Saturday, 8 March 2014

Project Diva F - Vita

I may not mention it but I happen to really enjoy rhythm games.
I've been playing DDR since my friend introduced it to me after i moved here. i've played a little rock band and garage hero (though those weren't my cup of tea since i didn't know any of the music... which is it's whole other ball of sad that we wont get into right now) and back in 2009 when the original Project Diva came out for the psp i actually imported it.

while i wouldn't consider myself a vocaloid fan i do enjoy quite a few of the songs since my friends always tend to show me the better ones. The first p.diva had enough of the songs i liked in order to get to to take the risk of potentially owning a crappy rhythm game.

but the original p.diva is really good, theres a bit of lag between the button presses during the faster songs but that tended to work more in your favor. Yes the game could pretty much exclusively be played one handed (right or left, both sides work exactly the same) but that didn't bug me since it was fun and it was fairly challenging. It only when to Hard but the songs were fun enough that i didn't care.

The problem with the p.diva series is that they are always releasing a new version... and importing games is not cheap.... so i didn't get another p.diva game till about 2 years ago. Project diva extend which is a follow up to Project diva 2nd but done more as a greatest hits so it had some songs from the first two games as well as having a few new songs.

boy had a lot changed in 3 years.
now there were arrows that forced you to push the two correct buttons at the same time. sounds easy? eventualyl but at first it's one hell of a learning curve. it also added extreme difficulty which you think would be harder but not really... at least not for how my brain works.. . i can't explain it so lets let someone who's much better at the game show it off, i didn't make these videos and if your curious about seeing more p.diva footage i suggest going over to their youtube channels.

notice how all the buttons tend to be grouped by type, that means hitting the same button over and over which kills my wrist pretty quick.... however extreme...

it changes up a lot more which at first is a learning curve but once you get it... it's just so much fun i cannot even begin to describe it.
and yeah i picked that song cause it's my favourite, just way too fun.

so when project diva f originally released i tried it cause a friend of mine imported and oh great another learning curve.

The Vita has two touch screens... front and back. theres a new star note that involved moving you finger (they call it scratching) on the touch pad in time.
In theory this is a natural progression for this series and adds even more depth to a surprisingly deep rhythm game.
in execution i have a few issues with it.

I'm not saying i don't like the mechanic.... i'm just saying i could rarely time the back touch pad to work (yes i had it set to on i just couldn't get the timing/i have really small hands so shifting in time to scratch always felt awkward) and whne i switched to using the front touch screen sometimes i would accidently cover up a button prompt and have to scrambl to move my hand back in place... and at first i still had an issue of figuring out what the timing was cause it's not like a tap... you have to move and the move has to register.
luckily most of the star sections (at least on hard) are grouped so that makes it easier but still i hope by F 2nd that the mechanic is refined just a little... i know there are 'double scratches' now and.... yeah i'm a little worried.

anyways i've rambled and i've barely talked about the game.
Project Diva F (Vita) is a rhythm game where you hit the face buttons according to the time, you start off with 5 song and as you beat them you unlock more and more.
Unlike other rhythm games you can finish a song and still fail, if each song is graded out of 100% if you get any lower then a 75 or 80 (can't remember which) then you fail the song. you can ear either Standard, Great, Excellent or perfect scores in order to unlock more content.

Music isn't the only unlockable content.
you can unlock Costumes or accessories for the different vocaloids to dance with .

There are four difficulties.
Easy, Normal Hard and extreme... already explained hard and extreme so i'll just take a moment to mention normal. when you first start the songs are only unlocked at easy and normal... you have to beat them on normal to unlock hard and you have to beat them on hard to unlock extreme.
on one hand this is a pain for people who have played the game before and just wanna jump into the more difficult songs but honestly it's a great way to get everyone used to the new mechanics that each game implements.
Normal songs only focus on two buttons + new mechanic
Hard focuses on all the buttons but keeps them grouped
extreme focuses more on the beat and mixing all the buttons around.
i dunno what easy is like cause... well it didn't force me to play it so i didn't. i may go back just cause beating it may unlock costumes or titles but yeah... right now i just wanna have fun.

Now, needless to say, if you can't stand vocaloids then this game is not for you, the music the produce is an acquired taste and even though i tend to like them overall there are still some songs in this game that make me want to rip my ears off.

you don't need to know all the songs going in but knowing he beat does help a lot... even on easy i failed a few times simply cause the song did something i wasn't expecting.

There are also technical zones where if you can keep your combo going for a certain length of time you get more points, and Chance time where if you succeed you change the music video slightly. 

from what i can tell this game and it's PS3 port are identical... the ps3 version just has updated graphics and instead of scratching the touch pad you can also move the analog stick... and yes even though in north america the ps3 version came first the vita version was the original.

The good
I like it, i think for such a simple concept it is a fairly deep and challenging rhythm game. If you want to customize the character with outfits or wings or animal ears you can but it is completely optional... i tend to customize them cause it helps give a sense of them fitting more in with the music video thats in the background.
if you don't wanna play the game you can just watch the music video, considering how they were done in the original project diva they have come a long way and some are really impressive.
there weren't any moment where the game slowed down or there was lag so... thats a nice improvement over older versions.
There a lot of songs and not a single repeated from a previous game (except levan polka which is the tutorial song but it doesn't count)
all the costumes are new too which is neat i guess.

The not so good.
In previous games notes were rarely stacked ontop of each other... it happened but it was rare. it happens a few times in this game and for me it's just hard to read for timing.
Some of the music videos in the back are either distracting or too similar in colour to the buttons again making some bits harder to read.
Star buttons could be a little more sensitive since there was more then one onstant of me knowing i got the timing right but it didn't register.
Technical zones.... ugh i do not do well under pressure and the fastest way for me to break combos is to give me a timer that sais "ha ha you can't fail... but you know you're gunna so i'll just count down till you do"

The bad
people like to say this game is creepy cause of the diva room aspect, i wouldn't know i never opened it... i don't consider it part of the game since it really serves no purpose and i'm here for a rhythm game. but still i'll mark it as a negative simple cause it doesn't need to exist in the game and that memory space could be used for something like more songs or costumes.
Also sadistic music factory is probably the worst vocaloid song i've ever heard... in my personal opinion...

All in all, yeah i enjoy this series, it is a DL only (29.99) game but the fact that it came out at all here is nothing short of a miracle. I look forward to playing the persona version which literally looks like this game but with persona characters.
However it is not for everyone and if you can't stand the game i completely understand, but if your curious then give it a shot... i think it's a lot of fun at least.

Normally i don't buy DLC but out of the 6 songs 4 looked pretty fun so i coughed up the money.
is it worth it? depends... check the songs on youtube and if you think they sound crappy then don't bother.

however now i can't say sadistic music factory is the worst song in the game...
Rin chan now is the worst song. at least in my opinion.
the dlc songs do feel a bt more challenging but it's all good.

also i've played more extreme songs and i am feeling "well i guess these are some songs i'll never beat" hopefully i get better soon but it feels like alternating sides isn't working... which throws my old strategy out the window.

but yeah... dlc is fun but check that you like the songs before you buy. 

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