Audience-Alienating Premise: Tap Sonic Top, for the same reasons as Love Live! School Idol Festival. Its gameplay unexpectedly borrows heavily from mobile RPGs, including automatic replaying of stages, a stamina system, and an emphasis on essentially locking S+ ranks behind a Random Number Godgacha paywall. Basically, it takes DJMAX Portable 2 and Portable 3's stat-influencing gears and characters and turns the player's dependency on them Up to Eleven, putting off prospective rhythm gamers who'd rather rely on their own skills for high scores. The game also manages to fail to appeal to the Love Live crowd, as almost all of the characters have no personality or even voice-overs to them, barring the image songs of the first group of stars.
Author's Saving Throw: According to Respect's lead producer Bexter, the North American release of Respect was supposed to have a DLC schedule where one pack gets released every three months, like the Korean version. They eventually decided upon releasing the four DLC packs available at the time all at once a few weeks after the game's launch, and the simultaneous global release of the Black Square DLC shows that Rocky Studio is keen on keeping overseas versions' DLC schedules on par with Korea's.
Broken Base: While Beatcraft CYCLON and Superbeat XONIC are already pretty liked by DJMAX fans, there's still a small number of fans who dislike the drastically different BGAs, which are what seem to be generic graphics playing in the background and are different for each song.
In SUPERBEAT XONiC, higher-level players will use Shield and Fever Shield avatars, because losing Fever mode and/or the 10,000-point All Combo bonus due to one Break is not fun.
In general (and most prevalently in Respect), note squeezing is practically required to get the highest scores possible. This involves hitting a hold note as early as one can without going out of the MAX 100% window, and then similarly letting go as late as possible at the end of the hold note. The effect is squeezing out extra ticks (and thus points) from every hold note, resulting in a score that's actually slightly higher than just normally getting a Perfect Play.
In Tap Sonic Top, Stars that have fixed score increases for their skill are deceptively powerful. In PvP Ghost Battles, they're good for closing the gap even against supposedly more "powerful" Stars that gain more points per note. In single player modes, they're pretty good for easy S+ ranks, which give players more rewards per clear.
Also in Tap Sonic Top, Stars with a Shield skill. Unlike Superbeat XONiC, these skills have unlimited uses for their duration, with the best ones being longer than 40 seconds after upgrades (some go up to a full minute). While they're not very good for scoring purposes, it makes unlocking Auto Play mode for a song a cinch, which is especially useful in Rank Mode where players have to unlock Auto Play once per song every weekly reset to compensate for its better rewards.
"Common Knowledge": Theres a rumor that is widely known by some rhythm game fans: Oriental ST8 (a composer who has made a few songs for DJMAX, such as "Dear My Lady" and "Shoreline" is an alias for Kors Knote Kors K is a Japanese composer who makes some songs for beatmania IIDX and other rhythm games. However, after a few fans have asked Kors K through private messages, it turns out that its a hoax. He confirms that Oriental ST8 is not him (instead, he says that Oriental ST8 is M2U)note M2U is a Korean composer who has made some songs for Deemo, O2Jam, Mai Mai and Pump It Up (besides DJMAX). and he never makes any songs for DJMAX (the evidence is right here).
Contested Sequel: Portable 3. Fans either like it for removing autocorrect, the new "remix" modes, and the game having an official Western release. Others are displeased with the low song count, the RNG-heavy and grindy unlock system, and the removal of all "classic" button modes besides 4- and 6-button modes.
Default Setting Syndrome: Due to Respect not having a penalty on Fever charge rate when using Auto Fever (the default Fever option) as well as removing the speed increase when reaching certain Fever thresholds, most players just stick to it because it elmininates the issue of having to press the button manually.
Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Since the Korean Platinum Crew server had ceased to add any more monthly special charts past "Special 16", some of the Technika fanbase noticed aweird pattern; the first set of monthly special charts included the song "First Kiss", while the sixteenth special set included the song The "Last Dance". Hmm...
Fridge Brilliance: In Technika, the first SP set's first song is called "First Kiss". The final SP set's first song is called "The Last Dance".
