It’s been a year since the Japanese release of the Vita, but what does the system to have to show for itself? While its library of games hasn’t been up to everyone’s standards, a few gems available across the pond and in the Land of the Rising Sun are looking less and less likely to make it to our shores. Oddly, some of the best all lie in the same genre: rhythm. Let’s have a look at the top three that you can fit into your Vita’s card slot thanks to its region-free goodness.
Despite its modest appearance at last year’s E3, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA f seems to be following the pattern of its three PSP predecessors by staying a strictly Japan-only affair. By bolting itself onto the Vocaloid (voice synthesiser software) phenomenon in Japan, this has been one of SEGA’s most profitable series in the last few years. Expect saccharin-sweet tunes, scantily-clad teens and button-pressing aplenty. I never said it was for everyone. Very easy to get into for any fans of the genre – all you need to do is hit or hold the buttons, directional buttons or make an occasional flick on the screen in time with the countdown on the screen. The menus might take a while to get used to if your 日本語 isn’t up to scratch, but trial and error is your friend.
Next up, DJMAX Technika Tune is a South Korean rhythm game that also has its roots on the PSP. Despite being released in the United States, the game never found a European publisher to take the plunge. No matter though, it’s still available to us in English once we pay for international shipping. The game comes across as sleeker and more adult than Project Diva and has a lot more scope in its range of music. The gameplay mechanics are quite different though, focusing only on front and/or back touch controls. The screen is horizontally split in two, having you work your way clockwise around the screen tapping or holding each indicator as a vertical timer line runs through it. If you’re seeking a bit more of a challenge, you’ll find it here. Also; KARA videos.
Finally, Orgarhythm is a rhythm/strategy game from one of the programmers behind Space Channel 5. By focusing on keeping the beat by tapping, your army will grow, then you can attack enemies by swiping and using an earth > fire > water system. It’s available physically from Japan or digitally (sigh) on US PSN. This means if you predominantly use your European account on your Vita it’s the Japanese version for you. The game is worth importing if you can find it at the right price, but in all honestly this would do better as an iOS app with a more reasonable price model.
Keep on importing!