reviews Hatsune Miku The Planet of Wonder and Fragments of Wishes

Review: Hatsune Miku: The Planet of Wonder and Fragments of Wishes (Nintendo Switch)

Miku is love, Miku is life.

6 mins read

I love Hatsune Miku. I’m pretty sure I’ve said that on this site before. However, I’ll keep saying it as long as the character and the games she appears in are as adorable as Hatsune Miku: The Planet of Wonder and Fragments of Wishes get published.

Crypton – the IP rights holder behind Miku – has been working very hard to break their chief character and money-spinner away from being associated purely with rhythm games, and establish her into a more general celebrity mascot role, like Rilakkuma or Hello Kitty. On the one hand that is something of a pity because the Miku rhythm games are really good. However, it does make sense as a brand development matter, and whether it’s picross or jigsaw puzzles, these “spin-off” Miku titles tend to be warm and wholesome… and a significant step up from so much of the shovelware that tends to be the norm with these things.

The Planet of Wonder and Fragments of Wishes is another good example of this. It’s a simple minigame compilation, and so many minigame compilations are, of course, complete trash. This one is not trash at all, though. Rather, it features a decent handful of fun and well-made minigames, including ports of some popular Miku mobile games.

Hatsune Miku: The Planet of Wonder and Fragments of Wishes Review 1

Most notably, the collection includes Hatsune Miku Amiguru Train. In this one you need to navigate the Crypton characters (including Miku) down a pathway, collecting balls of yarn as you do. The yarn adds additional cars to the train, but, frequently, there will also be blocks on the track that you need to bash through. These blocks will have a number, and that’s how many cars you’ll lose to get through. The game ends when you’ve run into one too many blocks and you’ve run out of cars. This is a very simple game, but it’s also incredibly endearing and is actually one of my favourite mobile games. It was released in 2020 and very much helped get me through COVID. Having it on Switch now is very welcome.

The rest of the minigames are all simple and well-trodden arcade score attacks. You’ll need to carry boxes without falling over, stack up blocks without toppling the tower, collect apples falling from trees, and repeat sequences of drum beats, Flagman-style. And so on. None of the minigames is a unique masterpiece of interactivity, but they are well made, control nicely, have pleasant aesthetics (not least because Hatsune Miku is right there), and have leaderboards to encourage replay value.

What is a fun inclusion to stitch these games together is a simple narrative and map to explore between mini-games. Miku and the crew are on a space trip when a shooting star collides with their ship. This causes it to crash on a planet populated with cute animal people. By helping those people (playing the mini-games), the group can get the spaceship repaired and return home. It’s not the most complex narrative, of course, but the bright graphics and story panels really sell it, and it’s interesting in that it’s one of the first, if not the first, attempt to integrate any kind of narrative at all into a Miku game.

Hatsune Miku: The Planet of Wonder and Fragments of Wishes Review 2

Many years ago, in reviewing Hatsune Miku Project Diva X, I mentioned that I was concerned about the idea of giving these characters set personalities. Miku and the other vocaloids are meant to be whatever your own imagination wants them to be, and giving them character and personality undermines that by suggesting there is a “proper”. Here it’s not such a concern, because the character sprites look like they’re pulled from a SNES game, and the presentation is so adorable that it comes across more as a wholesome fan project than an attempt to canonise Miku’s personality.

Now, while all of this framing is nice, I really want to see Crypton push things further. The game looks every bit the SNES-era JRPG… so they should make one! I know that Crypton has concerns about having Miku participate in violence, and JRPGs do have combat, but a sprite-based title like this would have negligible impact through the combat, and could be presented as something bright and bubbly anyway. The point is, the developers now have the assets in place. More can be done to tell stories with these characters.

Hatsune Miku: The Planet of Wonder and Fragments of Wishes is not the finest Hatsune Miku “spin-off”, but it is a delight in its own right. It might only offer a small library of minigames, but they all play nicely, and the bubbly charm behind every second of the experience is infectious. I am intrigued by the future and what Crypton could do now that they have the assets to start delivering story experiences. More than anything else, however, this is a Miku game, and in a very simple and pure sense, spending time with it makes me happy.

Matt S. is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of DDNet. He's been writing about games for over 20 years, including a book, but is perhaps best-known for being the high priest of the Church of Hatsune Miku.

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