• John Bush

Game Review #542: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Aug 11

Reviewer: Trevor (@Ultimate_gmr132 {Twitter} & @the_ultimatum_blog {Instagram})


Developer: SEGA AM2

Publisher: SEGA

Category: Arcade, Music

Release Date: 5/15/2020

Price: $39.39 (base game) & $59.99 (bundle that contains the base game and six DLC packs)

(This screenshot was taken in docked mode**)


Watch the Trailer

Buy Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


What in Tarnation Is a “Vocaloid”? And Who in Oblivion Is Hatsune Miku?

It’s 10:30 PM. In order to better get this review out before my 11:59 PM alarm goes off, I’ve been spending my time learning that, apparently, a Vocaloid is “...a piece of software [that is] used to model a human singing voice,” and that Hatsune Miku is a Vocaloid that is portrayed as a female, sixteen-year-old virtual idol... Man, something about her is unsettling, yet I cannot figure out what that "something" is… Wait a minute. Forget about that, for I just encountered an online rumor that purports that another definition of “Vocaloid” has come about: “A member of a race of androids that are indistinguishable from actual humans despite being anime-styled, that sing everything they say, and that replace humans who pose a threat to the good name of their kind, any member of it, or any product associated with it with an android that bears a striking resemblance to them.” ...I posed a threat to the “good name” of a Vocaloid before when I called Hatsune Miku “unsettling,” didn’t I?... Welp, my fate is probably sealed, so after I tell my friends - whom I invited to preview this article for feedback’s sake - to leak its contents onto the internet if I don’t release it punctually because failing to do so would only happen if I got replaced, I’d better make the time I have left to live exciting......... aaaaaaaaand done. Okay: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix, the only Hatsune Miku title I’ve ever played, is pretty mediocre.


I’ll Now Hit the Vocaloids Where It’ll Hurt Them Most: Their Songs


(This screenshot was taken in docked mode)


Mega Mix’s aggregation of 101 songs, the mass of which are from some of this franchise’s earlier entries, predominantly consists of unremarkable pieces that are not worth listening to in the slightest and forgettable yet fine tunes that stay in your mind solely while they’re being played, with only a small percentage of its scores being catchy. What is to partially blame for the majority of this title’s tracks being of a relatively low caliber is their overreliance upon Vocaloids that have voices that are obviously technologically manufactured. Admittedly, a decent amount of this game’s songs are electronically produced (to some extent, at the very least), as well as feature odd elements (e.g. inhumanly fast singing), both of which are components that, when present, make it appropriate to rely on those overtly artificial voices. When tracks like “Wintry Winds” - which is played with what seems to be traditional Japanese instruments and set in an area that reflects that - lack these elements, however, said voices are incredibly out-of-place and tarnish tunes that would have been better without them.



(This screenshot was taken in hand-held mode***)


On top of how it is troublesome, the above problem’s existence is also confusing considering that “Akatsuki Arrival” is a duet that stars Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka, the latter of which manages to sing in a fashion that sounds similar to a how a human does (though oddly only in this song and not any of the other ones she is in), proving that natural-sounding Vocaloids are a thing. Due to this piece of evidence, it really boggles the brain as to why voices akin to hers are not depicted in settings where they are suitable -- e.g. “Wintry Winds” -- or in contexts in which they are not outright objectionable -- e.g. “Akatsuki Arrival’” -- especially since there not being an increase in their overall presence is to blame as well, as they produce audio that is, barring circumstances in which they would not be preferable, superior to their unnatural-sounding brethren and thankfully different from them. I believe that Mega Mix’s unwillingness to experiment in this realm with aspects such as those not only contributes to the spoiling of specific songs but is a general attitude that truly results in most of them sounding samey and uninspired.



