Project Diva F 60%: “Miku = Clippy x Autotune”


A review of Project Diva F denouncing Hatsune Miku as “Clippy crossed with an autotune machine” and “diabetes-inducing” has been upsetting those Vocaloid fans who for some reason expect anything better of western media…

The Joystiq review dwells as much on the author’s dislike of poor Miku as it does on the gameplay (which it does, in fairness, discuss at some length):

Remember Clippy, the virtual “assistant” that drove thousands of innocent cubicle drones to despair back in the late 90s?

Imagine that instead of becoming a running joke and an omen of Microsoft’s cultural obsolescence, Clippy instead became a multimedia icon with his own TV show, energy drink and video game series.

That’s what happened to Hatsune Miku, the bobble-headed mascot for an obscure voice synthesizer program who went on to become the world’s first bona fide virtual pop idol.

The future is here, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s basically Clippy crossed with an autotune machine.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F may superficially resemble the pop music shovelware that haunts the bargain bin at your local Walmart, but there’s a degree of artistry here that puts it above the usual Celebrity: The Game slop.

That’s not to say you’ll like Project Diva F if you’re not the proud owner of a pair of Miku-brand underpants.

The virtual dollhouse segments will likely leave you bewildered, but there’s a competent music game at the heart of Project Diva F that may keep even non-fans entertained.

However, for once even the stigma of not being a muscular American she-man is not enough to guarantee a score as scathing as some of the commentary – a conclusion based on gameplay and musical taste (or at least, this being the gaming press, a lack of marketing budget) is provided:

As with any music game, your mileage is mostly going to come down to how fond you are of the game’s soundtrack and, unsurprisingly, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F has a very narrow musical focus.

While the Miku program has been used to craft songs in many different genres, the song selection in Project Diva F tends toward the more diabetes-inducing end of the saccharine J-pop spectrum.

If you like that sort of thing, or you’re in the market for a substantial time sink with a high skill ceiling, Project Diva F is worth the effort it demands.

For everyone else, there are more innovative and more varied music games out there.

Looking only at its core mechanics, Project Diva F is about as basic as a music game can get. It’s not that it makes any huge missteps; more that it simply fails to do anything particularly interesting in a very well-trodden genre.


The western gaming press as a whole is clearly none too impressed, although as might be expected raging Miku fans are another matter:


The game itself is available now and has, in Japan and amongst Vocaloid fans at least, been enjoying a rapturous reception.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    11:31 09/09/2013 # ! Good (+0.8)

    most of the scores didn't look that bad to me, just kinda average.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:51 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yea it's really not too bad considering who was reviewing it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:42 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    He is right that not everybody is going to be into Hatsune Miku's voice or the song roster that is available.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:31 09/09/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Not all songs are well made, some sound like screams of an amphetamine induced cat having its skin ripped off alive. Some are ok though, but mostly ok. Game itself is quite weak compared to other rythm games and it's coded quite poorly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:11 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They better be, what with 'being a rhythm game' as their raison d'etre.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:40 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am way more satisfied with my purchase of Project Diva f then DJ Max on Vita... it is not until after purchase that I realized, Kpop kinda sucks...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:08 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or these singing rhythm games in general, even.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:10 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'd like to get into the games, but I find her voice tremendously creepy, mostly.

    Sort of a female avlin the chipmonk, only more creepy.

    Well, that and my hand eye coordination is rated only slightly above a spastic dog dying of old age.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:11 12/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Youse ever heard "Odds & Ends" or "Freely Tomorrow"?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:13 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah. There are plenty more pop Vocaloid composers out there with more varying music.

    Instead of strictly focusing on the cutesy, all positive all unicorns and rainbows kind of music, they should have mixed in songs like

    1. Sayoko / mikito
    2. Sarishinohara / mikito
    3. glow / keeno
    4. Ihuudoudou / umetora

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:39 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They had wowaka in there, his songs are hardly cutesy bubblegum pop. Unhappy refrain is hard rock. Theres also slow ballads from Luka.
    I agree they could use a bit more of this, but saying its 100% happychappy jpop isnt correct.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:33 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They couldn't put Ifuudoudou in there even if they wanted to; it has GUMI and IA in it, after all.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:12 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They can't put Gumi songs in it, Gumi has her own game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:50 09/09/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    The much higher difficulty level from the PSP games makes me not like it as much as I should.

