We were amongst the first sites in the world to tell you about a little Vocaloid-inspired PSP rhythm game known as Megpoid the Music♯. It’s been two months since the title’s reveal, and now developer ParaPhray is finally ready to talk gameplay details.
Today the game’s official website has been updated to include a section on “System” where we get to see – for the first time – how Megpoid the Music♯ will be played.
While playing a song, musical notes corresponding to any of eight buttons (up, down, left, right, Circle, X, Triangle and Square) stream in from the right side of the screen, towards between two to four note markers (depending on the difficulty level) on the left-hand-side of the screen.
Each note marker corresponds to two specific buttons. On the highest difficulty level where there are four markers, the top one is for “up” and “triangle”, and is followed by the respective markers for “right” and “circle”, “left” and “square”, and finally “down” and “X” at the bottom. Unlike in Hatsune Miku Project Diva, it appears that Megpoid the Music discriminates between directional and face button presses, which should increase the difficulty for expert players looking for a challenge.
Another unique trait in Megpoid the Music is the way simultaneous button presses are done – a white line joining different notes from different rows signifies when you have to press which buttons simultaneously.
Outside of simultaneous button presses, there will also be long notes where you have to hold down the button. Will developer ParaPhray mix the two types of special notes – simultaneous presses and long presses – together? We don’t know yet, but I certainly hope so – in Project Diva Arcade, one of the main draws (that you won’t find in Project Diva console) is that the musical scores are designed to have you hold down certain buttons while hitting other ones. It’s a lot of fun, and the main reason why I enjoy Project Diva Arcade more than the console versions (although I’m not a big fan of having to travel and pay money each time I want to play).
Hopefully the ParaPhray development team are big fans of Hatsune Miku Project Diva Arcade themselves and realise that this is a lot of fun.
One other really cool feature in Megpoid is the way its life bar system – the “Groove Gauge” – is implemented. As you do well or miss notes throughout the song, the Groove Gauge at the bottom of the screen will change to indicate your performance.
You really do not need any more info than the meter at the bottom to tell how well you’re doing in a song, but as a nice touch the developers have implemented a digital icon on the bottom-left corner of the screen where (dot-matrix) Vocaloid Gumi’s facial expression changes based on your performance.
Edit: the Gumi icon will not be available right from the get-go. You will need to unlock it by meeting certain conditions while on the Expert (read: hardest) mode of play.
Last but not least, the system mechanics page also mentions that, just like in Project Diva, there will be plenty of items (rhythm-game play items, presents for Gumi, room decorations) for fans to buy using points earned while playing the game regularly. Clearing songs under specific conditions will also unlock additional hidden items.
Source: Megpoid the Music♯