We got to sit down with developers PM Studios to talk about the new arcade only rhythm game, DJ MAX Technika. Being a fan of other rhythm games like Beat Mania and Dance Maniacs, Technika was filled with amazing music, game play and a hot pink flashy sound stage that made you feel a little more than noticeable. Already a hit in Korean arcades, here's hoping the American audience will fall in love with this game like I did.
Steven Yum, Project Manager, was more than generous enough to lend his day to taking me out to Arcade Infinity in Fullerton, CA to try out DJ MAX Technika. He and his brother, co-founder of PM Studios, are huge fans of the gaming world. The companies goal was to bring something back to the already dying arcade business. In return, they gave us a high definition, touch screen rhythm game with over 55 original songs made just for the game. Every song is a Koran pop beat with a few, exclusive to the game, from the popular Korean band Clazziquai.
When I first stood on the sound stage, I was heavily impressed with the clarity of the duel screens. The one on top is a 32 inch for people to watch what you are doing on the 22 inch bottom touch screen. Scrolling through the game's playlists, you'll see that for every level you complete, the songs and difficulty change per round. There are three total rounds to play, the first being easier or a level one to two difficulty, the second increasing slightly being a three to four and so on. There are also four difficulty modes Lite, Pop (Normal), Technical (Hard) and Platinum Crew (not available in the states currently). For beginners, Lite Mode will walk you through a small tutorial on what the different symbols do i.e. tapping once, holding, rapid tapping and following. If you miss a note in Lite Mode, your power meter drains slower as it would in the more advanced levels as well. If you miss too many, you fail.
PM Studios is working on bringing Platinum Crew, the online functionality to the state machines. There will be ten collectible Technika cards that players will be able to accumulate points on. The points can be traded in-game for numerous goodies including an Effector that will help you collect more points. Right now they are working on a way to transfer points from one card to another. Added songs per month are in the plans once online functions go live so players have more to look forward to everytime they play, as well as online rankings.
Playing through a few times, I couldn't believe how light of a touch you needed for the game to register. The learning curve is quite easy once you start, however, it's just up to your reflexes and hand eye coordination on how well you score. Every last song impressed me along with the original animation videos made for their respective song titles. They were beautiful and almost at times, distracting because I wanted to see what was going on back there. I could have played all day. Two things that he wasn't sure if there are any plans for were a multiplayer option, or a DS version capitalizing on its touch screen.
Steven informed me that they were a hit at Anime Expo, I remember the line being huge for people to try, and they have received an overwhelming amount of support. If you find a DJ MAX Technika near you, let us know what you think. You can find more information about PM Studios here or follow them on twitter here!