    It does have great videos, problem is that they are a bit too flashy and make it really hard to see the notes come in.

    I still love most of the soundtrack. Only a few duds.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:38 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Exactly what i had in mind.. Head hurt when playing the demo for some minutes: Too much flashing is too much.

    The songs were ok, one of them could be considered good, although i'm not too fond of the latest j-pop:
    Everything sounds alike.

    Collecting clothes/accs would be fun if not for the color overkill. :/

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:48 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    i'm totally fine..

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    12:50 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    That sums it up for me. I could take the higher difficulty too, but that game NEEDS to have a background dimming option, and they made that obvious even in the demo version. I want to like it, but... I'd rather play more music-focused music games that don't have me hunting around a flashy screen for little icons dropped into arbitrary positions a few hundred ms before I have to hit them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:29 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That's a point of PJD- the background that distracts you and prevents from hitting notes. You know there's a moment in World is Mine in 1st and 2nd games when notes stop for a bit, then there's a close-up of Miku's ass, and then notes start again. First time I've played it, I've missed every single note after her ass jiggling.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:53 02/04/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    hahaha I still miss it most of the time, just as in Miku Miku ni shite ageru~ eyes do what they want!

    Also there are certain scenes where the notes "fall" down together with leaves of something, of course the background is meant to distract you, it's part of the difficulty. Just focus on the important parts 8)

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:48 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    rhythm game fans usualy find Hatsune Miku quite hmmm easy and boring i would say (gameplay)
    The music and PV at least is very good. This what makes the game good.
    Btw a real rhythm game i would be like DJ Max or Taiko no Tatsujin for example...

    The hardest musics in Htasune Miku is only about Spam using same buttons. and since they added capability to use the D-Pad also got waaaay easy

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:23 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Prolly most annoying part of the game, i felt like i'm gonna get an epileptic attack trying to discern notes from background first time i played it. Way too distracting, and honestly those videos are just videos they don't seem to be tought to fit into gameplay, It gets flashy even when there's not much going on screen, and there are times where you pull of some difficult combination and it just keeps on playing as normal. The least they could do is to make it appear to gauge your gameplay somehow like other music games do.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:54 09/09/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I don't know what's the big deal, the scores looks pretty decent all around. What were you expecting? perfect 100 A+++ 5 star for something aimed at more or less a niche market?

    Comment by Anonymous

    It should be given a review deserving of the audience the game is made for. Reviewing it for the general public and giving it an arbitrary low score just because it's not mainstream and doesn't appeal to everyone is incredibly bird brained.

    If they reviewed every other game with this mentality reviews for many popular games would be much lower

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:09 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    it still doesn't change much if they review it as a niche game. take out the fanboism and its a mediocre music/rhythm game when you compare it to rockband and guitar hero.

    the point of the review is to inform mainstream gamers who most likely never heard of or don't listen to vocaloids whether they would like the game and with the score given its pretty much saying maybe.

    that being said i love the project diva series and the reviewer was talking out of his ass while filling space when he compared Miku to Clippy.

    I mean if you wanted to tell someone about vocaloids all you have to do is say something like "hey seen that movie S1m0ne with the virtual pop star, yea she is like that but people know she is electronic."

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:31 12/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Did Rock Band's songs ever affect the review scores though?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:59 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I so hate that machine voice...
    It's clear that they're only selling it with MOE.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:08 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, some people like her machine voice. Which is not always machine, occasionally it's pretty damn realistic.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:32 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    And sometimes, the "machine" voice fits with the song. For instance, songs in which the singer is meant to be some kind of doll or creepy living gadget or the song is set in some kind of post-modern, post-apocalyptic world, where humans are all seemingly gone. Other songs just sound nice, even counting the high-pitched tones that normally sound grating to some ears: Last Night, Good Night.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Your ears need surgery...

