Hatsune Miku has become an international icon. What began as a singing synthesizer turned into a character recognized around the world that stars in multiple forms of media. In the realm of games, people recognize her as a rhythm game star. But what else do people need to know about her? Let’s go over what you need to know about Miku!
Who is Hatsune Miku?
Crypton Future Media creates singing synthesizer software, and the company has quite a few different voice banks. Saki Fujita, who voices Ritsu in Assassination Classroom, Ymir in Attack on Titan and Elena in Ultra Street Fighter IV, provided the voice for the program. In 2007, Miku received her first release with marketing that suggested she was a singing android. People took to the character and program, which led to her success. In 2010, an Append add-on was released that added different tones of voice for Hatsune Miku. She received her English version in 2013. Most recently, she became the first trilingual Vocaloid following the release of a Mandarin Chinese vocal pack.
Miku is often lumped together with a few other notable Crypton Future Media Vocaloids. Meiko and Kaito were originally developed by Yamaha, but released by Crypton. After Miku, Megurine Luka and Kagamine Rin and Len were released. The company also ended up handling the development of the Kaito V3 and Meiko V3 Vocaloids.
There are a few unofficial Vocaloid characters to be aware of, when it comes to Miku. Akita Neru and Yowane Haku are derivatives that were originally fan-made characters, but eventually accepted by Crypton. Neru is someone who supposedly anti-Miku. Haku is the character people attach to Miku songs that end up sounding awful. Another rather famous derivative character is Sakine Meiko, a version of Meiko designed to sound more younger and youthful than the existing voicebank. Finally, another character that has been showing up in games and other media is Kasane Teto, a Voice Synthesis Tool UTAU vocal synthesizer character who was originally created by fans as an April Fool’s joke, but who has since appeared in Project DIva games.
Sega’s Project Diva series brought Hatsune Miku to the video game forefront. These titles let us enjoy her music, tapping through songs, and in many cases allowed us to also make our own playable songs or music videos with our mp3s and included editors. While Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F was the first installment to release worldwide, all of them are import-friendly. There are plenty of main entry games and spin-offs to enjoy!
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva (PlayStation Portable, 2009)
This is where Project Diva got its start! The initial game is rather basic. There are 50 songs on the UMD, but only 36 are in the main game and 14 are relegated to the Edit Mode where you create your own songs and videos. This installment also only offered three difficulty levels for each song. You also can not interact with the Vocaloids in any way.
If someone downloaded Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Dreamy Theater from the Japanese PlayStation Store for their PlayStation 3, they could connect the PlayStation Portable to the system to play this game on it. Naturally, this increased the graphics and made it look better.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva 2nd (PlayStation Portable, 2010)
Project Diva 2nd is when the series started to get good. This is when the D-pad was brought into play. When notes come up, you might need to press an action button and its corresponding D-pad direction at the same time. (For example, X and down at once.) There are 56 songs in this entry, some returning, with 47 in the main game and 9 in Edit Mode. Some songs, like “Magnet,” feature two Vocaloids performing together for the first time. The Diva Room appeared for the first time, where people could play rock-paper-scissors and interact with the Vocaloids when not playing through songs.
Like the original game, it received its own Dreamy Theater. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Dreamy Theater 2nd in the Japanese PlayStation Store. However, this version did not require you to constantly have the PlayStation Portable attached to the PlayStation 3 as you played.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Extend (PlayStation Portable, 2011)
Remember Project Diva 2nd? This is its expansion. The gameplay is identical. What sets it apart are its 40 more songs, 37 in the main game and 3 in Edit Mode, and additional modules to change the Vocaloids’ looks.
Of course, it has a Dreamy Theater to go with it. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Dreamy Theater Extend is available for the PlayStation 3, so people can play a prettier version of the game on the console.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f (PlayStation Vita, 2012)
Project Diva f was a big deal! This is the first entry to get a worldwide release! It also introduced some new mechanics to the series. For the first time, star notes appear and need to be triggered by rubbing the screen. The Diva Room and Edit Mode return. The Vita version has 37 songs, 33 of which are in the game and 4 are in AR mode.
