Based on the successful anime and manga franchise about a light music club in an all-girl high school, K-On! Houkago Live!! is a rhythm first released in Japan September 30, 2010 for the Playstation Portable. Based on a modified Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA engine, players must push the PSP's buttons to a song rhythms in order to successfully perform them. In addition to the rhythm mode, the game contains dozens of collectible items, multiplayer support, a simple movie editor and a talking alarm clock.
On June 21st 2012, a PS3 version, K-On! Houkago Live!! HD Version, was released with HD graphics, 3D support, and an online mode.
Perform mode is the heart of the game, where players try to clear songs by pushing the PSP's d-pad and shape buttons in a rhythmic pattern while a music video of the band performing plays in the background. The buttons to press are displayed on a music staff that runs across the screen, and the player should press them when a moving cursor reaches their icon. The game is comprised of 19 tunes, and includes most original songs released during the animated series' first season. Each song can be played as any of the five members of the club in two difficulty levels, which brings the total of patterns to complete to 190. A special unlockable item provides what is for all purposes a third difficulty level, bringing an additional 95 patterns to the table.
The members of the band, and their respective playstyle are:
- Yui Hirasawa, lead guitar: Yui's patterns follow the lead guitar riff and solos of the songs. They are the most straightforward of the five.
- Mio Akiyama, bass: Mio's patterns follow the bass track of the songs. Mio plays a left-handed bass guitar, and so her patterns focus on the d-pad instead of the shape buttons like the rest.
- Ritsu Tainaka, drums: Ritsu's patterns follow the drum beat of the songs. Often the down d-pad button acts as the bass drum, while the triangle button acts as the high-hat. Ritsu's tracks usually involve rhythmic back-and-forward between bass and drums.
- Tsumugi Kotobuki, keyboards: Tsumugi's patterns follow the keyboard track of the songs. There are many fast solo parts, as well as long holds on the d-pad and shape buttons simultaneously for chords.
- Azusa Nakano, rhythm guitar: Azusa's patterns follow the secondary guitar parts of the songs. They usually involve long holds on the d-pad while following a riff with the shape buttons.
During a performance, "tension" is raised or lowered based on missed notes and combos. Higher tension leads to better scores, while too many missed notes can end in a failed performance. A cleared performance is ranked D through S based on the score, and a special icon is awarded for a perfect combo.
After successfully clearing a song, the player gets random food items that can be used in subsequent performances. The player can choose from the available items on the song selection screen, and the effects of the item can be triggered for a short time during performance by pressing the L or R buttons. Effects range from automatically performing a part of the song to increasing score or simplifying the track. In addition to food items, various other collectibles are unlocked after completing songs with specific conditions.
In addition to Perform, the game contains several other modes and mini-games:
- Menu: the game's menu is a mini-game in itself. In the background is the girls' club-room (or other unlockable settings), where a chibi version of them move around and interact with each other. Players can give the characters items attainable by clearing songs and get various reactions. Furniture and such can be used to furnish the environments and fully voiced cut-scene events can be unlocked by giving certain items to characters when the right conditions are met.
- Communication: The game's multiplayer mode. Up to five people can connect using the PSP's wifi and perform the game's songs together.
- Clock: A talking alarm clock. Players can choose the character they like and have her say the time with the press of a button. A special greeting will occur if a birthday date is entered in the settings.
- Let's Sing: A simple karaoke movie maker. Players can make and watch vocal-less music videos for the game's songs by picking a setting, camera angles and character movements. Karaoke-like lyrics are displayed when the movie is played. By conceding to a few limitations in editing the movie, it can also be used to replace the video in Perform mode.
- Change Clothes: Various outfits, hairstyles and accessories are unlocked by clearing songs, and here is where you can use them. The character look the player creates here is used throughout the Perform music videos.
- Album: The game's gallery. Players can view all the unlockable items they collected, as well as see the conditions for unlocking some of the ones they haven't.
|Watashi no Koi wa Hocchikisu||Yui||Performed by the band on the show|
|Humming Bird||Mugi||Character image song|
|Sunday Siesta||Yui||Character image song|
|Hello Little Girl||Mio||Character image song|
|Fuwafuwa Time||Mio||Performed by the band on the show|
|Dear My Keys ~Kenban no Mahou~||Tsumugi||Character image song|
|JajaUma Way to Go||Azusa||Character image song|
|Sweet Bitter Beauty Song||Mio||Ending theme B-side|
|Fudepen ~Ballpen~||Mio||Performed by the band on the show|
|Let's Go!||Everyone||Image song|
|Curry nochi Rice||Yui||Performed by the band on the show|
|Mezase Happy 100%||Ritsu||Character image song|
|Watashi wa Watashi no Michi o Iku||Azusa||Character image song|
|Gitah ni Kubittake||Yui||Character image song|
|Happy!? Sorry!!||Yui||Opening theme B-side|
|Heart Goes Boom||Mio||Character image song|
|Girly Storm Shissou Stick||Ritsu||Character image song|
|Don't Say "lazy"||Mio||Ending theme|