DJMax Respect Review
Rhythm games may be all but dead to American studios, but the genre is alive and kicking overseas. Neowiz’ DJMax series makes its triumphant return stateside with DJMax Respect, a culmination of what the series stands for. There is no shortage of content here, but does it have the quality to match?
DJMax Respect Review
Never played a DJMax game before? No need to worry – DJMax is the best place in the series to start. Featuring more than 140 songs of varying genres, its setlist contains tracks from the two PlayStation Portable titles, along with 40 original tracks. In addition, all previous videos have been redone in high definition. The sheer amount of content means that players won’t be starved for choice.
To play, players can choose from a four, five, six, or eight button setup. Much like Konami’s Beatmania series, the goal of DJMax Respect is to hit the scrolling notes at the right time. Each note corresponds to a section of the song, so the better you play, the better each song sounds. This works a lot better than titles like Dance Dance Revolution, as it offers more feedback during each song.
The button configuration for each layout is spread across the d-pad, face buttons, triggers, and analog sticks in certain sections. It’s not as intuitive as Beatmania’s dedicated seven-key controller – neophytes will likely fumble with such concepts as two note inputs as they figure out what notes correspond to which inputs on the controller. However, the game is learnable – albeit with a steep learning curve.
If anything, this steep skill ceiling will have players jamming for some time. Each song is rated on a 15 point scale, with “Normal,” “Hard,” and even “Extreme” difficulties for certain songs. There is a grading system in place, and the accuracy which each note is hit factors greatly into this. Players can start out with the button setup of their choice, and can also tweak the speed and other variables before each track. Even subtle options, like the brightness of the screen, can be adjusted. No stone was left unturned by the development team – this is one polished game.
Outside of the main Arcade mode that features three stages, players can play through all unlocked songs in its Free Style mode. A Mission mode is also available, which tasks players with such tasks as reaching a certain score or making a small amount of “break” mistakes. Players can also take their musical prowess online, though there is almost nobody on as of this review.
Rounding things off is a leveling system tied to the players’ account. There are goodies to be had, including unlockable songs and gallery images, which will certainly keep completionists playing.
DJMax Respect has a steep learning curve, but it provides a rewarding experience with tons of content. Those willing to cut their teeth will find a rhythm game that can easily hang with the greats of the genre.