Thoughts on Project Diva X
When Project Diva X was announced (along with Future Tone which is unfortunately a PS4 exclusive), I immediately thought of buying it on my Vita. And indeed, being a faithful
slave fan I immediately bought this game on release date — something I actually never do for any games, Project Diva games being the only exception.
I think it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Project Diva series, and Project Diva X effortlessly recaptures the charm of it’s predecessors. The gameplay remains similar for the most part — you press the buttons shown on screen with the right timing, though Project Diva X introduced something new where you need to mash certain buttons in certain parts of the songs.
Either way, there are some tweaks in the system which can be good or bad depending on you. First off, the biggest addition would be that there’s a story mode now, progressed through visual novel-narratives — the story is actually nothing to write home about, and most of the time, you would probably be itching to get to the rhythm game part, something Project Diva definitely excels in. There are two modes to play the songs, the aforementioned story mode and free mode. You start with just 5 songs in the beginning and will unlock more as you progress through the story. In free mode, you can play the songs you unlocked in story mode, with any stage of your choosing. Though to me, free mode to me is hardly a necessary feature. With the amount of grinding needed, you will probably be too busy racking up Voltage points in story mode (something you can’t do in free mode) to even bother with free mode.
On the subject of grinding, this is something I definitely have mixed feelings about. Unlike previous Project Diva, there are no shop system, and all modules, accessories and whatnot are obtained through grinding alone. Project Diva X tried it’s best to mix it up so it doesn’t feel too repetitive — the visual novel-dialogues, events and so on. Events are admittedly fun, at times you will be playing a song with a higher clear conditions in what feels like a character-specific story quests while some events are festivals — concerts basically, where you have full control over what songs or stages to use.
And while these are fun and makes the excessive grinding lesser of a problem, sometimes I still feel it’s better if it has an actual shop system (in addition to the unlocking feature). Besides, it seems like Project Diva X includes all items dating back to the very first Project Diva game, so it’s catalogue of total items is HUGE. Trying to unlock your favorite module can be a chore, especially since the module you get each song is random. Another problem is it’s lack of song selections. With the amount of grinding needed in the game, you would have thought there would be a lot more songs. At least give me more non-Miku songs. I mean, thanks to it’s character-specific events, I don’t know how many times I was forced to see Kaito dance stupidly sexy in songs like Brain Revolution Girl… okay, I admit it’s kinda amusing, but still.
Despite the meager songs, I do like what they did with them. In story mode, the songs are divided into different clouds: “Classic”, “Quirky”, “Elegant”, “Cool” and “Cute”. They are pretty much the Vocaloid’s version of song genres and just from the names alone, it’s very easy to distinguish the styles apart. Each cloud also has a medley concert for you to play, which to me is one of the best new feature. Nothing beats rocking it out in a chain of songs in a Cool-medley, or having fun with a chain of idol-like Mitchie M songs in a Cute-medley.
Another nice feature is other than aesthetic purposes, wearing different kinds of modules or accessories now will have special effects or will even boost your Voltage (for example, using a Cool-type module in a Cool song will boost Voltage). This feature is truly a godsend as I feel some songs and events are literally impossible to clear without equipping your Vocaloid with accessories from head to toe. This is good because you now actually have a good reason to dabble in modules and accessories, though it does makes your Vocaloid looks kinda dumb sometimes.
While I have mixed feelings about some aspects of the game, Project Diva X nonetheless is another fun addition to the Project Diva series. I wouldn’t recommend it as a gateway to the series but even so, I had a lot of fun with Project Diva X and will probably still get back to it for the occasional grind.