also slightly improve the voltage rate in Live Quest. In short, a communication aspect not perfect but the kawaii part makes up for it somehow.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X sentai

But the most important aspect of a rhythm game, that is still the music. It’s once more the excellent track selection that makes the formidable strength of Hatsune Miku Project Diva X, essentially because it’s varied and of high quality. The various themes being equally shared within the game, it can please everyone… provided they have some affinity with J-pop! There are fast and slow-paced musics, so every game style is covered. There are also a bunch of different sonorities. While the choreographies are as good as ever, the game is less stylish than before : you can swap the backgrounds as you wish, making it impossible to have graphical art like in Suki Kirai or Uraomoete Lovers. Also, we lament the lack of artwork in the loading screens. Some clips do have some genius in them : Hikyô Sentai Urotanda, hilarious tribute to series of the 80’s, is a clever parody of Sentai shows. Mrs Pumpkin no Kokkei na Yume is a good successor to Musunde Hiraite Setsuna to Dokuro in the “fantastic” category, rhythm, design and musical accents being close.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X cool medley

Medleys also make a good novelty, because they’ll make you discover or re-discover great songs. Kono Fusaketa Subarashii Sekai and I.R. Fanclub are new to the series and add thunderous pace to their medleys. Star titles like Unhappy Refrain or Hatsune Miku no Gesshô will return to please their numerous fans. They are very well orchestrated in real “concert” spirit with some nice transitions. The style here sure is good. Remains the difficult question of the number of tracks. 30 songs or so, far less than the 200+ of Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future Tone. Let’s bear in mind that Future Tone is a straight port of the arcade, so everything existed before. In Hatsune Miku Project Diva X, everything is exclusive and Sega had to create it all from the very beginning. In an ever dwindling Japanese market, it is utopian to ask for more.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X goodsmile

Technically speaking, the 3D engine was so ahead of its time in 2012 that it’s still one of the best. Handheld games with that level of graphics aren’t exactly commonplace. Even though there’s basically just characters and background to manage, the modeling is just perfect for a handheld system. Despite its downrating from CERO C (late teens) to CERO B (Teen) in Japan, the content is still quite sexy in choreographies, costumes… or even lyrics. Those of Sôsei Bakuretsu Boy got Miku’s game to be pulled out from Korean shelves for a while.

Less rich than the past two episodes, Hatsune Miku Project Diva X still benefits from an iron-clad formula that doesn’t age : intense gameplay, great music and guaranteed fun. While the new progression system does some questionable choices, it makes the game and the pleasure longer. A very good pick for Miku fans, yet again.

Sales and trophies, the missing link

miku sensei

You might have noticed, I am obsessed with game sales. I know it would be easier to enjoy gaming without watching the market all the time, but I can’t. And for digital-only games, the blackout is total. How to find out? One day I came up with partial, but interesting method.

Since PSVita and PS4, the unlocking ratio of trophies is public. You just have to open your trophy list to check how the Playstation Nation performs on any trophy. The PSN tells you what percentage of the game’s owners has unlocked a trophy. Nice info, but a percentage alone don’t lead us anywhere. Wouldn’t there be some actual figure to calculate from out there?

Yes, there is. PSN Profiles publishes the actual number of players having unlocked a trophy! Then we reason like this : people who have unlocked a trophy on PSN Profiles also have unlocked it on the PSN, so they necessarily belong to the percentage displayed on the PSN. Therefore, we can make a connection between this percentage and PSN Profiles members, since they are the same persons. In order to have the most precise calculation, we have to pick the rarest trophy, which is the platinum since it supposes to have unlocked all the others. Please look at Neptune-sensei’s formula.

Neptune sensei

Before analyzing it, let’s define some variables

S = Total number of owners of a game. In case of a digital only title, the total sales since it can neither be lent, nor traded.

