Video Game / DJMAX
is a Rhythm Game
franchise by Pentavision spanning three different series:
- DJMAX Online — The original game, released as a freeware game on PC with additional pay-to-play content. The game plays suspiciously like beatmania, though this is due to be being a clone of Ez2DJ, which was even more like beatmania (complete with turntable) to the point where Konami stepped in and sued. Suffers from a partial case of No Export for You; you couldn't play the Korean version since you need a Korean residence number (which is a crime to falsify); you could play the Japanese and Chinese versions, but the Japanese version... is... well... in Japanese, with mostly Japanese players (which means good luck communicating to other players if you don't speak nihongo), and the Chinese version ran on a rather slow server. The latter two versions shut down some time ago.
- DJMAX Trilogy — a recent PC game revival with music from DJMAX Online and early DJMAX Portable games, but due to some Executive Meddling (namely, its producer, Forte Escape, leaving Pentavision), updates to it have been put on hold indefinitely, and the inclusion of certain features and bugs further drove it into the ground.
- DJMAX Portable — By far the most popular DJMAX series, partly for being one of the first—if not the first—successful portable Rhythm Game series. Originally released on (as its title implies) the PSP in 2006, it saw success not only in Korea, but non-Korean countries as well, leading to an "International" release with English text (albeit with poorly-censored songs and the replacement of a song whose background animations mocked former U.S. President George W. Bush).
- DJMAX Portable 2 — released in 2007 and held up its ever-growing fanbase.
- DJMAX Clazziquai Edition — released in 2008 as a somewhat Licensed Game with songs from the Korean band Clazziquai, and is geared towards newer players.
- DJMAX Black Square — released about a month and a half later, and is targeted at more experienced players.
- DJMAX Fever — released in late January 2009 as the first DJMAX Portable title to be released outside of South Korea, and its songlist is a mix of the first two Portable titles.
- DJMAX Portable 3 — the first Portable game since Fever to be released outside Korea (and on the same release date, too). With around 40 songs to choose from (a mix between old returning songs, Technika 2 songs, and new Portable 3 songs), the game is meant to be a return to the roots of the Portable series, hence the numerical naming. The game also features a new mode that utilizes the analog nub to switch to two "turntables" at appropriate times to in a sense remix the song. It was released on October 14, 2010 for the UMD version and October 19 on the PlayStation Network.
- DJMAX Technika — The Gaiden Game (gameplay-wise) to DJMAX. Taking a departure from its beatmania-like sibling series, its gameplay is a combination of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan / Elite Beat Agents and Lumines — a "timeline" passes over notes on the screen, which you touch as the timeline passes over them. Brings in songs from all DJMAX games, with a few new ones. A sequel appropriately named DJMAX Technika 2 reworks the system, making overall improvements and updates while adding two new modes and many brand new songs alongside more oldies that weren't in the first game.
- DJMAX Technika Tune — A sort of Gaiden Game to a Gaiden Game, released on the Playstation Vita in 2012. While the touch screen allows for standard Technika gameplay, the rear pad allows players to perform hold notes and repeat notes without letting go of the Vita. Due to the small screen, the number of lanes on screen is reduced to 3 from 4, with brand-new charts to match.
- DJMAX Technika Q — A spin-off developed for the iOS and Android systems and released in Korea in October 2013 and internationally in March 2014. Like Tune above, the number of lanes in gameplay is reduced to 3, but also supports a two-lane mode. Unlike Tune, Q features a new UI. New charts have been made for returning songs to match the altered gameplay, although they are more akin to their arcade counterparts this time around.
- Tap Sonic — Another spinoff, released for iOS in 2011 and later to Android. Gameplay is similar to the main series, but with the addition of slide notes, where the player slides from one key to off to the side or to another key.
