Monday, July 27, 2009

Miku Z4 on Super GT 2009 - SUGO

Last weekend there was 5th race of Super GT 2009 at Sportsland Sugo 300km circuit. Again I couldn't cheer for 808 car since I was not at home and even if I were, there are no official live broadcasts of this event here :(. But as I care how Studie Glad Racing and car 808 performs, I follow what happens out there. I have also written about Super GT before.

Miku Z4 (808) had major problems with the engine last time so they couldn't participate at all. This time at Sugo circuit they had fixed the car and also made improvements to the car. Since they changed the shape of the car, they also had to redo the artwork. It's like changing for summer clothes as they write.

This gallery features more pictures from both qualifying day and race itself at Sugo.

On Saturday at Sugo circuit Miku Z4 had a bit of trouble completing qualifying round because they didn't get good enough best lap. Therefore it was not clear if they can participate on race itself on Sunday. Fortunately they were allowed to come to start, but they were put on the last position on start grid. During the race they drove over grass and also had problems with back spoiler. But pushing their Miku Z4 hard they managed to finish 17th out of total 21 cars being 6 laps behind from the winner. Currently Studie Glad Racing has 3 points total, while the leading team has 65. That is they are at 20th position in GT300 ranking out of 22 teams total. Yeah, I know it could be better. And I believe it will.

It is good to see that there are people who make Super GT available for those who can't watch it live. Here is the best video I could find of final Sugo race that took place on Sunday.

And here is one more Sugo compilation dedicated to Miku Z4 :)

Next Super GT event is on 22th and 23th of August. Good luck to Miku Z4 and I hope to be watching (somehow)!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mario GO GO

Wohoo, this video now has English subtitles. Unfortunately subbed video has bad sound quality :(

When Mario eats mushroom, he becomes Super Mario. Hmm, I never thought about it like that.

Here is a nice gameplay video where music and sound effects are performed by Miku. If you listen carefully and understand a bit Japanese, you'll notice words like "入ります" (hairimasu) when Mario is entering a pipe. This is just what the word means. The level played seemed difficult. Every time Mario looses a life, it was like "Oh nooo! Doooon't die Miku!!!" :P

Nico link.

Actually I would like to see Miku mod of Mario game, but I haven't found any yet. I'd like to see Miku jumping around and rescuing... ermmm... Kaito?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What are you doing Kaito?

Is Miku mocking on Kaito? Or is it Kaito who is to blame in the first place? I don't really get it, but I think Kaito did something embarrassing and now Miku has revenge on him or something like that.

Nico link, MP3 from author and author's blog.

Kaito is always been mocked on. I don't really know why, but he is just like that. But Kaito sings well, really well at times.

Nico link, and MP3 from Nicosound (as usual, press パソコンへ転送).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Project Diva - small Review

Toomas already made most of the introductory work, so I'll just share the game experience.

First of all: I am a heavy critic and if you give me a reason to criticise, I will, so don't think that the game is bad just because I point out things that I didn't like.

First of all, the biggest problem - everything is in japanese, making navigation in the menu next to impossible. Selecting songs, saving the progress etc basic navigation will be clear after a few minutes of trial-and-error. Although I would be very grateful for a fan translation or a walkthrough.

One thing that you will notice very soon: this game is HARD. I have had previous experience with Stepmania on the PC and Elite Beats Agents on the DS, but this is by far the hardest of them. Failing the song completely is a task not easily done, but not having enough points to pass as "standard" will be the usual end result. It strongly emphases on combos, with the "chance mode" actually giving you points in an arithmetic calculation: 100, 200, 300 etc for each consecutive good hit.

The gameplay itself is somewhat tricky. In Stepmania, the arrows follow straight lines to fixated target points. In this game, the targets pop up all over the screen, the speed of the flying "arrows" (can't describe them in a better way) varies from song to song and the most difficult aspect: some songs require all 4 action buttons and sometimes with the screen full of buttons, you will end up mashing the wrong one.

Background videos vary from stunning to simple slideshows. Be careful when playing the song Packaged, Miku's dancing is actually so cute that you might lose your combo while staring at her cheerful skipping. Sometimes the background video is too busy and you'll have a hard time seeing the targets. Amazingly, Ievan Polkka didn't have Hachune Miku with her leek, but had a slideshow. For me it would have sufficed if the whole video had been like the original - Hachune Miku shaking her leek and changing facial expressions.