Game-Breaker: Qyrie in SUPERBEAT XONiC has 60 Shield and 60 Fever Shield. In other words, you can miss 60 notes before having your combo break, and even if you exhaust that, you can miss another 60 notes in Fever before being kicked out of it (Shield is prioritized before Fever Shield). Given that the game has a hefty bonus for getting an All Combo, and that Fever basically doubles all points gained while it's active (and Fever remains active until you break combo with no Fever Shield left), it's a small wonder that the best players use it to avoid rage-restarting. Since having so much Shield basically means you're guaranteed an All Combo if you at least play decently, Qyrie basically takes most of the combo-based element of the game out of the picture; you no longer need to worry about losing over 10,000 points because of a single lapse in awareness.
Thanks to how Technika's touchscreen works, you can play the game in various, unusual ways: you can drag tap notes, tap individual dots of chain notes, drag chain notes on the wrong half of the screen, and cheat repeat notes that have tap notes that line up with the individual notes of a repeat segment.
In DJMAX Portable 3, you can play 6.2T mode in Normal difficulty well before you're supposed to unlock it, but unless you've been clearing songs in 6.2T Hard, your songlist will be quite limited.
Heartwarming Moments: An interview with Paul Bazooka revealed that the DJMAX Respect song "Don't Die" was composed and titled in dedication to a long-time fan of his who fell into despair over failing school and hoped that his new single would take this fan, and others like him, out of that despair.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The title screen of Respect on PS4 prompts you to "Press X to pay RESPECT", in a nod to the "Press F to pay respects" meme in the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare community. Respect later got ported to PC and changed the prompt to "Press any key to pay RESPECT". Yes, including the 'F' key.
Respect has some shades of this, since the option to adjust timing windows via the game difficulty setting is no longer present. The game has no shortage of insanely hard charts, but the rather lax timing window (at least in comparison to other music games like beatmania) makes it easier to fumble through harder patterns and still get a good grade. Plus, it enables score cheesing tactics like note squeezing. Fever has been tweaked to no longer force an increase in speed multiplier at certain intervals and Auto Fever no longer has a penalty on charge rate, which some feel makes it a less fulfilling mechanic to use.
While many players expected Respect V to be easier than the PS4 version due to the use of a keyboard (although the game does support controllers if you prefer them), the exclusive SC charts are seen as not as challenging as expected, even the ones rated 15 out of 15.
It's Short, So It Sucks!: One criticism of Portable 3 is the relatively small songlist. Only 30 tracks are available from the start with 10 unlockable, making for a total of 40 tracks. Even the first two PSP DJMAX games have more tracks! This is likely the tradeoff for the addition of the rather non-conventional Remix modes.
The Deemo DLC for DJMAX Respect sometimes gets this criticism for having piano-only keysounds like the original game.note The most obvious way to discover this is by intentionally failing a Deemo song while playing online, as the notes stop playing their keysounds afterwards.
Respect V has been criticized by Early Access players for recycling every note chart from the original Respect. Not helping matters is that the default control scheme makes it hard to play FX notes (L1 and R1 on 8B mode) or Side Tracks (joystick notes).
Love to Hate: The NB Rangers. Yeah, they're a bunch of jealous assholes who take on Sentai transformations to beat up couples on dates, but their methods are hilarious.
Memetic Mutation: TAN TAN TAAAANNNNExplanation "The Guilty" is infamous for a segment that repeats the same three climatic notes eight times.
Misblamed: Rocky Studio is often the first target of fan ire for supposedly withholding Respect V DLC packs from the PS4 version. V's debut livestream had the developers saying that they can't release DLC fully in-sync because Sony's content approval process (which takes 3 to 4 weeks at best) forces them to stagger releases, even if they're otherwise pushed to both Steam and the PSN store at the same time.
Respect V might be on its way to becoming one of these, since Rocky Studio reported sales they weren't at all expecting between both V and TAP SONIC BOLD.
Most Wonderful Sound: "Max Combo! What a crazy mix!" Respect replaces this with an equally wonderful whoosh when you get one, and SUPERBEAT XONiC's equivalent: "All Combo, awesome!"
While they don't add these until Respect, CYCLON, and XONiC, the sounds that play when you get a Perfect Play are AMAZING, especially because of how difficult it is to get these.
Narm: Some of the songs have Engrish lyrics that tend to kill the moods of the songs once you understand them.
Nightmare Fuel: The NB Girls. For those who are currently in relationships, engaged, or married: imagine them pulling their tricks on you and your significant other. Especially if you've been together for a long time. At least the NB Rangers make it obvious that they're the ones being assholes, even if their methods involve violence.
