From Sega and Crypton Future Media comes Miku Flick 02, an iOS music game based on the popular Vocaloid franchise featuring the well-loved Hatsune Miku. Her prescence alone warrants a look at this game, but can it stand up to the likes of its predecessors in the Project Diva line?
The first Miku Flick was released March 9 of last year (which interestingly is a play on Miku’s name; the numbers 3 and 9 can be read as Mi and Ku). It featured 13 songs all sung by Miku from Project Diva which came out on the PSP. This version, released 4 months later, gives more variety with songs from Megurine Luka and the Kagamine twins Rin and Len. The Flick games take a different route from the Diva series in terms of the gameplay, which is more fitting for a mobile platform.
The main game interface consists of a 10-button keypad-style layout with letters on it, which can be changed in three ways. Original (Hiragana), Romaji (Hiragana with its Romaji equivalent), or English (which is actually just Romaji only). The reason for this is that you play to the beat of the song lyrics, which scroll just right above the keypad. Pressing a button will reveal a “flower” layout of four characters related to the main letter of that button. You must swpie (or “flick”) in the direction of the proper character that corresponds to the lyrics highlighted on top, and it must be timed just when the lyric reaches the cursor on the left. There are two types of commands: Tap (an expanding circle appears on the button) and Flick (a direction to swipe appears on the button). The game can actually be played even without looking at the lyrics, simply by watching the buttons and tapping or swiping just before the expanding square (or circle) disappears. Points are awarded based on your timing.
You will start off with two songs with two modes for each (Easy and Normal) but will eventually unlock a total of 10 songs and three more modes (Hard, Extreme and Break The Limit) as you play, with additional song packs available as in-app purchases. Some song packs even feature songs from two additional characters, Kaito and Meiko.
Graphics-wise, players are in for a very nice treat because the videos used for the songs come from the Dreamy Theater (PS3) versions of Project Diva, and once you clear a song its video can be played in the PV mode, complete with the Hiragana lyrics to sing along with if you have the knowledge.
On to the gameplay. The keypad setup is nice since the notes don’t fly around the screen unlike in Diva, so more focus on timing can be used. Unfortunately, the main downside is the timing itself. The first Miku Flick initially had a timing bug that hampered gameplay, but a fix was released for it, which oddly isn’t present in this version. Playing on Easy and Normal is manageable, but once you get to the later songs and difficulties this can be troublesome. And due to the small size of the keypad, things can sometimes get VERY frantic with notes glowing all over and you getting confused over which to press.
The game is short with only 10 songs, but since it is a music game, the main point is beating your last high score, and doing that from Easy to Break the Limit will take quite a bit of your time.
Overall, for those looking for a good iOS music game, there are better (and cheaper) alternatives available in the App Store, but if you’re a fan of the Project Diva franchise looking for another game to challenge, you’ll definitely get it with Miku Flick 02.