DJ MAX Portable is a music/rhythm game from Korean developer Pentavision. It’s the first entry in the now-popular Portable franchise, laying the foundation for some of the series’ reoccurring artists, songs and bonuses. DJ MAX Portable was released in South Korea on January 16th, 2008 with the International version releasing in October of 2008.
DJ MAX Portable plays akin to games like
Beatmania, Pop’n Music or Rock Band. Rectangular shaped (with the default Note effector) notes scroll down from the top of the screen onto a red line across the note field where the player must hit each corresponding note in time to the beat. DJ MAX Portable is comprised of 3 different control schemes, represented as follows.
Rookie DJing is essentially the ‘beginner mode’. Uses only 4 inputs (Left, Up, Triangle and Circle) and consists of a 3-song set.
Pro DJing is the normal difficulty. Uses 6 inputs (Left, Up, Right, Square, Triangle and Circle) and consists of a 3-song set.
Master DJing is the advanced difficulty. Uses 8 inputs (Left, Up, Right, Square, Triangle, Circle and both triggers) and consists of a 3-song set. Master DJing is locked from the get-go, requiring several hours of playtime before unlocking.
Freestyle Mode can be played at any of the 3 available difficulties and does not have a set song list. All the songs unlocked are available to play and combo points carry over from song to song. Certain unlockables, such as songs and UI skins, are unlocked after reaching a specific combo (ex.: 8000).
Club Mode is played at all 3 difficulty levels. Club mode consists of different ‘clubs’ that each have multiple set lists dedicated to one music genre or style. Difficulty varies from each set list, going from the easiest to the hardest.
The Gallery is the area in which you can view all the images, movies and Discs you’ve unlocked throughout playing the game.
Ranking Chart is the area where you can view your high scores obtained in each mode.
The game opens on a Main Menu, the first option being “Portable”. This is the main game. Here are the two other options:
This is, essentially, a music player that allows you to listen to the game’s soundtrack. Full version of songs can be unlocked within the game by achieving certain challenges.
This allows you to watch the background animation/videos for each song in the game.
Effectors, Notes and Gears
DJ MAX Portable has an Effector Setting screen, available during song selection by pressing either trigger. Gears are the note track and Notes are the notes themselves. As you play through the game, hitting certain score targets or going past a certain combo score, you’ll unlock new Gears and Notes which each have separate effects, like HP 20 or MAX 20%, for example. Effectors can also be added on top, throwing in changes like the scrolling speed, note fader, mirroring tracks, etc.
Combos have been a large part of DJ MAX games, going to lengths of having new tracks, images, music videos or OST tracks unlock as you hit a certain combo number. Combos carry over from song to song in regular gameplay modes that, in modes like Free Mode, can allow players to reach combos of 10,000, 80,000, 100,000 notes.
|바람에게 부탁해 (Ask the Wind)||Forte Escape||Fantasy Pop||Tako Ashin|
|End of the Moonlight||Forte Escape||Techno Pop||US|
|Extreme Z4||Forte Escape||Break Beat||Kinys|
|Luv Flow||3rd Coast||RnB Medium||Ayamy|
|Never Say||ND Lee||Jungle Pop||Eyehead|
|Out Law||Croove||Nu Skool||D|
|Ray of Illuminati||ESTi||Euro Dance||Eter, Tari, ECO|
|Save My Dream||Forte Escape||Acid Dance||Napa|
|Sunny Side||Croove||Bright RnB||Tiv|
|One The Love||xxdbxx||Beer House||Eyehead|
|Long Vacation||ESTi||School House||Tari|
|Can We Talk||Forte Escape||Acid Jazz||Aqualix|
|Eternal Memory ~소녀의 꿈~||M2U||Fantasy Pop||NG|
|NB Ranger||M2U||Scream Punk||NG, ECO, Tari|
|SIN||ESTi||Drum n Bass||Ress|
|Funky Chups||Forte Escape||Funky Electro||Eyehead|
|Fever GJ||xxdbxx||Nu HnS||Eyehead|
|Futurism||Forte Escape||Electro Fusion||NG|
|아침형 인간||ND Lee||80’s 8bit||D-myo|
|Astro Fight||Forte Escape||Funky Stomp||ECO|
|FTR||슈퍼꼬마 Supbaby||Electro House||Tari & Eter|
|ON||ND Lee||2step Slow||RB|
|Let’s go Baby||3rd Coast||Hiphop||Miyu|
|Jupiter Driving||xxdbxx||Techno Stock||Eyehead|
|Elastic Star||Forte Escape||Acid House||Eyehead|
|Bright Dream||M2U||Anime House||Tari|
|Catch Me||Forte Escape||Alternative Rock||Arms|
|Red||Croove||RnB||Tari & Eter|
|복수혈전 Revenge||ND Lee||Hardcore||ECO|
|Para-Q||Forte Escape||Drum n Bass||ECO|
|Rock or Die||Nien||Hardcore||BS|
|차이코프스키 피아노협주곡 1번
(Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1)
|Triple ZOE||Forte Escape||Progressive Rock||ECO|
|Ya! Party!||Forte Escape||Candy Pop||Tari & Eter|
|Minimal Life||Earbreaker||Techno||ECO & Tina|
|Road of Death||Nien||Hardcore||Necobus|
|Fear||슈퍼꼬마 Supbaby||Drum n Bass||Tina|
|레모네이드 (Lemonade)||M2U||Lounge DnB||Tari|
|Chrono Breakers||Nien||Ani Pop||Ress|
|Memory of Beach||M2U||Dance Pop||Apple|
|River Flow||Planetboom||Groovy Pop||Ayamy|
|Sunny Side ~deepn’soul mix~||Croove, Mixed by makou||Soul||Tiv|
|Oblivion ~Rockin’ Night Style~||ESTi, Mixed by Nien||Fusion Rock||D-Myo|
|SIN ~The Last Scene~||ESTi||Drum n Bass||Ress|
Later after the game’s original release, an Internation Version was released including a host of changes. The biggest change was the inclusion of Japanese and English language options, making the International Version of the game an incredibly import-friendly title. Some songs were also removed due to content deemed unfit for international audiences, biggest on in particular being the song “Dreadnought” due to it’s video depiction of President George W. Bush.