Musings on Project Diva F 2nd
I got this game awhile ago, and while I’m admittedly a slow-player, I finally managed to play this to a degree that I’m willing to dedicate one whole post about it. Bear in mind this isn’t a review, just some things about the game I want to talk about.
For those unfamiliar, the Project Diva series is a series of Vocaloid rhythm games. While I felt pretty neutral about the medium despite heavily talked about in the fandom, Project Diva F, the series’s previous localized game, was what finally propelled me into a Vocaloid fan.
Joining the Vocaloid bandwagon (and I assume any heavily fan-reliant series like Touhou, KanColle and so on) can be a tricky thing though, or at least it was for me, but what finally turned me into a Vocaloid fan was playing Project Diva. Not listening to random songs you find in the net, and not looking up random pictures or whatsoever; although these two are definitely great way to casually join in the fandom, but as a way for a non-Vocaloid fan who doesn’t know a single thing about it? That’s a poor way to try joining in the bandwagon, and from a personal experiences, it was a failed endeavor for me, but instead, playing Project Diva essentially did it for me. For every series, there is always a source, or sources, reasons as to why the series is so popular, and in Project Diva, we are straightaway diving into these sources-extremely popular Vocaloid songs which are the few sources to propel the Vocaloid medium to fame. Indeed, what I like about the Project Diva series is that it’s pretty much an official recommendation for Vocaloid’s top hits.
By that standard though, I personally think Project Diva F 2nd is even better than it’s predecessor, the best even; whether if you’re a first-time gamer of the series, or a first-timer in the Vocaloid world-Project Diva F 2nd is designed to catered for such introductions. There is also an option to toggle the lyrics between English/romaji, which is a great option since lyrics is an incredibly powerful tool in Vocaloid.
But most important of all though, Project Diva F 2nd also feature old songs way back during the PSP era (Project Diva started with the PSP, which are all unlocalized unfortunately, Project Diva F on the PS3/Vita was the very first localized game and is already the fourth entry in the series), especially with the likes of “World is Mine” and “Kokoro” joining the default song selection-are two must-listen tracks. I’m not sure for past DLCs, but Project Diva F 2nd has a very solid DLC selection of other classic hits from past PSP games, since the default tracklist is obviously not enough to fit them all. And for those who had never once play the PSP games before, they don’t need to-they can just buy the DLCs here and play them-in High Definition with newly-added scenes too, so that definitely is a plus. Project Diva F 2nd also made it easy by putting up a “Song Club” DLC, which automatically include existing and upcoming DLC songs if you buy it. Some songs from the DLC selection like “Kocchi Muite Baby”, “magnet”, “Yellow”, “Rolling Girl”, “Although Songs Have no Form” are all previous classic hits which are definitely a must to check out.
Not to say the new songs are unwelcome though, in fact, veterans of the series would had probably prefer more new songs. One very noteworthy song is “Kagerou Daze”, which if any of you watched Mekakucity Actor and is familiar where it’s adapted from, it’s that same song from Kagerou Project, only this time, it’s the rendition of the same scene with Miku in it. “Cantarella ~Grace Edition~” is a nice re-arranged violin version of the original one in the PSP. “Hello, Worker” is a nice, relatable song for those in the working community. “This is the Happiness and Peace of Mind Committee” is one of those crazy songs reminiscence of “Sadistic Music Factory” from Project Diva F. “Meteor” is just lovely to listen to, and last but not least, “DECORATOR” is a pretty much an instant-gratification type of song (it has a pretty damn fun PV too!)
From a gameplay standpoint, Project Diva F 2nd is the culmination of what worked in Project Diva’s original gameplay concept, honed to perfection. The game is incredibly challenging, and great for gamers who are in it for some challenge, and first-time players of the series are really recommended to try with the Easy mode first. I could had sworn some of the Normal difficulty songs are on par with Extreme difficulty of previous games, and as early as Normal, you will probably already need to dish out some tricks veterans of the series probably had mastered-alternating between face and directional buttons-an incredibly useful trick when the notes are just too fast. The star notes which seem poorly implemented in the first Project Diva F, finally looks like it had become it’s own thing by Project Diva F 2nd, and they feel more naturally in place than before.
There are a lot of great outfits, and the Live Studio and Photo Studio are back and better than ever (mostly apply to the former here since I seldom fiddle with the latter). The Diva room is also just as fun and there are a lot more interactions with it than before-for one, there are more than one mini-game you can play with the Vocaloids if I remember right, you can view item events (sometimes involving more than one Vocaloid) and sometimes they would even want to renovate their rooms themselves.
So in the end, I guess what I’m trying to point out is, friggin’ buy this game, especially if you like rhythm games and had been wanting to join in the Vocaloid bandwagon like me. Even if you don’t really care for the Vocaloid medium though, Project Diva F 2nd by itself is a fantastic rhythm game.