Rhythm games are my jam. I owned every version of Guitar Hero, Rock Band, DJ Hero, and I even paid a bunch of money to import Beatmania. So when the email for DJMax Respect touted the game as “The Dark Souls of Rhythm Games” I thought to myself, “Ha. Well that can’t be right.” I loaded up the game, jumped into a song, and failed almost instantly.
“Must be digit rust.” I told myself as I did some finger stretches and hit “Retry”. Failed instantly.
I selected a new song.
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”
DJMax Respect is a decade worth of DJMax games all rolled up into one glorious, colorful, rage-inducing package for your Playstation 4. Originally on the PSP, DJMax is a button pressing rhythm game with a ton of content. Now on the Playstation for the base game has over 140 songs with more DLC planned. Eventually every song from every iteration of DJMax will be available as DLC for DJMax Respect. That’s a LOT of songs.
It’s difficult to describe the gameplay of DJMax Respect. Like most standard rhythm games there’s a track where notes fall and you have to press a button before the notes cross the threshold. What makes it stand out is the positioning of the buttons. The game uses the D-Pad as well as the face buttons.
While you think this would be an easy shift from most other rhythm games, it’s just different enough to throw you. Even on the easy songs it took me a while to get used to the button configuration. For the truly masochistic, players can go from a 4 Button configuration, all the way up to 8 buttons. For the insanely masochistic, players can modifiers to make the game even MORE challenging.
The backgrounds and visuals for the game are super crisp and colorful. The game looks great and sounds even better. I will admit I didn’t know about 99% of the songs, but they were all awesome and sounded amazing. I would suggest playing with headphones or a really nice speaker system so you can hear every musical note.
In addition to the basic game there is also an online mode. This way you and a friend can jump online and go toe-to-toe in fast finger pressing musical masochism.
A lot of game pride themselves on being a difficult puzzle game, or a difficult action-adventure game, or a difficult retro-inspired platforming game, but this is the first time I’ve come across a difficult rhythm game. Believe it or not, it’s almost refreshing to see a game of this genre get a “Dark Souls-esque” label slapped on it.
I have yet to beat ANY songs on DJMax Respect, and to be honest, I am loving the challenge.
The reviewer was given a code of DJMax Respect for review purposes. Here’s a link if you’d like to buy DJMax Respect on PS4.
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