I don’t think that Hatsune Miku needs any introduction. Over the years, the Vocaloid has graced our lives with her catchy songs, live concerts, and rhythm-based video games. I guess the only natural progress is that she receives her own VR game with Hatsune Miku VR, which was released over two years ago on Steam. Now, the game is available on Oculus Quest, which gives us a receive to review it in 2020.
Hatsune Miku VR isn’t as complicated as it’s console and arcade based counterparts. The game itself boils down to your own personal Miku concert. During the game’s rhythm portions, there’s a circle behind Miku where notes will fly at the player. It’s then up to you to simply make sure your hand is in the corresponding circle when it reaches you.
To make this easier, some lights flash to indicate whether you are in the circle. Furthermore, the game tries its best not to through you off too much with strange patterns. As you can guess, your arms will become tired unless you normally work out. After about four songs, I was ready to ice my arms from being raised for so long.
Still, I played on and raised my arms for Miku as she graced me with well-choreographed dance moves. Incidentally, she’s the biggest distraction when it comes to hitting the notes. You really just want to watch her, but then you have to play the game. I felt the gameplay portion was best when your arms would pose or move the same as Miku’s. This just made it seem like you were actually sharing a dance, but really you were trying to hit the notes.
There’s a good layer of challenge to some of the song, even on Normal difficulty, but having your heads raised for so long really limits how long you can actually play. I knew I was getting tired when I kept missing the top notes.
When it gets to the point where you can’t go on but still wanna hang out with Miku, well, there’s a music video mode. This is pretty much the dancing without the notes, and you can move around the stage to get a better view if you wish.
The entire experience is basic and almost not even a game, but the music is excellent. There are multiple packs available, so if you have a favorite song, then you’ll probably have to purchase a corresponding DLC. Many live Miku concerts were canceled this year, which is actually a pretty good release for those hardcore fans. Sadly, there only seem to be two costumes, and that limits diversity in replays.
Miku’s character design is great and looks awesome in VR. The music sounds clear and will probably work best if you have a decent pair of headphones. Sadly though, the price is a bit high for this experience and probably only reserved for the biggest Miku fans. The rhythm systems are just way too basic to consider it a rhythm game, but I think this choice was made to make Miku the star of the show with less for the player to actually do.
Hatsune Miku VR is an experience for diehard fans, but those who can’t play it aren’t missing out on anything of real substance. The rhythm gameplay provides a decent arm workout but gets old and repetitive right around the time your arms feel like they will fall off. If you have the Oculus and want to hang out with Miku for a personal concert, then don’t let the score of this review keep you from doing that.