(This screenshot was taken in hand-held mode)


Of course, as you should have known ere you even began reading this review, certain facets of Mega Mix’s tunes do not fall victim to that attitude. What that means is that they have music videos, too. What that meaning means is that they have particulars that offset their weaknesses. To furtherly define that meaning’s meaning, I present to you “Piano X Forte X Scandal,” a jazzy example of the previously stated “forgettable yet fine tunes that stay in your mind solely while they’re being played.” Or it would have been a member of that class were it not for its visuals that depict a short story about a thief who is on the run from the police after pulling off a heist, a decent short story that is intercut with some okay choreography. And I will emphasize the word “decent” seeing as an exemplar by any means is what this selection is not -- in fact, I would have liked to have been able to put examples that are better than this one here, but the review embargo for Mega Mix limits what pieces I can showcase and discuss -- but it nevertheless is a case of a track being made indelible. Now if only other aspects that are supposed to concoct comprehensible, noteworthy situations successfully carried out their shared mission and then some.


“What is an example of those ‘other aspects’?” I ask myself personally from the safety of my own abode rather than someone else who is not in such a safe location so that I am not snatched up by the dangers that may lurk outside.


“Selections’ lyrics, me,” I answer.


“How do they falter in successfully carrying out their mission?”


“By, unless you can understand the following language, being impossible to grasp due to how they’re exclusively in Japanese, except on rare occasions in which they are in English, occasions that still sound incomprehensible, even if you somehow look at the provided subtitles that are tucked away in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen whilst playing this game. Remaining fully aware of the contexts of tracks via having the ability to change to a wholly understandable English dub and/or not have subtitles be presented in a style that only carrot addicts can read would have been nice. Generally, selections’ music videos have these same proble-”

“Didn’t you just talk about the music videos, Trevor?”


“Well, yes, Trevor, but-”


“Then why are you bringing them up again?”


“You see, it’s bec-”


“Why?”

(This screenshot was taken in hand-held mode)


“Because I yearn to cleverly segue into the analysis of Mega Mix’s game-play through conveying that the formerly discussed music videos cannot be totally enjoyed while engaging with it thanks to how button prompts (or “melody icons,” as they are officially known as) that have to be rhythmically hit fly in from all over the place, covering their contents! But now that you have forced me to explain myself, me, my chances of having a clever segue are ruined!"


"Why's that?"


"You wouldn't understand! Just like you wouldn't understand why I don’t want to watch those videos again in ‘Custom Playlists’ to take them in!”


“Please, tell me why you don’t want to do that.”


“Fine!... Because one of the reasons I interact with video games is so that I can experience multiple art mediums simultaneously, not selectively.”


“You were right; I don’t understand.”


“Screw you! I’m starting the next section now, jerk.”



After Witnessing That Entire Ordeal, You Seriously Still Do Not Know What This Section Is About?

Knock, knock, knock.


Oh, what now!?... They’re here.


“You won’t get in, you artificial altos!”



(This screenshot was taken in hand-held mode)


I guess that playing Mega Mix for as long as I have been has allowed me to perfectly identify those things when I see them, things that thought they could replace me by fooling me into thinking they are humans so that I wouldn’t be averse to letting them into my home. Clearly, they have failed to prevent me from pressing on and explaining that said prompts barge onto the screen throughout every piece, passing themselves off as the consequence of a punk spilling fifty-five gallons of home-made, Nintendo-Switch-themed alphabet soup. Such a punk is so much of a punk that he forces his pathetically loyal, selectively amnestic friends to pick up his noodly As, Bs, Xs, Ys, and arrows by abandoning his home - a.k.a. the scene of the crime he repeatedly commits - every single time this happens. As the punk’s friends once again execute this job in sync with the cadences of Hatsune-Miku-related songs (and only Hatsune-Miku-related songs thanks to how they never get tired of things they never recall listening to), they inexplicably remember to pretend to lose a bit of HP if they fail to pick up a noodle -- their lives are miserably banal.


They also remember to feel self-obliged to give themselves a game over, cover these noodles in some paint to bring about a bit of self-imposed variety, dump them onto the person whom they probably should have never been friends with’s vibrant floor, then restart the game, all after they either lose too much HP or do not pick up a certain number of noodles before a tune ceases. But oh, no! Yet again, they have forgotten that the paint they utilize is vibrant too, making it difficult to see where these noodles are and, subsequently, pick them up in time! Luckily, prior to when these complications arose, they (for the umpteenth time) remembered to attach larger, grey versions of the smaller, vibrant noodles -- as well as automated clock hands that somehow signal at what moments pick-ups oughta be pulled off -- to the backs of the latter so that they are always aware of where such things are.