In December of 2008, Konami filed a lawsuit against Pentavision
for infringing on Konami
's patents with the DJMAX
series. While Komani had successfully used lawsuits to terminate Ez2DJ
and In The Groove
, it doesn't look like anything progressed in Konami's favor. The two corporations settled out of court, apparently letting Pentavision off the hook and Konami retaining the rights to distribute Technika
Eventaually, Pentavision was bought by Neowiz sometime before Clazziquai Edition, and sadly, it marked the fall of the franchise. While each installment was still well regarded and highly praised, eventually Neowiz dissolved Pentavision assigning everyone to different areas. Planned DLC for Technika Tune was dropped and Neowiz switched development to focus only on mobile games. The final installment, Technika Q for mobile devices, hasn't been updated in a year, a sad sign that the franchise has been killed dead.
Though it should be noted that the DJMAX team seemed to have gotten fed up with this, as they have quit Neowiz, and have created Nurijoy. Under this new name, the team created two Spiritual Successors
to DJMAX. One is known as Beatcraft CYCLON
, an arcade game that has gameplay similar to Mai Mai. The other is called Superbeat XONIC
for the PS Vita, which Nurijoy hopes to release worldwide.
The DJMAX franchise contains examples of:
- Ascended Meme — Enemy Storm SP/MX in Technika was so reviled that in the background video for "Raise Me Up", a character can be seen screaming "ENEMY STORM SP PATTERN IS DIRTY I HATE THAT PLEASE HELP ME".
- Affectionate Parody: Someone at Pentavision is playing too much League of Legends.
- Attract Mode — Technika 2 has a very interactive attract demo.
- Awesome, but Impractical — Fever in Technika 2. Normally, green MAXes have the point value of rainbow MAXes but minus 1 point. In Fever, you get 1 point of Fever bonus for each green MAX you hit basically making it a rainbow MAX. Useful for reaching 300,000 points, the maximum score for a song. The impracticality comes in trying to activate Fever while dealing with a lot of notes, probably messing up your play for what's basically a tiny amount of additional points.
- Plus, Fever mode is disabled in Crew Race. Any Fever bonus is disregarded when submitting a course for Crew Race, so there's really little point in activating Fever if you're making such a course.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation — The English language options in every DJMAX game. And then there's any number of songs with English lyrics or text in the vids, such as "Fallen Angel": "Don't walk you away!"
- Averted in Portable 3. They aimed for accurate translations with the international release; at least with the menus. A few MVs still contain mistakes.
- Bonus Boss — "CnP" in DJMAX Portable, "Your Own Miracle" in Portable 2. "Your Own Miracle" has a True Final Boss form (in the form of a Hard chart) with not-exactly-known requirements.
- In Technika, if you can get 95% MAX judgment overall in Technical mode for the first three songs (not 95% for each), you can play a different boss song than you normally would. For example, you would normally get "Come To Me" as a boss song in First Step, but achieving 95% MAX will give you "Lover" instead.
- The Conquerer Set has two bonus bosses. The first one, "Thor" [Technical] , is unlocked at 95%. The second one, "BlythE" [Technikal] is unlocked at 98%.
- However, some songs' alternate bosses actually have less notes, making getting to them harmful to your score. On sets where this is the case, you'll need to Do Well, but Not Perfect on the first 3 stages (mainly through deliberately getting some Cools) just to get to the higher-scoring boss song.
- Technika 2 changed the way bonus songs appeared. Instead of requiring 95% MAX, it is based on which songs are selected to play within each set. The songs are "numbered" from 1-6 based on the order they are listed in the set. Each set has a total number related to the difficulty, such as First Step having an 11. If the three songs chosen total to a number below that set number, the first boss song is chosen. If the total is equal or higher, the second boss song is chosen.
- Technika 3 has (or had) a true Bonus Boss: a 2011 rendition of Supersonic (of S4 League fame). It's playable in one of two ways: as a boss in the Sound Lab Club Mixing set or in one of the three Summer Special Missions.
- Boss Rush — The Conqueror Set (sort of); all of the songs that can be used for the first 3 stages are boss songs from other Technical sets.
- Bowdlerization — The MV for Funky People was originally more smoother animated, but it also had large homosexual overtones, so the US version is changed although some of the original appears in the Song Select and MV screens.
- Difficulty Spike — If you have to use the easiest 3 songs in a Technical set to get to the 4th stage, the 4th stage will probably decimate you.
