New to Diva F 2nd are the addition of challenges mentioned above. These come in two varieties with song-specific ones and a large selection of global challenges. The latter will typically require completing every song on a particular difficulty or using a certain vocaloid a large number of times. One handy trick to cut down the number of tracks you have to play as a given singer is by selecting a song that has multiple performers and selecting the same vocaloid for every slot. Knife is a great song for this, as it offers three slots, thus reducing that grind quite a bit. The song-specific challenges can be a bit more difficult to unlock. Many of the criteria are hidden away until you can stumble upon them by chance. You wouldn’t know right away to wear a bird’s nest on your head during Paradichlorobenzene unless you just happen to wear that for every other track, and honestly why wouldn’t you?
Many of the fundamental mechanics from the first Project Diva F/f title make their return in the sequel. Notes still fly from predetermined directions across the screen that correspond with a particular face button (or direction if you want to alternate) alongside notes that require a hold and release shown by a thick line joining two of the same note or star notes that need a quick flick of the analog stick. New double notes (indicated by a W) require both the face and directional inputs to be pressed simultaneously. The worst of the new additions are “linked star targets”, a line of flick notes that typically end up making some shape relevant to the song. The downside to these is that they tend to follow their own tempo and sometimes run faster than other notes in the song, requiring you to rely solely on the beat rather than your eyes, a disconnect that can be sometimes jarring and ruin your combo. Couple that with the flashy, often distracting backgrounds (a similar issue to the previous titles) and you may find yourself dropping a combo due to sensory overload.
A song edit mode makes its return in Project Diva F 2nd if you’re not satisfied with just the tracks available on disk. This is available on-disk for the PlayStation 3 version with a 900MB download for those playing on the Vita. A full set of tools exist to help you create your own song and dance routines or you could make use of the many songs already available out there. To get access to these tracks, you’ll need an account for Piapro where the webpage and signups are available only in Japanese. If you’re able to get registered and set up an account and diva password, you’ll be able to download the edit tracks that other characters have made, provided you can supply your own MP3 for the song.
Project Diva F 2nd still has a plethora of diversions to keep you interested once you’re done with the rhythm game. The core simulation aspects is identical to last year’s release with a few changes, none for the better. Leveling up an idol’s affection is still a hefty grind of rubbing their faces or giving the gifts that they so desire. This time around, there are time limits that prevent you from doing it all in one sitting. Raising every idol to maximum affection levels may be a bigger timesink than it ever was before, but dedicated players will find reason to spend more time with their idol of choice.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd incorporates a hefty number of changes from last year’s iteration, both good and bad. If you’re a series veteran and want more vocaloid in your life, Project Diva F 2nd will keep you satisfied for a long time. Newcomers to the rhythm genre may want to try out the game at a lower difficulty as the game can be quite jarring to those unaccustomed to this style of gameplay. Overall, Project Diva F 2nd is just as strong as the first even with a few kinks to iron out.Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd Review,