Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By David Lovato 05.09.2015

Review for Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX on Nintendo 3DS

While they don't see as many releases as RPGs or first-person shooters, music games are a long-established genre. From series like Dance Dance Revolution to Guitar Hero and Rock Band, fans of rhythm games have grown accustomed to buying odd, quirky accessories required to play. Enter Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX, the rhythm game that doesn't require anything but thumbs, can be taken anywhere, and gives players a reason to pull their 3DS out of their pocket as often as they can.

The crux of Project Mirai DX is a life simulator. Players pick one of six Vocaloid characters - chibi anime-like singers (most of whom are world-renowned) - set them up in a little house, and then get to work spending time with their character and playing mini-games. These include reversi and PuyoPuyo, sure to please the puzzler crowd, but are otherwise a little distraction most won't bother with too much. Characters and living spaces can be swapped on the fly, and in-game currency is used to buy new clothes or home furnishings. Sometimes Vocaloids will be visited by Gumi, a green-haired Vocaloid who isn't playable, but stops by to give gifts, usually upon meeting certain milestones.

Most importantly, however, is the rhythm game. A long list of songs is presented, and successfully completing one will unlock the higher difficulty levels for that song and/or a completely new one. Songs can be played via the touch screen or the 3DS' face buttons, but the gist is the same: on-screen button prompts appear, and that button must be pressed, tapped, held, or spun (via the touch screen or control stick) in tune to the music video playing in the background. A successful hit results in a clattering sound effect, which thankfully can be tweaked, turned down, or even changed entirely. This customisation is present throughout the game: most UI elements and sounds can be tweaked and altered from the in-game menu. Even the outfits characters are wearing in videos can be changed. Rhythm-keeping is solidly built; button-mashing will result in failure, and those who take the time to actually learn the songs and beats will have a much easier time tapping along.

Screenshot for Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX on Nintendo 3DS

Models and textures are smooth and attractive. This isn't a high-definition visual masterpiece, but it isn't meant to be. Everything looks as it should, and the chibi style is surprisingly emotive, although the default facial expression makes characters look dazed or bewildered. Inside the rhythm game, things can get hectic, especially with the system's 3D turned on. It's almost impossible to watch the music video while still paying attention to the button prompts. The developers apparently saw this coming, and included a theatre for viewing the music videos uninterrupted, which is welcome considering they're often cute, magical little scenarios fans will definitely want to check out.

The audio has been compressed to fit the 3DS' size requirements, but to such a small degree that most won't notice it. Even playing with headphones, things sound nice. Harder modes can be challenging, and 3DS Play Coins can be spent on usable items like auto-spin or health recovery. Other unlockables include titles for profile cards, which can be customised and then exchanged via StreetPass. Achievements exist in the form of stamps, and in hang-out mode (where Vocaloids will wander their home and interact with objects), certain voice commands can be given with the 3DS microphone. Theatre mode includes the option to leave comments on videos, not unlike Soundcloud comments. Just about every feature of the 3DS has been included in some way. Also present are the abilities to create and save custom dances and even tunes via an on-screen keyboard, complete with different audio outputs like "vocal" and "8-bit."

Screenshot for Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

For Vocaloid fans, this is an obvious purchase. Between playing along to songs and hanging out with Vocaloids, there's plenty to do and experience. For everyone else, there's still enough to get them by; nearly everything can be played, customised, and sometimes shared with others over the internet, though this crowd might find less replay value in the title. If there were a medal for customisation and successful utilisation of 3DS features, Project Mirai DX would take home the gold. Underneath it all is a rhythm game that may not be as challenging as some of its famous console counterparts, but the ability to take it anywhere and play hassle-free more than makes up for this, and the game can get challenging in its own right—although this, like almost everything else in here, is entirely up to the player.

Developer

SEGA

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Rhythm

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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