Important Importables: Korean music games

May 15, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Korean music games

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS2, Xbox, PCs, Windows, Handhelds, PSP & PSPgo, Cell-Phones, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, 3D, MMO, Music

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If you’re looking for a fairly simple to understand and addictive import game, look no further than Korea. Yes, that’s right, Korea. Some of the easiest to play import games, for people who can’t understand the language, are music games and Korean developers and publishers are known for putting together some pretty great ones.

There’s a catch though – most of these good, Korean music games are commonly found on the PSP. You may find them in arcades, in the case of the Pump it Up series, or online, for example Audition, but one common tie among most Korean music games is that they appear on region-free PSP UMDs. Well, there is one more commonality – most PSP Korean music games also have an English language option.

So read on, and learn more about Audition, DJ Max and Pump It Up.

Audition Online

Audition

Audition is probably the most familiar Korean music game in general, as it’s a massive multiplayer online music game available in English in North America courtesy of Redbana. (Nexon used to be responsible for it here.)  It was developed by T3 Entertainment and published by YD Online. It’s available as a Windows PC download, and also as a PSP game called Audition Portable and a cellphone game called Audition. If you live in Asia, North America, Europe or Latin America, you can find a version of the Windows game to play in your own language.

While Audition is a music game, it’s also a bit of a puzzle game. Gameplay is similar to the old PlayStation games Bust a Groove and the Parappa the Rapper (PS1, PS2, PSP) games. You’ll be given a sequence of directional button presses to copy, and you must enter them within a certain number of beats to chain together dance sequences. You can compete alone or against friends, and part of the charm of the game is the ability to customize your dancers.

DJ Max

DJ Max

While Audition is the most familiar Korean music game in general, the DJ Max series by Pentavision is the most familiar among gamers. It first appeared as an online Windows game in Korea, China and Japan called DJ Max Online, then as a series of PSP games that fell under the DJ Max Portable label and now is even in arcades as DJ Max Technika. PSP owners can import DJ Max Portable, DJ Max Portable 2, DJ Max Portable: Clazziquai Edition or DJ Max Portable: Black Square. Or, if you live in North America or Europe, you can pick up a localized version of DJ Max Portable and DJ Max Portable 2 called DJ Max Fever.

DJ Max is about pressing buttons in time with the music to keep things sounding perfect. There are multiple button modes, and generally more buttons means the game is more difficult. You can play it in 2, 4, 6 or 8 button modes most of the time. One part of the screen will show a scrolling area with a bar and buttons at the bottom. When a beam of light comes close to a button on screen, you press the corresponding button on the system to earn points and build a chain.

Pump It Up Exceed Portable

Pump It Up

If you’ve been to an arcade, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Pump It Up there. The Pump It Up series of games are dancing games by Andamiro that are strikingly similar to Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution. It also offers much more variety in terms of availability when compared to Audition and DJ Max. Pump It Up is available in arcades, for Windows PCs, the PS2, the PSP and the Xbox 360. Pump It Up is also unique as the arcade, PS2 and Xbox games were all released in North America. The PSP games, however, are only available in Asia and require the user to import them. The PSP Pump It Up games are also the only entries that don’t use dance pads to play.

Pump It Up is, with the exception of the aforementioned PSP games, always played with a dance pad. There are five buttons, two arrows going diagonally upward, two arrows going diagonally downwards and one button in the center. Arrows and markers scroll towards a bar with outlines of each icon, and when the two overlap, you step on the appropriate part of the dance pad. It’s designed to be slightly more difficult and intricate than the more well-known Dance Dance Revolution series.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports talks about Bandai’s Wonderswan.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about 10 great games inspired by anime series.

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Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »


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