Whenever I hear “Vocaloid,” one key figure comes immediately to my mind: Hatsune Miku. The iconic Vocaloid singer developed by Yamaha’s VOCALOID engine has opened the doors to many indie musicians, allowing them to share their creations with the world. From classics like “Tell your World” to even “Zenbonzakura,” Hatsune Miku is truly a pioneer in the realm of music. So seeing her appear on mobile devices in Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage was no surprise.
Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage is a mobile rhythm game, initially released in Japan on September 30, 2020, as Project Sekai. A release for the West was announced a few weeks before the Japanese version’s 1st anniversary. An open beta test of this upcoming Western version is currently occurring from October 4 to October 19. The objective is to test all sorts of events and gather important feedback from the players. And since it’s an open beta test, this also serves as a way for everyone to try out Colorful Stage without having to jump through needless hoops to play the Japanese version.
Being a rhythm game, there’s not much I can say because Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage is...very standard, and I didn’t see anything innovative when it came to the mechanics. You pick your song, pick your difficulty, set your performance team, and voilà, you’re on the playing field. You can also play together with friends via Co-Op lives. In this mode, players each add a song to the queue, and the game will shuffle and pick one at random.
Admittedly, I’ve been beating around the bush for a while in this article, but this title does belong to a genre that I’m sure nobody likes: Gacha. However, compared to the other gacha games I’ve played, there aren’t any fundamental reliances on it. Sure, it might be a bit tougher to get that S rank on the rhythm game without the appropriate cards, but I found the rates to be rather generous, or maybe that could be pure dumb luck. Still, with a 3% chance to get the highest rarity, you’re bound to get it somehow. And trust me, I’ve seen MANY gachas with far inferior rates.
That is not to say that the game performs flawlessly, though that could be because it is still in development. What stood out the most from the translation mistakes was the incorrect use of pronouns in some situations. Some characters in the Japanese version had neutral pronouns, but in this version, they were all gendered as either “he” or “she”. There are also some grammar and spacing mistakes, though I expect this to be all fixed during LQA. Thankfully, I did not encounter any connection issues, which in my opinion, are the biggest obstacle in mobile games that rely on players being consistently connected to the Internet.
Ultimately, Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage delivers well on its premise. The localization is largely excellent, and the performance is faultless, except for some minor oddities that needed ironing out, as I’ve said previously. While I’m sure the gacha nature of this game might throw some players off it, I have high expectations for the western release after this wholly positive experience.
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