- Disc One Nuke — In Trilogy, reaching Level 24 unlocks a mission that in turn, upon completion, unlocks one of the best pieces of equipment you can buy: the LPG Note. Its enhancements are +2 in Tech (the judgment window) and +3 in Fever (which increases the rate the Fever gauge is filled). With it, acquiring SSS ranks becomes a complete breeze. Not only that, but getting to that level is much easier than it seems, and in addition, the mission is not that difficult to pass at all.
- Distracted by the Sexy — Some songs' videos feature some pretty hot ladies, which might make you stare at them instead of the notes you're supposed to be playing.
- Double Unlock — Portable 2, Fever, and Trilogy have you leveling up and completing missions to unlock new characters, interface styles, and notes...or rather, the right to unlock them; you then have to use Gold to be able to use them. Thankfully unlocked songs are usable right away...unless you're playing Trilogy, but at the very least they're the cheapest unlocks.
- Dramatic Disappearing Display — On some songs in Clazziquai Edition and Black Square, there are note-free sections in which the HUD vanishes, giving you a clear view of a climatic part of the song's MV.
- Earn Your Fun — Technika's unlocks are temporary; unlock a song or course via a Platinum Crew mission and you'll get three chances to play it. Once you're out of chances, you have to unlock it again, via the same manner.
- Easier Than Easy — On Technika machines with Platinum Crew enabled, charts on Lite Mode have three lanes instead of four.
- A fanmade chart makes fun of this by having only one lane of notes.
- It may have become a Fake Difficulty due to the notes not fully on beat with the wipe, so it can get a bit difficult the first time for people who already play Technika if they decide to give Lite Mode a shot.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita — Featured in the music videos of Oblivion and Heart of Witch.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows — DJ Max Technika 2. From the teaser to actual gameplay, DJ Max Technika 2 just SCREAMS this.
- With the opening of the Crew Race online system, players can buy items to modify the game interface... and this includes notes with rainbow-colored explosions.
- Fanservice — Elle's Absolute Cleavage on the box art of Portable 2, Panty Shots in the animation for "Memory of Beach," Gainaxing in "Star Fish"'s animation, just to name a few examples
- Fake Difficulty — Technika's Technical mode requires you to finish the first stage with more than 75% life, the second stage with more than 50%, and the third stage with more than 25%. When you combine this with a Life Meter that gets harder to recover each stage...
- First Kiss — A song title.
- Game-Breaking Bug
- In Clazziquai Edition and Black Square, the current song will occasionally skip, becoming clearly out of sync with the chart. And just to make things more insulting for those who play with UMDs, these bugs don't happen if you're using an ISO to play.
- In DJMAX Trilogy, "Remember" is off-sync to begin with. Thankfully the rest of the game is very, very good at keeping the current chart on-beat with the background music, even if the game hiccups for a bit.
- An unknown bug in Portable 3 creates an issue regarding unlocks from missions and the alternative method for obtaining them being playcount. If you reach a playcount number that would unlock something that a mission would also do, the game may bug out and you don't get the unlock. Even if you get the mission, the unlock will still not appear and is Lost Forever.
- Inserting credits during Technika 2's tutorial attract demo can cause the machine to freeze up.
- Gainaxing — "Trip", my goodness.
- The opening to DJMAX Portable 3 has a bit of this from the middle of the three cover girls.
- The original music video for Ray of Illuminati was filled to the brim with this.
- Get Out — A song title.
- Guide Dang It — Unlocking Heart of Witch, one of the new(?) songs in the latest patch for DJMAX Trilogy. In Free mode, break your combo at 2011.
- Harder Than Hard — MX (Maximum) and SC (Super Crazy) in Online and Trilogy, MX and RD (Redesign) in Portable, SP (Special Pattern) in Technika, and WS (Workstation Set) in Portable 3.
- Have a Nice Death — "YOU NEED MORE PRACTICE! NEVER GIVE IT UP!"
- Technika 2 gives us "YOU FAILED!"
- Internal Homage — Lots of MVs in the DJMAX universe contain references to previous songs. Examples include:
- The "Taekwonburi" duck as a statue in "Son of Sun".
