By Hailinel 14 Comments
I've written a couple of blog posts in recent weeks about Project Diva F, the first and thus far only rhythm game featuring Vocaloid characters to make it to western shores in a localized manner. The series began on the PSP and eventually made its way arcades and the PS3, but Project Diva isn't Sega's only Vocaloid-infused rhythm franchise. Project Diva has a sister series on the 3DS called Project Mirai, and the second entry is due out in Japan this November.
The biggest difference between the two series, aside from their choice of platform, is the manner of their art direction. While Project Diva mostly sticks to the characters with their normal proportions, Mirai's Vocaloid characters are almost entirely depicted in chibi Nendoroid proportions. (Nendoroid, for those unfamiliar, is a line of figures that depict characters from a variety of franchises in a super-deformed chibi format.)
That in mind, the choreography of the music videos takes these dimensions well into account with cute results. As in Project Diva, the choreography ranges from fairly standard singing on a stage settings to more elaborate stories. They manage to get a lot of expression out of the chibi characters.
Though I haven't had the opportunity to play the game myself, the gameplay in the first Project Mirai seems easier to follow than the patterns in Diva. Button prompts appear on circular tracks on the touch screen, so unlike Theatrhythm or Ouendan, there aren't any touch mechanics involved. Project Mirai 2, on the other hand, appears to be shaking things up, with note tracks that run in patterns around the screen.
The Project Mirai 2 trailer I intended to embed is behind a URL link because Giant Bomb's video embedding tool is a finicky beast and doesn't always behave itself:
The only bummer is the relative unlikelihood of either Mirai title to be released in North America. Because, well, who knows with Sega. But the DS and 3DS have been home to some pretty fantastic rhythm games, and it's always good to see more on the horizon.