Well, I managed to unlock and buy all of Miku’s costumes in Project Diva: Extend, which has been my criteria for “finishing” games in the series so far. It didn’t take terribly long to get to this point, though, because the songs list is shorter than previous installments in the series and I was able to import everything I’d unlocked in the first two games, so I spent a few more hours with it to unlock some of Luka’s outfits. I also spent some time trying to train my brain to use the d-pad instead of buttons to hit notes, which is one of those techniques that I’ve often heard recommended for getting better at the game but something I’ve never really sat down and messed with before.
I can’t say that I got very good at it, but I’m improving.
All-in-all, I put about ten hours into Extend (compare to 44 hours in the first Project Diva) and now I’m officially putting it down in order to move on to Project Diva f .
Compared to either of the previous games, the songs list and rhythm parts of the game almost feel like an afterthought. Rather, it has a bunch of usability fixes and new features for stuff like edit mode and the Diva rooms. It DID come out in 2011, however, so it may have been that Sega was testing out some new stuff in preparation for the Vita game.
Regardless, it’s every bit as fun as other entries in the series. If you like mashing buttons in vague time along with electronic music and a synthesized idol cavorting on your PSP screen, this will give you more of that.
On a personal preference note, it’s fantastic to see both 初音ミクの消失 (The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku) and 初音ミクの激唱 (“The Singing Passion of Hatsune Miku) in the same song list. These two were the Final Boss Fights from games 1 and 2, respectively, and they make up nicely for some of the songs that didn’t make a reappearance.
I also fell quite in love with one of the new songs, 結んで開いて羅刹と骸, which the Project Diva Wiki thoughtfully translates as “Join up, Open up, the Rakshasa and the Corpse”.
I’m not entirely sure what a Rakshasa is in mythology – too much exposure to AD&D in my youth means that i will forever think of them as a tiger wearing a dressing gown – but the song has a delightfully creepy-yet-adorable music video related with it. Vita version of said video follows:
…which, as an aside, REALLY opened my eyes to how much better the Vita hardware is. I mean, the PSP was a solid workhorse for the better part of a decade, but wow if technology hasn’t gotten better since 2004. It’s going to be interesting to see if Project Mirai DX packs the same punch when it hits on the 3DS.