Smin = Minimum but certain sales of a game

P = Number of platinum obtained for one game

Pp = Number of platinum on PSN Profiles for one game

tP = Unlocking rate of a platinum

The platinum rate is calculated by dividing the number of platinums by the total number of players, so tP = S/P. Then S = P/tP

Here we need to exercise extreme caution, because not everyone is registered on PSN Profiles. The website has some 2.5m members on several dozens of millions of PSN accounts worldwide. Here’s the snag : the error margin dramatically increases depending on how many platinums are NOT registered on PSN Profiles. We can therefore only calculate the minimum number of owners of the game. Mathematically, P > Pp, so Smin = Pp/tP < S

Let’s take Hatsune Miku Project Diva f, very interesting example since this Vita version has a distinct trophy list from the PS3 one. Platinum rate is 8.1% as SonicDX indicates, and there are 1574 platinums on PSN Profiles. Project Diva f PSVita has thus sold a minimum amount of 1574/0,081 = 19432 units.

As for Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment (216 platinums and an abysmal 0.2% rate), we get 108’000 sales at least. This is quite under its actual sales, because BandaiNamco had stated it sold 570’000 copies worldwide, including some 300’000 in the West by subtracting the Japanese sales. The error margin is therefore quite large and we must consider the fact that actual sales are several times higher than the figure we have.

With Ichikyo57’s data, we can establish the following minima.

Hyperdimension Neptune ReBirth1 → 1818/0,084 = 21643

Atelier Rorona Plus → 258/0,042 = 6143

Atelier Totori Plus → 478/0,031 = 15419

Atelier Meruru Plus → 169/0,025 = 6760

Quite a good score for Hatsune Miku, the Vita version having been released much mater than the PS3 one and being identical by the way. Nice performance also for ReBirth1, the minimum sales suggesting final figures close to the Japanese ones. Atelier is bearish, but Atelier Totori had triggered an unusual hype by its unexpected arival on the Playstation Store.

That’s the deal. True, the reliability of the formula is limited but it’s a good indication to assess the situation of digital-only games in the economic environment.

Review – Persona 4 Dancing All Night

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Going from an internationally famous RPG to a dancing game is a bold move. But that is no problem for fearless Atlus who suddenly throws itself in the select club of rhythm games, sending Persona 4’s party onto the dancefloor.

Persona 4 Dancing All Night won’t party its way to success by merely copying the competition. The disco-themed opening and menus make it very clear : we’re far from the Vocaloid universe here. The general design is a gigantic tribute to the 70s’. Among other curiosities, the accessory shop is old-fashioned teleshopping, the “collection” menu is a shelf full of LPs and listening to music is done by a good old jukebox. This one works extremely well, because it doesn’t when the Vita enters sleep mode.

Naoto

Other specificity : nearly all the songs are in English. Project Diva players will be thunderstruck but they will no less appreciate some very good compositions. Time to Make History is the best one while Snowflakes, Shadow World, Best Friends (+ another one I’ll be talking about later) are enjoyable in their own style thanks to their lively tempo. That said, there are no more than 20 songs original songs or so in-game, and there are a lot of remixes of some to make the Free Dance mode a bit longer. On a character point of view, Persona 4 Dancing All Night is rather unsatisfying since every song can only be played with the preset character : no way to experience your favorite music with your favorite character. That is a real pity, and even more so when you consider that Atlus’s game displays peerless graphics and animation. Still, the choreographies look a little too classic compared to the ideas behind Projet Diva’s clips or even the artistic side of IA/VT Colorful’s.

On a personal level, I am appalled by the fact that Naoto show up in her Persona 4 version only. I know this makes no sense but let me explain : as I do things the other way around, I got into the Persona series by reading the manga called Persona x Tantei Naoto. So from there in my mind, Shirogane Naoto looks like that. Therefore, if they show her dressed like a boy, speaking with a boy’s voice, in a rhythm game where visual and sound aspect are dramatically important, I say NO. Beyond that and that’s rare enough, the Japanese voice cast of Persona 4 Dancing All Night is not that convincing.