The video for "The Obliterator" shows a huge, satanic-looking Kaiju emerging in the middle of a city from weird pods that look like giant viruses. Tanks and planes fail to stop it, and the Humongous Mecha deployed only fights it to a stalemate by the video's end. And according to the map shown at the beginning of the video, these things are appearing right across the world
Porting Disaster: While SUPERBEAT XONiC on Switch isn't a problem at the software level, it suffers because the Switch's buttons and analog sticks are not horizontally symmetrical; specifically, the left stick is above the directional buttons and the right stick is below the ABXY diamond. Cue missing analog notes all over the place, even if you haven'tplayed the versions of the game on Sony platforms (which do have vertically-aligned sticks). You can try to use the touchscreen instead, but the game is unusually harsh when it comes to scratch notes, which seem to have a tendency to drop if you're so much as a few pixels off.
Replacement Scrappy: Not many were pleased when the "International" build of DJMAX Portable replaced "Dreadnought" with "River Flow" simply because the former's background animation is basically one big Take That! against George W. Bush, the POTUS at the time of the game's release. Pentavision could've simply given "Dreadnought" the generic animations (the ones seen in 8-Button mode) to avoid controversy.
In Online, MX and SC charts carry a 150 MAX fee per attempt. Mind you, you make about 10-20 MAX per play except during the occasionial MAX boost event.
Combo-based unlocks in Freestyle mode. In Freestyle mode, instead of combos being set to 0 at the beginning of a new song, any combo you have from the end of one song will carry over to the next, and in many games with a Freestyle mode, you need to raise your combo up to set values for unlocks. This is very bad in the original DJMAX Portable, where all notes, including hold notes, are only worth 1 to your combo each and there's no combo-break insurance, meaning that any lapse in focus will completely destroy your efforts; furthermore, Portable 1 requires you to reach the target combo then break it before you reach the next milestone, forcing you to build up combos again and again. This has been alleviated in subsequent games, at the least: Portable 2 introduces Fever mode for combo inflation as well as the AUTO stat for converting Breaks to MAX 1%'s, Trilogy allows you to stop a song to restart it or go back to the song select and still preserve the combo you had at the end of the previous song, and SUPERBEAT XONiC has characters with the Shield attribute which works like AUTO but is significantly more generous. Respect allows you to put your combo on hold by turning off the Freestyle Combo feature, then pick it back up later by turning it back on.
Starting with DJMAX Portable 2, your save file is locked to the PSP that you made it on. While the most likely intent is to prevent players from simply downloading a fully-unlocked file from the Internet to avoid having to grind for unlocks (especially those pesky combo unlocks) as well as to cheat the now-defunct Internet rankings, it also means that if you switch over to a new PSP, you can't play your game on that new PSP without starting all over from no unlocks.
The "autocorrect" feature, featured in every DJMAX game from Black Square to Fever, except for Technika. Pressing the wrong button at the right time will still give you credit for the note. Not only does it confuse and annoy expert players, who believe that this feature dumbs down the game ("I don't need to hit the correct buttoins for 100% Rate anymore"), even beginners and professional reviewers share the same opinion, as it makes the game more confusing to learn ("If hitting the wrong button still counts, then what's the point?"). Trilogy is the only game with the mechanic that allows you to turn it off in the control menu, while Hot Tunes onwards completely removes this mechanic.
Analog nub notes. Some harder charts, particularly those supplied by Clazziquai Edition's Extended Edition patch, force you to alternate between the nub and the D-pad very rapidly.
The green notes, also from Black Square to Fever. They give you bonus points when hit, but when you miss them, the background music mutes until you hit the next one! This is terrible in a Rhythm Game. Once again, Hot Tunes removed this mechanic.
Technika 3 has Crew Missions, where a mission needs to be cleared by at least a set number of members in a crew for the mission to be marked as completed for the crew. Unfortunately, some missions require that the requisite number of members complete the mission within the same arcade. This might've been fine in relatively small South Korea, but international players can quickly see why this is a problem; for one, what if your crew is spread across the much bigger United States, or worse, across the world? Considering that Pentavision had been focused on exporting DJMAX games to the world, this is a rather glaring problem.