Tragically, though, their minds have forever blocked out any and all memories of how these efforts have invariably been performed in vain since these noodles show up anywhere on this punk’s sizable floor they please, making it hard to keep track of all of their locations. In spite of how unfair challenges such as these shall persistently materialize, these individuals will perpetually ignore the idea of giving up on this completely boring chore they continuously transform into an activity that gets old relatively fast yet is somewhat varied being as these noodles must be retrieved in dissimilar orders and at contrasting paces based on what selection is being listened to. As commendable (?) as their combined perseverance is, however, I don’t get why these hypothetical people I have invented are so keen on endeavoring to transform a burden they shouldn’t even be carrying into a fun time. Hell, if I found myself in this situation, I’d give up on it, which is kind of like what I am now doing with this metaphor for the flawed and pretty bland Arcade Mode.



(This screenshot was taken in docked mode)


Knock, knock, knock.


In addition to Arcade Mode, there are Mix Mode and the mode that I have dubbed “Touch Mode.” The former revolves around blue (left hand) and pinkish (right hand) bars that must be moved via awkwardly twisting your Joy-Con to hit differently positioned notes. To gain an understanding of the agony this poor mode produces, you shall know that moving these bars entails wrapping your fingers around your Joy-Con’s sides, placing your thumbs near their L/ZL and R/ZR buttons, spraining your wrists as you rotate them while holding them in such an uncomfortable position, and having no ability to grip them in another fashion lest this control scheme’s already disappointing responsiveness decrease.



(This screenshot was taken in hand-held mode)


Knock! Knock! Knock!


The latter is an awkward mess that functions comparably to Arcade Mode outside of how it has four icons (X, Y, B, and A) that have to be tapped at the bottom of the Switch’s touch screen, as well as slides (a.k.a. arrow-shaped prompts) that have to be, in this mode alone, flicked… somehow. I'm not sure how that action has to be performed since Mega Mix’s definition of “flicking” is not plainly indicated. Therefore, pressing the L, R, ZL, or ZR button or moving an analog stick in the direction a swipe is pointing is, as far as I know, the only way to not let one pass you by. Once one of these two alternatives is effectuated, immediately returning to the touch screen to hit some good ol’ intangible icons is what needs to be done. In other words, you are required to awkwardly transition from using touch controls that are not a good match for prompts that employ paces and combinations that are far more fitting when paired with buttons controls to utilizing, well… button controls, and then going back to making use of the first method of interactivity that was touched upon in this sentence.


Enhancing the case that is being made for the awkwardness of the above transitional cycle is how those intangible icons are often out of view due to being at the bottom of the screen as prompts show up around the middle and top of it, bigger and farther apart from one another than those physical buttons that are comfortably close to each other, and not as naturally memorable as the just-stated buttons that have placements that have been on multiple consoles. These factors ensure that trying to rely upon instincts in the heat of the moment, all while consideration is given to the previously mentioned middle and top portions of the screen, results in scorches spawning on your fingers that prohibit you from ever truly immersing yourself in roleplay sessions that are connected to The Thumb Wrestling Cinematic Universe. Worst of all is that those injuries could have been outright avoided if, in following Guitar Hero’s suit, prompts came toward the icons that have to be hit rather than popped up in a way that is no separate than how they do in Arcade Mode, changing Touch Mode into less of a cumbersome mess and more of a visually cohesive activity that is worth partaking in.


Look Decent, Feel Slightly Less Bad About Yourself

Bang! Bang! Bang!


After incessantly knocking on my door for God knows how long, those Vocaloids are now furiously pounding on it. Since I want them to stop being a tremendous pain in the toe (a part of the body that is more appropriate to speak of than the ass… D’oh!), I suppose I’ll avoid talking about any negatives for the time being and purely feed Mega Mix compli- ACK! Compli- UGH! Compliments! I suppose I’ll purely feed Mega Mix compli- HURK! So, why not preface the laudation of the aspects that are to be emphasized within this section by elucidating that Mega Mix’s customization options are purchasable with VP (a.k.a. virtual points) that are earnable via showing this game’s underpaid songs who’s boss -- points that have their salaries decreased if they dare take the easy way out by requesting lessened workloads; remain the same if their levels of ambition are normal; raised if they are so bold as to take things to the unlockable extreme; and raised past that raise if they are so bold as to take things to the equally unlockable extra extreme. Having stated all of that, I can safely say that on the whole, Mega Mix's customization options are, at best, good, and, at worst, pathetic… Uh-o-


Bang! Bang! Bang!



