DJMax Technika Tune Review


Sup, nerds? It’s brainchild here with a review of Pentavision Studio’s DJMax Technika Tune, a rhythm game for the PlayStation Vita. If you’ve ever played and enjoyed a game like Osu, Elite Beat Agents, or other DJMax Technika games, you’ll feel right at home with Technika Tune. It’s all about tapping, holding, and dragging notes around to some catchy music – K-pop in this case. I’ve only played those games a few times at the most, however, so I’m here to share my probably really misinformed opinion on it. If you’re like me, a gentleman of refined tastes, maybe this review will help you decide if you want to get the game. Might as well put your Vita to use, right? (Well, there’s Persona 4 Golden, but that’s for another time…)

Anyway, despite not really being into those types of games, I actually enjoyed Technika’s gameplay. The notes match up nicely, the feedback and response is spot on, and the music sounds good. It’s a great game, but I’m not sure it’s a best-designed product overall. There are some design choices I strongly take issue with.

Let’s at least start with the good: The gameplay. Like I said, the game is similar to Osu, but it has some significant differences. When you tap a note, it’s like Rock Band or Guitar Hero. You hear instant feedback on your response, and it feels good compared to that tambourine shit in Osu. Not only that, the area where you tap the notes is divided in two areas. Another great idea because it allows you to move your hand in a very natural circle-like pattern to hit all the notes. The only downside, not exclusive to this game but all touchscreen-based games, is that your hand gets in the way of the bottom of the screen – a major reason I generally hate touchscreen-based games. You’re playing against yourself half the time.

Enough of that, though. There are a variety of gestures you can perform that combine in really crazy ways, especially on the harder songs on Normal and Hard difficulty. It provides a good challenge, so even if you’re an expert at Osu, you can still jump into Technika on Normal or Hard (and its four gameplay modes) and feel like the game is offering you something new. You can see many of the notes in advance, so each song isn’t necessarily a cycle of fail, remember the pattern, fail the next pattern, and so on. Honestly though, there’s not much to say beyond you hit stuff as it shows up. It’s simple, but fun.

In terms of visuals, I usually hate music videos because they’re generally hipster-as-shit attempts at metaphor, a video of the band playing at various angles, or people doing a random dance routine. And as you know, K-pop is all about the random dance routines. Luckily, that’s only the case for the songs by Kara. On the whole, the game features many unique visualizations, though the range of quality is fairly wide. I swear to God they just asked a bunch of Korean flash artists to animate them. No matter how “bad” they are, though, I still prefer them to your average music video. In a game that’s being released in multiple regions where people aren’t necessarily going to speak the language of the game, it’s good to have these language-agnostic videos instead of licensing the actual music video. Maybe Pentavision was just being cheap, but it worked out for me. Seeing the characters act out the song provides a lot more information. It’s not pointless colors like DDR or something either. There’s a lot of story involved. Many of them are like short OVAs, something some of you might appreciate – I know I certainly did. I’ve also found a pattern with the songs: The good ones have anime-like covers. So there you go. Just play those songs… unless you like Kara or something.



Unfortunately, the experience is somewhat marred by design decisions made by Pentavision, some by Sony. First of all, the game is entirely touch based except for the Start button. This is really annoying when using the directional pad would be a million times faster for a lot of the movement outside of actual gameplay. An example is during the main menu. You have to click the button you want like Arcade or Collection. Then you wait for the turntable. Finally, you can click the button again after it’s moved to confirm your choice. It gets old, when using the D-pad and X would’ve been a better solution. The same thing goes for picking songs. It would’ve been much easier to be able to use the D-pad to scroll through the songs. Don’t even get me started on Fever mode – it’s annoying as all hell to activate. The Vita itself is also against you. The position of the buttons elongates the Vita and makes it difficult to play with two hands. It’s quite the catch-22 when I occasionally want to use a D-pad, but that shit also gets in the way of actually playing the game. Also, why is there no Girl’s Generation?! Or Big Bang?

So, despite being annoying as fuck to navigate, they did design a few good systems. You can go back to your Collection and check out images you’ve unlocked, but who the hell is going to look at those? More importantly, you can rewatch the animations or listen to the songs you’ve unlocked in Album mode. Now if only you could build a playlist and listen to the songs with the Vita screen off…

For most core gamers, Technika probably isn’t even on their radar. It’s sadly a rather niche product, what with being a rhythm game that specifically features K-pop and all. But if you’re looking for a fun diversion for those times you’re tired of killing Shadows, exploring uncharted ruins, or wooing your little sister, this game’s got you covered. It’s easily enjoyed in short chunks, as filler to your usual gaming repertoire, or as your main game itself.

TL;DR Version:

Things I liked:

+ Fun gameplay with varied mechanics (You can use the rear touchpad + touchscreen or only the touchscreen!)

+ Great visuals that tell you a story with each song

+ Music is a nice mix of electronica, R&B, pop, rock, and reggae (wat)

+ Two rows of notes is a nice touch

Things I didn’t like:

– Touchscreen navigation is annoying

– Game menu is infuriating

– Varied selection, but not enough songs

– Kara

The mix of fun gameplay, awesome visualizations, and many good songs truly surprised me. I really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I give DJMax Technika Tune a 7 out of 10 (Good). If you aren’t already into rhythm games, this isn’t likely to convert you, but it’s an enjoyable game nonetheless if you ever get a chance to play it.

Posted by brainchild under Video Game Reviews, Vita | Permalink

5 Responses to “DJMax Technika Tune Review”

  1. Amatsumagatsuchi says:


  2. Xoleum says:

    I’ll stay with stepmania.

  3. a random fan says:

    Well, you can spin the main menu if you really want it to turn faster.

  4. chen says:

    I do hope they release a polished version of the original DJ Max Portable Series from the PSP to the Vita. I know they are running out of songs so I won’t mind having a game with a compilation of songs from DJMP1+DJMP2+DJMP3 or Clazziquai+BlackSquare. As long as it has the same game mechanics as the original, not the stupid nub mixing in DJMP3, expect me to get it!

  5. Rich says:

    Any idea if there will be a Vita release for the DjMax portable series?