Starting with Clazziquai Edition, backgrounds are videos rather than real-time animations. While this does allow for much more stunning visuals, this does result in CE and later PSP DJMAX games being known for being much more intense on the system's battery than earlier games, and you can't turn the videos off. At least this is a non-issue on Respect, which is a console game rather than one for a handheld system. The videos also seem to be pretty CPU-intensive too, as CE and Black Square in particular seem to have lower framerates in a game series where notes fall down at high speeds and look like blurs at lower FPS.
Respect V got a double whammy as soon as Early Access was released, with critics on Steam discussion threads specifically pointing out the use of always-online DRM and the use of XIGNCODE3 as an anti-cheat, which many a Korean MMORPG player has had problems with, whether it be false positives, rather invasive file system scanning, or its rootkit-like nature. Neither of these grievances were addressed when the developers launched a "Free Play Weekend" promotion near the end of May 2020, causing a lot of curious players to hastily uninstall the game and scrub XIGNCODE entries from their registries after hearing about its inclusion, ultimately doing more harm than good for the game's reputation.
In Respect, there are teal long notes that take up either half of the playfield and which must be hit with the corresponding analog sticks. This is mostly fine in the PS4 version, but on Respect V, these "analog notes" become "Side Track" notes that don't translate well to keyboard play. Unless you have a twin-stick controller that you can hook up to your PC, Side Tracks are basically just two extra keys that are really annoying to hit, especially in 8B and XB modes (meaning that in the latter case, you're effectively playing 12-button mode). The devs put out a patch that attempt to serve as an Anti-Frustration Feature by having them not break combo, but ignoring these notes still gives MAX 1% which does no favors for accuracy-focused play.
Still present in Respect, but ironically now applies to people who do use Fever online. Since scoring is mostly accuracy-based in that game, a lot of online players would much rather have Fever disabled.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While it's a little muddy as to what exactly Respect is a sequel to (SUPERBEAT XONiCnote the last game that can be loosely defined as a DJMAX game, DJMAX RAYnote the last game to carry the DJMAX name, DJMAX Portable 3note the last game to use traditional DJMAX gameplay), many agree that it surpasses all of them in quality, due to the expansive songlist that continues to grow thanks to DLC updates and the return and refinement of traditional DJMAX Portable gameplay (4-, 5-, 6-, and 8-button modes, and scoring that is now more focused on accuracy than building a huge combo). It also shows that good Rhythm Games can exist on traditional consoles without needing expensive peripherals that are only usable for specific games to be enjoyable (although it hasn't stopped makers of arcade-style controllers from designing Respect-specific controllers anyway, for those who still wanna go the extra mile).
That One Achievement: Respect has "DJMAX Will Return", which has the deceptively simple requirement of equipping the Metro Project name plate for your multiplayer profile. Said plate requires players to beat the mission "End of Metro Project", and just getting to it is a feat in and of itself since it's hidden behind an unlockable mission set requiring players to beat all of the Black Square and Clazziquai Edition missions. Oh, and said mission consists of nothing but five actually six Maximum difficulty XB songs. Have fun with that!
Cypher Gate is one of Technika's hardest. Its SP chart in the first game is murderous already on its own, but the second game introduces an MX chart based on the song's RD arrangement from Black Square.
You thought "Thor" TP/HD was hard? Technika 3 brings us "Xeus" MX, which basically takes "Thor" HD's note spam and turns it into a complex repeat note pattern.
Crew Race allows player-created forms of this. Have fun playing level 9 and 10 songs...with Blind and Fade Out...and needing to get Perfect Plays to achieve victory.
That One Level: Black Square 's Club Tour Missions. In addition to requiring you to complete a song with certain, often-strict requirements (such as passing a song with more than x percentage or getting y combo), every time you restart or fail, you have to pay in-game currency to retry!
The Mr. Perfect Mission in Technika. The songs aren't really that hard ("Remember" TP, "Color" TP, "Son of Sun" PP), but when a single non-MAX judgment nets you a fail, fantastic rage quits ensue. Much worse than the Portable missions because you burn real cash!