Marie

I’m not that good at Persona 4 Dancing All Night, but I would say that the game system is not completely so either. The buttons you have to push are displayed on the edge of the screen and the moving are neutral. It is very confusing and you also have to manage the scratch with the L/R buttons at the same time! Needless to say that you get lost in the first hours, but fear not, because as always in the genre the brain naturally adapts to the new interface with some training. Eventually, it is not difficult to master at least the normal mode. Huge mistake : the lack the colors on icon. If Sony implemented damn forms and different colors on the Playstation buttons, it’s not just for show! All this make Persona 4 Dancing All Night less intuitive than the competition.

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Undoubtedly an added value compared to its rivals, the story mode in Persona 4 Dancing All Night is long enough to keep you busy for more than a dozen of hours. Several people went missing as an eerie video mysteriously airs on the web at midnight. Come to help Rise for her comeback in the idol business, Persona 4’s team get thrown into a parallel world where they will intend to pin the culprit and rescue the victims. Even if it does seem really dull at times, especially by its stiff structure and uneven story-telling, the narrative contains enough humor and suspense to renew its interest, let alone the miscellaneous direction in cut-scenes and the surprising illustrations.

Miku1

I was telling you that Persona 4 Dancing All Night was cutting itself from the Vocaloid craze, but that’s actually not completely accurate. Because if you talk dancing and rhythm on PSVita, Hastune Miku is never too far. Atlus will market a dozen of DLCs priced from 0 to 800 yens (count up to 5-6€ in EU, 2 of them being free). The Heaven Remix that features the virtual singer is violent techno hardstyle served by explosive highs, but still very interesting to play and listen. The modeling and animation of Miku transcends everything you could see in Project Diva : it’s so bloody GORGEOUS! Marie’s DLC song Break Out Of… appears as classic pop music. Not especially a wonder in my honest opinion, it is nevertheless quite the challenge because icons go counterclockwise, despite the rest of the game keeping to clockwise rotation.

Even though Persona 4 Dancing All Night is definitely a enjoyable experience, it remains “weaker” than other rhythm games on Sony’s handheld. It does have a stye of its own, a interesting story and a decent tracklist, but kinda misses the cue in its game system and overall content.

No encore for Hatsune Miku on 3DS

miku contract

Last thursday, Sega was celebrating the launch of Hatsune Miku Project Mirai Deluxe on 3DS in Japan. At this event, the producer in charge of Hatsune Miku games had come to Akihabara, heart of the world for the digital singer’s fans. In the middle of the celebration event, he has rather unexpected words.

The [Project Mirai] series will be paused, because I will focus on other projects. I want to thank all those who have supported us during all those years”

3DS nears the end of its lifespan. Any “pause” is the politically correct wording for “it’s dead, Jim!”. Stating the end of a series on the launch of the latest installment is nothing common and that speaks volumes about Sega’s actual motivation in doing those 3DS games. Project Mirai Deluxe had recently stirred a controversy because it adds only one song compared to Project Mirai 2 : gamers were asked to reopen their wallet for almost nothing. The most likely explanation to this is that Sega was in contract with Nintendo for a certain number of Hatsune Miku games, hideous scheme to undermine the Project Diva series on PS3/PSVita. Quite simple : during the long year preparing a game barely different from the previous one, Sega isn’t making Project Diva F Extend for PSVita. Nintendo is buying itself some time as usual, lowering the players’ experience in the process. Sega probably got tired of this mockery and sent a strong message to Project Diva fans : he wrote in the recent issue celebrating the 20 years of Dengeki Playstation that “he shall have something for them in the future”

The truth is that Project Mirai has never been in a position to rival Project Diva in terms of sales. While Project Mirai 2 launched whith 88’000 units sold, Project Diva F 2nd doubles that. Given that the latter also received higly profitable DLCs for months, Sega’s verdict is only natural. Today is a victory day for Hatsune Miku fans who thwarted an onimous threat to their passion. Of course, we can’t discard a future NX version, but that’s another story.

