Beginner's Guide to DJ Max Fever

DJ Max Fever logo from official site. Modified in Photoshop :P

Hints, tips, FAQs, and help!  But look elsewhere for unlock info!

UPDATES:

Feb 17, 2009:
This site is continued at DJ Max Fever Help

Feb 9, 2009:
Added Play Q Controls section.

Feb 5, 2009:
Lots of changes!  Added new sections The Fever System, The Rainbow Note, and How to Unlock Items.  Also Chaos X to Effectors section and an additional note under Xtreme Challenges.

Oh yeah, and the Fever logo and a table of contents.  The screencaps are now from Fever since I managed to get the game to work with RemoteJoyLite 0.19.

Feb 1, 2009:

Jotted down a few miscellaneous things that I'll include into the main site content later.

Jan 30, 2009:
Added ECS, Auto-Correct, Effectors info, and some screenshots (currently screencapped from DJMAX Portable 2 ^^).  Also expanded the Xtreme Challenge section.

Jan 29, 2009:
Just started!  So far, I'm only jotting down what I can remember that's "missing" from the manual.

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LINKS:

Official DJ Max Fever site:
http://www.djmaxfever.com/

IGN review of DJ Max Fever:
"It's like Rock Band... except portable and full of Korean songs."

PM Studios:
http://www.pm-games.com/

Pentavision (Korean only):
http://www.pentavision.co.kr/

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IF YOU'RE CURIOUS~

Since DJ Max Fever is pretty  much a port of DJMAX Portable 2 (with some Portable and Black Square mixed in), you can take a glimpse of all the obtainable Equipment at this page.  Er, Google seems to link the main page only but click on DJMAX Portable 2 and then Item List.

I mainly linked the Japanese site since it has images of notes and avatars and such.  PLEASE DO NOT USE THAT WEBPAGE AS A REFERENCE FOR UNLOCKS. Some information regarding when and how you unlock things and songs/difficulties in the Xtreme Challenge courses are incorrect.

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CREDITS

+ GameFAQs DJ Max Fever forum
+ DJ Max Portable 2 FAQ
+ Bemanistyle.com DJ MAX - EZ2DJ forum

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CONTACT

koukoupuffs
 (tack on the @ and gmail.com after the nickname. :P)
 

This page just contains some useful mini tips and information for everyone that's new to the DJMAX Portable universe (or more specifically DJMAX Portable 2)!

What the manual does not tell you

There's actually a good reason why certain information was left out of the manual by the wonderful folks at PM Studios and it's due to the fact that a lot of the instructions are actually on the screen of whatever game menu you're in.  However, there are certain things here and there that I feel should have been mentioned.

Play Q Controls

All right, so the manual has a labelled diagram of the PSP indicating that DJ Max Fever is played with the D-pad, action buttons, analog nub, and shoulder buttons. Thanks for the thorough information, PM Studios.  You could have kept the button icons on the basic gear, you know?  Afterall, to someone who has never played a DJMP game before, he or she would probably have to do some trial and error to figure out what button does what. 9_9

But you're in luck!  I've put together a (hopefully) handy image that shows which buttons correspond to which note column.  Click on it to see a larger version:

Play Q controls - now you know which buttons correspond to which note column!

For 5-button mode (5B), the right direction button and the square button have the same function -- they are both used for the middle column.  Use either one as you see fit.

The above image shows the default configuration which, in most cases, is the best set-up to play the game.  However, if you're not comfortable using certain buttons, you can change things around by going into Option and then Control.

The ECS (green) note and Auto-Correct System

The ECS (Entire Control System) note as well as the Auto-Correct feature were brought over from the import-only DJMAX Portable Black Square (BS).  Their function is the same as in BS:

    The green note
  • ECS NOTE
    This green note controls the background music (BGM) hence its name. The BGM will continue to play as long as you hit every ECS note that falls. Miss one and you'll be left with the sounds of the Sound Notes until the next ECS note is successfully played.
  • AUTO-CORRECT
    The game will register an incorrectly pressed button as the correct button with no MAX penalty to the player.

