Since I reviewed the previous Hatsune Miku game on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita back in 2016, I have a better understanding about the series and its appeal to rhythm game fans worldwide. Yet, because of this I can’t help but feel a little bit underwhelmed with the latest entry to the series on PlayStation 4, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone. While the music of the renowned vocaloid is plentiful, there are a few things that aren’t here this time around, making this game feel a bit slimmer compared to its predecessor.
Project DIVA Future Tone is very generous with the amount of songs you can play through in the main rhythm game. There are well over 100+ songs in the base game, with even more available to download as extra content from the PlayStation Network. What is very neat is just how much SEGA fan service is littered throughout the game. You have a few songs that are covers and remixes of classic SEGA franchises, like After Burner and OutRun. The song selection is great for fans of the vocaloid style of music, songs that have techno and pop styled beats with digitized vocals from the characters.
If you’ve played any of the previous Hatsune Miku games, then you know exactly what you’re getting with Project DIVA Future Tone. You hit buttons on the controller to match the notes on screen, which are corresponding to the music. As the difficulty is ramped, you have more notes to pay attention to on screen.
While I felt the previous game was a better entry point for newcomers to the series because of the amount of extra content and modes it had, Project DIVA Future Tone can be just as good if all you care about is the music. There is no story mode or campaign that focuses on Hatsune Miku and the other vocaloids, which is a shame since the previous game had a big emphasis on it. What you get is a pure rhythm and music game at its core.
If there’s one aspect where every Project DIVA game shines, it’s in the visuals. Project DIVA Future Tone is similar in this regard, with very few instances where the visuals on screen are distracting from the gameplay. Every once in a while I would be playing a song where it was tough to see the notes I needed to hit, but moments like these were rare in my experience.
The music video styled visuals are great to look at, and you can view each song alone as a music video without playing in the gallery. This is a nice addition for those that just want to enjoy the music without having to play through the game itself, with the best part being you don’t have to complete a song to view it this way.
For the enthusiasts that love the characters, there are a lot of customization options for the vocaloids, which can be adjusted individually for each song. Depending on how many outfits you unlock in the game’s shop, using money you gain from completing songs, each of the vocaloids can have a different outfit on for each song.
This is where I found a ton more SEGA fan service, with nods to franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, Virtua Fighter, Shinobi, and much more. Hatsune Miku herself has the most outfits over anyone else in the game, with a lot of nods to previous titles in the Project DIVA series. There’s also extra outfits you can download off the PlayStation Network, making for a lot of different outfits you can interchange between all of the characters.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone is a great game for those that love the music over anything else. The absence of the story mode from the previous game does make Project DIVA Future Tone feel meager, but if you didn’t value that at all then you’ll still have lots of music to enjoy. The gameplay is still unchanged from before, but the extra customization options and song list are huge. There might not be as much to do compared to before, but Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone keeps the focus on the core of the series where it counts most, the music.
This review is based on a digital review code for Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone for the PlayStation 4, provided by SEGA.