Hey, guys. You like rhythm games?
Not that plastic guitar bullshit that got tired after Rock Band 3 and Guitar Hero 87. I mean actual rhythm games that have some fucking imagination in their presentation and design. Ouendan, Gitaroo Man, crazy shit like that.
Did that previous paragraph cause you offense? Sorry, but I'm just venting. After Activision and Harmonix flooded the market with plastic crap, I really, honestly wondered if I'd ever see the sorts of rhythm games I really enjoy again. Not herping and derping across terribly laid note highways (like every post Harmonix Guitar Hero) or Kinect bullshit (which Harmonix has become obsessed with ever since ditching the plastic instruments).
Wait, I'm still venting.
OK, I'm done.
Well, this past week, Sega came to my rescue with the domestic release of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F. And it's such a breath of fresh air from the guitars and the Kinect nonsense. It's actually the latest in a series of games that have been coming out in Japan for the past few years, but Sega decided it was worth giving one of them a shot over here (seemingly at the expense of the domestic release of Phantasy Star Online 2. (Seriously, what happened there?)
Anyway, yes, the game is entirely Vocaloid driven. If you're one of those people that don't find them entertaining in any way, this game will drive you up the wall. But if you're willing to give it a chance, you're in for a treat. There are thirty-eight songs, each set to a music video starring the singing Vocaloid(s) that plays as background to the true action. Similar to a game like Ouendan, marks appear on the screen, and you have to hit them in time with the music. The trick here is that the marks are for the most part shaped like the icons on the PS controller face buttonjs (so square, circle, triangle, and X), with some marks also requiring directional input on the d-pad, and special star marks that are hit by tilting one of the analogue sticks. The marks appear in patterns around the screen and you have to be really fast in determining which button to press and the timing it needs.
And it's not easy, either. The first song on Normal kicked my ass so hard that I went straight to easy, where the only inputs used are Circle and the analogue sticks. And now that I have a better grasp on how the game works, I can go back to Normal and...maybe not get destroyed so easily this time. But damn if it isn't addictive. Like Ouendan, I see this as being the sort of game I'll play incessantly. Maybe I'll never get to a point where I can clear all of the stages on Extreme (because god damn):
But it's a great mountain for me to climb. Sadly, Project Diva F is likely too niche to truly succeed domestically, particularly given the brutal onslaught of releases this and next month. Still, if you have a desire for a fun rhythm game with some challenge, this might be what you're looking for.