Note that neither one can be turned off by the player

The Fever System

Fevering in Brave it Out. Well, not that you can tell!The manual is misleading.  Not only can you double your score, you can get up to a x5 multiplier!  To do this, you must chain your FEVERs by getting a FEVER within a FEVER.  Timing WHEN you use the X button is the key; don't just hit it the moment "FEVER" appears on the screen.  You must learn to take advantage of the right moment which is typically during parts where there are a bunch of notes or hold notes.  As FEVERs don't last very long, any gaps where no notes fall may spoil the chances of connecting them.  Missing notes will also jeopardize the chances of building up to the next multiplier as well as maintaining one.

Be aware that only MAX 100% notes will charge the FEVER gauge.  (Hold notes charge it at a decreased speed.) 

Important!!:

  1. The Speed modifier (see The Effectors section) CANNOT be used during a FEVER.  However, once a FEVER reaches x4, the gameplay speed will automatically increase by 0.5.

The Rainbow Note

A rainbow note in Syriana.A long stream of rainbow will come down the middle of the screen in certain songs.  (I'm actually unsure of its official name but I call it the Rainbow Note.)  Before it appears, however, the game will flash an animated icon of the analog nub/stick on the screen to indicate that the player should rotate it counter-clockwise.  (It actually works clockwise too but that's beside the point.)

You don't need to do the rotating motion at all.

Believe it or not, PM Studios actually brought over another feature from DJMAX Portable Black Square -- basically, you can treat the Rainbow Note like a regular hold note by simply holding the analog nub in any direction.  (This was actually first introduced in DJMAX Portable Clazziquai Edition.)  Heck, due to the auto-correct feature, you actually don't need to use the analog nub at all; any Play Q operation button will do. 9_9

Now, ideally you want to execute the swirling/rotating/holding by utilizing the same sort of timing you use when playing regular notes.  So yeah, don't start using the nub the moment the icon of the analog stick appears or else you'll miss and break a combo.

Tidbit:  In DJMAX Portable 2, rotating the stick as much as you could would net you a higher combo but no one's really paid attention to whether or not the same happens in DJ Max Fever. :P

The Effectors

An example of four effectors.These alter gameplay in particular ways so players can get more of a challenge.  (I guess their descriptions were left out by PM Studios since they wanted players to explore them themselves?)  If you're not the daredevil type, check out the list below for a rundown of the four effectors:

  • SPEED
    Increase or decrease the rate the notes fall atfrom x0.5 to x5.
  • FADER
    UP ARROW = the notes will fade in near the Play Q.
    DOWN ARROW = the notes will fade out near the Play Q.
    BLINK = the notes will fade in and out as they fall.
    FOG = the Play Q is obscured by a purple cloud.
    BLIND = no notes appear.
  • KEY
    MIRROR = swaps note columns.  For example, the notes that you normally hit with the triangle button will now be the notes that you will hit with the up direction button.
    RANDOM = randomizes note columns.  Example: notes that were once played with the square button might be played with another button.
    MAX RANDOM = the entire note pattern of a song gets shuffled.
  • CHAOS
    X = only causes notes to drop at default speed. >_> What it should REALLY do is alter the speed of individual note columns so that some of them may fall faster or slower than others.
    SLIDE DOWN = the opposite of SLIDE UP. :P
    SLIDE UP = the speed at which the notes fall will gradually increase.
    W = notes come down in a sort of wave effect where the speed abruptly changes from slow to fast constantly.
Important!!:
  1. Speed CANNOT be altered manually when using the Chaos effector.
A stupid but true fact:  You can activate blind mode and MAX RANDOM at the same time.  Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me.

To access any of the Effectors, hit the triangle button.  Use the left or right direction buttons to navigate through them and up and down arrows to select the Speed, Fader, Key, or Chaos type you want.  Hit triangle (or circle or X or square) again to confirm your selection.

