DJ Max Technika Tune, the long-awaited sequel to the DJ Max franchise, has finally debuted on the PlayStation Vita. Instead of the keyboard-based rhythm gameplay that the DJ Max series has traditionally been based upon, the Technika series opts for a simple touchscreen based system. Technika Tune is based off of the Technika line of arcade systems with controls optimized for the Vita’s dual touch pads. Is DJ Max Technika Tune the pinnacle of portable rhythm gaming?
Check out what’s hot and not in our review of DJ Max Technika Tune.
Lots of catchy music
Technika Tune serves as a sort of “Greatest Hits” compilation of songs from the recent games. There’s such a diverse lineup of songs, ranging from ‘Reggaeton-Like’ to ‘Mordern Rock’ to even a few tracks from Korean superstars KARA. The 60-plus song list in the game pulls from the more recent titles in the series, from Portable Black Square and Clazziquai Edition to the three Technika arcade titles. There’s also another eight tracks made exclusively for Technika Tune. Sadly, there’s no songs from Clazziquai themselves but Pentavision has expressed interest in releasing future DLC for the game, so there is always hope.
Some of the music stays with you long after putting the game down. I can’t count how many times I’ve started humming the chorus to KARA’s Jumping or started drumming End of the Moonlight on my desk.
Throwing the conventional keyboard stylings of previous DJ Max entries out the window, DJ Max Technika Tune instead opts for a purely touch screen experience. Utilizing both the front and rear touchpads on the Vita, players will have to tap, swipe, and hold scrolling notes to the beat of the song. Notes using the back touchpad have their own note pattern and are thankfully pretty easy to press no matter how you hold your Vita. There’s also an option to disable the rear touchpad and play all of those notes additionally on the front screen, though that tends to clutter up the screen in some of the higher difficulties.
Technika Tune is by far one of the prettiest games I’ve played on my Vita. While much of the screen layout is minimal in the middle of a song, everything just seems to pop. Notes are very colorful and stand out from the background video while the score panel sits none too assuming above the playing field. Unlike games like Dance Dance Revolution where so often the colors just seem to blend together, I haven’t found myself getting too distracted by having the notes and background visuals mesh together. Perhaps if the booty-shaking music video for KARA’s Mister was in the game, this would be another story. Each and every song in Technika Tune‘s roster has its own music video playing behind the action, each one full of beautiful color and taking full advantage of the Vita’s AMOLED display.