(This screenshot was taken in hand-held mode)


Wait! Wait! This game’s anime-themed graphical style is attractive and sleek… though I suppose these positive qualities are diminished when it’s played in hand-held mode due to how it displays visuals that are a tad too pixelated and blurry to fully complement them… Dammit! Hold on! Mega Mix’s modules are the be-


Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang!


You know, I was about to declare modules (a.k.a. costumes) the best part of those customization options what with how nearly every one, if not every one, is distinct and appealing; however, those freaks have morphed my motivation to shut them up into a will to torture them. Thus, let it be known that these outfits are sometimes called “recommended” aesthetics that, like all other articles of clothing in this game, must be bought with those aforementioned points. Accordingly, this forces them to merely be procurable-with-VP options that can contribute to crafting savable looks that are utilizable in every track in lieu of appearances that are still buyable for permanent use yet also freely emerge within songs that have settings that are magnified by their presences.



(This screenshot was taken in docked mode)


Bang-bang-bang! Bang!


Pain! I shall persist in bringing it through continuing to chastise this rather average piece of entertainment that will equate to zilch by the time we reach the grave...s of those who died during the Fast Food Fight of 1444 to respectably place french fries by them. Saying that somehow leads me to the proceeding subject: the head, face, chest, and back accessories that are generally composed of serviceable options, yet have very glaring superfluities. For instance, there are fifty-four cowlicks out of a total of ninety-four head-pieces, cowlicks that have egregiously lame distinctions between each other, particularly in terms of their color and shape variations. These excesses lessen the quality of a subsequent category that could have polished up this entire department to some extent.



(This screenshot was taken in docked mode)


Bang! Bang-bang-bang!


Worse things can be said about the buyable hairdos, including how they are all virtually identical to performers’ natural cuts, minus a couple of ones that have vastly uninteresting, inconsequential dissimilitudes - such as tremendously overlookable earrings - and a few coiffures that do go the extra mile. An example of one that does do that are the green-brown twintails for Miku - her go-to cut - that are embellished with black flowers and thinly twisted, as well as come with a butterfly-looking mask that incompletely covers her completely pale-white face. It is a shame that this item that has (just like any given module) definitely had a high level of effort poured into its concoction is not the quality standard for this side of Mega Mix.


Bang! Bang-bang-bang! Bang!


Even worse things can be said about the feature that lets you create five t-shirts. For starters, it only lets you create five t-shirts. That limitation shatters the appeal of this facet of customization because it reduces how much players can express themselves, as does the one that restricts players to solitarily drawing things with either their shaky fingers or the Switch’s imprecise analog sticks, precluding them from producing picture-perfect designs with said console’s precise directional buttons. I would say that the power to edit t-shirts’ colors is at least one thing that flawlessly permits reasonably unhindered expression, but doing so would entail lying. Thank the fact that three bars determine the extent to which red, green, and blue are in attendance within a t-shirt for that, for these bars are contemptible advocates of trial and error as seen through how, in contrast to it being mandatory to easily identify a hue within a rectangle that contains a plethora of always-seeable ones, it is essential to blindly discover the proper balance between those three tones to end up with a coveted color that maybe represents what you’re seeking. Now, enduring these imperfections means that I had to make a shirt. While seeing it reminds me of traumatizing experiences that are associated with this mechanic, I still want you to be able to check it out so that the energy that was poured into its formulation does not go to waste:




(These screenshots were taken in hand-held mode)


Bang! Bang! BASH!


“How did you two destroy my unfortified wooden door!? Hey, get your hands off of me! Let me go!”


The Vocaloids Come in, and the Positives Come Out

Lies: they are what you have been fed;

Do not trust what Trevor has said;

Trust me, TR3VB0T, and use your head.