- The "Hard to Start" apple on a book in "First Kiss".
- The "Hard To Start" faces appear in Lite Mode for Technika... even in the International version, in which the song was cut due to licensing issues.
- "NB Power" in Portable 2 is chock full of cameos, from the "Light House" animals to "Ladymade
- Remixing mode in Portable 3 is full of this.
- And yet no one has mentioned Blythe, which is probably the ultimate version of this trope. The video references (amongst others) Ask the Wind, Piano Concerto No.1, Eternal Memory, Luv Flow, Enemy Storm, Triple ZOE and OUT LAW. We even have a supposed EZ 2 DJ reference popping up.
- BEE-U-TIFUL from Technika 2 follows suit, with references to the wolves from both parts of Proposed, Flower, Wolf, the aforementioned Blyth E, Dark Envy, Eternal Fantasy and even a few of the series' composers.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels — The original and portable games have "Normal Style"(NM), "Hard Style"(HD), "Maximum Style"(MX), and sometimes "Super Crazy Style" (SC) Portable 3 has Turntable Set (TS), Sampler Set (SS), and Workstation Set (WS). Technika Tune uses the game modes as difficulty leves (Star, Pop, and Club) while Q uses Original, Premium, and Signature
- Level Grinding — Portable 2 had you unlocking some things (including songs) through a level system.
- Portable 3 dialed this up to eleven, with the first unlockable song appearing at around Level 30. Enjoy your 30-song songlist for the first 10+ hours.
- Technika's Platinum Crew works the same way, with the DJ level determining the bonus Max Points acquired and the Challenge Missions that become available.
- Licensed Game
- DJMAX Portable Clazziquai Edition. Interestingly, like the single-band-centric Guitar Hero games, Clazziquai isn't the only licensed band to appear in the game; other licensed musicians include 015B, Garion, and Cooly's Hot Box.
- Clazziquai and company would appear again in Technika.
- Technika 3 brings us KARA.
- Also from Technika 3 are five songs from Liberty Music Trax: In the Tdot, Ooh La La, Just For Today, You Should Get Over Me and Victim of Love.
- Living Toys: The MV for Seeker is full of this trope
- Luck-Based Mission — The Randomizer Set in Technika, which randomly picks 4 songs for you to play. Somehow, it has local and international leaderboards, so getting a high-scoring set is a matter of praying that you get four high-scoring songs.
- Any and every mission that involves getting a certain percentage of accuracy, an All-Combo or a Perfect Play in any game.
- Multiplayer — The two new modes in Technika 2 are essentially this in different variants.
- Duo Mixing is Co-Op Multiplayer, in which the screen is split into two and the two players have their own parts to play with the music. The option to play by one's self with both screens is available.
- Crew Race is Meta Multiplayer, where players challenge various courses set up by other players. Crews are formed with up to 10 members each, and they all race to top the leaderboards of the best crews by earning Crew Points, which are earned for simply playing or beating a crew's course (which is created by a crew member's best Pop Mixing set and score).
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast — "D2" stands for "Dance of Death".
- Technika 3's hardest club set is called "Fatality". If its name doesn't make you run, then maybe its skull-filled logo will.
- Nintendo Hard
- DJMAX Technika 2's Crew Race mode. Most of the crew courses so far consist of level 8-10 songs, so good luck passing any of them. Barring that, good luck beating any crews' scores, unless you've been playing for many months.
- Except if you know where to look. Sometimes crews design "Low Score Attack" courses, wherein the director of the course intentionally got as low a score as they could without failing. Challengers are intended to try and score even lower, but the game still counts a higher score as a win and a lower score as a loss. As an added bonus, the extra challenge of skirting failure encourages the players making these courses to use easier songs than they normally would play. However, there are also low score sets which use those 8-10 difficulty songs people have been avoiding, and some crews even use effectors in such courses, sometimes in conjunction with these high-tier songs.
- Non-Indicative Difficulty — Some of the SP charts in Technika are easier than their TP counterparts. "HEXAD" [SP] is regarded by some to be easier than [TP] as a result of the easier beginning and ending.
- Also, much more obviously, compare "End of the Moonlight" TP and SP.
