Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix review: A fun musical romp

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix is a wonderful addition to the Nintendo Switch’s already impressive library of rhythm games.

Title: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix
Developer: Sega AM2
Publisher: Sega
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (version reviewed)
Release Date: May 15, 2020

I have been a long time fan of rhythm games. Ever since I was first introduced to them I’ve become obsessed. Space Channel 5, Gitaroo Man, Mad Maestro; heck, I even still have my DJ Hero turntables with every intention of hooking them back up again. But one series that has managed to remain my go-to over the last decade are the Hatsune Miku games. It’s one of the few rhythm games that actually, consistently, drops new releases as opposed to games like Parappa the Rapper, which gained a lot of popularity and then just stopped after only one sequel.

Spanning across several generations of hardware — everything from PSP to arcade cabinets — Miku has been everywhere. On May 15th, the virtual idol finally made her debut on the Nintendo Switch.

Right out the gate, I love having this game on the Switch. As a series that debuted on the PSP, it felt nostalgic to be able to take this game on the go again. But having it on the TV is also great because the music has some solid bops and my kids really enjoy watching me play it.

The song list is surprisingly massive. For $40 you get the base game which contains 100 songs. Not only is this a solid list of some of the greatest songs ever put out by the Vocaloid gang but you get several new songs as well. Plus, pre-ordering the game nets you four songs which were the theme songs for the previous four series. PLUS, the game is getting six DLC packs containing six songs each. So if you get all of that, you’re sitting on 140 songs. That’s almost twice as many as the PSP versions held.

Another selling point of these games are the visual aspects. As you play the incredibly easy to learn rhythm mechanics, a visually stunning music video plays in the background. It can be anything from your standard stage show to crazy visual concepts like someone rebuilding reality around them. My only issue with this is that when playing in handheld mode, some of the music videos seem a little grainy. This is a bit understandable considering the videos are rendered and not just video files.

As you can see in this screenshot, the video is a lower resolution but the overlay, including the inputs and meters, are all still high rez.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix Review for Nintendo Switch

SEGA

The reason for the rendering is because you can change your outfit out of a massive plethora of different clothing options. You can even change who’s in the video (though this doesn’t actually change how the vocal track sounds). And some of the outfits even feature things from other games such a Persona 4: Dancing All Night, Puyo Puyo, Space Channel 5, Phantasy Star Online. As you can see here, there’s even a Sonic the Hedgehog outfit because why not.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix Review for Nintendo Switch

SEGA

Not to be satisfied which just dropping another game and keeping everything static, however, the game adds a few new features. One of them is the t-shirt editor.

If, for some reason, the insane wardrobe doesn’t offer you enough options you can literally make your own clothing. The downside to this is that if you don’t have a stylus and a solid degree of artistic talent you’re going to be wearing some hot messes as your only tools are a pen, eraser and fill tool. This is a shirt I made after dedicating about 15 minutes to making a t-shirt and I’m not proud of it.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix Review for Nintendo Switch

SEGA

It’s a bit disappointing because I was hoping for something with more stickers and preset images to help me set up a shirt as I like it. Technically this gives me the ability to make the EXACT thing I want; I just very much lack the talent.

The other thing they added is the new Mix Mode. In Mix Mode, you hold a Joy-Con in each hand like joysticks and you tilt them left or right, using the gyroscopic sensor to move the left and right on-screen paddles over the bars and click the trigger at the right time.

While this mode is simple to learn, and fairly easy to do, it was a little uncomfortable as you spend a lot of your time in a very unnatural wrist up position. I like seeing them innovate and this honestly felt like they tried really hard to come up with an experience that felt like playing at a modified arcade cabinet. But it just felt strange. I played one song and, maybe I was doing it wrong, but my wrists were not thrilled with me afterwards.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix Review for Nintendo Switch

SEGA

On top of a stellar base, the game works really hard to innovate as well which I will always support. These new modes may not have drawn me in but each, in it’s own right, is an impressive achievement that I can see some people enjoying.

The base game itself though is absolutely stellar. I had difficulty adjusting at first because the input commands on screen were now Y, X, A ,B from the Joy-Cons instead of Sony’s buttons; but, I found an option in game that allows you to switch to arrows or even Sony’s buttons if you want Triangles, Circles, X’s and Squares instead. That helped me out a lot.

While it was a bit of an adjustment period getting used to playing it on a Switch after spending so many years playing the games with the Dualshock, once I got into the groove I greatly enjoyed this outing. I recommend Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix for all rhythm fan games. The Switch already has a wealth of incredible rhythm games, from Old School Musical to Sayonara Wild Hearts, and this is a wonderful addition to the rhythm library that belongs right there with them.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix

9

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA MegaMix for the Nintendo Switch is a fun musical romp through the virtual idol’s massive library of songs. Though there are minor graphical issues and new modes that don’t quite hit, it’s hard to take away from the fact the base game is phenomenal.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.

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