Nintendo Switch gamers itching for some rhythm-based fun are in luck, with everyone’s favourite singing heroine Hatsune Miku finally making her Western debut on the console with Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix. It brings with it plenty for players to sink their teeth into too, with a heck of a ton of songs, plenty of customisation options, and a whole new way to play the game that utilises the Nintendo Switch’s motion controls – what more could Hatsune Miku fans want?
The basics of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix are simple, with gamers playing through one of over a hundred songs whilst partaking in rhythm-based gameplay. This means pressing the corresponding face buttons on your JoyCon when they appear on the screen and cross over their static counterparts – the closer they are when you hit the button, the more points you’ll earn. It’s the tried-and-tested routine that’ll be familiar to ANYONE that has played a Hatsune Miku title before (or any other rhythm game for that matter), so if you’re a fan of the genre you’ll feel right at home here.
Each song has its own unique video to go along with it, each of which are full of vibrant colours, spectacular visuals, and fancy (and often camp) dance routines that fit the tone of the song you’re playing perfectly. There’s a good mixture of genres to be found across the selection of songs too, with the catalogue made up of all new entries and series classics – no matter what your music taste might be, you’re certain to find something that will really catch your attention.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix brings an all-new and intriguing way to play the game to the Nintendo Switch, with players able to tackle the ‘Megamix’ mode that utilises the motion controls of the JoyCon controllers. Rather than simply pressing face buttons as they appear on the screen, you’ll instead hold a JoyCon in each hand and twist it to move two paddles across the bottom of the screen. Markers will drop from the top of the screen and you’ve then got to move each paddle to the markers of the corresponding colour and press the trigger button in order to hit it. It sounds a little finicky, but it’s a pretty simple concept that’s easy to get to grips with.
It’s definitely a neat way to experience the game and it utilises the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch in a clever way, though I couldn’t help but to find myself preferring the traditional control scheme. It’s not that I didn’t like the ‘Megamix’ mode because I appreciated the energetic twist it adds to the game’s tried and tested gameplay – I just didn’t find it as fun or addictive as mashing buttons in the old-school Hatsune Miku style.
It all comes together to make for a relatively straight-forward experience, and yeah, gameplay-wise there isn’t a whole lot that you need to learn to play Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix competently. Mastering it, though? That’s a completely different matter, with some songs proving exceptionally tough and really pushing your reaction and co-ordination skills to their limit – especially on the higher difficulty settings.
That’s not to say that the harder difficulties aren’t enjoyable though, with their frantic gameplay making for the best way to enjoy Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix’s assortment of songs. The gameplay formula is exceptionally addictive anyway, but when your skills are being pushed to their limit, it’s hard to stop yourself from coming back for more… especially when you find that ONE song that clicks for you (which was ‘The World is Mine’ for me).
You’ll earn currency as you play through songs which can be spent on new costumes, hairstyles, and accessories for the characters, so there’s an element of customisation added to the mix for those that enjoy tinkering with the appearance of their singing stars. You can even create some custom shirts if you want to show off your creative side, with a decent little designer put together that’s intuitive and easy to use. Admittedly, it’s not really the sort of thing that I’m into so I didn’t play around with it too much, but those who have got some creative flair will enjoy making the perfect shirt collection for Hatsune Miku and friends.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix offers an enjoyable and meaty experience that’ll keep you playing for some time, especially with its rich selection of varied songs and challenging difficulty. The only thing that was a little disappointing was the lack of a story mode; the last game I played in the series was Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X on the PlayStation 4, which brought with it a story-based campaign that I had a good time playing through. In Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix, you’re just playing through the songs in any order you like with no story bits in between. Sure, it doesn’t hinder the gameplay experience in any way, but it would’ve been a neat edition that would’ve really fleshed the game out even further.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix brings more of the series’ enjoyably addictive rhythm-gameplay to the Nintendo Switch in one impressively meaty package. With over a hundred songs to play through, multiple difficulties to tackle, a whole new way to play the game, and an assortment of unlockable costumes to earn, there’s PLENTY to keep you singing with the vocaloid star for some time.
Whether you’re a fan of Hatsune Miku or just enjoy the rhythm-based genre, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix is guaranteed to offer hours upon hours of glitzy singing fun.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch