Hatsune Miku Project Diva Mega Mix Review

The Diva is Switchin' it up!

Release Date
May 15, 2020
Developed By
Sega
Published By
Sega
Genre
Rhythm
Console
Nintendo Switch

Hatsune Miku Project Diva Mega Mix is the latest entry in Sega’s colorful rhythm game series that features Hatsune Miku and her Vocaloid friends. Mega Mix marks Project Diva’s debut on the Nintendo Switch, and it features an expansive song roster and plenty of unlockables. It is also easy to learn, extremely vibrant, and musically diverse with a wide variety of genres and vocal performances. With over a hundred songs, Mega Mix features a lot of hit songs from previous games as well as ten new songs. With additions such as the new motion-based Mix Mode and t-shirt designing, Mega Mix provides numerous ways to keep series veterans and newcomers entertained.

Mega Mix mechanically resembles earlier games in the Project Diva series. After picking a song, players play through a sequence full of incoming notes. Target zones appear throughout the playfield, and cues fly inwards. Players press the corresponding button at the right time. Of course, listening to the beat makes it easier to know when to press buttons. Most cues involve pressing the four face buttons or the d-pad. Occasionally, however, players need to use the triggers for specific Slide Notes. Another curve-ball is that certain notes require simultaneous button presses. These inputs are basic, but they lead to some dense surprises especially as players tackle higher difficulty levels.

Much like its predecessor Future Tone, Mega Mix provides a straightforward experience via an extensive songlist. Players can tackle the 101 songs in any order. By successfully completing songs, players receive points towards unlocking costumes and accessories. Furthermore, completing each song on Hard will unlock an additional Extreme difficulty, which is often full of tricky back-to-back multi-button inputs. Specific tracks also have an Extra Extreme variant. The game provides plenty of content to keep players busy, and improving scores and ratings is a familiar yet entertaining endeavor. Mega Mix is just as dazzling as prior games with its well-crafted dance routines, dynamic set design, and highly varied colorful costumes.

Although most of its content will be familiar to series veterans, Mega Mix has two main additions: Mix Mode and t-shirt creation. Mix Mode features new motion-based controls. Players hold Joy-Cons upright and tilt to move on-screen cursors. It can take a bit of time to get used to, but it works quite well after some practice. Of course, harder songs force players to move quickly, but the frenetic challenge is still amusing. Mix Mode provides a new twist on Project Diva that serves as a worthy diversion from the familiar button-based Arcade Mode. 

Mega Mix‘s other new addition is t-shirt customization, which allows players to create five custom shirts that anyone can wear during song performances. Players can either draw with analog sticks or with the touch screen. While drawing with the touch screen is naturally easier, the game maps button inputs in a way that allows players to access tools easily. Players can magnify the drawing field up to 1000%, which is incredibly handy. Furthermore, players can pick from a set of base colors or customize their own, which is quite welcome. While their functionality is relatively basic, the creation tools allow anyone to easily create a vibrant shirt. A neat feature is that each of the six Vocaloids actually wears t-shirts differently.

Mega Mix‘s ten new songs are all quite captivating. While ten may seem like a relatively small number, each song meaningfully builds upon the Project Diva experience. Some of the new dance routines like those in “Catch the Wave” and “Alien Alien” are apt and well-timed. Some of the new tracks such as “Ooedo Julianight” feature well-produced animated music videos. Other notable tracks include “Jigsaw Puzzle” which is a rocking track that features Len on vocals, the catchy duet “Roki” that features Rin and Len, and the cutesy bopping song “Dreamin Chuchu” that features Luka. These songs also have some interestingly dense patterns on Hard, and naturally they can be quite intense on Extreme. “Jitterbug” is especially a tricky track that might take players some practice. 

The rest of the base song roster consists of ninety-one songs that revisit Project Diva’s ten year history. These songs are catchy and incredibly varied. Fantastic past intro tracks like “Odds & Ends,” “Decorator,” “Ageage Again,” and “Nice To Meet You, Mr. Earthling” are here. For those seeking some intensity, former “end-game” songs like “The Intense Voice of Hatsune Miku,” “Sadistic Music Factory,” and “2D Dream Fever” are here too. These picks are well-curated as they include most of the series’ memorable hits. While the base roster does not include all of Project Diva’s history, Mega Mix‘s picks still feel meaningful and are incredibly pleasing to revisit. 

Mega Mix effectively utilizes the Switch hardware to provide a smooth experience. The song cues and markers always run at sixty frames per second. Most song backgrounds also run at sixty, but a few songs’ backgrounds feature intense set designs that lead to a lower locked framerate. Experiencing this game in handheld mode is incredibly joyous. Prior Project Diva games have always had a clear-cut vibrant art style, but the way the characters pop on the Switch’s screen is breathtaking. The Joy-Cons’ clicky directional and face buttons work well too. Mega Mix‘s toon shader also gives Miku & her friends a distinct appearance. The highlights, vibrancy and outlines are appropriate and nice to see. At times the characters pop a bit too much compared to the backgrounds, but they nonetheless have a nice flair. The user interface is also bold as the menus pop, and the background shapes and loading screens follow an entrancing “rainbow square” motif. The one catch is that the load times can occasionally be a tad long, especially compared to Future Tone’s. The vast majority of the game’s songs load in about ten to fifteen seconds, which is fine. However, a few songs that feature multiple characters can take longer, which might feel slightly jarring.

Mega Mix is a comprehensive yet familiar music gaming experience. For those brand new to the series, Mega Mix is definitely a fantastic way to enjoy the breadth of what Project Diva has to offer. For series’ veterans, Mega Mix largely provides familiar content, but it nonetheless provides a handful of reasons to warrant revisiting the series. Mega Mix is a great way to experience rhythm gaming on the Switch in docked or handheld mode, and the game simply looks fantastic on the Switch’s screen. Mix Mode also provides a unique motion-based spin, which can inject new life into familiar material. The game also features touch inputs, which interestingly simulates Project Diva Arcade‘s button layout. Furthermore, the ten new songs really are quite catchy, and they can satisfy anyone seeking more content. All-in-all, Mega Mix is a solid package, and it is worthy of the series’ legacy.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva Mega Mix Review
Hatsune Miku Project Diva Mega Mix Review
Mega Mix makes a dynamic splash onto the Nintendo Switch by providing colorful rhythm gaming. With plenty of returning content and a handful of new surprises like Mix Mode, the game is a familiar and competent package for newcomers and veterans.
Pros
• Utilizes the Switch hardware to provide a smooth docked and handheld experience
• Mix Mode and t-shirt customization provide amusing diversions
• Includes most of the hits from Project Diva's ten-year history alongside ten outstanding new tracks
• Provides plenty of replayability with its 101 base song roster, multiple difficulties, online leaderboards, and unlockable costumes
Cons
• Content may seem largely familiar to series veterans
• Missing a chunk of songs from prior Project Diva games
• Load times can occasionally be a bit too long
4
Score
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