Title: Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2
Release Date: November 28, 2013
Publisher (Developer): Sega (Sega)
CERO Rating: “CERO A” for All Ages
Wow! It’s been a while since there’s been an Important Importables review, hasn’t it? Sorry. Life got in the way. You know how it goes. But we’re back, and this week we’re playing one of the new (to me) games I got with my Japanese 3DS LL. It’s Miku Hatsune: Project Mirai 2 , part of Sega’s attempt to bring Vocaloid music games to every console and handheld. The company is doing God’s work, I swear, because Project Mirai 2 is amazing. The number of featues practically puts the Project Diva series to shame.
Playing, singing, dancing, socializing, and dressing up.
Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2 is pretty much the 3DS version of the Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series. All of the characters have a Nendoroid appearance, meaning they look like adorable, tiny, super-deformed versions of their normal selves. Players pick a Vocaloid, assign him or her a room, and then can go about their business in the game.
This involves heading off to play through the 47 official songs included in the game, going to make custom tracks, buying treats, clothing, and furniture in town with earned points, and even playing a surprise mini-game. It’s an enjoyable excursion where the meat is the music game, but there are plenty of extras to entice you to spoil the Vocaloid characters so you can take pictures of them acting adorable or unlock extra outfits you can buy for them.
It’s all in the details.
Most important is the fact that Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2 renders the original Project Mirai obsolete. That deserves some major props. It includes all 20 songs from the original game, bringing the overall track count up to 47. It’s pretty impressive. Not only that, but a few of the songs actually allow players to change the vocal track to a different Vocaloid. “1925″ is one of those songs, and players can change it so any of the Vocaloids is starring in the video and singing the song. It’s a feature the Project Diva series has yet to include, and is much appreciated.
The multiple control scheme options is quite a perk as well. Project Mirai 2 let’s people choose how they play each song. There are touch screen and button control options, with three levels of difficulty for each one. If you choose to use the touch screen, you tap on colored icons on the bottom screen with the stylus in time with the song, occasionally rubbing when a rainbow-colored, held note appears. The button control option uses the A, B, X, and Y buttons initially, later bringing in the D-pad controls for more complicated presses.
Surprisingly, Project Mirai 2 even offers a song editor akin to Project Diva. You can compose your own track to use in the game, put together a dance routine for the characters to perform while they’re singing, and set up the note positions for playing. There are different instruments to use for your own songs, even including a chiptune option, and you can even have the Vocaloids do a little “singing.” It will never sound as intricate and professional as an official Vocaloid song, but it actually felt more comprehensive and unique than Project Diva‘s song editor.
One of my only laments is that I wished GUMI, the Internet Co. Vocaloid, could have had her own room and perhaps a song of her own. Miku, Rin, Len, Luka, Meiko, and Kaito are the only “playable” characters. GUMI is resigned to cameo appearances in songs like “Invisible” and “Ii Aru Fanclub.” It’s an understandable move though, and it is nice that she stops by occasionally to give presents to the active Vocaloid. (Plus, players can switch her outfits for songs in which she does appear.)
The only real flaw I can see deals with the doling out of Mira Points. As usual, they’re acrued by playing through songs. However, it seems like MiraPo are earned more frugally than the Diva Points from Project Diva, which means a player has to complete at least 8 songs to earn enough points, at least 5,000 MiraPo, to buy a new outfit. Food, to earn a Vocaloid’s affection, and room decorations can be cheaper, but still.
The saving point is, all outfits are shared. Miku, Rin, Luka, and Meiko can share clothing, and so can Kaito and Len. Hairstyles can’t be swapped, but a player can mix and match hairdos with different outfits. It adds quite a bit of variety.
Speaking of variety, Sega stuck Puyo Puyo into Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2. It’s a bonus game, with single player and two player modes. Instead of offering the standard Puyo Puyo characters, players challenge the other Vocaloids to matches. I highly recommend playing through the game at least twice, once with Miku as your character and the other using Kaito, if you want to unlock all of the characters’ outfits.
Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2 is a Must Import Game.
I’m now convinced that if you own a Japanese 3DS and don’t also own Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2, you’re commiting some kind of crime. Whether you’re a fan of the Vocaloids or not, this is an import-friendly music game is absolutely extraordinary. There’s a great tracklist, lots of playable characters, the ability to change the vocals in some songs, plenty of costumes and room accessories and even a rudimentary Puyo Puyo game thrown in for free. Sega’s Project Diva series may have held the title of Must Import Game for a long while, but I’m not positive Project Mirai 2 has usurped the throne.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Important Importables talked to Peter Payne about Starry Sky.