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Format- Playstation
Developer- Konami Japan (Homepage)
Type- DJ Simulation
Other formats- Arcade/ Gameboy/ Wonderswan
Players- 1/2
Memory Card compatible- YES (1- 2 Blocks)
Vibration compatible- YES
DJ Controller compatible- YES
Discs- 1/ 2

In 1998, Konami invented an entirely new genre of game; the DJ simulation. Fair enough, Beatmania has little to do with actually DJ-ing; there is only one turntable to control, and you don't use a mixing deck either. However, what they have created is an incredibly playable game that almost defies categorization. You choose a song and simply play the tune over the top, pressing the corresponding buttons as they reach the bottom of the screen to play the notes. Five buttons represent piano keys (three white and two black), while a sixth button scratches the turntable. Depending on the style of song you choose, your task varies: select something like Soul and the vocals become the central point; choose Techno and your button presses form a frantic, bass-laden rhythm. That's basically it. Simple and fun. There are a wealth of tracks to choose from, varying in difficulty and tempo, from the incredible Cat Song to the stupidly insane World Groove. In Japan the popularity of these titles is phenomenal, both for the Playstation and in the arcades, and it is easy to see why. Because the graphics are functional, not the focal point of the game, the transition from arcade to home has been faultless, every song reproduced perfectly. The additional 3rd Mix CD is perhaps better than the first 2 discs, a mixture of all new tracks and a selection of the best from the originals. Announcements of additional data discs promise a bright future for the series; the potential exists for great variety in music style, with many of the tracks already produced by big name Japanese artists.

It's hard to fault this game; the multi-player mode extends the lifespan almost to infinity, while many of the later tracks will challenge the gamesplayer for weeks on end. Musical taste is not really an issue, as all the tracks are fun to play, regardless of style. The response to Beatmania in England has been mixed so far; people either love it or hate it. Those who hate it, however, clearly have no idea what makes a game good. An all new European Edit will be released around Christmas 1999.

Quite frankly, there aren't enough games around that offer the pick-up-and-play lure that comes with Beatmania. Playing it with or without the special controller is a treat from start to finish, just don't expect to turn off your Playstation for a few hours at a time once you've turned this on!

The original Beatmania is called Beatmania: 2nd Mix as it has both 1st and 2nd mixes over 2 CDs. Additional data discs are now available, entitled 3rd Mix, Gottamix, 4th Mix, and 5th Mix. Gottamix is superb, being very fun and enjoyable. 4th and 5th Mix are somewhat of a disappointment, as the music selections lack catchy songs. Similar titles, also from Konami have been just as successful in Japan. Pop n Music, Guitar Freaks, Drum Mania, Dance Dance Revolution and Goo Goo Soundy are all available or being converted to the Playstation or Dreamcast, along with sequels! With more Beatmania games coming soon, the beat goes on.....
Review by Andy Dilks

 Score (out of 10)
< 9 >


Screenshots (click to enlarge)


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