Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix Review – Can’t Stop the Beat

    Title: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix
    Developer: Sega
    Release Date: May 15, 2020
    Reviewed On: Switch
    Publisher: Sega
    Genre: Rhythm

I enjoy a lot of rhythm games. At a base level, the simple gameplay loop of pressing buttons to a beat is incredibly fun. I predominantly play mobile games that get my fingers tapping, and there’s no shame in telling you that most of these games feature idols. However, I never owned a Vita, which means I missed out on every significant Hatsune Miku release. Still, I consider myself a fan of the green-haired Vocaloid idol and the tracks that she sings on, and after playing Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix on Nintendo Switch, I’ve been reborn as a Miku rhythm master.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix is the latest in the series of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva rhythm games. In these games, you’ll select one of the many available songs to play in which you’ll be treated to a fancy music video while pressing buttons that show up on the screen.

These button presses go with the rhythm of the song and award you points, which are needed to clear the stage. However, Megamix adds a new mode, aptly titled Megamix, which has a more standardized lane system that utilizes the Switch’s Joy-Con.

Holding the Joy-Con straight up like a staff, you rotate it left and right to move a bar across the screen. When lined up correctly, players are required to press a shoulder button as the note passes to earn points. Songs in Mega Mix mode will utilize both Joy-Con above easy difficulty, which has notes that need to be hit by the correct Joy-Con.

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There are a total of 101 songs in the vanilla game, which has an initial retail price of $39.39, with a total of 36 separate DLC songs. The Japanese version also has a third gameplay mode called touch play, which was added post-launch via a free update, this mode is not available in the English version upon release so I can’t comment on it, watch this space.

I haven’t played the DLC songs yet either, but the songs within the base game are loads of fun. I’m pretty biased, but Rolling Girl, Ghost Rule, and Blackjack are my favorites. The music in the game ranges from different speeds and genres that had me replaying more than a few tracks multiple times for a higher score. Sure, you might not enjoy one or two tracks, but there will be ten amazing tracks lined up to make up for them.

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For veterans, this game is exactly what you’d be used to in previous titles. However, you might want to modify the control scheme because the X on a Switch is in a different place than the X on a PlayStation controller, you can do that through the customization menu.

For newbies, well, the gameplay sounds simple, and it is reasonably straightforward, but if you aren’t used to this style, it WILL kick your ass, that is just a fact. These games have a big learning curve, and I haven’t even mastered my favorite songs on hard, let alone the further unlockable Extreme Difficulty.

There isn’t a story mode or anything for you to get stuck in, but hey, it doesn’t really need it. Any time you would have spent learning about the company created, Miku lore can now be spent watching her, and her friends sing and dance as you tap to the beat. And you’ll need the practice because, after Normal difficulty, the gloves come off and this rhythm game puts your skills to the test.

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To shake up the formula, aside from just changing up the songs, you can modify the appearance of the music video’s lead character. Some songs will allow you to even change the vocalist entirely. Clearing a song will get you some in-game currency that you can use to purchase modules, which are new outfits for the game’s various vocaloids. These costumes are all gorgeous and can be hilariously distracting if you’re trying to get a high score. Good thing there’s a music video player.

New to this entry is a t-shirt creator, allowing you to make your own t-shirt designs for the singers to wear in music videos. You can style both the front and back, and you have access to a fill tool that actually works on enclosed areas. You can use the touch screen for it, but it’s super imprecise and can be really finicky. It’s a neat little tool that I didn’t use much because I have the artistic talent of a brick, and I spent like 2 hours making the Noisy Pixel logo and nothing else.

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Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix is a great rhythm game that brings the series to the Switch for fans new and old to sink their time in. The additional modes and features provide a steady flow of content that gives players a variety of ways to experience this musical adventure. On top of that, everything is kept accessible, with multiple difficulty options and tools to help players improve their tapping skills across a fantastic list of playable tracks.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Pyre Kavanagh

Senior Editor - Illusions to illusions. Will solve murder mysteries for money so they can buy more murder mysteries. @PyreLoop on twitter