Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F – Please Revive The Rhythm Genre in North America

I couldn't be more excited to see Miku make her Western debut. The traditional rhythm genre desperately needs some revitalization outside of Japan.

I couldn't be more excited to see Miku make her Western debut. The traditional rhythm genre desperately needs some revitalization outside of Japan.

After giving fans three months to like and share the Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F Facebook page, Sega have finally confirmed the game will be seeing a localization and release in North America and Europe.

As a long time fan of rhythm games, I couldn’t be more excited to see Miku finally make her way to the West.

The rhythm genre is one of bright colors, catchy music, and unique control schemes or peripherals. Like many other rhythm fans, PaRappa the Rapper served as a catchy catalyst and Dance Dance Revolution finished the job of getting me hooked. There was no looking back.

Except I didn’t play you, or Mario Mix, by choice.

Through the early to mid-2000’s, import titles such as Pop’n Music, Para Para Paradise, Beatmania, and Taiko no Tatsujin (Taiko: Drum Master in its one release in the West) gave me a fervor for the genre I have only gotten for two others. Western-released titles Frequency, Amplitude, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band only fueled that catchy, bopping rhythm in my heart.

The Project Diva and and Idolm@ster titles are two of the more recent Japan-only series that have brought something new to the genre. Idolm@ster’s raising sim elements make localizing the mainline games unlikely in the West, but the Project Diva games are perfect  to fill the genre void on this side of the ocean.

Unless you’re one of those Guitar Hero/Rock Band/willingly flail your arms in front of your Kinect-only rhythm people. Then Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F probably fails to pertain to your interests because it is perhaps excessively Japanese.

Regardless of how you feel about Vocaloid music, which can be grating at times, it has been quite some time since we’ve seen a this type of title in North America or Europe. Elite Beat Agents and the similarly Ouendan-style fan-made title Osu! are the only semi-recent rhythm titles to head to Western consoles over the past few years that have really been notable to core fans of the genre.

Let’s Hope The First Localization Isn’t The Last

The gameplay found in Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F has been honed over a few Japan-only titles, and proves that traditional “press buttons to the beat” gameplay is still fresh and fun. Using peripheral guitars and drums and the like in Rock Band and the like feels different, and somehow a bit less game-like than what I grew to love about the genre.

What makes this localization even sweet, is Sega’s willingness to bring the game over thanks to the overwhelming fan response. Sega, my childhood gaming love. That which brought me Sonic, Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, Yakuza, Space Channel 5, and so much more. Now they bring me a localized Project Diva, and I don’t know to express my excitement to see one of my favorite genres receive the injection it needed to badly.

This is the closest we’re going to get to a new Space Channel 5.

I wouldn’t necessarily say the genre will see a revitalization in the West with this release, but it is exciting that this may just be the beginning of Miku’s time in North America and Europe. It’s exciting that rhythm games might still have an audience here, and that maybe — just maybe — I am not alone in my missing this type of game on this side of the world.

About the author

Ashley Shankle

Ogryns are good lads. Simple as. Anyway, I'm basically a human tornado and I love jank. Also simple as.