The quality of the gameplay also varies. For example, Packaged has a stunning video, all the targets are placed very accurately and balanced, making the song somewhat difficult, but very reasonable. Then you get a song with a background of random images and completely random targets that sometimes don't even bother to follow the song. In the middle of a slow ballad one can get a row of targets that have to be hit at a pace more suited to grindcore.

A bit more about the difficulty: there are characters and costumes, but to unlock them, you have to be really good, no next to perfect. here is a list of the unlockables. After hours of gameplay I have yet to unlock a single one of them.

There are also a few extras, for example a music player that features Miku in a random (could be selectable, the menu is still in japanese) room and you can select any song the game has. Amazingly, if you have other music in your PSP, it will also play it. It was kinda awkward watching Miku walk around in a library with hard rock in the background.

The final verdict would be: it has flaws, it is the first game, it is awesome. I personally would recommend at least someone in the development crew to play some stepmania. For instance, the song preview works with a button, you can't see the highscores before selecting the game, the gameplay itself could use little revisions etc. But all in all, it is a really great game and I am a nitpicker.

One new song (maybe it isn't new) from the game that I found really good.

What is OSTER project?

Now "what", but "who"! OSTER project is a famous Vacaloid user of course... see what he/she has done. That's right, he/she, we don't know. In fact we know almost nothing of person behind OSTER project.

Here is "koizuru radio". It somewhat explains who OSTER project is (it was also made by OSTER project) but most importantly, it is just very entertaining to watch. :)
Yes, I know, it is old, but I haven't seen it before. Also, youtube quality is much lower than in nicovideo, but in nicovideo there are no English subtitles. :(

Oster Project feat Miku Hatsune in koisuru Radio 01:

Nico link.

Oster Project feat Miku Hatsune in koisuru Radio 02:

Nico link.

Oster Project feat Miku Hatsune in koisuru Radio 03:

Nico link.

Oster Project feat Miku Hatsune in koisuru Radio 04:

Nico link.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

初音ミク - Project DIVA - PSP

I wanted to make a post about this game awhile ago, but haven't gotten this far. Now I can't prolong it any further, because the game is officially out (released on 2 June 2009). It was long waited among hardcore fans, but since I don't own PSP I wasn't particularly eager to preorder it just because.

Let's start off with promo video by game producer SEGA. It quite much tells what the game is about. There are a lot more of videos on Youtube that you might want to look.

So what is this about? To put it short, then this is a rhythm game that features Miku and many other Vocaloids. You can choose among character (Miku, Haku, Rin, Len, Luka, Kaito or Meiko), costumes and songs and off you go. The gameplay itself is Stepmania like, you have to press buttons at given times for Miku to sing. I think there are people who might find it just boring, but taking all the music and visual performance into account, I think you'll just love it even without actual gameplay. I would :) And if that is not enough for you, then you can compose your own songs and stage performances.

Since there is so much info about this game around internet, this post is mainly for creating appetite. If you are already drooling then there are bad news for you. The game is only in Japanese and it is very unlikely for it to be released in English. But the good news is that you can order it around the world, because the game is not region locked. I believe very little Japanese is needed to figure out the menus.

I know you can click, so here are some good sources:
Probably the best English source for the game.
Official site in Japanese, but clicking around you will find music and videos of the game.
Sankakucomplex way of Project Diva.
One English review of the game.
Buy game from Play Asia (shipping worldwide).
Buy game related merchandise from Hobby Search (shipping worldwide).

I'll end up this post with one very nice "on stage performance" of Miku that appeared in PS3 Home available only in Japanese PlayStation Network a few days ago.

Nico link.

This clearly promotes the Project Diva, but at the same time is the first on stage live performance of Miku I have seen. Here's one more Miku's appearance on PS3 Home.

Aagh, maybe I should buy PSP just because of the game before it is sold out. XD

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Logic Designer

This encounter sounds very familiar. Starting of the video also helps to recognize the song I have in mind. Can you guess it?

Nico link. MP3 can be found from Mintiack homepage who is the author of the song.

Here is "the original" from Norway, but I doubt the author had it in mind when making this song. But you'll never know.