Do you ever find yourself tapping out a song that’s stuck in your head with your fingers? DJMax Technika Tune takes that traditional time waster and plugs it into your PlayStation Vita. With the popular Korean arcade rhythm series making its way onto portable consoles, PlayStation Vita owners can now own their first full fledged rhythm game.
As a touchscreen based rhythm game, DJMax Technika Tune offers a nice variety of notes. Much like in Elite Beat Agents, the notes are tapped to the beat and vary from single and held notes to dragged and repeated notes. The note variety makes for both simple patterns and complicated rhythms that will keep you tapping for hours.
Unlike the gameplay found in Elite Beat Agents, where the notes can appear anywhere on the screen, DJMax Technika Tune follows a much more clean and structured path that is soothing to the eyes. You play along a beat line that goes through two rows, with both rows having three lanes that the notes appear on. This system may take some time to get used to, but it ends up being very fun and rewarding once after a little practice.
There are three mixing difficulties available to choose from–Star, Pop and Club– and getting the skills to go up from one difficulty to the next is no easy feat. Like many arcade rhythm games, you play a set list of three to four songs where you get graded on each song separately as well as the whole set list. Beating a song on any difficulty unlocks it in Freestyle mixing, where you can play it freely at your own leisure.
Scoring follows the traditional combo system that is present in most rhythm games, but also adds an addictive element into the mix–accuracy. The more accurate your timing is, the more points you get. Keep a combo up and you can activate Fever mode, which gives you 100 percent accuracy for a short time plus a nice score bonus. When you see your total accuracy at the end, it’s hard not to want to keep practicing and practicing to get better until you get that much desired perfect accuracy.
The song selection is catered much more towards the gamers that fancy popular eastern music genres such as K-pop, J-pop and techno. However, there are also some rock, classical and rap choices to add some diversity. Most songs are crossovers from previous DJMax games as well and include many returning favorites.
Some of the more memorable songs–of which there are 67 total–might just get stuck in your head for hours on end after you’ve powered off your Vita. And when that happens, it’s clear that the music selection is great–or at least addicting.
There are some gripes when it comes to the screen size however. Downgrading the 22 inch arcade screen to the five inch PlayStation Vita screen, there’s much less screen space to play with. The notes are small, the fever button can at times be a hassle to press and you’ll often find yourself losing track of the beat line due to your hands blocking your view.
There’s also the problem of figuring out a comfortable way to hold the Vita to play. You can place your Vita on a table or on the Vita cradle for the most comfortable playing experience, but that isn’t an option when you want to play with the rear touch pad. In fact, to play with the rear touch pad, you have to hold your Vita in a very specific way. This is made even worse if you want to play with headphones and not annoy everyone else on the bus with you.
There’s not much else to be said about DJMax Technika Tune. It’s a rhythm game with a great soundtrack and intuitive–if sometimes a little clumsy–gameplay and controls. If you’re itching to feel the beat with one of the first rhythm games on the PlayStation Vita, DJMax Technika Tune is your game.