A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X is a music and rhythm game. Players match controller inputs to command prompts in time to catchy J-pop beats. The game is easy to pick up and play, but thanks to multiple difficulty levels, there's always plenty of challenge. While the game is free of violence, some outfits that players can earn for the virtual idols lean slightly toward the risqué.
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What's it about?
In HATSUNE MIKU: PROJECT DIVA X, the world is populated by a group of virtual singers and powered by music. Unfortunately, that power has been drained from the world, leaving the singers unable to perform -- that is, until you come along. Teaming up with Miku and her friends, you'll help choose wardrobes and accessories, pick out songs and performers, and ultimately create grand concerts on the virtual stage, unleashing "Voltage" energy to revitalize the five crystals that power each of the world's five "Clouds." Once on stage, you'll have to add your own part to the performance by coordinating on-screen prompts, earning Voltage, and making sure that everyone keeps up with the rhythm of those J-pop beats.
Is it any good?
This rhythm game is incredibly fun and full of music, with its main issue being the amount of attention you have to pay to the gameplay and the beat instead of the visuals. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X turns players into a cross between a stage manager and a conductor for Miku and her friends. Players set the stage for each performance, choosing outfits ("Modules") and accessories with special boosts and abilities that help to achieve each song's goals or objectives. Doing well during a song usually earns the player more modules and accessories, with better boosts or abilities, encouraging them to play again and again with the new combinations in hopes of getting an even better score or earning better gear.
Although the presentation is bright, colorful, and full of life, it's also likely to get wasted on the person actually playing the game. You have to spend so much time focused on the commands to enter, what types of notes are being played, and when exactly to do everything to stay in sync with the beat, you never have the opportunity to really enjoy the performance. And with four difficulty levels with exponentially more intricate controls, you can't break focus for even a moment if you want to successfully complete a song. In another interesting quirk, due to complicated licensing issues with the game's community-developed soundtrack, using the Share button on the PS4 to record/stream gameplay actually auto-filters the music out of the gameplay footage. This means that if you actually want to see one of the songs performed in the game, you'd better have a friend handy to play for you. Even with these drawbacks, it's hard not to like Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X. Its catchy tunes, addictive (if not repetitive) gameplay, and bubbly personality will leave you humming along well after the game is done.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about music. Does the musical nature of the game help fuel an interest in music outside the game? What sorts of skills learned in the game can be applied to the real world?
Talk about product marketing to kids. How does the creation of virtual performers help consumers relate to products such as Hatsune Miku? How does the virtual character become so popular in the real world?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Sega of America
- Release date: August 30, 2016
- Genre: Music and Dance
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Friendship, Music and Sing-Along
- ESRB rating: T for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.