Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX Review – A Vocaloid Majority

“I can’t believe he says this is better than Mad Max!”

01

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Format: 3DS
Released: September 8, 2015
Copy supplied by publisher

I’ll admit, I don’t know much about the Hatsune Miku craze. I know she’s a virtual singer, Japan loves her, and she was on David Letterman’s show that one time.

On the subject of David Letterman, American late night talk shows are also something I just don’t “get.” I don’t understand the humor.

Not sure why I felt I’d share that, but I really don’t get it. It’s not just Letterman, either. That Conan one, the Kimmel fellow. They all seem to share a distinct sense of humor that I can’t find funny. What is it specifically about late night talk shows? It’s puzzled me for years.

04

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX doesn’t need any intimate knowledge of Japan’s favorite blue-haired pretend singer, making it more accessible than talk shows. A handheld rhythm game with a ton of extras, it’s fairly self-explanatory – a stripped down Elite Beat Agents at its core, with over forty songs that I’ve never heard before in my life.

You know Letterman’s “Top Ten” lists? I just don’t get them.

Project Mirai DX is pretty good though, even if this isn’t particularly my “thing” or what-have-you. Players familiar with the likes of Theatrhythm will have no trouble getting to grips with controls – it’s a simple case of tapping the lower DS screen in correspondence with prompts. There’s an alternate control mode that uses buttons instead of the stylus, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It confused and frightened me.

Despite not knowing any of the tunes and finding the gameplay fairly simple, I’m still finding Mirai DX to be a fairly entertaining time. Completion of each song isn’t particularly challenging, though naturally there are rankings to go for, and harder difficulty modes if one feels like they’re not being tested.

It makes for a solid bite-sized bit of rhythm action when one’s at a loss for something fuss-free to play, and it fulfills its remit most adequately. Speaking as someone who’s clearly not the intended audience, I’m surprised by how much enjoyment I got out of the thing.

02

As well as the large range of songs to play, there’s a wealth of extra content. Two minigames are included – a laid-back take on Reversi, and a full-fledged slice of Sega’s classic matching game, Puyo Puyo that gets pretty damn tough the longer you get into it.

Customization options are abundant for those wishing to partake of DX‘s “lifestyle” management. You can choose any number of Vocaloid characters as a buddy, using cash earned in-game to get them an apartment and a wide variety of furnishings. Each character can be outfitted with a load of unlockable costumes, and there’s even a light virtual pet element as you buy and feed snacks to your chosen swollen-headed anime friend.

Dance routines can also be created by plugging various canned animations into a sequence. As with everything in Mirai DX, it isn’t complex or deep, but it’s a fine bit of time wasting.

I suppose it’s moot to talk about Letterman now that Stephen Colbert has taken his spot. Now him, I did find funny on The Colbert Report, but I’ve not watched him in his new gig yet. Is he still the kind of funny I’d understand, or did he go all “talk show” with it? I suppose I’ll have to watch it some time.

03

Nothing Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX does is particularly mindblowing. It’s all been done before, and in greater depth, by a slew of other games. However, its basic gameplay is energetic and fun, while the extra padding is endearing enough to be worth fooling around with. If nothing else, the addition of Puyo Puyo ups the value tremendously.

There’s not much else to say about the game, other than it’s really quite nice. Completely inoffensive rhythm-based fun. At the very least, it’s something your kids will dig, if you happen to own any of those little freaks.

7/10
Good

MrAptronym
Guest
MrAptronym

Letterman hasn’t been on TV for months and it just boggles the mind that Jim would litter a contemporary review with something like that. I came her for a serious, in depth analysis of a mobile anime dancing game and instead get this drivel. We ALL know the appeal of top ten lists Jim, quit pretending you don’t. You might not have found Letterman humorous but for Christ’s sake don’t go after the list.

Moosegravy87
Guest
Moosegravy87

Colbert is doing pretty good, it’s still his sense of humor, with segments that are very much like the Colbert Report. Yet it fits the typical late night talk show with two interviews and a musical guest.

Daryl Corey
Guest
Daryl Corey

If you think the button controls in this one is scary and confusing try the PS3 games.

Sperium3000
Guest
Sperium3000

I’ll stick to the second Hatsune Miku game on PS3 I got out of curiosity and because it was on sale. The rythm gameplay is good but there’s an entire mode where you put the vocaloid in a room and just… Watch them… Or pet them… Or dress them up… The implications. And I’m not even gonna try and remember the actual name of the game because Japan and English titles are forever fucked.

