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.