Tag Archives: rhythm

Touch Screen Beats

DJMAX Technika (arcade)

IMG_2392I did not like this game. Don’t misunderstand, it’s worth playing. It isn’t a bad game. I’m just a very sore loser. In my defense, this game is significantly harder and more complex than it looked. I think there is a vast network of complexity to DJMAX Technika that I was not able to experience because I couldn’t make it through even one song properly. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but it is overwhelming.

The game uses two HD displays: A lower touch screen which you, the player, uses to play the game, and an upper screen, which is there for spectators to view your humiliation. There are various mixing modes, which affect the difficulty and how many songs the player can access. Basically, the song plays and a timeline moves across the touch screen and the player taps the screen accordingly. The note system is pretty simple:


    • Note: Tap the note once when the crosses the center of the note.
    • Long Note [Holding]: Touch note and hold until the end.
    • Long Note [Dragging]: Touch and drag the circular note along the path while keep pace with the timeline.
    • Chain Note: Hit all notes when the line passes over them.
    • Repeat Note: Press the note and hold. Tap again when the line crosses the arrows.

This doesn’t seem quite so daunting until the notes are all there at once and the tempo is set to “hummingbird heartbeat”. The mode I played might have been set too high. Yup. That’s it.

Reflec Beat (iOS and Android)
IMG_7128A game I would more happily recommend is Reflec Beat. One, it’s portable. Two, it’s free (kind of). The game uses a similar note system to DJ Technika. In many ways, these are the same game, but in many more ways they are not. For starters, Reflec Beat is a bit more forgiving to first-time users. Second, it’s a competitive game so you can get another person in on the action, to help bolster your self-esteem. Unlike the former, where the goal is to show off and rack up a high score, the objective of Reflec Beat is to attack your opponent and deflect their attacks. It takes some getting used to, but it does become very fun, very quickly.

  • Gold Note: bounces to the opposite direction if it is touched on the line.
  • Black Note disappears when touched.
  • Long Note: touch and hold until the note is finished.
  • Chain Note: Just like DJMAX Technika’s “Chain Note”. Tap
  • 2TOP Note [MEDIUM and HARD difficulty]: tap note when it overlaps the receptors on the side of the screen.

I won’t lie– I only know all of this because I just looked it up on Wikipedia. I don’t really bother with the strategy of the game; I just frantically tap the iPad like a cat at a goldfish tank. But Reflec Beat such an interesting take on the classic rhythm game that I definitely recommend at least trying it. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

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Feel the Rhythm

magfestarcadeTo start the new year on a strong video game note, Chip and I attended our first MAGfest (Music and Games Festival) together last weekend. Apart from an excellent lineup of musical acts and entertaining panels, this convention boasts an impressive arcade set up. Nearly every kind of title you can imagine was available. From vintage arcade cabinets to pinball machines to numerous fighting games, all were free to play. Instead of overwhelming ourselves, darting back and forth between childhood favorites (most of which we could easily download from the Xbox Live Arcade), we decided to focus our attention on the pile of rhythm games we wouldn’t be able to play at home.

magfesttaikoUpon returning from MAGFest, we had a number of discussions about simulated dancing/drumming/guitar…ing, which inspired us to spend this month exploring the rhythm genre. One reason we chose to examine this particular genre here on GIMMGP is because these titles are by far and wide the easiest way to introduce a non-gamer to the world of video games. Rhythm games often feature intuitive controls and encourage group participation. Most people won’t play these types of games for nearly as long (or at all) if there isn’t anyone else around to share in the experience. It’s an awesome genre of gateway games that anyone can enjoy.

Many of the games we will be covering are more common in arcade culture than at-home gaming, but we’ll look at some rhythm games available for mobile devices and consoles as well. So to get us started, here are a few suggestions worth checking out.

The Arcade
Arcade culture isn’t as prevalent in Western society as it used to be, but it is definitely still around. For example, Dave & Buster’s has about 55 locations across the US. Most of the locations I’ve been to offer many of the games we are going to cover. While this option can become a little pricey, it’s still provides a great experience: rhythm games and alcohol, dancing and drinking. It’s like going to a club, but better because everyone is actually having fun.
Recommendations: Dance Dance Revolution, Pump It Up

Mobile Devices
Between the iPhone and the 3DS, we have managed to acquire an impressive array of mobile rhythm games. If your girlfriend is looking for a way to share in your hobby, point her in this direction. These games are normally short and easy to learn. Be warned: if she doesn’t like them, it probably means she doesn’t like fun, so you shouldn’t be dating her anyways.
Recommendations: Reflect Beat (iPhone), Rhythm Heaven (DS)

If you don’t have an arcade nearby or you aren’t looking to interact with the outside world, there are certainly options still available. Rhythm games for home consoles normally fall into three categories, based on their input devices:

Instrument Controllers: These games generally require use of accessories based on real-life instruments to play the game properly. Most likely you already own these items, or you know someone who isn’t playing theirs anymore that you can borrow.
Recommendations: Rock Band, Guitar Hero

Motion Controls: These games are played with existing motion-sensing hardware [Wii] or with peripherals that can be used with other games [Kinect, Playstation Move(haha j/k, no one uses the Move)]
Recommendations: Dance Central (Xbox + Kinect), Just Dance (Wii)

Traditional Controllers: Some of GIMMGP’s personal favorites are from back in the days before these new fangled gidgets and gadgets hit the market. These games were great fun and many are available for cheap download, check them out.
Recommendations: Parappa the Rapper, Bust-a-Groove

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