    Avatar of Nova
    Comment by Nova
    11:27 09/09/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Everything that's been quoted sounds pretty fair to me. It boils down to you'll like it if you're into that kind of thing which is about all you could ask for. For people who aren't Miku fans, those being the people that actually want a fair review of a game they haven't already bought 50 copies of, I think that's a very acceptable review.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:59 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The Miku cultists are going to put a fatwa on those critics

    Comment by Anonymous

    Except that when you review a product you should review it with the target audience in mind.

    And from that point of view this game is MUCH better.

    Just like COD SOMEHOW gets great reviews even though it's literally the same core game. But they review it with the core audience in mind(Also $$$$ from the publishers to sway their scores) and know that they wont' give a fuck.

    Avatar of Nova
    Comment by Nova
    22:04 09/09/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    That's singularly not true. You review a game with *your* audience in mind. That's the whole reason we have more than one reviewer in the world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:43 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wasn't the core audience general gamers and not japaniphiles? Gaming magazine, not anime/manga magazine, remember that mate.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:22 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't see a problem here. Games are all compared via the same mainstream gaming audience. The bigger a weeaboo dork you are, the more likely you will enjoy a game like this. The average gamer (and reviewer) does not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:41 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The Clippy thing doesnt even make any sense and just shows that the reviewer seems to have misunderstood exactly what Vocaloid is. Miku isnt just a 'mascot for a program', she IS the program. They could have at least tried to do some research there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:16 13/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    But she is! I'd say she isn't even at clippy scale, she is just a box art

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:18 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You have to have lobotomy level brain problems to call a bestseller "obscure", at least. The rest, is like saying "Guitar Hero Aerosmith" is an annoying game only for fans.
    Yeah, you have to like the music of a music game to like the game. Totally unexpected, right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:02 11/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Unlike japs, we westerners have something called "individuality", which means we don't have to (pretend to) like something shitty just because everyone else seems to do so.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:15 11/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yeah, no one likes apple.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:38 11/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good one :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:10 11/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    yep, like they don't start cosplaying because they liked a non-existing character. Indeed.

    Avatar of Pyrolight
    Comment by Pyrolight
    05:00 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Seems like a fair rating and review considering the content.

    Too often reviewers whitewash the flaws of the game just because it will be the next big thing *cough* SWTOR *cough* as a prime example.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:21 14/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't follow any of this Miku stuff...but seems like a real stretch to say a papeclip doodle character is similar to an anime character in any way. I remember clippy & really don't get the analogy.

    Avatar of MARl0
    Comment by MARl0
    11:59 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The reviews aren't even that bad. Basically if you love Miku and vocaloid music, you'll love this game. I for one own three copies. The import Vita and PS3 versions, and the US PS3 version. Love the game. Really the only issue I have with it, is that I wish it ran at 60fps like the Dreamy Theatre games.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:16 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Miku have a Loquendo voice compare to the other vocaloids, inclusive the chinese vocaloids have a better voice, in sankaku have a thread of chinese vocaloids and really owns a lot miku.

    Avatar of Daniel Park
    Comment by Daniel Park
    01:25 10/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah Clippy, many an hour was spent with a shrink cause of him eh?

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:21 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    'merikuh gets blasted with autotune to shit. Synthetic voices aren't cool anymore since its being used to fix up horrible pitches instead of being used as an instrument.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:53 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well at least imo the only problem Hatsune Miku has
    is he difficulty... Is rather easy to play
    and you don't feel like you're according with the music like for example games like Taiko no Tatsujin or DJ Max...

    Hatsune Miku is rather enjoy the music with the PV than play a rythm game. (most of time i used in Hatsune game was watching PV instead play)

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    23:01 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like Mikus face on that picture... I wonder if I'm a bit M.

    Avatar of Benoist
    Comment by Benoist
    19:05 09/09/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    "meh. i don't like it, so it's bad". Total professionalism.

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