Video Game: Sound Voltex
SOUND VOLTEX (officially abbreviated as SDVX) is the newest member of Konami's Bemani series of Rhythm Games. Its a variation of beatmania with pretty much identical gameplay, in regards to the "hit the keys when they hit the line" part (but thenagain, aren't most rhythm games similar to that in the first place?). But instead of the familiar piano keys, it uses four square buttons in a row, accompanied by two larger "FX" buttons directly below them, along with effector knobs on both sides (which you must either slowly rotate in a certain direction, or quickly slam between sides).The other big distinction is that most of its soundtrack consists mostly of remixes of songs from other Bemani games by doujin musicians; but through Downloadable Content, this aspect quickly went out of control as the game began to be flooded with Vocaloid songs and Touhou remixes (and even long-time meme songs like "Bad Apple", "Help me, ERINNNNNN!!", and even the Nyan Cat song!).There are currently two games in the series. Subsequent installments are provided as online updates, rather than through upgrade kits:
- Sound Voltex Booth (2012)
- Sound Voltex II: Infinite Infection (2013)
First BEMANI game to be released as an online update. Unlike Booth, where bottom notes can only be hold notes and top notes can only be tap notes, both rows of notes can either be tap or hold notes. Sound Voltex II also introduces the Infinite difficulty, available only on specific songs.
- Sound Voltex III Gravity Wars (2014)
STAND BY - ON YOUR MARK - TAKE POSITION. READY?
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- Ascended Meme: The cover art for "Second Heaven Lamaze-REMIX" depicts a 3-scoop ice-cream cone as a reference to the line "Somebody scream!" being Mondegreen'ed into "San-bai ice cream!" ("3-scoop ice cream!")
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Remember "Nyan Cat" from Sound Voltex Booth? In Sound Voltex II, it gets an Infinite chart. And it's rated a 15.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
- The judgements are called CRITICAL (perfect), NEAR (slightly off), and ERROR (way off or missing outright).
- Combo is referred to as Chain, though this is a fairly mild example as the two terms are interchangable in many games.
- A stage/song is referred to as a "track".
- Stage failure is referred to as a "TRACK CRASH".
- Clearing a track with no ERROR judgements, known as a Full Combo in other BEMANI games, yields the message "ULTIMATE CHAIN". Getting all CRITICAL judgements results in a "PERFECT ULTIMATE CHAIN".
- Sound Voltex II just gives you a "PERFECT" instead, averting this instance of the trope.
- The Life Meter is known as the "Effective Rate".
- Touhou has a particularly large presence, featuring Appeal Cards of the characters and over 50 Touhou arranges. In fact, Sound Voltex II had a location test at the Touhou-centric Reitaisai 10 convention in 2013. It certainly helps that Mayumi Morinaga, a prominent BEMANI vocalist, is also a vocalist for Touhou arrange circle Yuuhei Satellite. There are so many Touhou arranges that they get their own category in SDVX II.
- As far as BEMANI crossovers go, generally subverted in that most songs that make it over to SDVX get remixed, often by a artist contributing via Sound Voltex Floor.
- Played straight with the POLICY BREAK and FLOOR INFECTION events beginning in SDVX II. POLICY BREAK is a type of SDVX event in which songs are crossed over from other BEMANI games and left in original form (excluding in-game filters). Examples include "VALLIS-NERIA", "I'm So Happy", and "BabeL ~Next Story~". FLOOR INFECTION is a type of event for other BEMANI games, which goes the other way: Sound Voltex songs get crossed over to other BEMANI games. Examples include "Joyeuse" in GITADORA and "Max Burning!!" in Reflec Beat.
- Double Unlock: Infinite-difficulty charts require you to fulfill another condition before you are allowed to purchase them.
- Doujinshi: Doujin music is a major staple of the series.
- Gimmick Level: Some charts have a disproportionately high number of knob trails compared to button notes. #Fairy_dancing_in_lake EXH is one of the more infamous examples of this.
- Harder Than Hard: Exhaust difficulty. Sound Voltex II ups the ante by introducing the Infinite difficulty, which is only available for select songs. 'Sound Voltex III introduces the Gravity difficulty, which so far has only appeared for preexisting songs in III.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Novice, Advanced, Exhaust, Infinite, Gravity.
- Interface Screw:
- When using a knob, the playfield tilts accordingly. Sound Voltex II will play this straight with charts requiring the knobs to be held at a certain state (thus keeping it tilted).
- Occasionally, using the knobs will cause the track to Do a Barrel Roll! The crossover boss song "VALLIS-NERIA" is infamous for doing this many times during the chart.
- Gravity Wars introduces two new screws: the chart shaking on certain notes, and the chart switching to an overhead view at some points.
- Joke Level: "Nyan Cat".
- Licensed Game:
- FLOOR songs are considered licensed songs. As such traditional soundtracks are not available.
- The series is also a Licensed Game series in another sense, in that it includes third-party intellectual properties VOCALOID and Touhou Project.
- Life Meter:
- In normal play, you get a special Life Meter called the "Effective Rate". It doesn't end the game if you hit 1%, but you do need to end the song with the meter at 70% or higher to pass.
- In Skill Analyzer, you get a straight lifebar, the "Permissive Rate", that results in a TRACK CRASH if it hits 0% at any point.
- Another straight lifebar is available in normal play, called the "Excessive Rate", with a higher penalty for missing. In Gravity Wars, reaching 0% on this gauge will switch you over to the standard Effective Rate gauge instead of resulting in a TRACK CRASH.
- Lost Forever: POLICY BREAK songs can only be unlocked for two weeks each. Fail to unlock a song during its availability period and they can't be unlocked anymore, although it may come back in a future update.
- Oddly Named Sequel: The second version is actually "Sound Voltex II: Infinite Infection"
- Punny Name: The title "Sound Voltex" is a subversion of Japanese Ranguage; given the electronic/futuristic look of the game, its a worthy pun.
- Required Spinoff Crossover: "FLOWER", though remixed by REDALiCE.
- Also 凛として咲く花の如く, but also remixed, this time by Machigerita-P.
- Sampling: Dreamin' feat Ryu has a lot of samples. (fittingly, some of them are from other Ryu songs such as Second Heaven or Thunderbolt)
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: The maximum difficulty level was previously 15. However, during the Sound Voltex II tournament at KAC 2013 in December, two songs with Exhaust charts rated level 16 were introduced to the finalists: "Bangin' Burst" and "For UltraPlayers". Both songs were added for non-tournament play later that month. A third level 16 chart, "Max Burning!!" on Infinite, was added in September 2014.