Although I haven’t played Project Diva F yet, I managed to play around with this Project DIVA F LE controller (will just call it controller from now on) with other Project Diva games. They are Project Diva Dreamy Theater, Project Diva Dreamy Theater 2nd & Project Diva F Trial Version. From the playing experience of those games, I got a good enough feel of how the controller plays.
So, this post is mainly my personal review on the Project DIVA F controller.
First off, size & weight. This controller is designed to be played on a flat surface. You can’t put it on your lap or hold it with one hand. You need a table. This is one of the disadvantages in having this thing.
However, this controller does give you an arcade feel in playing the Project Diva games. This controller is like owning the bottom part of an arcade cabinet due to its size.
The button layout is spaced out well. You don’t need to move your hands around too much as the distance between the buttons aren’t too great. People with smaller hands won’t have too much problems too. This is because of the sensitively of the buttons.
The buttons aren’t too hard to push. I am surprised on how you can push the buttons with 1 finger & the note hits. Even hitting it off center counts, but I won’t recommend doing that.
I did have some problems with the buttons when holding them down for the sustain notes. Sometimes, the note gets broken when I try to hold down the button off the center. This will cost you some easy points or a broken combo.
The Project DIVA F controller is missing a few buttons when you look at a PS3 DualShock3 controller. But it has the standard/basic or important ones. It has all 4 face buttons, the directional pad buttons, a start button in yellow, a select button, & a PS button. The L & R buttons are the L1 & R1 buttons.
If you flip the top dipswitch from A to B, you will get a different button layout. Going from left to right, the top row buttons will be the up & down buttons. The middle row is the square, triangle, X, & circle buttons. The bottom row is the left & right buttons. This layout is similar to the Project Diva Arcade machine layout as the face buttons are lined up this way. If you memorize the button layout correctly, you can hit those 2 note combinations easily with 1 hand.
In addition to the buttons, the controller has a touchpad. By default, the pad acts as a left analog device. If you flip the dipswitch from L to R, it becomes the right analog device. I don’t believe you can use the touchpad as a L3 & R3 button. It’s not a capacitive touchpad based on my experience.
One thing I had problems with the buttons at the start is the response time. For those notes that has be hit constantly fast without breaks in-between, I tend to lose my cool & fine points & turn them into sad points. Having my experience playing on a PSP controller & PS3 Dualshock 3, I either miss the notes on the start or manage to get safe notes in-between when I break.
At first, I didn’t know if my tapping on the buttons on the Project DIVA F controller isn’t fast enough or consistent or the controller has a lag in response time or has pressing sensitivity issues. Turns out, it may have been the learning curve on this controller. When I played with it more, I was able to get a rhythm going & understand how to hit the buttons.
If your background in playing the Project Diva games is like me (from PSP controllers), you may have a large learning curve on using the Project DIVA F controller. When I first played with it, I felt weird. I felt like a baby pressing buttons. Because of that feeling, my performance was bad.
If you get over the feeling of playing like a child, the controller isn’t too hard to learn. I admit I’m not a great Project Diva player as I don’t get perfect ranks a lot, but I am decent enough to get excellent ranks on my PSP. With the Project DIVA F controller, great ranks were pretty much my skill level at the start. Excellent ranks were like a dream for me. If you practice enough on the Project DIVA F controller, it would feel fluid for some reason. I managed to get some perfect ranks later on.
Another thing I don’t like about the buttons is how loud they are. It has a loud clicking/thumping sound when you press it. Regardless on how hard you press it, the noise is loud. It can be a pain when you try to play the game without disturbing others or constantly hearing that thumping sound on fast songs.
Speaking of fast songs, there are times where I get a lot of worst or sad points. This is because of my lack of knowledge of the button layout.
When I play songs on the hard level, I tend to miss a lot of notes because of the spacing of the buttons. I would mis-aim a lot at the start as I didn’t know where the buttons were. Once I miss one, I start to go into a panic & somewhat hit random buttons in hopes I got the right one. My hands were flying all over the place. The 2 note combination parts were a killer for it. It took a lot of practice & patience to somewhat feel the controller.
Overall, the Project DIVA F controller is a lot of fun to play with. If you don’t feel embarrass pushing buttons like an idiot, you will enjoy this. Going from a controller to this is a big change as you need to get a feel for it. Once you get it down, you will be making sweet music.
But, you really need to understand how to use it as the Project Diva games were not meant for this controller. They were designed with the PSP button layout in mind. If you play the games on both controllers, you will not get the same experience & techniques when you switch from controller to controller. Results can vary.
Also, this thing is costly. It costs more than a PS3 system & is only useful on a small amount of games. You can play other games on it as it’s not strictly for Project Diva games. If you are strictly just using it for one game, this controller is definitely not worth to have.
If you want an arcade experience at home & plan to play Project Diva games or any other music related games a lot & have a big table for it, I would somewhat go for this. If you plan to play Project Diva games only for a short time, I would recommend the mini controller more. If you just want to play one Project Diva game, I strongly recommend not buying any of the Project DIVA F controllers.
This is not a cheap controller & I don’t see prices going down for it. Being a limited edition, the price will just go up if the demand for it continues to be there. I would really won’t recommend getting this unless you are either a diehard fan of Project Diva games or Vocaloids, play Project Diva games a lot, or just have money to blow on.