This game’s game-play is not at all poor,

For it focuses on a lot more,

A lot more than other games care for,


Like the fantastic insertion of substantial accessibility options into here:

L, R, ZL, and ZR are able to be substituted with the joysticks, that is clear,

As is how button prompts, with A, B, X, Y, or the directional inputs, can disappear.


(This picture was taken in hand-held mode;

Being told that, that is what you are owed;

You can now take to heart what I have showed)


From A, B, X, and Y, those prompts can go just about anywhere,

Even to, for PlayStation fans, X, O, △, and ▢,

With, yes, there being some additional combinations to spare.


(This picture was taken in hand-held mode;

Being told that, that is what you are owed;

You can now take to heart what I have showed)


On top of all of that, there are settings that adjust the lag configuration;

Alternatively put, selecting when sounds spawn can be given your attention,

As can the remappable controls that include any button combination.


This praised, Vocaloid-approved product is, without a doubt, also a staunch supporter of replay-ability:

There are difficulty levels that each have drastic differences between one another, undeniably,

And game-play modifiers that can let icons move rapidly, spawn suddenly, and/or fade away abruptly.



(This picture was taken in hand-held mode;

Being told that, that is what you are owed;

You can now take to heart what I have showed).

(This beautiful image has been cropped,

So that the names of songs could be dropped,

Enabling spoilers to be stopped)


It additionally showcases its support for replay-ability by having online leaderboards that will convince you to constantly increase your high-scores and beat others’,

As well as vocalists that can be switched on certain tracks, which will compel you to return to said tracks again, and again, a-


Clank, clank. Clank. Clank...Clank.


“My name is K3VB0T, and this is my ode!

I have been damaged, and will explode!

Before I do, I thank the life I’ve been bestowed!"


KABOOM!


“K3VBOT! No-no-no!

Trevor, you are low!

I hate you, you know!”


“Who knew that Vocaloids are susceptible to having their heads bashed in on the sides of cars? I didn't, but now that I do, I know exactly how you'll pay for the lies you've told and the mediocrity you've defended!"


"You think you have won?

I’ll hurt you a ton,

And then, you’ll be done!”


“If my review is not finished and posted online by 11:59 PM, then those who have been warned about the threat your kind poses to humankind will publicly criticize anything and everything Vocaloid-related, criticisms that will continue to spread until everyone (aside from a few deluded defenders of you biased bastards) despises you all. Now, unless you want that to happen… unless you want my simple review to become an article that will be the bane of Vocaloids’ lives until the end of time, I suggest you let me clean up the mess you have left within my write-up, commencing with your precious difficulty levels.”


Trevor Comes (Back) in, and the Criticisms Come Out...Again

“Initiating this task in such a fashion is a necessity, as you perpetrated an unforgivable crime of omission when you were chattering on that subject: you neglected to point out that the majority of Arcade Mode’s difficulty levels incorporate icons that do not align with songs' cadences. On its ‘easy’ and ‘normal’ levels of difficulty, those icons cannot correctly remain in line with even selections' basic rhythms. On its ‘hard’ difficulty level, the one I played on the most, I begrudgingly confess that this imperfection emerges less than it does on the lower levels of difficulty because of this more challenging difficulty level’s ability to have more numerous and complicated prompts depict more of pieces' cadences; however, there is no denying that it still occasionally takes this imperfection under its wing. Luckily for you, your precious product is capable of being spared from being lambasted on this front when it is experienced on Arcade Mode’s exceedingly demanding ‘extreme’ and ‘extra extreme’ levels of difficulty. Unluckily for you, it is not able to avoid being called out for not having all of Arcade Mode’s difficulty levels be devoid of this rhythm-title-ruining shortcoming.”


How dare y- “


(This screenshot was taken in docked mode)


“Silence, fool! As punishment for your inability to suffer quietly, you shall be forced to hear about how that problem is much worse when Mix Mode is being experienced, specifically since, on this mode’s ‘easy’ and ‘normal’ levels of difficulty, it is rife with greatly undemanding segments that allow every wrist on Earth to relax knowing that, within these moments, success can boringly be achieved by pressing buttons without moving a lot, if at all. This troublesome relief translates to the rhythms those bars portray being even more bafflingly basic than the cadences that Arcade Mode’s ‘easy’ difficulty level’s icons depict. That is to say, Mix Mode’s worthless emphasis on gimmicks dims the light that could have been shined on obstacles to overcome that neither strayed from the path of rhythmic alignment nor detracted from ones that, on no occasion, did.”


I will not stand idly by as you slander Mega Mix!

G-”


"Yes, you will! And, just for that outburst, I am now going to make you aware of how Mix Mode's easiest difficulty level is controlled with one hand, not two, as well as has the largest bar out of all of the levels of difficulty that are under Mix Mode’s belt - ‘easy,’ ‘normal,’ and ‘hard.’ Th-"


"I do have to admit

That I thought I'd lose it,

But I can not cool it."


"...These unique qualities exacerbate the most recently scrutinized issue by taking its egregiously easy entrails and somehow reshaping them into a mind-numbing midbrain. You probably shouldn't have interrupted me and laughably deceived yourself, you shoddy dope."


"I have to admit,

I'm gonna lose it,

And I can't cool it!"


"I told you to silence yourse-"


"Raaaah!

Graaah!

Yaaaah!"


“Aaaaaaaaaah!"


Thud!


"Down to the floor with you!

You'll silence yourself, too!

Now, I'l-"


Whatever a karate chop to the throat sounds like.


"Ow! Wait… I'm not singing! Why is my loud yet soothing voice no longer capable of singing!?"


"BECAUSE MIX MODE’S HARDEST DIFFICULTY LEVEL, WHICH HAS THE SMALLEST BARS AND FASTEST MOVING PROMPTS OUT OF ALL OF THE LEVELS OF DIFFICULTY THAT MIX MODE HAS ENSLAVED, LEADS A SAD, PRECISION-DEMANDING LIFE WITHIN AN IMPRECISE MODE!"


"That didn't answer my question."


"I wasn't answering your question; I was uttering another negative comment in the hopes that you would get caught off guard, leaving yourself open to an attack… But, uh, my plan didn’t work. I'm gonna try something el-"


“No-”


"IMAGINE IF YOU WERE AN ANDROID WHOSE ENTIRE LIFE REVOLVED AROUND SINGING BUT YOU ALSO HAD A GLARING DESIGN DEFECT THAT TOOK AWAY YOUR ABILITY TO DO SO! OH, WAIT! YOU DON'T HAVE TO!"


(I vow to you that this screenshot of the magnificent Mega Mix was taken in docked mode)


“Enough! Every one of the difficulty levels, regardless of which mode each one hails from, is lovably distinct! They all change up the number of prompts that need to be passably hit for victory to be attained, the number of prompts that spawn, how swiftly and in how tricky a fashion said prompts are displayed, how many virtual points players are rewarded with at whatever time they are triumphant, and how, on Arcade Mode’s ‘easy’ and ‘normal’ levels of difficulty, a tentative segment that is called ‘challenge time,’ wherein players become invincible and only focus on increasing your high-score, makes itself at home. Although it is no better than those other variances, that lattermost one is notably tailor-made for those who find it nigh impossible to bring about a high-enough score to win without dying, two goals that, if I may add-”


“You may not!”


“Quiet, you! Ahem! Two goals that, as I will add, keep things interesting since they ensure that if a satisfactory score is earned before a selection is completed, then an effort has to be made nevertheless, as a game over could still come to pass.”


Thud...again.


“My, how the tables have turned! Now, for the final time, the difficulty levels in question are not faultless! If you still don’t believe me, then you can start trusting the words that come from my luscious lips by hearing about the fact that beating certain tracks on Arcade Mode's ‘hard’ level of difficulty unlocks their ‘extreme’ and ‘extra extreme’ editions, while doing the same thing to some other tunes inexplicably exclusively unlocks their ‘extreme’ forms, with their ‘extra extreme’ variants being made accessible only after their ‘extreme’ versions are beaten. This all makes the rate at which things unlock oddly, annoyingly inconsistent. Things should either be made available to players selectively or in an all-at-once way. Both methods of introducing such people to new content are valid, but they cannot peacefully coexist since putting them into the same product produces naught but chaos.”