How to Unlock Items

Again, I'm not going to include an unlock list at this site but if someone will compile one, I'll gladly link to it. :P

Unlocking a new note through a level up.

Anyway, the conditions to unlock items and songs can consist of  levelling up, cumulative play count, completing Xtreme Challenges, or comboing.

  • LEVEL UP
    Successfully completing stages will fill the experience bar.  Once it reaches capacity, your level will increase by 1 and the bar will need to be refilled again.  Note that failing missions in Xtreme Challenge will get you NO experience.
  • PLAY COUNT
    This means total number of individual songs/stages that you've passed in #B Tunes and Freestyle modes.  Stages in Xtreme Challenges do not count.  Note:  In DJMAX Portable 2, when you hit Start to skip the bonus stage (Your Own Miracle), it added to the play count.  Since DJ Max Fever does not offer any way for you to keep track of play counts, I'm unsure if YOM still counts toward the total play count.  You can still skip out of playing the tune though.
  • XTREME CHALLENGES (XC)
    Also known as missions.  This is either THE way or the primary way of unlocking Characters.  You will only be rewarded for your efforts if you complete the passing conditions(s).  Note:  Not all XCs unlock something.
  • COMBO
    This only works in Freestyle and the unlock only happens based on your accumulated combo total through all the songs you play in any button mode. Getting a break (re: missing a note), restarting, or exiting out of a song or leaving Freestyle mode will all cause a combo to reset back to 0.

When you unlock a something, a pop-up notice window will appear informing you that a new image, mission, music, or character:

++Images appear in the Collection menu under IMAGE. Note: Full-comboing a song in #B Tunes or Freestyle will get you one corresponding image.  Subsequent full-combos of the same song will not get you another one.
++Missions appear under Xtreme Challenge in the PORTABLE menu.

++
New Music pops up in #B Tunes* mode.  If it doesn't appear in one stage, continue to the next.  You'll find it eventually. ^^
++Characters appear in the equipment screen (see below).  They must be purchased first before they can be used.

*Only songs with a 5-button pattern will appear in 5B Tunes.  The reason for this is that only DJMAX Portable 2 had a 5B mode.  Any DJMAX Portable tracks that were brought over to Fever that weren't already in DJMP2 will not have a 5B note pattern.

Characters, Gears, and Notes

The avatar Nare is equipped.

Are you wondering what the heck to do with the new characters, gears and notes you keep unlocking?  You may have guessed that you could equip them and you're right!  Depending on the effect on the item, it can drastically help you in your gameplay, boost the experience points (EXP) gained, or increase the amount of gold you obtain after playing a stage!

To change anything in your equipment, you'll have to be in the song selection screen of a game mode menu (such as 4B Tunes, Freestyle, etc.).  Once there, hit the L or R buttons.  Use the left or right direction button or the shoulder buttons to cycle through Character, Gear, and Note.

Hit the up or down direction buttons to your desired item and then hit the X button to equip it. (Note:  Only items with OK underneath their effects can be equipped.  Obviously, if there's a price there, you'll have to spend some gold to purchase it first.)

Unlike the Gears and the Notes which visually spice up the gameplay area, the Character just changes your DJ portrait.  Now don't just go picking a certain avatar because you like the look of the individual in it!  You want to take a look at what the person offers too!

Here's a breakdown of what each effect does:

  • GOLD
    Obtain x% more gold at the end of a stage.
  • EXP
    Obtain x% more experience at the end of a stage.
  • DefUP
    The amount of energy in the Spec Gauge decreases less when you miss a note (re: BREAK) by x%.
  • TECH
    Energy in the Spec Gauge is replenished faster by x%.
  • AUTO
    If you miss a note, the game will play it for you.  For example, AUTO+ 7 means that the game will catch your first seven misses.  Note that the autoplayed notes will have an accuracy of MAX 1% only.
  • FEVER
    Obtain a FEVER faster by x%
    Note that FEVER on Characters and Gears only pre-fill the FEVER gauge at the start of the stage.  Notes, however, increase the fill rate.

All effects are stackable except AUTO since it's only available with the avatars.

