The official logo of the DJMAX franchise.
Genres Rhythm game Developers Pentavision Publishers CJ E&M (2004-2006)
Neowiz Games (2006-Present)
Platform of origin Microsoft Windows First release DJMax Online
June 13, 2004
Latest release DJMax Portable 3
October 14, 2010
Spin-offs Tap Sonic Official website http://www.djmax.co.kr
DJMax (Korean: 디제이맥스, dijeimaegseu) (also known as DJ Max in Northern America) is an action-rhythm video game series created by the South Korean company Pentavision Entertainment which belongs to Neowiz holdings. Games feature mostly experimental music and visual art from Korean DJs, artists and composers. Known South Korean experimental group Clazziquai Project has also made songs for the game series. There are also few Japanese composers who have given significant contributions to game series.
The first game in the series, DJMax Online, started in June 13, 2004 (closed alpha test) as a web based service for the Windows platform. It was only accessible from Korea, Japan and China. Since then Pentavision has developed and published seven DJMax games mostly for the PSP under the title DJMax Portable.
Pentavision released an offline DJMax game for Windows under the title DJMax Trilogy on December 25, 2008. It is a compilation of songs from three earlier games (DJMax Online, DJMax Portable and DJMax Portable 2) and it was created to replace DJMax Online which was taken offline on March 21, 2008.
Pentavision announced an arcade music game named DJMax Technika on December 31, 2008. It features a new way of playing via a bottom 22-inch touch screen. It was followed by DJMax Technika 2, which was released on March 4, 2010. DJMax Technika 3 was released on October 27, 2011 (Korean server only).
United States based developer PM Studios officially announced on May 25, 2010 that DJMax Portable 3 would be released in North America. It was officially released October 14, 2010 on UMD and on October 19, 2010 on PlayStation Network.
DJMax Portable and DJMax Trilogy
Main gameplay is formed around the simple idea that the player must press various buttons at the correct moment. Moment is indicated by the music and the notes which scroll down in a tune of the music track visualized on screen. Hitting the correct notes fills in the missing instruments from the melody and gives player points. Player receives percentage per note which tells how close to player was from hitting the note exactly right moment. It ranges from 1-100% and player receives points from the notes accordingly. Hitting all notes 96.9% gives player 96.9% of the points gainable from the song.
If player keeps constantly hitting notes at correct moment player also receives Combo points and charge for DJ Fever gauge. "Combo" is additional multiplier used to get maximum points from the song. DJ Fever is used to maximize Combo points. If player misses even one note during "Combo", this counter is the reduced to zero and counting begins from first correct note. The player gains additional "Combo" points by activating "DJ Fever" when it has charged full. It speeds up the game and makes it harder to hit correct notes but it also allows player to get a lot higher "Combo" value. Objective of the game is to hit all notes with 100% accuracy, gaining full "Combo" and activating "DJ Feaver" as many times as it is possible during the song to maximize "Combo" points which are used to maximize points from the song.
There are various types of difficulty settings in this game. First of all player has the ability to choose game mode. Usually there are at least Arcade, Mission and Freestyle options available. During Arcade and Freestyle player has a option of choosing which button layout to follow. Button layouts scale from just three buttons up to eight buttons. Which button layouts are available for player depends of the game. For example, original DJMax Portable features button layouts 4B, 6B and 8B, while DJMax Portable 2 features button layouts 4B, 5B, 6B and 8B. Button layouts offer first selection of difficulty for player. 4B being the easy mode and 8B being hard mode. Secondly every song in DJMax Portable and Trilogy series has a rating which indicates the difficulty of the song. Some songs are available in more difficult format. For example player can try to play 8B song fitted for 6B layout. These are marked usually with HD (Hard), MX (Maximum) or SC (Super Crazy) as opposed to NM (Normal) of the 6B layout default difficulty. It increases difficulty a lot from 6B NM mode when player plays 6B MX instead. It allows player to have higher score in 6B layout mode.
Game also opens new game modes, songs, styles, additional content like music videos or backgrounds for player as player progresses and gains experience points which determine the level of the player.
In the Arcade mode player has to pass stages. There are usually three or four stages in Arcade mode depending on the game. For example in DJMax Portable 2 player has to pass four stages but in DJMax Portable 3 player only needs to pass three stages. Stages consist usually from limited selections of songs. In first stages these songs are featuring lower rating than the songs in the later stages. When player passes the stage game represents player's statistics by showing player information like how many notes player hit, percentage of how well player hit the notes and how large combo player collected. Player usually receives also a grade ranging from F to A+. In Arcade mode when player has passed all the stages scores from the stages are combined and presented to player with statistics about the players success. After passing the Arcade mode player usually sees small "Thanks for playing DJMax" video clip. Objective of the Arcade mode is to get highest score. Player can compete against other players by submitting score to online ranking systems by using password codes DJMax generates.
Freestyle is a game mode where objective is to gain highest possible Combo player can acquire in the game. It means practically that player has to pass as many as possible songs without making any mistakes at all.
Mission game mode, which is also known as XC (Extreme Challenge) mode in some DJMax games, features preselected songs with certain challenges. These challenges are meeting certain score, DJ Fever, success percentage, break or combo demands. For example in DJMax Portable 2 there is challenge called "Rock n' Night" which states that player has to use DJ Fever at least once, two times in a row, on every preselected stage of the mission and that player also has to exceed combo of 2000 notes.
If player is able to succeed then game rewards player with additional items like new characters and new gear & note styles which might have special features like character icon which allows player to gain 5% more experience points per song in order to level up faster.
REMIX SYSTEM Mode
The DJMax Portable 3 introduced a new game mode known as "REMIX SYSTEM". It features game modes 3.2T, 4.2T and 6.2T which add two additional tracks for player to follow. Player uses PSP's analog stick to move active track to be either left or right, default position being center. These additional tracks only feature three lines so player only has to press the square, triangle and circle buttons while moving the analog stick correspondingly to hit the notes. The trick is that player has to follow the active track as told by the game and changes to which track should be active can come extremely fast.
Players have to tap the screen at the moment when moving slider crosses the symbols. Tapping the correct symbols produce sounds which fills in the missing sounds from the song and gives player points. There are different kinds of hand gestures or motions player needs to perform at times.
Intellectual property disputes
Due to the comparable similarity between DJMax games and the Beatmania series, Pentavision received a intellectual property infringement filing from Konami on 24 December 2008. The lawsuit didn't progress in Konami's favour however, and was settled so that Konami now owns exclusive distribution rights to DJMax games in Japan.
- ^ http://pentavision.co.kr/
- ^ Official announcement of DJMax Portable 3 (KR)
- ^ http://www.djmaxcrew.com/djmax_technika2/info02.asp
- ^ http://www.bemanistyle.com/index.php/news/konami-says-merry-christmas-to-pentavision-the-best-way-they-know-how-1203
- ^ http://www.konami-korea.kr/announce/announce_081224.html
- ^ http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DJMAX
DJMax series Microsoft WindowsOnline • Trilogy PlayStation Portable PlayStation VitaTechnika Vita Arcade Cell phoneMobile • Tap Sonic Otheralbums
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