Review – Project Diva F 2nd

Blackjack c

Project Diva F on Vita has been for me a great discovery. Fun and arenaline rush like I hadn’t known for a while in a video game. The excitment was therefore high when booting this direct sequel. Excitment that stayed at maximum level until the end.

Magical Paint a

In terms of content, Project Diva F 2nd (PDF2) inherits the principle of Project Diva Extend (PSP), that is to say half new songs, the other half being songs taken from previous episodes. In the case of PDF2, those ones come from the PSP games Project Diva 2nd and Project Diva Extend. Before complaining about rehashing, bear this in mind : while Project Diva Extend was merely transferring songs from Project Diva 2nd, PDF2 remakes them from scratch. Two-faced Lovers, Romio & Cinderella or Luka Luka Night Fever to mention a few, have been completely remades and not just remastered : choreographies have been changed in several aspects, especially by adding a finale like it was introduced in Diva F. No only this, but the incredible 3D engine of the «F» series transforms the hits of the previous generation and the astonishing graphics further enhanced from Diva F (PDF2 looks quite sharper) make it a whole new experience.

Genga a

As for the new songs, I found the list pretty uneven compared to Diva F which was a true concentration of musical masterpieces. Many have slow rythm or not enough intensity for my tastes. But whatever, that’s just me and I did find a few exhilarating compositions like Yubikiri, Ni Soku Hôko, Envy Cat Walk, Meteo 2nd Dimension Fever and Akatsuki Arrival, let alone the fantastic design and direction that mix elegance and cuteness in wonderful fashion.

Miku usagi

You’ll of course also get a new range of nice modules (=costumes) with the possibility to import the ones you already have in Diva F. In pure aesthetics, you have now an option to put a skin on your progression bar. While I think it takes too much room on the screen, some may please you. Note that if you want more, Sega has planned a looong DLC season to destroy your savings with seriously exciting stuff : the Japanese version already got Change Me, Kochi Muite Baby, Yellow and Sekiranun Graffiti, among others. Remember that if you have the extra character DLC for Diva F, you can get it free for PDF2 as it’s cross-buy.

2nd Dimension Fever

The most striking thing about gameplay is that the game became A LOT harder. If like me you’d come to master progressively the Hard mode without making wonders in Extreme, drop by the chemist’s to get some anxiolytics because you will suffer like hell. Narisumashi Ganga and 2nd Dimension Fever are inhumane, Envy Cat Walk drove me mad. It’s my concern with PDF2 : the Normal mode is still a bit too easy for returning fans, but Hard mode is discouraging sometimes.

etoiles

Generally speaking, the challenge has been beefed up in several ways. Remember the yellow stars for which you just had to scratch the screen continuously? That’s over, Jim! From now on, you’ll have to follow the pace. Technical zones have become a lot more technical, those bonus points are no longer offered like they used to be (Huh, God Tier Tune?). This episode comes out with new types of stars. There’s the «big» star which is cleared by scratching the screen in two different locations, and the «linked» stars, that are actually normal ones with more bonus points.

DR Luka b

All the side content is still there and has improved. The Diva Room, the now famous dating sim is more lively than in the previous game : the number of events have doubled, they’re triggered more often, yo have new mini-games and characters show a lot more actions/reactions. Camera angles have been nerfed a lot though, especially in close-up, which is definitely unwelcomed. All the friend level parameters have been tweaked to allow a more precise progression. The much sharper graphics add greatly to the enjoyment of this Diva Room 2.0, which more than ever is a game in itself.

ARL

The game comes with a dozen of new AR lives, save that now you no longer need the AR markers to organize your private performances!

AR Miku e

And of course, the fun of the AR camera mode is still intact ^o^

Despite the small hiccups in gameplay and balance, the immense delight is still the same. Project Diva F 2nd is pure and immediate joy until the end. That is, if you can see an end to a game you never really stop playing.