Back when I did my first “briefiew” of a rythm game I mentioned how I wasn’t really the biggest fan of the genre until very recently. We’ve been having a lot of rythm games on this handheld and for the most part they’ve been pretty good.
This game in particular hasn’t made the western shores for licensing issues but music is an international language so my ignorance for the Japanese one shouldn’t be much of a problem.
IA/VT Colorful is a rythm game, a music game. Stages are songs and in order to beat them you just have to press the right button prompt when it collides with the circle. Sometimes, instead of a single press you’ll have to hold the button down, some other times there will be two buttons to hold down at the same time and other times you’ll have to bash a button a certain number of times as fast as you can but that’s about it. The game’s premise is as simple as that.
The tricky part is obviously keeping the rythm of the song and don’t screw up and press circle when the game asks you to press the square. But the game’s gameplay is easy to understand.
The game features a handful of modes which, at their core, are just about the same rythm gameplay.
In Free Play you may select any of the unlocked songs and play through them at your leisure. At the end you’ll get experience points based on your performance on the song and those will make you level up which, in turn, will make you unlock more songs.
Step up Play is some sort of mission based mode. Step by step you’ll be given a different challenge to accomplish. Like chaining 100 hits or achieving a score of A on a song. Being a Japanese import this is the only instance where I found myself wishing I’d understand Japanese as the menus are mostly in english but the description of the requirements are in Japanese. In any case, looking at the icons and making use of your intuition you’ll sort them out without much trouble.
Daily Play will also offer certain objectives for you to accomplish in any given song. It will give you a different challenge every day but that’s the trick, you can only play it once a day. The interesting part here is that the reward on experience points from actually accomplishing those challenges is pretty big.
The last of game modes would be My List Play in which you can select up to three different songs to play in succession and then be scored for all of them at the end. It’s supposed harder difficulty also made de developers make its rewards bigger than just regular Free Play.
There’s also an online component but can’t be considered really a game mode as it’s just some leaderboards.
Apart from songs and game modes your level will also unlock different “Items” which consist in different user interfaces or skins and also outfits for AI, the game’s protagonist/singer.
I guess I should mention already how that AI singer is, in fact, a computer. Just like with that other series of rythm games, Project Diva, all of the music from IA/VT is sang by a computery voice. That might turn off some people but for the fans of Hatsune Miku might spark an interest.
There’s more than 50 songs in this game (actually more than 60 if we count DLC) and, despite all of them featuring the same “robotic” singer, I’m pleased to say that they display a somewhat wide spectrum of styles. From the cheerful poppy to the fast-paced and J-rocky and also some songs that I could only describe as experimental sprinkled in.
The quality of these songs is variable but this is a deeply subjective matter anyway. All I can say is that there are very catchy songs in here, some that I would even listen outside of the game while others I don’t play ever again. In any case, having the game 57 different tracks I’m sure there will be a bunch you’ll enjoy as long as this specific “japanese” style doesn’t turn you off.
Things I liked
- Flashy: This is a subject I didn’t touch until then but I totally have to mention. Apart from the flying button prompts (which some are pretty amusing to see btw), while you’re playing a song there will be a video of some sorts playing in the background. They can be colorful animated pieces or use a 3D model of AI but in any case most of them were quite eye-catching. The presentation for the songs are certainly very good.
- Songs: I’m not a big fan of digitalised voices myself but even I could enjoy a lot of the songs in this game. They’re varied in style even though there’s a certain “japanese flavour” to all of them but, with 57 different tracks I’m sure you’ll find some new favourites from this.
- Difficulty: The game features a wide spectrum of difficulty. I’m not the most skilled rythm player but I’m no new to these games either and I found that its settings (easy, normal and hard) were very well representing what they should. The game doesn’t alienate any demographic but it can provide a challenge for the hardcore rythm fans as well and that’s good.
Things I didn’t
- Modes: It’s very hard not to compare this game to the Project Diva series and, in that comparison, there’s one aspect where this game clearly loses and it is the game modes. It’s not that they’re bad but they’re few, simple and very similar to each other.
Who’d like this?
If you’re a fan of the Hatsune Miku’s Project Diva games, you totally have to try this game. It’s not as deep as those games but the core gameplay is very good and you’re gonna love some of these songs.
If you’re a just a casual rythm game player you might also have a real good time with this game unless you deeply hate digitalised voices.
<This game is compatible with Playstation TV>