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so I've never done this, but after AngryJoe's "worst games of 2015" highlighted I'd just bought Sid Meier's Starships in the humble bundle... And how it was a 2015 game which shocked me... Lets dothis.
Lets start off with the best of 2015... In my opinion.
Sachiko is the new prima, a vocal that excels at its genre of Enka but little else. There had been other vocaloid capable of covering Enka, but non compare to her and it finally proved that sometimes te specialise vocals like her and Prima are needed to fill a role. Her vocal is that of a deep, mature female vocal which had been largely absent from Japanese vocaloids and had been avoided in Vocaloids in general for a while now, some exceptions noted. overall, Sachiko brought new things to Japanese vocaloid and that was what was important. She found a niche and filled it.
Because of the design, this type of vocal is hit or miss. As shown by the Zero-G duos, except Avanna whose partner never came, they either end up being so confined or not depending on chance. So they loose appeal sometimes if a producer can't use the vocal for much.
- V4 Rana.
Its nice to have a purchasable version at last... But even if you owned the original you were just buying Rana for her growl samples. The voice is identical in every way and it even states this on the website. And even if you use the V3->V4 update offer, you're paying for the most expensive growl samples ever. At least Gackpoid and V Flower's updates had improvements while the V2 ah software vocals were brought to modern vocaloid builds + growl. This is basically the most disappointing update ever because it has nothing new on offer it didn't have previously and growl isn't that impressive enough in many cases.
And the rest
- Cyber Diva was the needed overhaul of english script and highlighted things about English vocaloid we knew but never had proof of because no studio had ever said it. Though as I've said time and time again, I still hate how they swept any responsibility on Yamaha's part under the rug to blame everyone else for the mistake. Yamaha STILL sold a shubby product for over a decade regardless.
- V4 Flower, Gackpoid, V2 ah software updates, these guys had variable amounts of "was it worth it?". Flower and Gackpoid were just engine leap updates with improvements... There isn't much to say because they offered nothing new they didn't offer. The V2;s had biger uality leaps since they skipped V3 and were updated to save them fro Windows 10. This was a good cool, skipping V3, as it gave time for much improvements to happen so when they were finally updated it didn't look so bad. Not all of them had equal updates, but this was to be expected.
- Megpoid V4; This was one of those "take the mick" releases that offered the same thing twice over. It sounds impressive to have 100 variations of the Megpoid voice thanks to XSY, but after a while... It gets old. Some variations don't impact much, while the general product gives Megpoid no more genre advantages she didn't have to begin with. I went over this intensive before in a blog post towards my criticism of XSY vocals, so I'll leave it alone.
- Luka V4x; this is a mixed bag and its not fair to judge it as a whole as some parts were good and others bad. Like gumi it as guiltyof offering the same content twice... Unlike Gumi it tried to be different and this lead to the problem that Megpoid would later demonstrate. Is there really an advantage to having a lot of tones with not much difference between them? No.. and EVEC is a thing that needs more work. I've seen a lot of crit at the V4 Luka vocal too in generl, why include two copies of Hard/Soft, the soft Enlish being disappointing... But it still, like Megpoid had new content. It was disappointing, not bad, like Megpoid V4.
- Kagamine V4x; contining with CFM updates. So this was just an update of the V2 vocals with XSY, GWL and two EVEC. Its lack of content compared to Luka that was new made it boring. Still it was nice to have a update on those old package due to the Windows 10 situation, it felt like the Kagamines were released quickly so they could focus on Miku V4x.
- Kagamine English; its nice to have 2 new vocals for English. Their good vocals... But they have Luka V4x Straight/Soft's general problem and Len has no attempt going on not to sound like a woman. He doesn't even sound like a pre-teen boy, he just sounds like a woman. Len tends to get the short end of the stick in releases anyway so no matter.
- Ruby, ignoring drama, Ruby was also a needed overhaul but ended up being just another approach to something Diva already covered. I never felt the voice was that impressive from demo 1 and the more samples I heard the less impressed she sounded. Its not the nasalliness, but rather the lack of professionalism in her vocal. She sounds like someone who needs more experience in professional singing, she falls flat as Sonika did before her, except Sonika had a more appealing vocal type, in my opinion.
- Dex/Daina, took what Ruby had and improved the voice types. Not much to sy, good voices.
- Arsloid. I don't know what to say, he is a mix3ed bag from good to bad depending. Itwas kinda not "wow" enough to begin with and I often forget he exists... the big problem is the lack of coverage for him with few using him, I never draw a conclusion.
- Yukari V4; So here is a vocal update like Rana that just dds gwl... But it also includes XSY update capabilities. To me this is the perfect blend of update and new additions. Like the V2 updates, this is update that shows how to update correctly, this time by added two new completely different vocebanks. We have the natural tone type and the experimental type that Megpolid V4 lacks.
I'm going to say that both Luka and Megpoid packages just have the same problem with two different ways of achieving it. It would ave been better for companies to add a little each generation, rather then giving a mass amount of vocal tones. The problem is, they don't always offer a big advantage enough to warrant them, in the case of megpoid, XSY aside you can still get more tones from 10 different vocaloids and Luka has the same problem with EVEC. Both packages sounded so impressive at first but all this is so short lived when you're limited by your genres to the same thing.
Its like that car that adds "over 104 improvements" (I'm not kidding, there was a car add that once said something like that on TV here in the UK), that sounds impressive until you realise it means the old model was kinda... crap in otherwords to be able to have to make that many. And when it boiled down to it, the 104 improvements ended up being a lot of minor things, or in opinion were improvements. It usually means that if a product sounds too good to be true, then it normally isn't as good as it is meant to be.
The other issue with both vocals was that we're got a lot of them at this point, and Megpid V4 just made Megpoid be boring due to there now being 10 more of the same type.
Still, I'll stand by Rana V4 despite my criticism as the worst release. I'm not saying the voice is bad, don't get me wrong here. :-/