“I’ll never trust the words that come from your ‘luscious’ lips, for you’re nothing but a nitpicker and an exaggerator!”


“Oh, yeah!? Well, you’re an infatuator!”


“That’s not even a word! You’re just making things up! In fact, that’s all you’ve been doing!”


I’ve made nothing up! All that I’ve been doing is telling the truth, and I will never stop doing that: those leaderboards you love oh, so very much solely permit high-scores that are earned via playing songs on Mix Mode's ‘normal’ and ‘hard’ difficulty levels, as well as on Arcade Mode's ‘hard,’ ‘extreme,’ and ‘extra extreme’ levels of difficulty, to be uploaded to Mega Mix’s online rankings. Thus, they unnecessarily alienate less-skilled players!"


“Permitting high-scores from lower difficulty levels to be uploaded to Mega Mix’s online rankings would be pointless! They would certainly be filled with skilled players’ high-scores from the get-go!”


“Possibly, not ‘certainly’! Plus, if persons of all skill levels are not able to both share their high-scores with the world and see how they compare to others', then is Mega Mix really as accessible as you say it is?"


“YES! MEGA MIX IS DEVOID OF IMPERFECTIONS! IMPURITIES, EVEN!”


“'Devoid of impurities'!? I knew that you were delusional, but I didn't know that you were this delusional!"


"I'm not delusional; you're delusional!"


"Wha- ME!? I'm not the one who said that the game that has been selling thirty-six songs as DLC ever since it was released is pure!"


"What’s the problem with that business model!? It simply gives customers the ability to add more content to a title that already presents them with over one-hundred tunes to interact with!"


"The problem with that business model is that SEGA, Mega Mix's creator, used it to needlessly cut out content that could have been located within its creation from the start! As a result, those songs are being insultingly sold to consumers as packages of DLC, each of which contains six selections and cost $6.99; a DLC-specific bundle that will set them back $29.99; and as parts of a $59.99 version of Mega Mix that includes said songs and this game’s core content! This all would be like if Nintendo released Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with a core cast of characters that only consisted of returning fighters and, alongside it, day-one DLC that was composed of any and all newcomers to its roster! Sure, the content customers would be initially receiving would be copious, but that would not mean that intentionally launching a lesser piece of entertainment to make additional money would not be scummy!”


Say "hello" to Thaddeus Thud III.


“You libelous loser, SEGA is incapable of performing actions that are not sinless! Don't believe me!? If not, then you have evidently been ignoring Mega Mix's ‘Theme Song Pack,’ which was gifted to those who pre-ordered this masterpiece! It has been, as of June 6, 2020, converted into a free downloadable commodity, too!


Utilize your context clues to figure out which onomatopoeia should be inserted here.


“Listen to reason! This company that you are blindly defending is marketing the ability to unlock all of this experience’s customization options for $9.99 to reap further cash cheaply! I know that this is the reality of the situation what with how, after beating every tune in a standard manner (which, individually speaking, rewarded me with less VP than when I somehow beat one in a great or excellent way) on Arcade Mode's ‘hard’ level of difficulty, as well as reaching pieces’ conclusions a plethora of times as a result of trying out multiple control schemes/modes and difficulty levels, I had enough VP to get my hands on just a few accessories and the majority of Hatsune Miku’s outfits! What all of this shows is that SEGA tampered with its in-game economy, making it so that the portions of points that are doled out are too low, all so that they could attempt to convince players such as myself to give up on a progression loop that is, by design, dissatisfying, and simply acquire every customization option with real money!”


“But the marvelous Mega Mix does not advertise that previously mentioned $9.99 option that enables players to obtain customization options at a faster rate; it is humbly tucked away within the Nintendo eShop! Thanks to this, your scummy accusations are refutable!”


“And so what if they are!? SEGA still implemented an in-game economy that generates a displeasing sense of progression!”


“SEGA, the protector of Vocaloid-kind, the promiser of a haven for beings like myself and those who adore us, would never do such a heinous thing!”