TimRobbins
Guest
TimRobbins

What I despise most about talk shows is that they’re the holy grail of native advertising. 2 minutes of awful standup followed by another 40 minutes selling you a product, service, or politician under the guise of vapid, scripted pop culture dialogue.

mrshair
Guest
mrshair

It looks fun, but Persona 4: Dancing All Night is coming out soon, and I’m not sure I need two quirky Japanese rhythm games in the same month.

irfanf (IrfanF)
Guest
irfanf (IrfanF)

So…. can we expect a review of steins;gate? pretty please? :p

sillyskeleton
Guest
sillyskeleton

Oh Jim, you closet otaku… 😉

Kingtrace
Guest
Kingtrace

Something that’d really impact my buying rescission, Jim. Do the songs in this game have English subtitles? That’s always been something oddly lacking from Western releases.

dankmaymaypeddla
Guest
dankmaymaypeddla

No comments on the genius digs at Jimmy Kimmel? For shame fanbase.

peter
Guest
peter

I don’t suppose i can make Miku and Luka live together in one apartment and hold hands maybe? I hope I”m not confusing the characters with another series

Lintire
Guest
Lintire

Commendable giving a game in a genre you obviously haven’t the slightest interest in this much of a shot. A bit saccharine for my tastes, but then I don’t like talk shows either.

They seem to be the precursor to podcasts. The Wikipedia article for Late-Night is frightening long. Inbetween hyper-deformed children dancing for my amusement and Conan O’Brien, I’ll take the former.

Enuo
Guest
Enuo

You reviewed this and not Pirate Warriors 3?
You alright Jim?

Jonny
Guest
Jonny

Probably more enjoyable than these side ops missions, my god are they boring.

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

Only 1 point less than Shower With Your Dad Simulator?!
Man, this much be quiet the game!

petethepanda
Guest
petethepanda

I’m really glad I finally gave this series a shot a couple years ago. I never had any interest in vocaloid stuff but I was dying for a good rhythm game, so I grabbed the first Vita one and was pleasantly surprised to find it’s a damn solid one of those (and has some alright tuneage).

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

I can’t believe he says this is better than Mad Max!

What? No one has said it yet! 😉

Ellie Freckles
Guest
Ellie Freckles

You would think by now, people would realize that review scores aren’t really on the same scale. This is a rhythm game, and as such will be critiqued and judged against other rhythm games. A rhythm game could get a 10/10, because it’s literally THE best rhythm game ever made in the genre. That by no means the reviewer is saying it’s on the same level as another 10/10 like say The Last of Us (or insert whatever game you think deserves a 10/10, as I know some people don’t even like the Last of Us, think it’s overrated, or… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

You know what’s a disgusting phrase appearing frequently in Jim’s reviews?

“using cash earned in-game”

I hate that he has to specify a game ISN’T trying to rob you of more cash! I’m pretty sure he did a Jimquisition about it many moons ago… I just remember him mentioning the spend-money-to-level-up mechanic in a Dynasty Warriors game (in game money).

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I imported “Taiko no Tatsujin: Don to Katsu no Jikuu Daibouken” and have been loving it. Love them rhythm games.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

Of course a popular Japanese game that’s niche in the west (and thus justify a pre-order) would be better than an uninspired AAA game from Warner Brothers.

Let’s sing Strobo Nights as we dance in a circle in celebration.

Youabra
Guest
Youabra

“There’s an alternate control mode that uses buttons instead of the stylus, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It confused and frightened me.”
Wait, you actually used the stylus setting? That’s quite impressive. I tried the demo, and i could easily beat both songs in hard with buttons, but when i changed to stylus, it became an inferno.
Can’t wait to see you with a Hatsune Miku wig in the next Jimquisition.

J Chateauvert
Guest
J Chateauvert

The fact that the email notification for the publication of this review popped up as I was listening to a Vocaloid song made said review that much more enjoyable.

9/10
Great timing.

Logan Graham
Guest
Logan Graham

I now demand your eventual opinion on Persona 4 Dancing All Night. I’ll wait.

FireWoven
Guest
FireWoven

Well I have a friend who’ll be happy to here this is good.

Also I’m surprised to see this review for some reason.