Miku is a harsh mistress
Somehow, Project Diva f 2nd leapt off the shelf and wound up in my Vita’s card slot. I am weak and easily fall in to old habits, and having a Miku game sitting around unplayed was too much of a temptation to resist.
This is my fifth Project Diva rhythm game on Sony portable hardware, and the series fills a unique role for me – it’s the only series where I start each entry with the intent of playing it on the harder difficulty levels, rather than being satisfied with the entry-level settings.
I confess that I may have been a little smug about this when I put the game card in and fired it up. Hard difficulty isn’t available from the start, so you have to pass Normal on all songs to get the more challenging version. I figured that it would take me one quick play-through on Normal to unlock all the songs on hard difficulty, a second pass to get GREAT or better rankings on the handful of songs that I cleared with only a STANDARD ranking, and then I could get down to the srs bzns of playing on Hard…
…and then I started blowing songs, even on Normal. In the course of clearing the 40 base songs, I had 20 failed songs out of 60 attempts. There are some note charts where the markers just don’t seem like they’re following the music, some songs where the tempo just skews all over the place, and WAY too many sequences using the touch screen instead of buttons to hit notes. I’ll be going through the songs on Normal a couple of times again before I’m ready for Hard, I think. I may even do a quick pass on Easy so I can actually see the videos behind the note markers.
I’m still loving it – it looks fantastic, and it brings back a ton of songs from the PSP games that were sadly absent in the first Vita game – but there’s no way I could recommend it to anyone who hasn’t had a lot of time with at least one previous game in the series.
It looks like Sega will be giving Miku a break after this release. The US still has the 3DS port to look forward to in September, but that’s just an enhanced version of a couple of 3DS games that are over a year old at this point. They are releasing Miracle Girls Festival this winter, which is a game that uses the same rhythm game engine but ditches the vocaloids for an assortment of cute anime characters. Somehow, I doubt this will come over to the west – but, in a world where I can pick Hyperdimension Neptunia games off the shelf at my local Fred Meyer, I guess anything is possible.