Utakumi 575 (うた組み575), often called Utagumi 575 in some places, is a music rhythm game developed and published by SEGA for the PlayStation Vita. It was released only in Japan in January 2014 and features character designs illustrated by Hiro Kanzaki, known for providing illustrations for Eromanga Sensei and Oreimo.
Utakumi 575 is part of a multimedia project by SEGA that incorporates Vocaloid voice synthesizers that can create traditional 5-7-5 tanka and haiku poems. As you can probably guess, this is a unique idea compared to the other music rhythm games out there (at the time). The multimedia project also includes an iPhone game and a short anime series.
The gameplay for this incorporates the touch screen a lot. When you start a song of any choice, there are two button-like spots on the left and right-hand side of the screen (with the two idol girls dancing and singing in the middle). The left and right-hand side buttons are there so that you can hit the notes as they scroll down on the screen at the correct timing. The twist is that there are two versions of the notes – the pink-coloured notes will require you to hit the touch screen while the blue-coloured ones will require you to touch the rear end of the Vita device.
And that’s not all, there’s another mechanic that occurs during the vocal segments. There will be a bunch of Japanese sentences displayed in the middle, and you will notice some parts are blank – that’s right, you have to choose from one or a couple options to fill the missing gaps of the sentence. This mechanic is a mix between word puzzle and song building, and sometimes it can provide you with an easy clue, but it is a test to see if you can understand the Japanese language well enough.
The game is split into different months with at least 2 to 3 songs in each chapter. You start off by playing a song in Short mode, which will then unlock the Middle mode, and if you finish that you will then unlock the Long mode. The Short, Middle, and Long mode is essentially the same song but at different lengths, but Long mode is the most challenging difficulty of the three. There are story segments at the beginning of each chapter, and once you finish the game one more song is unlocked (Go! sHicHi! Go!).
There are a total of 34 songs featured in the game:
- “Ajisai No Hana Ga Saku Koro (あじさいのはながさくころ)” by Peperon-P
- “Atarashī Sekai (新しい世界)” by Ramune (ラムネ)
- “Choko ni Tokashite (チョコにとかして)” by Takanon (タカノン)
- “Furisakemire Ba (ふりさけみれば)” by Dixie Flatline
- “Ganmen Kurisumasu Kēki (顔面クリスマスケーキ)” by Deadball-P
- “Go!sHicHi!Go!” by cosMo
- “Hakoniwa Disutopia (箱庭ディストピア)” by Toraboruta-P
- “Kamikakushi (かみかくし)” by Hatotome Utaou Literary Circle (鳩女 うたう文芸サークル)
- “Kutsu Himo O Hodoi Tara (くつひもをほどいたら)” by Fuwari-P
- “Mabataki (瞬き)” by add9
- “Nagareboshi Egao (流れ星笑顔)” by Starving Trancer
- “Nanto Iu Yononaka Na No Sa (なんという世の中なのさ)” by Hatotome Utaou Literary Circle (鳩女 うたう文芸サークル)
- “Natsu Yasumi (なつやすみ)” by Signal-P
- “Omaera ni Arigatō (“おまえら”にアリガトウ)” by Utata-P (うたたP)
- “Osoroshi Yoru (オソロシ夜)” by Hatotome Utaou Literary Circle (鳩女 うたう文芸サークル)
- “Renaigēmu (レンアイゲーム)” by natsu-P (SCL Project)
- “Ria Takashidesuga? (リア充ですが？)” by Hatotome Utaou Literary Circle (鳩女 うたう文芸サークル)
- “Rokugatsu No Taiyō (六月の太陽)” by daniwellP
- “Sainome (サイノメ)” by Riku Iwami (岩見 陸)
- “Seishun Wōkā (青春ウォーカー)” by 164
- “Sepia (セピア)” by Otetsu
- “Shimekiri Kuraishisu (締切クライシス)” by Yucha-P (ゆちゃP)
- “Soretomo O Yatsu? (それともおやつ？)” by azuma
- “summer ring” by Asa (亜沙)
- “Sutorenjianimaru (ストレンジアニマル)” by Pinocchio-P
- “Tobidase Jugyō (飛び出せ授業)” by Lamaze-P
- “Toraberinguhai (トラベリングハイ)” by TOKOTOKO (Mr. Nishizawa-P) (西沢さんP)
- “Torikkuo A Torito (とりっくおあとりーと)” by Yama△ (やま△)
- “Tsukiyomi Yūgi (月読遊戯)” by Jesus-P Wonderful☆Opportunity
- “UFO to Hinaningyō (UFOと雛人形)” by Utsu-P (鬱P)
- “Yūgure no Kaerimichi (夕暮れの帰り道)” by whoo
- “Yukige Shō (ゆきげしょう)” by Mezame-P (めざめP)
- “Yume Utsutsu (ゆめうつつ)” by Nem
- “Zeaai No Shinfonia (絶愛のシンフォニア)” by Minus-P (マイナスP)
As such, Utakumi 575 is import friendly but only barely. The game is fun to play, but if you are not familiar with the Japanese language (primarily Katakana and Hiragana, as there’s no Kanji in the character lyric selections of the song) you may struggle a bit. Thanks to the folks on PlayStation Trophies, they have found an archived list of lyrics from a Chinese forum which I’ll link here as it’s been very helpful throughout my playthrough of the game.
In terms of trophy progression, much like Taiko no Tatsujin V Version, the game is pretty doable for the most part however the real challenge is having to perfect all songs on all difficulties without making a mistake or losing your streak. Long mode is for the most part not as bad as you think, but the song それともおやつ？ is the hardest one of the bunch due to its speed, but thankfully the lyric pattern is very easy (essentially select left to right, then right to left at the very end of the song). You can pause the song without causing problems even if its for a split second if you need to double check the correct lyrics or look up a guide on how to get the note pattern right.
Overall the uniqueness of the rhythm system may throw off users who don’t know any Japanese, but I would say this game helps you learn as you go along. This Vita game is sadly not compatible with the PlayStation TV device.
Released: 23rd January 2014
|PlayStation TV Compatible||No|
Utakumi 575 has never been made available for the west in English but copies are available for the PlayStation Vita in Japan in physical and digital form. You can order the game through the following retailers: