With Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone, the long-running rhythm game series featuring the popular digital Japanese Vocaloid and her crew gets the most significant changes in its gameplay to date, adding even more challenge to the experience with new note types and even more tunes to jam to. There’s a ton of content to check out, making it the most packed Hatsune Miku game available to date, but it’s also pretty much more of the same, which can be both good and bad for fans.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone
Developed and published by SEGA
Available on the PS4.
*Review code provided by SEGA
Unlike Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone skips past the fluff and filler storyline and instead concentrates on the arcade gameplay, meaning there’s a limited number of things to do. Players can jump straight into songs in Rhythm Game Mode, purchase new looks and costumes for the Vocaloids in Customization, watch videos and listen to music in Custom Playlists, and check out info and extras in the Gallery. It’s as straightforward as it can be, and it’s a welcome change with all the songs available right from the beginning for your rhythm gameplay pleasure.
Now in regards to gameplay, it’s still the same rhythm-based, “tap a flurry of buttons in time with the music” mechanics we all know and love. They have been revamped a bit in this newest entry however, with newly added input types which further complicate and improve on the game’s challenge. Among the additions are new directional slides that are exclusive to the analog sticks, buttons that must be pressed at the same time (from two to four and which can get pretty complicated fast), and notes that can be held in order to get points, but are not of the typical “hold until the line ends” variety and can be dropped at any time. These buttons increase the challenge quite a bit in addition to the fact that inputs appear randomly onscreen and don’t follow a set order, and can easily wind you up as you switch buttons and attempt to hit two or four at a time. With everything flying up on the screen and most background videos being flashy, these new notes can make things very tricky and occasionally frustrating, but practice makes perfect, I suppose.
The song variety in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is excellent – with songs coming from various Hatsune Miku Arcade titles, and there’s quite a few here that’ll please fans of any type of music, as most are catchy and will have you thumping your feet to the beat. The videos accompanying the music are also pretty great, but it’s also more of Hatsune Miku and friends swinging their arms around and singing, keeping up with their virtual idol personas. There’s plenty of fan service here, so fans of the virtual idol will love these new tracks and videos, and there’s also multiple difficulties for each track, so players can challenge themselves as they clear the catalog of tunes.
While the game will launch with over 200 songs to play through, Project DIVA Future Tone comes with a unique business model, allowing players to purchase the content in two separate packs that each bring half of the tracks or get them all in one bundle. It’s a neat option that lets players get in on the action without paying the full price if they’re short on cash, or lets them just buy songs from specific genres, as the Colorful Tone pack brings the pop songs while Future Sound brings the rock.
Overall, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is an excellent and solid addition to the rhythm game series, adding more reasons to jam out and tap to the music with a huge selection of songs and new gameplay mechanics. While not a lot has changed with Miku and co., and this is the most barebones version of the popular rhythm game yet, it’s still a good time that both fans and newcomers will enjoy.