- Oh Crap! — Encountering a song that players either find very difficult or are unfamiliar with as a boss in Technika's Randomizer set will evoke this. Even if you play a set consisting of nothing but NM charts, you might be unlucky enough to run into something like Cypher Gate MX.
- In Technika Tune, starting up the Club version of "Emblem" may invoke this, as it moves 2.5x as fast as its Star and Pop charts.
- The Three-Lane Signature chart for "Leave Me Alone" is a similar case, with the timeline scrolling at a speed that matches the song's actual BPM in the chorus.
- Overly Long Gag — The ending of "The Guilty".
- The second half of "SuperSonic (Mr. Funky Remix)" consists almost entirely of "SUPERSONIC!"
- Randomly Drops — The leveling system in Portable 3 works differently. Instead of currency, every level up lets you choose one of 3 blocks, which contains either a new note, a new gear, a new character, a new MV, a new background, or a new song. (Though, some categories are only unlocked after a certain level, like songs at 30) Once the player reaches the level cap of 99, any locked items are immediately unlocked.
- Self-Imposed Challenge — A popular one is playing Technika with "Left Swipe" enabled and getting a group of players to take turns hitting notes, in what is known as "Roulette" play. Results range from clearing the song or set to near-completion to failing Stage 1 of a Technical set.
- Other challenges simply involve playing with one hand. This is occasionally taken to new heights when the player decides to multitask, in particular eating with one hand while playing with the other.
- Another is to play Technika not with hands, but with other objects.
- Serial Escalation — Thought Customizer Set in Technika was the end of the game's challenges? Well, thanks to the Platinum Crew system, you can unlock even more agonizing courses, such as the Challenger Set and the Conqueror Set. The latter of which consists entirely of boss songs.
- Thought "Son of Sun" was the fastest a chart could go? "D2" is 75% faster than "Son of Sun".
- How hard can the Crew Race missions get? Take level 8-10 songs, and add forced mods.
- Shout-Out — Besides the Internal Homages, Shout Outs to other things not DJMAX appear in a few MVs. "Hanz Up" is notable, however, for having a Shout-Out to the song "Gay Bar" in the MV; blink and you'll miss it (1:30).
- So Bad It's Good: Music — "Para Q" from DJMAX Online, "Xlasher" from Technika 2. The latter, due to a serious case of Engrish, may also qualify as Narm Charm.
- Stock Footage — Several songs in Technika share the same generic animation clips done by Kimys. It gets a little silly in "Thor"; its loading screen claims that the background animation was done by a different person, but when the song loads up, it's Kimys' generic clips that show up instead.
- Surprisingly Good English — Every song by Ruby Tuesday features English lyrics which, despite the Narm, are actually well put together.
- Songs featuring the rapper Mike Blunck (or "Mike B") definitely qualify.
- Stylistic Suck: Manifests in the form of "Low Score Setlist". The players intentionally tries to score as low as possible without failing.
- Take That — The MV for "Dreadnought" makes fun of George W. Bush. When DJMAX Portable got an "International" release with English text, it got replaced by a different song.
- The Tetris Effect — Go too long without Technika and you may find yourself mock-playing the game on your computer screen using videos (and possibly breaking your monitor or laptop), or imagining Technika charts for your favorite songs.
- This Is Gonna Suck — On the loading screen for Technika's Specialist Set, a Man in Black appears to take on three Men in Black with circular target-like things. On the screen for The Specialist Set 2, the same Men in Black faces against three monsters in suits, with sweatdrops of nervousness on his head.
- Also a common reaction for Technika players doing Randomizer whenever That One Song decides to show up. See the Oh Crap! entry above.
- Title Drop — DJMAX Technika 's subtitle is "Beyond the Future". Late into Technika 's "Platinum Crew" service, a song called "Beyond the Future" became available.
- True Final Boss — Your Own Miracle Hard Style in Portable 2. In Technika 's Technial courses, if you fulfill certain requirements, you'll get an alternate fourth stage.
- Wake-Up Call Boss — "Area 7" in Technika, which has notes that follow an awkward rhythm.