A year after its Vita debut, it appeared on the PlayStation 3 as Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F. This version had an additional six songs included, though Vita owners could buy those as DLC. In this version, people needed to use the analog stick to trigger star notes.
Hatsune Miku and Future Stars: Project Mirai (3DS, 2012)
This is the first 3DS Hatsune Miku rhythm game. It relied totally on touch-based controls. People could play through 21 different songs, with some of the songs allowing you to switch the character singing them. It is fun! But, someone should really go with its successor, as the sequel had many of the same songs and plenty of improved features.
Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2 (3DS, 2013)
This is the 3DS Hatsune Miku game people should get. But, you need a specific version. The original has 47 Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2, a Puyo Puyo minigame and the option of using touch or traditional controls. The songs even have different vocal options in some cases.
What you want is Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX. This was released worldwide in 2015. All of the songs get music videos. An additional track is added. Some new difficulty levels are available for certain songs. Plus, Reversi is added as a second minigame!
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f 2nd (PlayStation 3 and Vita, 2014)
Think of Project Diva f 2nd as a fuller version of Project Diva F. There are more minigames in the Diva Room. You can change the look of the notes and music portions with skins. The star notes have been further refined, with double ones appearing. There are 40 songs to choose from in this game. As a change, the Edit Mode has to be downloaded in the Vita version.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X (PlayStation 4 and Vita, 2016)
Project Diva X is a big deal! It basically adds a campaign to the series for the first time. This has you going through various quests and means using certain modules for specific songs is a good idea. Edit Mode is gone, replaced with a Concert Editor that lets us make a custom concert instead. There are rush notes to play through, with double star notes removed. It has 24 main songs and 6 medleys, making 30 total songs in the game before DLC.
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone (PlayStation 4, 2017)
If you want a Hatsune Miku: Project Diva game that is all about the music, this is it. This is a port of the arcade version of the game that has been released worldwide. There are 222 songs in it, with Future Sound having 127 songs that have been in entries of the Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series and Colorful Tone including 95 arcade exclusives and Project Mirai songs.
Hatsune Miku: VR Future Live (PlayStation 4, 2016)
This PlayStation VR game is a spin-off that lets people watch performances. You can purchase three song packs, divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd Stage, for a total of 20 songs.
While the Sega games are the ones people think of when it comes to interactive Miku adventures, the Vocaloid has appeared in plenty of other games. She’s had a lot of cameos in rhythm games and other titles, which means fans will not have to go to too much trouble to see where she has been.
13-Sai no Hello Work DS (DS, 2008)
13-Sai no Hello Work DS is a Japanese minigame collection centered around different jobs. One of these ends up involving Miku with her songs. You play guitar or piano along with her tracks.
The Idolmaster 2 (PlayStation 3, 2011)
People can see Miku in the PlayStation 3 version of The Idolmaster 2 as a DLC performer. She can be a rival character and perform “Go My Way!!,” “Melt” and “World is Mine.”
7th Dragon 2020-II (PlayStation Portable, 2013)
Miku actually appears in 7th Dragon 2020-II! Hatsune Miku Type2021 is a singer in the game. Which is appropriate, since songs sung by her appear in the game!
Just Dance (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, 2015)
Multiple Just Dance games have featured Miku cameos. By which I mean, you will see a silhouette who looks like her when playing “Ievan Polkka” in Just Dance 2016, “PoPiPo” in Just Dance 2017 and “Love Ward” in Just Dance 2018.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night (PlayStation Vita, 2015)
There is Miku DLC for the game that lets you see the diva in the Persona style. In addition to her showing up as a character, she “sings” a version of the song “Heaven.”
Hatsune Miku VR (PC, 2018)
The PlayStation VR has a Miku concert viewing experience, and this year PCs will get a rhythm VR game. Details are still slim, but appearently in 2018 we will see Hatsune Miku VR.