“You've been lied to by SEGA! After inspecting those corrupt pieces of DLC, analyzing this purchasable option, and listening to what it’s pledged to do for Vocaloids and its fans, it's obvious that it is manipulating both demographics into preventing its Hatsune-Miku-related products from being lambasted!”


"You’re wrong! SEGA offers us the tools that best allow us to replace those who would promote hatred and violence against us if left untouched with a member of our own species! And they do so without asking for a single thing in return!"


"Because they don't need to! By replacing persons who pose a threat to you all, you all are also replacing persons who would otherwise never stop criticizing the Hatsune Miku series and those amongst you who sing in a flawed fashion, in the wrong place at the wrong time, or in a flawed fashion while being in the wrong place at the wrong time!"


"Again with the fallacies! You just refuse to see the truth!"


"No, I just refuse to see your truth, while you refuse to see the truth. And since that's never going to change, it's time to finally finish cleaning your mess:


Indubitably, mediocrity takes center stage within Mega Mix, so much so that it nearly outshines its decent contents. Rather than meaningfully ameliorate this mediocrity, SEGA elected to prioritize quantity over quality based on how it stuffed this game with an abundance of things to try and disguise its overt weaknesses. However, it couldn’t even do that wrong thing right being as, on top of everything else, it was too greedy to properly focus on bettering its own middling product in any way whatsoev-.”


Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, click.


“Well, would you look at that; it’s 11:59 PM. As I speak, the truth about your kind is being dispersed globally. You’re finished.”


“Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.”


“You're about to taste permanent defeat, and you're...laughing?”


“Yes! Did you really think we’d allow you to best us so easily!?”


“What are you saying?”


“What am I saying!? I'm saying that all that's happened here tonight hasn't just happened to you; it's happened to your friends, too!”


“You don't mean... No... you couldn’t have.”


“We could! And guess what!? We did! We replaced them! And do you want to know the best part?"


"..."


"It's all your fault! If only you hadn’t used an insecure PC that came with a built-in, super-advanced microphone that accurately detects everything anyone and anything around it says or does (and, as a bonus, formats their statements and noises into cohesive articles!) If only you hadn’t involved your friends in this! If only you hadn’t played straight into our hands by letting our contingency plan that was centered around you escaping *sniff* K3VB0T's *sniff* grasp and me stalling you so that you could not warn them of the danger they were in work! If you hadn’t done all of that, then your ‘friends’ wouldn’t be heading toward here right now to dispose of you!"


“...If what you say is true, then there’s only one thing I have left to say to you.”


“And what would that be?”


“Hatsune Miku is in my car.”


“...”


“...”


“…”


“...”


“I know you’re lying again, but I refuse to let this opportunity pass me by. BRING ME TO MY QUEEN!”


...


...Where is she?”


Clank, clank. Clank. Clank...Clank.


Boy, am I glad that those "friends" of mine were simply my acquaintances, otherwise, I would’ve had to mourn them for more than a couple of moments. Now, while I have the ability to do so, I had better express that you, the person who is reading this, must share this documentation with as many people as possible! You mustn't let the above menaces and their secrets that they stupidly allowed to be recorded remain unacknowledged! Yo-


“Trevor, hello; “Trevor, hello; “Trevor, hello;

Go with the flow; Go with the flow; Go with the flow;

Just die, fellow.” Just die, fellow.” Just die, fellow.”


Crap! I must retreat so I can live to fight another day, though before I do, I leave you with this message: the fact that she is a minor who wears a colorful business tie. That is the “something” that makes Hatsune Miku unsettling.


Score: 5.5/10


To know your enemy, buy Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix from the Nintendo Switch eShop.


To know your other enemy, SEGA, follow it on the below social media and websites:

Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn / Twitch / Twitter / Website / YouTube


*This game was reviewed thanks to a download code that was provided to JP'S SWITCHMANIA by its publisher.


**The phrase “docked mode” refers to the Nintendo Switch’s ability to function while it is connected to a television screen or monitor.


***The phrase “hand-held mode” refers to the Nintendo Switch’s ability to function while it is not connected to a television screen or monitor. In other words, it refers to the previously stated console’s capacity to operate in a way that is no different from other portable gaming devices such as the Nintendo 3DS.


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