Oh man oh man it’s finally out - the latest installment of the DJ Max Portable series on PSP - Clazziquai Edition! Loaded with songs from Korean Acid Jazz/Electronica/R&B fusion band Clazziquai, DJMPCE isn’t the “official sequel” to DJ Max Portable 2, but rather a side title of the main series (similar to Guitar Hero Aerosmith). With new modes like 2 button and 4 button FX, CE is geared towards newcomers that might have been scared off by the difficulty of the first two games.
For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, DJ Max Portable is what I would call “DDR for your thumbs”… or better yet, a much more polished version of Beatmania. Notes fall down from the top of the screen and you must push the corresponding button at the right time - proper timing results in a song that sounds on-rhythm! Clazziquai includes 2 button (up/left and triangle/circle), 4 button (left, up, triangle, circle), 5 button (left, up, right/square, triangle, circle), 6 button (left, up, right…), and 4 button FX (adds R and L) modes to suit your skill level as you familiarize yourself with the gameplay. Trust me - it’s not easy when you first start out, but once you get the hang of it, pushing those buttons and hearing the notes becomes some kind of aural crack…
What really makes DJ Max special is a combination of great songs, amazing gameplay, perfect execution, and endless replay value. That, however, doesn’t make Clazziquai Edition perfect - it’s far too easy, there’s only 48 songs (compared to the 100+ in DJMP2), the note charts aren’t as fun - but make no mistake, it’s still a fabulous game with great music.
It doesn’t end with Clazziquai - the true successor to the series, “DJ Max Portable Black Square” is set to come out sometime in November, and the first American release “DJ Max Fever” (a compilation of DMP1 and 2) is dated for November 11th.
Here’s a video of me playing one of the medium-level songs in the game (yea, I suck, laugh it up):
Clazziquai Edition requires PSP firmware 4.01 or higher - it’s possible to play the game with 3.71, but the songs will be missing the background music and vocal track. So upgrade if you haven’t!