View Full Version : DJ Max Portable

February 4th, 2006, 16:47
I bought this game on Play-Asia.com because of the coverage of it on PSP-News... so, sometimes the commercial game announcements are somewhat annoying, but alot of times Wraggster mentions some more obscure games and accessories we might not always know about.

I haven't played it long enough to review it, but I'm already happy with it.. I actually got it last night in the mail and played it all night =p

Basically it resembles Beatmania or DDR (although beatmania moreso) in play style.... you pick a song out of about 50-60 total tracks, then it goes into the 'dj-ing mode'... your 'gear' shows up on screen (basically your dj equipment -- you can earn new gears that are like different skins for it and give you more 'HP' to withstand more sucking-at-the-game ;) ) and notes fall down from the top of the screen...

Hitting notes actually plays notes in the song, so you can actually add a bit to the track (you're only penalized for missing notes). The sound assigned to each key changes as the song goes on. For example, you often have to play the beats, so sometimes, for example, the left key is a kick and the triangle button is a snare -- occasionally even hi-hats are added in-between and syncopated, meaning you have to do some really complicated rhythyms at times! Almost always though, you have to switch between playing different parts/instruments, so you might play piano in the intro, the beat in the build-up, and the pads in the breakdown... etc.

There are 4-button, 6-button, and 8-button modes....

4-button: There are 4 possible notes,
[Left] [Up] [Triangle] [Circle]
For example, notes that fall in the left-most quarter of your gear's window will have to be accompanied by pressing the left key on the D-pad. Notes on that fall in the 3rd quarter of the window will be Triangle, etc.

6-button: This is HARD for me at the moment.
[left] [up] [right] [square] [triangle] [circle]
Same as above, but now notes can fall in 6 different positions.. this takes alot of practice to get used to, even on the easiest songs.

8-button: I haven't even earned this mode yet ;)
[ L ] [ R ]
[left] [up] [right] [square] [triangle] [circle]

In 8-button mode, sometimes a large L or R block will fall, meaning you have to hit that shoulder button in addition to the other 6 keys when necessary.

This game is alot tougher than DDr for many reasons. The controls take some time to get used to. I am a bit short of a DDR pro, but I have been playing it for a long time and can handle (especially on controller but also with a pad) most songs on most difficulties.. but this threw me for a loop. DDR has a lot of things that are 'on-the-beat', or rhythyms that are pretty simple... DJ Max has VERY complicated rhythyms in even moderately difficult songs. You absolutely have to play a track several times to get it right, and you find this even in songs that arn't supposed to be tough, while in DDR you have to play on Heavy and play tough songs to see things like complicated syncopation and 32nd-notes.

However, it still has alot going for it, and probably has more replay value than DDR due to its difficulty. Last night I played the same song, struggling, probably 10-15 times in a row to pass it (with an E+ grade!) This was rated a 6/12 for difficulty, on the Easy (4-button) mode.

Like DDR, you have a life-meter, which goes down whenever you completely miss a note. DJ Max gives a lot of leeway on timing - on tough songs you're not familiar with, sometimes the only way to pass is to randomly jam on the keys to avoid missing too many. You don't get a great score but you don't die... DJ Max has a percentage system for hitting notes - 100% means the timing was nearly perfect or better, while 1% means you hit the note very early. As long as you hit the note about .3 or .4 seconds before it comes up, you generally avoid getting a 'break' or miss.

Song selection is a bit more pop-focused than DDR is, believe it or not. And, by pop, I mean K-pop (korean pop). Fortunately alot of the songs are in english. However, there are a few songs (in the minority) that are instrumental trance (sorta), breakbeat, dnb, etc. However, electronic music fanatics be warned, they arn't really trance, breakbeat, dnb, or what-have-you, just condensed, kinda mainstream-ized versions. However, there are still some really cool tracks, like one called Fear, a breakbeat-ish track mixed with piano and other orchestral elements.

The game also has a fair amount of extra features. You can earn 'discs' by getting certain accuracy ratings (For example, a diamond disc for getting at least 90% or an evil disc for a 66.66 accuracy rating) and also extra gears, note-sets (skins for the falling notes, which also make the game somewhat easier in some way I'm not quite clear on ;) ) gallery images, and the like. You can also watch the 'visualization' movies for each track you've earned, as well as listen to the OST which has a selection of most of the in-game tracks in a form where they can be played sequentially. The deluxe-package of the game features the OST on two CDs (as well as other stuff which I don't have.. heh).

Downside? The game is only in Korean, but that's OK, because there's a very very small amount of in-game text anyway. No story, characters, etc. The most text you'll be missing out on is the song descriptions in the visualization-viewer. All you need is to be able to figure out how to play and you'll be good to go.

This game also has a required firmware, but I don't know off the top of my head what it is. I just know an update is bundled with it. It is NOT higher than 2.00 however (because that's the fw i have). Also, it's possible that it can be fooled by the wab changer, though I've not tested it.

Well, if this sounds interesting, you can get it at http://play-asia.com. They were able to get me mine in about 2-3 weeks. Not bad coming from hong kong (I'm in the detroit area in michigan, us.). It cost $50 I think for the non-premium package, and shipping was only $3.10.

For more info i bet gamefaqs.com has some stuff, though I haven't checked that either.
EDIT: Strangely, GameFaqs has nothing on this game. Odd ;)

February 5th, 2006, 04:37
its a ok game ive messed around with it some im not a big music game fan not my type of games.on a side note metal gear acid two is a lot better then the first game

February 5th, 2006, 07:55
update: It is bundled with the 2.00 update, so i'd imagine it needs 2.00 though it may work via version-changer...