is one of Konami's Bemani Rhythm Game
The series is a little like Pong
or air hockey with Rhythm Game
elements: the game screen is laid out in vertical symmetry, with you on the bottom side and your opponent on the top. Circular objects travel towards a judgement line or one of 2-3 "top" targets on the player's end of the screen, and you must hit these objects as they reach the line or the targets. Gold-accented objects will reflect back towards the opponent's side, while black-accented ones will simply disappear. As the player hits objects, a "Just Reflec" gauge builds up; when one of its segments is full, the player can "flick" gold objects to perform a Just Reflec, causing the object to reflec back at a high speed and a wide angle, making it harder for the player to hit successfully. Hitting objects will increase score, while missing objects will decrease it. The player with the highest score at the end of the song wins. The game is simple to learn, but hard to master
has undergone four arcade installments in Japan, as well as a release for iOS devices both in Japan and overseas. The arcade version has you unlock songs, which requires an e-Amusement Pass, while the iOS version runs on a Freemium
model; the game itself is free, but you only get three songs and obtaining more songs requires purchasing song packs.
Despite the game mechanics, a REFLEC BEAT
cabinet is not actually a two-player cabinet; two linked cabinets are required to play local multiplayer. However, the iOS version allows two players facing each other to play multiplayer locally on a single device.
Games in the series
- REFLEC BEAT (2010)
- REFLEC BEAT limelight (2011)
- First game to use three TOP markers instead of two, though only on Hard difficulty.
- REFLEC BEAT colette (2012)
colette was divided into multiple seasonal phases, each with its own new songs, unlock system, and removed songs:
- Winter (December 2012 - March 2013)
- Extends the Just Reflec gauge from 3 segments to 5.
- Spring (March 2013 - June 2013)
- Summer (June 2013 - September 2013)
- Autumn (September 2013 - December 2013)
- All Seasons (December 2013 - June 2014)
- REFLEC BEAT groovin'!! (June 2014 - November 2014)
- Introduces Vertical notes, which move vertically rather than at angles.
- Introduces the Special difficulty.
- REFLEC BEAT groovin'!! Upper (November 2014 - )
- REFLEC BEAT plus (iOS (Japan), 2011)
- REFLEC BEAT + (iOS (International), 2012)
- Trails the Japanese version on updates, and currently does not have any licensed songs.
REFLEC BEAT provides examples of:
- Alpha Strike: Fill up all three of your Just Reflec gauge segments, then wait for a cluster of three notes and JR them in rapid succession. This can overwhelm the opponent with multiple high-speed notes, causing them to lose upwards of 30 extra points at once. colette facilitates this sort of attack further, granting you five JR segments instead of three.
- Announcer Chatter: Similar to DanceDanceRevolution, in groovin'!! Upper, the announcer will call out combo milestones, and also when your Upper Gauge levels up.
- Attack Reflector: You automatically reflect gold objects, but you can also perform a "Just Reflec" attack to make reflected objects bounce back at a wide angle and gain extra points. In addition, Just Reflec objects will cause the opponent to lose extra points if they miss the object; if you are on the receiving end of a Just Reflec attack, watch out!
- The B Grade: Getting a B (60-69.9%) is actually a failing grade.
- Call Back: In the Pastel Wonder Traveller boss stages, the announcer says "Battle Start" at the beginning of the stage rather than "Are You Ready?", much like in the original REFLEC BEAT.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In games that incorporate the Achievement Rate system, the background will glow if you have a passing gauge.
- Color-Coded Multiplayer: One player is red (more like pink), the other is blue. Both sides will have different object patterns at times, although the total object count is the same for both sides.
- Eastern Zodiac: colette added two crossover songs in January 2013 to celebrate the year of the snake: "Snake Stick" and "Kagachi" (Snake God).
- Excited Show Title!: REFLEC BEAT groovin'!!
- Harder Than Hard:
- limelight increases the maximum difficulty rating from 10 to "10+".
