EDITOR'S NOTE:
I'm having no part in this. Bloody Vocaloids. Get back to me when Black Flag reform.

These pages serve as a way of telling the story of how I became the worst Vocaloid fan in the world.

Well, sort-of.



It's probably obvious from some of the games I rate highly on this site, but I loves me some offensively-colourful games. Gimme blue skies! All the blue skies! And, well, I also have a slight bias for Sega games. Even if they're only publishing it. Finally, I have... Well, I basically have no taste in music. I will listen to anything at least once, which is why no-one has survived a quick browse of my MP3 collection. These three elements, and making the mistake of asking Twitter, are what lead me to give the Project DIVA series a try, and, well, I've been playing them since. What I wasn't expecting from the offset was them to be pretty bloody tough, but at this point I'm some kind of robot as I can blast through them relatively easily (well, until we get to Extreme, then all bets are off). And so, Gaming Hell is now doomed to cover these games. Not every instalment is covered here, but hopefully by reading our extremely wordy articles on the ones we have played, perhaps you'll get a sense of why we play them so much.



... As a possible result of the success of the Project DIVA series, however, this section also covers what you'd call derivatives of the game, hence the '& Friends' of the title. To be more specific, Sega themselves retooled the Project DIVA engine for two anime-themed games- K-On! Houkago Live!! based on music-and-pudding anime K-On! for the PSP and later PS3, and Miracle Girls Festival, a cross-over of many anime including YuruYuri and Kiniro Mozaic for the PS Vita. Additionally, Dingo themselves, independent of Sega, went on to make Love Live! School idol paradise, a PS Vita game that has no direct relation to Project DIVA beyond the shared developer but is fairly similar. I suppose you can consider these bonus articles, eh?



Before we begin, let's field some pertinent questions:

What the heck is a Vocaloid, you nerd?
Vocaloid itself is a piece of computer software created by Yamaha to simulate a human singing voice. Created using samples of human voices, you type out what you want the voice to sing and set it to music. The basic Vocaloid engine is used by different companies to create soundbanks consumers buy and use to create songs, and an individual soundbank is called a Vocaloid. By far the most successful company doing this is Crypton Future Media, who created Hatsune Miku in 2007 using the VOCALOID2 engine, who went on to completely dominate the Vocaloid world (and seriously appeared on David Letterman thus ensuring that the world will be in the thrall of Miku before long). Since then, many other Vocaloids have been created and creators post their songs and accompanying music videos (sometimes done in a video creation tool caled MikuMikuDance AKA MMD) on the internet and... Well, that's the basic gist of it.

So, explain a bit about Project DIVA for me. They're games, aren't they?
The first Project DIVA was released for the PSP in Japan only in 2009, developed by Dingo and published by Sega, and since then there's been one new game in the series every year. Although starting as a portable game, the game quickly made the leap to the arcade (Project DIVA Arcade and Project DIVA Arcade Future Tone) and consoles (pseudo-ports to the PS3 for the first three PSP games, then standard PS3 ports from F onwards). Although the game mechanics differ between versions (probably most dramatically in the arcade versions), the basic concept remains the same- hit the swirling melody icons in time to the beat! Although there's no proprietary controller like most rhythm games, Project DIVA's main strengths are that it's a slightly different take on the genre, the music is well-produced, the presentation is dangerously blue skies in an age of brown-grey, and it's tough. Or, at least it is tough if you're roughly below-average at video games and watching masters play IIDX makes you want to cry horrid tears of jealousy. Not that I'm speaking from experience.

There's Vocaloids beyond the ones in the Project DIVA games, right?
Correct! The ones in the Project DIVA games are the ones made by Crypton Future Media themselves, but other companies have used the technology to make their own. Some of the other companies involved include AH-Software (SF-A2 miki on VOCALOID2 and Yuzuki Yukari on VOCALOID3), Bplats Co. (Tone Rion and Aoki Lapis, both on VOCALOID3) and 1st Place Co (IA on VOCALOID3), but probably the most popular is by Internet Co., GUMI (running on VOCALODI2) referred to as a Megpoid officially. So far, IA and GUMI are the only ones to also get their own games, and GUMI appeared in the 3DS series Hatsune Miku: Project mirai. Not all are released by companies, either- fan-made vocaloids, generally ones made to work with Vocal Synthesizer Tool UTAU, are called UTAUloids (one of the very first being Kasane Teto, who appears in certain versions of Project DIVA).

WHY DID SEGA LOCALISE THIS AND NOT SHINING RESONANCE/7TH DRAGON/MAKE SHENMUE 3 CRUSH KILL DESTROY
I DON'T KNOW (I can only theorize that Sega localised the first Vita/PS3 game because it was received well at E3 the year prior, they knew there was a fanbase but more importantly the costs of localisation/production/publishing was going to be recouped by the actual sales of the game. The game's relatively light on text compared to games like the new Shining games and so there wouldn't be as much to translate. Subsequent games were probably localised as a result of the first selling at or beyond Sega's expectations.)

What's the deal with Haku Yowane?
She's the strongest Vocaloid in the universe. Although only the second-strongest overall. In truth, she was created by CAFFEIN as a way of representing Miku songs that, well, just sound bad. She's one of the few derivative Vocaloid characters to become officially recognised by Crypton Future Media, which is why she and the other recognised derivatives (Hachune Miku, Mikudayo, Neru Akita, Sakine Meiko and Tako Luka) appear in the Project DIVA series. We here at Gaming Hell always side with the underdog, which is why Haku is the officially-designated Vocaloid (or Voyakloid, whichever) of this rotten little site.

Oh, come on how did Love Live manage to get on this page?
That's spiritual. In truth I don't know, it's just how it happened. The Nico Nico Nii compelled me to do so. Join us...



One final note before we get started- as these articles chronicle the story of how I became the worst Vocaloid fan in the world, they ideally need to be read in order, so you can see the evolution from "What's this Project DIVA lark all about, eh?" to "I got the rhythm, yo" and eventually to "I WILL CRUSH ALL NOTES BEFORE ME". Or something like that. Each successive article also usually builds on points made in the previous one, and so they'll make more sense if read in order.

As for the other stuff- that is to say the stuff beond the first row- this is where it gets a little more complicated. When they're all done, you can read the Miku Miku Hockey article whenever you like, and the others will probably need the Project DIVA articles to be read for the full experience. Yes, even Megpoid the Music♯. But they're not done yet, so please look forward to them!

So start from the left, and read to the beat!

Vocaloidin':
The Video Games

Project DIVA & Vocaloid-Related Games


Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA 2nd

(PSP, 2011, Sega / Dingo Inc)



Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA f

(PS Vita / PS3, 2012, Sega)



Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd

(PS Vita / PS3, 2014, Sega)





Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X

(PS Vita, 2016, Sega)



Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone

(PS4, 2017, Sega AM2)





Miku Miku Hockey 2.0

(PS Vita, 2014, SmileBoom)
Weird App, No Score!


Megpoid the Music♯

(PSP, 2013, ParaPhray)



Non-Vocaloid DIVA-Connected Games


K-On! Houkago Live!!

(PSP, 2010, Sega)
Based on DIVA's game engine!
Coming Soon!



Love Live! School idol paradise Vol. 2: BiBi Unit

(PS Vita, 2014, Dingo)
By DIVA devs!



Miracle Girls Festival

(PS Vita, 2015, Sega)
Based on DIVA's game engine!


Oh, damn, we finally got one of these Gathering of Games pages together that isn't a disaster!