This year's E3 convention had all sorts of surprising new releases. However, my favorite surprise came in the form of a virtual diva.
Sega is releasing Project Diva F in the United States. I'm stoked.
For anyone who hasn't heard of it, Project Diva is a music game masterpiece. I bought an import version of Project Diva 2nd for the PSP. That game alone kept me playing for the entire summer.
This isn't a typical music game by any means. For starters, each diva character has her/his room to sleep in and to practice singing. When the character completes a song, s/he earns points. These points can purchase decorations for each diva's room.
If that wasn't enough, points can also unlock new divas. After a few hours, I managed to unlock the two blonde Kagamine twins, Rin and Ren. They also come with their own unique costumes to unlock. Each character also has her/his own special animations when the player peers into the diva's room. One of my divas, Hatsune Miku, loves to join Ruka for her morning exercises.
Thus, Project Diva is literally a fusion between a character-raising simulation and a rhythm-based music game. People have to give their divas gifts whenever they feel bad or depressed. This helps them earn more points when they sing in the main game.
If the simulation portion wasn't unusual enough, the songs are even more amusing. The song listing covers a wide range of genres, from classical to garage rock music. However, the best songs involve weird lyrics and music video imagery.
The most famous Project Diva song is, of course, Levan Polkka. I'm not even sure why a polka tune from Finland is in this game, but the divas can sing it really well. On top of that, they also use a giant green onion as a conducting baton, among other things.
There are all sorts of strange tunes in Project Diva. The sequel, Project Diva 2nd, includes a cult classic called "Po Pi Po." The song is literally about how the main character, Hatsune Miku, loves to drink vegetable juice. She spends the entire song promoting the benefits of $2 vegetable juice.
To be honest, Project Diva is incredibly weird and cute. I didn't think it would ever come to the United States, but the game's fan base grew immensely in the last five years. Heck, the main character even went on a national concert tour as a virtual, computer-generated diva. I'm not kidding. She made her first appearance at the Los Angeles Anime Expo in 2011.
I'm very glad that Sega finally decided to give the American fans what they wanted. Sure, Project Diva is strange and eclectic. It is also one of the best music games ever made. PS3 should give this game a chance when it comes out in the U.S. in August. I guarantee that they'll appreciate at least part of the game's offbeat humor.
What are your thoughts about Project Diva? How does it match up to American music games? Heck, how should we even classify it? Write your thoughts in the comments below.