December 29, 2012
DJMax Technika Tune is unlike any of the previous PSP titles and scraps using buttons for touch controls. A bar moves across the screen and when it hovers over a note you need to tap or hold each note in a certain way. Unlike the arcade version though, you can also use the rear touch pad as you play and this fits well while using both sides of the Vita. The option to just use the front touch screen is also there for anyone who may be used to the arcade version.
The concept of the DJMax Technika games may sound simple at first, but you will soon discover that they offer a certain kind of challenge that most music games don't offer. Getting used to the flow of a song, as well as switching from front to back can be a bit daunting at first. Still, mastering them is rewarding and keeps the game from ever feeling too easy. You may feel the game can be a bit unforgiving at times, but this is overlapped by the amount of fun you have playing the game. Activating the fever mechanic can also take a bit of time to get a grip on without ruining your flow as you play through a song and it doesn't feel worth the pay off.
The arcade mode is made up of four modes: Star, Pop, Club, and Freestyle mixing. Besides Freestyle, the three mixing modes have you playing a certain number of tracks. Star is an easier mode recommended for starters, Pop offers more of a challenge, and Club is the most difficult mode that will challenge you much more than the other two. Freestyle lets you play any number of songs you want on any difficulty, but you need to unlock the song and difficulty for everything.
There are over 60 songs to play and they offer a wide variety of genres that are all fun to play or even just to listen to. The song list covers all sorts of pop, house, trance, and club music. Many of the songs included are from past DJMAX games and there are even some exclusive to Technika Tune. Each song has a music video to accompany it and these can range from cute to crazy.
Technika Tune really uses the Vita's screen to great effect and makes every video pop with crystal clear visuals. The only negative is that while playing you are so focused on the notes, that you will not have the time to enjoy watching the videos. Still this is only a small complaint and every music video can be watched as many times as you want in the collection mode. The collection mode also acts as a MP3 player, letting you listen to your favourite songs whenever you want.
Along with all the songs, Technika Tune also offers a lot of bonuses to unlock as you play songs and level up. Along with movies, there are many images from the music videos you can use for wallpapers on your Vita or just to show off to your friends. Levelling up will also be shown off on the leaderboards to compare with the rest of the world. While using the leaderboards isn't the most competitive way to challenge your friends, there is a Facebook option that lets you send your high score. This is all manual so you don't need to worry about having your wall become spammed with scores.
DJMax Technika Tune not only proves itself to be the best music/rhythm game on Vita, it also offers an experience superior to its arcade counterpart. After you get over the initial challenge of the somewhat steep learning curve, you have a portable experience unlike any other on the system. While some may look at the price and scoff it off, they will truly be missing out on a title that is easily one of the PlayStation Vita's best and brightest.