Mr. Absolute in Technika 3's Ragnarok Mission set is Mr. Perfect's bastard cousin, requiring a Perfect Play performance from the player and nothing less. Like Mr. Perfect, the songs are nothing troublesome (Fallin' in Luv, Beautiful Girl and You Should Get Over Me, all NM charts), but that one COOL or GOOD judgment can ultimately screw you over. It gets worse; you have to finish the current mission to unlock the next and subsequently progress through the mission set. And only 20 or less players in the Korean server have accomplished this feat.
Any mission that requires you to get a Max Combo or getting no Max 1%s. They can be annoying to achieve, especially since both missions typically have harder charts.
Missions that require a Perfect Play. At least missions involving Fever, combo, score, or Break can be worked around with items or modifiers in most games, but the most you can do for a mission that requires perfect accuracy is turning down the game difficulty to loosen timing windows (which doesn't work in SUPERBEAT XONiC), and even then it won't guarantee that you won't suddenly stutter and screw up, getting a MAX 90% / COOL / GOOD as a result. These missions can show up early too, which is aggravating for players who don't have very steady hands.
In the same vein, any mission that subjects the player to Interface Screw, either through Fade or Chaos effectors (which, outside of missions, are mostly only used by people looking for a Self-Imposed Challenge), or mission-only modifiers such as swinging the playing field from side-to-side or tilting it 90 degrees to the left.
The Link Disc mission pack in Respect, included in the game's Black Square DLC patch, is ludicrous. As if clearing the Clazziquai Edition and Black Square mission packs to unlock it aren't bad enough, which is time-consuming and difficult already, say hello to twelve more missions with absurd stipulations like a single 1% judgment resulting in an immediate game over, obtaining a Perfect Play with so much as a 90% also resulting in an immediate game over, playing MX-difficulty songs across all four modes against a competent A.I., and of particular note, the penultimate mission forcing you to play the hardest that Black Square has to offer on XB Mode. Needless to say, these missions are not for the faint of heart.
In Portable 3, they ported "NB Rangers Nonstop Remix" from Technika 2. Much excitement from fans until they realized after finally playing it that the entire second half containing "NB Power" and "Dark Envy" was removed, leaving only "NB Rangers" and "NB Rangers: Returns". Cue the very disappointed fanbase expecting all four songs.
Portable 3 removed all of the "classic" button modes except for 4-button and 6-button in favor of adding "remix" modes, which doesn't sit well with people who prefer more traditional DJMAX gameplay. Fortunately for them, Respect added most of those "classic" modes back (2B and 4BFX being the only ones missing).
The Deemo DLC pack in Respect has been criticized by players for not having keysounds unlike the rest of the game. Such an issue was already present before with the free DLC songs "Always" and "Tok! Tok! Tok!", but the practice only got criticized with the Deemo pack's release as it had a price tag attached to it.
Neowiz altered their DLC strategy a bit going from Respect to Respect V: they started sellinggear skinpacks. While it looks like there's definitely more production time put into them (especially compared to some of Respect's gear skins), they're still ultimately "cosmetics" with no additional music to speak of, being sold at the price point of some of Respect's smaller song packs. Fans on both sides of the pond couldn't help but criticize this when Neowiz released a teaser for the "Clear Blue Sky" gear skin pack.
4BFX in Clazziquai Edition and Black Square is fun for those who enjoy the shoulder buttons like in 8B/6BFX mode but don't like how narrow and cluttered the notes are in modes that use six face buttons. Unfortunately, 4BFX was removed in Portable 3 like most of the other non-remix modes and in Respect, only one DLC pack uses it.
Respect's XB mode is only available in a few late-game missions; you can't play it in non-mission modes. A patch eventually added the ability to practice individual mission mode songs, including ones with an XB difficulty, although this does nothing to address the small selection of XB-enabled songs in total (and even smaller selection of XB charts that aren't similar to Maximum difficulty elsewhere in the game).
A number of MVs. Taken literally with the MV for "D2" in Technika 2, which has boatloads of drug imagery.
Rule of thumb: If the song is visualized by ECO, and the song's not a relatively serious-sounding one, get ready for a weird time. Case in point.
Half of Kimys's videos are basically just a music player visualizer. The other half consists of 3D-rendered animations; some of them make sense, but then you get stuff like "Zet (Mr. Funky Remix)" consisting of various vehicles and mecha of rather unusual shape and "Drum Town" which features humanoid-shaped mecha playing hockey on a bridge without a puck, all to a song in which "Drum" and "Town" are repeated ad nauseam.