DJMax Respect is the long-awaited comeback from DJMax with a golden crown…
DJMax Respect is the newest addition to the DJ Max series, co-developed by Rocky Studio and DJMax Sound Lab Team. Published by Neowiz, the now-owners of Pentavision – who fans will recall for handling the original DJMax titles. Released on July 28, 2017, the game retains a vast majority of the songs from DJMax Portable & Portable 2, with these tracks accounting for around two thirds of the overall songs list. They are joined by 40 new songs to comprise a total of 146 unique tracks available from launch, with additional DLC songs on the horizon.
All four primary classic modes of gameplay make their return: Arcade Mode is a single player experience, focused on increasing one’s score and ranking throughout three songs of increasing difficulty; the usual ‘arcade’ feel. Freestyle Mode can be enjoyed single player or against an offline opponent versus-style (new feature), where you can play and unlock songs without interruption. Mission Mode is perhaps the most well-known option for players seeking an enhanced challenge, with awards waiting after each completion. Finally, connecting to the Playstation Network allows players to compete in Online Battle against opponents worldwide.
Not a hardcore DJMax Portable fan but I really love this game
At this point, I’m a seasoned DJMax player, having started from playing Clazziquai years ago, and advancing my game by indulging in Hot Tunes, Black Square and other installments in the series. I also played the Arcade / Technika spinoffs, which feature an entirely different form of gameplay, thus were difficult for me to adapt to, in part due to my height and vision issues.
Upon DJMax Respect’s release, I purchased it without hesitation, as someone who appreciates the music in these titles, right down to their instrumentals. As expected, this installment was a respectable return to form.
While the core mechanics will appear familiar to any DJMax veteran, a number of version-specific features have been removed, including the Speed-Up mechanic of Fever, the extra abilities on Gears / Skins, and the additional scoring while Fever mode is activated. Returning songs have been visually enhanced, and are perfect for HD viewing, but many gamers have also claimed this has led to input delay that could cripple the experience found in a fast-paced challenge like DJMax Respect.
Engaging in Mission Mode feels like playing Black Square all over again, with the difficulty of missions ranging from easily accessible four-button songs, to unfathomably relentless six and eight button songs, which feel brutal even to me at this time.
Available from the main menu is the player’s Collection, where their profile, achievements, goals and playtime/playcount are readily viewable. Seeing my fave songs such as U.A.D and Elastic Star on the most played list is cute! Also to my liking were the space-themed level up icons and the customizable plate/comment options one can set, which can be seen on Online Battles — these comments range from lighthearted assessments on a player’s skill-level, to taunts which can be used to troll the opponent.
Also present is a Gallery containing aesthetically pleasing photos specific to each song, consisting of screenshots from the MVs, to concept art. Perfect to capture and utilize as a PSN profile banner!
To wrap it up
Overall, DJMax Respect is an exceptional game with plenty of content to keep fans of the franchise coming back for more, especially to those folks who missed out on the Portable series, or want to play it all over again (please release BS and Clazziquai DLCs). Despite this, it can also seem difficult or off-putting to newcomers unfamiliar with the mechanics that rhythm games offer, so grinding the Freestyle mode, or achieving 1Million Max Combos are viable options to familiarize oneself with this game.