DJ Max Technika Guide
The Snareblog Guide to DJ Max Technika
Last Update: June 18, 2009 – will not be updated any further due to the release of Technika 2 in the United States. If you followed the link from the paper stuck to the Technika machine at your college arcade (as I understand it, that machine jumps from place to place), do me a favor and ask your arcade operator if you can just tear that sucker off (apologies, Mark, this must be done!!).
Warning: This guide is rather old (at the time of this edit, Technika 3 has had all of its content fully released in its Max Point Shop and we’re not even sure if there’s gonna be a Technika 4).
This guide does not have Evolution EP content, such as new songs, Technical sets, and Platinum Crew missions.
Unfortunately, despite the international reach of the game, this guide has been prepared solely in English.
DJ Max Technika (or, if you prefer to do it the Asian, and more official way, DJMAX Technika) is a new arcade game, made by Korean company Pentavision Entertainment. It’s a music game that’s played by tapping notes on a lower 22-inch touch-screen in time with the music. An upper 32-inch screen “broadcasts” your gameplay, attracting people to the cabinet.
Originally, I meant for the following content to be part of a post I made entitled Playing the Future, but I wanted to be able to update this and keep it in a convenient place for people to find easily. And so, henceforth, I’ve collected the following notes into their own separate page. Consider this the first attempt at an English guide to Technika, if you will, and whether or not you’ve got a fresh machine in your area or you’ve already beheld the glory of the game, I invite you to read on.
Please note that this guide corresponds to International Version 4, which is the international build of the game prior to the Evolution EP update.
Disclaimer as per usual: DJ Max Technika is copyright 2008-2009 Pentavision Entertainment, with special mention to PM Studios for their localization efforts. Song data (namely, songlists for each stage and course) is lifted from the DJ Max Guide and Tips Board at Ruliweb; I would like to thank and acknowledge them for sharing their info.
A Note on Convention
I have three overall terms in this guide that I use, to refer to the different charts of a song. These are canon terms, but the shortenings are not, so I’d like to introduce you to them.
- Popular Mixing charts are referred to as Popular Patterns. In speech, you can just say Pop. In writing, the acronym PP is used.
- Similarly, Technical Mixing charts are referred to as Technical Patterns; Tech in speech, TP in writing.
- The Platinum Mixing mode has a handful of unique charts that you can’t find anywhere else. These are referred to as Special patterns, or SP for short.
- Sometimes, you’ll hear people refer to NM, HD, and MX charts of a song, a carryover from the core DJ Max series. These usually refer to PP, TP, and SP respectively.
Basic Gameplay Tidbits
- At its easiest, the game is played by tapping notes on the bottom touchscreen when the scrolling judgement line hits the note. There are four kinds of notes; a regular note you just tap on; a hold note requires players to hold a note until the judgement line passes through it; repeat tap notes have additional bars connected to them, which are markers that signal when the player hits the main note with; and chain and drag hold notes require players to follow a connected path line with their fingers.
- The lifebar is relatively difficult for players who are used to other music game lifebars. A miss takes away a decent chunk of life, but regaining life is not too difficult if a player keeps up a combo.
- The timing is, also, pretty hard. Initially, players thought that the game had lag, but that was only an effect of the tighter timing required by faster songs.
- There are five judgements – in order, Max, Cool, Good, Break, Miss. Both Breaks and Misses break your combo, but you get a miss if you attempted to play a note but failed to time it properly, while a break is just missing a note entirely.
- There’s a different songlist for each stage, forcing both newbies and seasoned veterans of the music game genre to hit the ground running. Also, difficulties for songs are, by default, separated by modes; it is possible to unlock harder charts through missions.
- Grading is rather strict. Players can make several mistakes at the beginning of the song, perfect the rest, and still get a C. At the end of the game, players get an overall grade; every grade is calculated by percentages (0% misses/breaks – but not both in tandem! – gets you an A, for example).
- Expert (Technical) mode is a choice of three songs of your choosing from a list of seven, followed by a “hidden” boss song (denoted by a locked fourth circle) , played in succession. The lifebar on Expert mode is a mishmash of DanceDanceRevolution and beatmania – players must meet a quota (75% for first stage, 50% for second, 25% for third, and 0% for the last), but unlike beatmania, once the bar hits 0%, the game ends prematurely. The lifebar becomes harder as the course progresses. If a player attains 95% MAX throughout the first two stages, the player will have a chance to beat a hidden ‘true’ boss song; for example, you normally get Come to Me TP as your last stage in First Step, but do well and you’ll end up with Lover TP.
- There is no option in the test menu to change difficulty, ensuring consistency in gameplay regardless of which machine you play on. Similarly, there is no option in the test menu to change the amount of songs you get per credit.
- Name entry for score ranking is 8 characters maximum, all caps, no spaces allowed (e.g. I can do S.SNARE but not S. SNARE; also, unfortunately, Spiritsnare is a 11-letter name). High scores that are not linked to a Platinum Club card are wiped from the machine upon shutdown to prevent people from spamming the machine with scores. Similarly, Platinum Club card scores have only one entry in the ranking; if the person beats their own score, the machine does not give them a separate entry for it, but instead overwrites their lower score.
DJ Max board @ the Bemanistyle.com Forums
After DJMAX:US died, Bemanistyle’s forum became one of the the English-language nexuses for DJ Max info – the other (and more popular one) being GameFAQs’ handful of forums. I’m not going to link GameFAQs here because their main draw is info on consumer software (home version) releases, and their Technika section is honestly not worth a mention right now. Particular threads of note are the main Technika discussion thread, my Technika locations thread, and the Platinum Crew song wishlist thread.
Platinum Crew Global Site
Now with Technika 2.
DJ Max Technika Korean Site
The teaser site for the Korean release of Technika.
Platinum Crew Korean Site
The site for the Korean implementation of the DJ Max Platinum Crew service. Of note here are score rankings (click the Technika tab on the top, then click the ranking entries to the left).
DJ Max Technika Japanese Site
The teaser site for the Japanese release of Technika.
DJ Max Guide and Tips Board at Ruliweb
Can you read Korean? Even if you can’t, there are some good reference posts here, from where a good chunk of this information comes from. Of particular note is the Rank Acquisition table.
Platinum Crew Hong Kong
It’s Platinum Crew – in English! This is probably the best indication of what Western players can expect out of their local iteration of the Platinum Crew service.
DJ Max Gate Thailand / Platinum Crew Thailand
Platinum Crew Taiwan
Platinum Crew China
Featuring localized PlatCrew stuff into Thai and Traditional Chinese; among the most useful are machine location lists.
The holy grail of Korean DJ Max insider info; his video index is comprehensive, covering every single chart lined out from the machine for your viewing enjoyment (for best results, download the PSP-formatted ones; the streams take quite a long time…unless you’re in Asia!).
Play-Asia (referral link)
Are you one of the people who want to indulge in the rest of the series? Play-Asia stocks and continues to stock every import DJ Max game, if you’re curious and you’ve got a PSP (or an able PC, in the case of Trilogy). Oh, and they stock three varieties of tees, too, if you’re interested in wearable goods.