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First released in the fall of 1997, Konami's beatmania was an instant hit with Japanese arcade goers. It's custom control layout and gameplay mechanics really offered players the chance to interact with the music being played in the game. While not the first rhythm game ever released, it is easily one of the most iconic and has had the longest lasting impact on the genre as a whole.

Using 5 keys, laid out similar to that of a piano, and a turntable, players created the songs in game by hitting the buttons and "scratching" in coordination with "notes" that fall toward the bottom of the screen. The more accurate a player performs the song, the higher their score is. This gameplay style would eventually be spun off into a 7-key version known as beatmania IIDX, which is to this day one of Konami's most popular rhythm game franchises.

Featuring soundtracks made up of mostly original songs by Konami's internal sound team, beatmania also set a new standard for music being featured in rhythm games at the time and offered players something different from traditional video game music in the form of its soundtracks. Many artists featured in the beatmania franchise over the years have gone on to have worldwide fanbases, and some even moving on to production work for some of Japan's biggest labels.

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