- groovin'!! introduces the Special difficulty, which plays with this trope; while many Special charts are harder than their Hard counterparts, this is not always the case; "STELLAR WIND" has a Special chart that is one level lower than its Hard chart. It's comparable to Dance Dance Revolution's Challenge difficulty.
- Homoerotic Subtext: The song "Juicy". Its artist? "kors k Lovers DJ Yoshitaka".
- Though this doesn't have quite as much subtext as DJ YOSHITAKA and Sota Fujimori, collaborating under the artist "VENUS".
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Averted, which is unusual by BEMANI standards. The difficulties are simply labeled Basic, Medium, and Hard. groovin'! adds Special, which is still a mildly standard difficulty name.
- Life Meter:
- Generally averted. You simply need an Achievement Rate of 70% or higher to clear the song. In the first REFLEC BEAT, defeating your opponent also results in a stage clear, with the 70% requirement simply being a fallback in case you lose.
- Played straight for the Pastel Wonder Traveler event in colette -All Seasons- and the Reflec Dojo mode in groovin'!; see Unexpected Gameplay Change below.
- Nintendo Hard: While other falling-note games have notes fall vertically in columns, this particular series has notes coming down at different angles in a manner reminiscent of Bullet Hell games, and in larger densities reading notes can be quite irritating, especially since non-TOP notes are randomized on every playthrough. TOP make the game even more difficult, as they have to be hit at a higher altitude than regular notes.
- Playing Card Motifs: colette has an event and four songs based on this motif. To play these songs you have to beat bosses named after the suits. By beating all four bosses, you unlock the Joker-themed boss and song.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: As with most other Bemani franchises, there are a few public domain adaptations, namely of "Gymnopédie No.1", "Csikos Post", and "Pomp and Circumstance". The latter served as the tutorial song for Limelight, and all three were bundled with the Japanese release of REFLEC BEAT plus.
- Rank Inflation: Pretty bad in this game. To illustrate, the grade for getting an Achievement Rate between 70% (minimum needed to clear the song) and 80% is an A. In other words, a B grade is grounds for a Game Over.
- Required Spinoff Crossover: "FLOWER" started its journey here, and also in Jubeat knit append. Nadeshiko Rock and I'm So Happy both crossed over as well.
- Scoring Points: Two kinds:
- The first is the battle point system. 3 points for getting a "JUST" judgement on an object, 2 for a "GREAT", 1 for a "GOOD", and -3 for a "MISS". In addition, performing a Just Reflec will add an extra 10 pointsnote , and missing a Just Reflec object targeted at you will deduct 10 extra pointsnote . Finally, you get huge bonuses for clearing a song with only 1 or 2 misses, or better yet, with a Full Combo.
- The other is Achievement Rate, which is simply your percentage of the highest possible battle score, minus penalties for misses, Just Reflec misses, Just Reflecs, and end-of-song bonuses. It is used to determine grade, as well as pass/fail status; you need 70% (the AR for an A rank) or higher to clear the song.
- Seasonal Baggage: colette has four different seasonal phases depending on the current real-world season, each with its own set of new songs and unlock systems. Subverted with the fifth season, "All Seasons", which is a pan-seasonal phase.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike:
- The first game has no Top markers on Basic, and two on Medium and Hard. limelight adds two Top markers on Basic, and a third one on Hard.
- groovin'!! has the Special difficulty.
- Sequel Escalation: colette gives you two extra Just Reflec gauge segments, for a total of five.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Pastel Wonder Traveler event in colette's "All Seasons" arc, where instead of the usual battle point system, you and a boss opponent have Hit Points and your goal is to deplete the boss's HP by getting Justs and Just Reflecs without getting reduced to 0 HP yourself (by getting Goods or worse). Running out of HP results in an immediate Non-Standard Game Over. Surviving but failing to defeat the boss will cause the boss's lost HP to carry over to the next time you fight it. Defeating a boss unlocks a Plot Coupon needed to unlock the Final Boss of the event. As of groovin'!!, this boss system is no longer unexpected, as it's part of the Reflec Dojo game mode.