DJMAX Technika Tune Review – Vita’s Definitive Rhythm Game

DJ MAX Technika Tune Art 1

DJ MAX Technika Tune is a very overlooked game in my opinion, hence why I wanted to do a review for it now despite it being out for awhile. DJ MAX Technika Tune is also on a platform that is overlooked very often, the Playstation Vita. If you’ve never played a game in the franchise, DJ MAX is a series of games by Korean developer Pentavision. Technika Tune is a music/rhythm game, meaning you have to hit the notes at the right time for the music to keep playing.

The games traditionally use buttons for input, DJ MAX makes full use of the Vita’s touch capabilities. By full use, I mean they literally use absolutely every inch of the Vita’s front touch screen and also utilize the Vita’s back touch as well. Honestly, at first I was completely against having full touch controls over button controls but let me tell you I was wrong, oh was I wrong. I think I’m in love with this game.

There are three main difficulties in Technika Tune, they are: Star, Pop and Club. I’m pretty acclimated to rhythm and music games, so I got into the pop difficulty really easily. As soon as I progressed to Star I was really getting into the gameplay, there are two screens within the Vita’s screen, the top screen goes from left to right and the bottom screen goes from right to left. The speed at which the line moves never got overwhelming for me.

DJ MAX Technika Tune SS 1

There’s a lot of different kinds of notes in the game, basically you have to make sure that you hit them in the right order or in the right manner otherwise you’ll get misses, obviously those not only hurt your score but they also make you fail pretty easily – I’ve noticed this game tends to fail you easily compared to other music/rhythm games, but that isn’t a problem once you get more used to song’s note layout.

So there are different kinds of notes, they vary between single touch, touch+hold, touch+following patterns, back single touch, and back touch+hold. The notes that come in purple sequences have to be hit successfully in sequence, meaning if you miss one or some of the notes you obviously won’t get as good of points as you would if you hit them all sequentially.

Let’s talk about the music selection. There’s a lot of music in this game, by a lot I mean 66 songs in total. That’s a lot of music, and all of the songs cover a VERY wide range of musical genres, from K-pop to J-pop, jazz, metal, rock, techno trance, Irish celtic music, and so on. There’s a load of different kinds of music here and honestly I keep wanting to just play other songs to keep hearing how much variety there is.

DJ MAX Technika Tune SS 2

There’s a total of eight new songs for this game, all of the other songs are from previous DJ MAX releases. Still, the franchise has a clear fanbase and they keep coming back for more because these games are awesome. I’ll be honest, I’ve never played a DJ MAX game before but I am totally hooked on Technika Tune now. I’m actually regretting not getting into the franchise sooner now.

I’m currently level 46 in the game, the max level you can attain is 99 and clearly I have a long way to go. I’ve honestly lost count over how many hours I’ve put into the game. I just keep coming back for more and I can’t put it down every time I sit down to play a set. It’s just that addicting, this is the perfect kind of game for portable play, especially if you’re looking for a good music or rhythm game. You seriously don’t have to look anywhere else.

I’d say right now I’m a bit stuck on the Club difficulty but only with a few songs, some of them have gotten insanely hard for me. One thing I want to point out is that part of the difficulty has come from going from balancing front and back touch in songs. I forced myself to learn back touch instead of doing what most people have done – enabling front touch for back touch notes. I think this takes a fundamental piece of the difficulty away.

DJ MAX Technika Tune SS 3

Technika Tune has a really crazy amount of replayability. Not only do you keep unlocking songs as you get into the higher levels, you also unlock lots of images, dj icons, note styles and so on. You can also get pure visual/audio versions of all the songs in the game, meaning if you ever actually get tired of playing the songs, you can just listen to or watch them as a chance of pace.

You can unlock new DJ equipment meaning new DJ icons and note skins – both can heavily change your playing experience and even make the game a lot easier for you. Want notes that shine and pop more to make them easier to see? You can set that in the track selection portion. Want to focus on reeping in lots of experience points? You can set your avatar to one that focuses on an EXP bonus.

The game features a platinum trophy and honestly it’ll take you at least 50-60 hours and up, which is highly dependent on how skilled you are at the game. I think the difficulty does ramp up very quickly but since I’m a bit more experienced with rhythm and music games, I felt right at home. I think newcomers to the genre might be really turned off at the somewhat steep learning curve for Technika Tune.

I honestly can’t praise DJ MAX Technika Tune enough. The moment I overlooked the steep price and got my copy I’ve been completely enamored with the game ever since. I literally just can’t stop playing it, I keep coming back to it and I keep wanting to play it and get better at it. I think the only issues the game has are its steep price (due to licensing costs) and the complete lack of post-launch DLC or support.

Coming from this, the game as it is – is nearly perfect. I’ve only had the game lock on me once and I’ve never seen performance issues ever since and I’ve logged dozens upon dozens of hours into this game. It just never gets old to me and I feel like I can log dozens and dozens more. If you own a Vita, I can honestly say this is a must own for any Vita owner – unless you just hate music, or music games.

I haven’t met anyone who hates music, so I guess that leaves people who just don’t like music games? For everyone else, if  you were on the fence about this one because of the price or because of it using touch – just get it. I really can’t speak highly enough of this game, I’ve played quite a few rhythm and music games in my time and I am now an enormous fan of DJ MAX and most especially Technika Tune.

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.