I’m supposed to do a VN Dev related post but since it’s not quite “there” yet as far as progress goes… I’ll post something else related to my Mobile Gaming research since I Uncle Mugen plan to release future OELVN’s (that’s EVN’s for you uncultured peasants! XD) and part of this research is play mobile games to see how they design their GUI to be as comfortable and convenient for the mobile device world. Of course, there would be one or two games that I might get too attached to and this is one of those games.
Anyway… As the title says, this is going to be a review of DJ Max Technika Q for Android. I’m supposed to cover both the Android and the iOS but for some odd reason, connecting to iOS is always a hit or miss with more miss than hits so fuck iOS version, we’ll stick with Android for this review… (I’ve used a fresh virgin iPad Air and connectivity is spotty while only 1 of the 5 test android devices of varying wear and tear conditions failed, they always logged in and started the game… of course, with a bit of waiting time. The one that failed to start is a borrowed rooted device… I have no idea what rooted device means but it probably means a tampered device… )
Ehem!… Back to the game itself. To those unfamiliar with DJ Max… it’s this Rhythm Game that appeared in various forms from a Guitar Hero type wanna-be to the more familiar and widely known poking game where you press buttons in a timed manner corresponding to the music video playing in the background.
Some music are forgiving requiring you to just poke a few buttons and sliders here and there with enough time to savor the tunes you’ll find yourself humming later while in the bathroom while some songs are pure spawn of Satan (I’m looking at you Son of Sun!) where you won’t get much rest at all, you’ll find yourself spewing Fuck You’s and Shit’s left and right due to the missed presses and in extreme cases, could really hurt your finger by poking a little bit too hard… no really, it happened to me… For reference, here’s an earlier post I made about DJ Max Technika (the Arcade Version)… trust me, this game is so addicting!
So this game called DJ Max Technika Q is basically a freemium, dumbed down, raped and molested version of DJ Max Technika Arcade. The timing of the press is a bit tight compared to the arcade version but that’s probably because of the generally smaller screen of Technika Q.
One thing that separates this from previous DJ Max Games is that it’s FREE for download accompanied by a not so generous initial content of 7 songs. One of which “Oblivion” is an absolute favorite of mine. The free content selection varies in tempo, content, difficulty and genre to get you used to the game system. To fans of the huge arcade cabinets, this is as close as you can get to the real Arcade experience especially now that the servers for Technika 2 and 3 are already shut down and screw the PSVita version, it’s just way to small to be enjoyable.
You can unlock songs by either purchasing them in music packs with each packs containing 4 songs for 60Q (the primary in game currency) or individual songs for 20Q each. Or if you prefer the masochistic way, you can try doing in game quests where you earn both Max Points and Q Points where you can redeem them for in-game items and songs.
For the really adventurous type who want to play dangerously, there are a few handicaps ranging from blinking icons to reverse direction modes to totally invisible modes which makes the game harder but more exciting to play. There is also a scoreboard that gets updated regularly so you can compare how well you perform against other players… you know, for ego stroking purposes XD…
Also, you can listen and savor the songs you’ve unlocked/purchased in the Album mode either in Audio or Video modes.
Now we discuss, the bad parts of this game. The light issue is about the calibration. Compared to the Arcade Cabinets, this one is really tight on the timing and kinda strict on the scoring system (Note: Can be calibrated via the Option/Config). Unlike the arcade, this one only limits you to up to 2 “FEVERS” per song so unlike the arcade versions, you’ll have to be “REALLY” careful where and when you’ll activate the “FEVER MODE” for the effect to really count. Then again, this may in fact be a good thing as this adds a bit of strategy element into the gameplay. You have to be really REALLY precise to get an “A” or an “S” rating… it’s not quite brutal but definitely strict.
You can earn Q POINTS in game without throwing cash via the in-game quests but they’re spaced out every 10 level increments so doing it this way will definitely take a while to earn enough Q POINTS and unlock/build a library of songs. Their pricing for the Q POINTS is kinda reasonable though. You can buy say… 60 Q POINTS for US$5.99 and get yourself a songpack containing 4 preset songs or buy songs of your choice individually for 20 Q POINTS each. Now the thing I hate about this is the way they spread out some of my favorite songs into different packs.
I’m not interested in buying/unlocking Thor and it’s other iteration but it’s bundled together with one of my favorite songs. I can buy the whole pack for 60 Q POINTS and get my favorite song but then I’ll end up with three additional songs that I never wanted in the first place. I can pick favorite songs individually but at 20 Q POINTS each, I’ll only get 3 songs instead of 4. It’s no really biggie matter but still somewhat annoying.
Da Ugly… and I mean REALLY UGLY ISSUES about this game!
Let’s start with the really ugly issue of “ALWAYS ONLINE” requirement.
It’s kinda understandable to some degree actually because DJ Max Technika is about 2 things… Enjoying a good Rhythm Game and Bragging about Scores to other players, for the second one, you definitely need the game online so it can fetch and update scores and other stats. This has probably had to do with my current shitty location for any online activity (Failiphines aka Philippines)… but connectivity with anything iOS (as far as my experience go) is borderline acceptable to just plain shit (not connect)… WiFi connection faired a bit better but still generally shitty, the reason why I moved this review to Android. In Fairness, iPad Air can play the game at max settings without much lag (if it connects and actually starts). While Android connectivity is a more solid constant, it still takes a good minute or two before the game starts due to the game fetching data online. In the days of the Commodore 64 this is acceptable but this is year 2014/2015 (aka the year of JUSTIN BIEBER)… long loading times even on Mobile devices is unacceptable! Long story short, if you’re playing this game regardless of your preferred device, please play this on WiFi because the songs (especially downloading them after buying) takes a huge chunk of data and that is not good for your Mobile Data (especially in Shitty Philippines)… still, I wish there would be a way in the future for this game to be played offline.
Another issue is the way this game scans your device. It simply hates rooted devices and I know why… the music video (webm) is actually stored in there thus the devs made sure that you’ll never get to enjoy this song on any rooted device to protect their content. You can install them but you cannot play them on a rooted device… Not really looked very deeply into this issue but there has been rumors that this game also scans for other apps (specifically cheating apps) and same as for rooted devices, it just stops… while this may be reasonable move as far as the devs is concerned… I still think it’s pretty much a dick move… as far as I’m concerned (which probably doesn’t matter much ;_;)
On game performance-wise. It plays well on an iPhone / iPad Air with no issues other than the initial log-in / start. Android devices on the other hand doesn’t have the start up problems that bog the iPad / iPhone (in my experience) but depending on the device, excluding the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the performance lags a bit if BG animation is on… turning it off recovers a lot of performance but you’ll now end up with a static BG while playing though in the long run you’ll barely notice it anyway.
Is the game enjoyable?… You bet it was! But be prepared to spend from $20 to $40 to unlock new songs because the 7 default ones gets old really fast.
Don’t have stable online connection?… then don’t download this because this game is a bit of a bitch regarding constant online connectivity.
If I need to score this game with the 1 out of 10 rating thingy with 10 being the max… I’ll give it a 6.5… while it’s certainly an enjoyable game, the constant online requirement is a bit painful for players in shitty countries like the Philippines whose online connections are 4th world country quality while paying premium… seriously, fuck Philippines and Philippine Internet!
Whew!… That was sort of a long post… I need to stop for now :)