Project Diva X has a few things you wouldn’t expect in a Hatsune Miku game—like a bit plot and a nice helping of strategy.
There’s not actually a lot to the plot. It’s mostly just a collection of short, unvoiced conversations between Miku and her friends that are often about one aspect or another of being an idol. They are cute, harmless, and largely forgettable—but a bit of loosely connected storyline, nonetheless.
Likewise, the main setup is little more than a framing device. Miku and her friends are attempting to fill five jewels with musical energy. Each gem is filled by the songs in a particular category: “Neutral,” “Cute,” “Cool,” “Beauty,” or “Chaos.”
The game starts on the neutral gem. After the first four songs, a medley of classic Miku songs unlocks. Once you’ve beaten that, you can move on to filling one of the other gems. The Cute, Cool, Beauty, and Chaos areas have five songs and an unlockable medley apiece. There is one caveat though: Once you start on a gem, you can’t switch to a different unfilled one until the one you’re working on is filled. Which order is best to choose? Well, that’s up to the modules—i.e., costumes—you’ve unlocked in filling the neutral gem.
Yes, indeed. Here’s where that nice helping of strategy begins to come into play. In Project Diva X, modules and accessories are far more than cosmetic. To start, each is linked to one of the five types of songs. When wearing a module or accessory that matches a particular type, you get a voltage bonus when doing that song—making it easier to beat.
More than that, each module has some sort of special effect that affects gameplay. They can do anything from giving point bonuses for lengthy combos to increasing the odds of getting a rare module.
Accessories, while not having special effects like the modules, give a small bonus to their associated type of song and can be combined in specific ways—e.g., rabbit’s ears paired with a rabbit’s tail—to get an additional voltage bonus.
Unlike in past Project Diva games, the main way of unlocking modules and accessories is not in a store but during the songs themselves. Each song has a portion of the song in which a near-perfect performance will allow Miku (or her friends) to transform into a new module, with that module becoming yours permanently at the end of the song.
Which module you unlock is random. However, each song has a rare drop module that only drops on that specific song.
This is what makes Project Diva X so much more fun to play than past iterations of the series. In each song you must balance your skill versus the module you choose to use. Is the voltage bonus necessary or can you risk using a module with a great effect but of the wrong type? And beyond that, what are you trying to achieve? Do you want bonus points? Accessories? Rare modules? Modules you haven’t randomly gotten yet? Or gifts for the vocaloids that they’ll put in the menu room?