Also, the little battery bar in or outside the thumbnail of a Gear is an indicator of the amount of energy you have in the Spec Gauge. Ideally, you'd want a Gear with a high number but like the Character, you have to consider the effects too!

The All Combo Challenge

Every now and then, you'll come across an All Combo Challenge event when playing #B Tunes mode.  They are random and can appear at any time and on any song.  The challenge costs a bit of gold to play but the reward for succeeding will pay for it and you'll get some nice EXP to boot.

If I remember correctly, these type of challenges cannot be restarted AND if, for whatever reason, you decide to exit back to the music selection screen, the challenge will be gone.

Xtreme Challenges

The very first XC.These are endurance courses, also known as missions, that consist of 3 - 6 songs with varying levels of difficulty.  The button type -- that is, 4B, 5B, 6B or 8B -- is always indicated at the top-left hand corner.  Mix challenges have stages that can have any combination of the #B modes.

Xtreme Challenge (XC) missions may also contain visual impediment which are meant to make it more difficult for you to successfully clear them.  Two examples of such are a gear moving back and forth horizontally across the screen, or notes that suddenly slow down and start rotating when in FEVER mode.

The missions are typically unlocked by levelling up through regular gameplay.  Take note that you can play any XC in any order so if you find that there's a particular challenge that's giving you trouble, try another one!  Hopefully, the reward for clearing the other one will help you. :D  (Speaking of rewards, I'm not sure you receive something in every single mission.)

The rewards obtained from XCs are usually Characters and images although new music (to play in stages), gears, and notes can also be unlocked through them.

Important!!:

  1. The difficulty you set for the game has has no effect in XCs.  (Well, not that I can tell.)  Judgement will always be based on Normal difficulty.
  2. XC gameplay DOES NOT contribute to overall play count.

The Types of Xtreme Challenges

The mission objective for the first XC, Starting Line.For each type of mission, you may be asked to meet one or two of the following conditions:



  • SCORE
    Clear the challenge with a cumulative score that matches or exceeds the requested amount.

    Tip! Use FEVERs to multiply your score!

  • FEVER
    Any mission objective that has to do with this is asking players to
    keep the FEVER multiplier going.  So if the condition to clear the challenge is to FEVER 2 times in every stage then you need to get up to FEVER x3 in each stage.  For missions requesting that you FEVER more than 4 times, it's looking for you to maintain the x5 (maximum FEVER).

    Tip!: Use equipment that increase the rate you obtain FEVERs!  Effects on Characters and Gears stack!!

  • COMBO
    Don't miss any notes!  Like scores, combos carry over so if you reset a combo on one tune, you can try making back the lost amount with the next one.  (Restarting a stage also causes the combo to go back to 0.)

    Tip!: Use AUTO equipment to prevent BREAKs!

  • RATE
    Keep your accuracy at or above the objective.
  • BREAK
    Don't miss more than X amount of times.

    Tip!: Use AUTO equipment to prevent BREAKs!

Miscellaneous

This is just going to consist on a mishmash of info for now.  I'll sort them out later. ^^

  • To play the alternate Hard (HD) or Maximum (MX) note patterns of song, hit the left or right direction keys before you select the play the song.  Please be aware that not all songs have additional difficulty styles.
  • The Link Disc feature from DJMAX Portable 2 is visible in the background if you rapidly switch between Collection and M/V titles in the main menu but obviously not accessible.  (Thanks to Zaitoch from GameFAQs for this info.)
  • Suggested settings for new players:  Don't play on default speed.  All every experienced DJMAX player will tell you this.  My reason for recommending this is that if you play at a higher speed setting, it's easier to get into the rhythm and notes are spaced out making things easier to read thus allowing you to get more MAX 100% notes!  Of course, it's okay to start off slow! :D  Afterall, everyone has his or her own comfort level so if you find that you do well on the default then please continue, but I'm warning you -- a tune like WhiteBlue on 4B on x3 speed or lower can be very  difficult.
  • FAQs: