DJ Max Technika is an arcade-exclusive title published and developed by Pentavision Entertainment. While earlier DJ Max games (on both the PSP and PC) featured gameplay similar to Konami's beatmania series, Technika features a touchscreen-based interface that requires users to touch, hold, and drag notes with the proper timing to successfully play songs.
Technika's cabinet features two monitors. The lower one is a 22" touchscreen that the user interacts with. The higher one is a 32" screen that allows others to observe the game in progress.
Players who wish to block the noise from the surrounding arcade can utilize the twin headphone ports located on the left side underneath the touchscreen. Both ports take a standard minijack input, and a knob is available to adjust the volume. (Players who do not wish to use headphones can increase the volume of the game slightly using the "BGM BOOST" and "KEY BOOST" buttons on the top right of the gamefield.)
Between the monitors is a card slot, for Platinum Crew cards (see below).
Players have a selection of three or four primary modes before starting their game:
- Lite Mixing - a short tutorial is played, and then three songs can be selected. These songs feature easier note patterns than other modes. Scores acquired in this mode are not eligible for high scores or internet ranking.
- Popular Mixing - a standard mode where three songs can be selected. Each stage features a different song selection, and average song difficulty increases from stage to stage.
- Technical Mixing - Technika's equivalent of a nonstop course. Players select a "set" and then choose three songs (out of seven available) for their play. Note charts on this mode are often more difficult than those seen in Popular Mixing. Users must maintain at least 75% of the groove gauge in the first song, 50% in the second, and 25% in the third. Upon completion of three songs, a "boss song" is played. Should the player complete the three songs with over 95% "Max" judgements, they will play the "true boss song".
- Platinum Mixing - this mode requires a registered Platinum Crew card (see below). This mode offers "mission" courses, be they pre-made ("Platinum" tab), worldwide competitions ("Championship" tab), time-limited ("Weekly" tab), or extremely difficult ("Special" tab). Playing the Platinum missions can accumulate limited unlocks for additional songs for Popular Mixing, or additional sets for Technical Mixing.
After a song loads, the play field appears. The play field is split into upper and lower sections, with a Time Line that will sweep across one and then the other. Unless a modifier is used, the upper section is played from left to right, and the lower section is played from right to left.
Five types of notes may appear at various times throughout a given song:
- Regular Note - a red note. Touch the note when the Time Line passes over it.
- Dragging Long Note - a green note, with a angled straight yellow path attached. Drag the circular note along the path in time with the Time Line.
- Repeat Note - a purple note, with one or more purple lines connected to it further down the play field. Press the repeat note once when the Time Line passes over it, and then press the note again when the beat bar passes over the subsequent lines.
- Holding Long Note - a dark note, with a straight blue line attached. Hold the note while the Time Line passes over it and the blue line. There is no penalty or combo break for holding the note for longer than necessary.
- Chain Note - similar in appearance to the Dragging Long Note, but the path may be angled. Drag across the path in time with the Time Line.
Possible note judgements include "Max", "Cool", "Good", "Break", and "Miss". Consecutive Max/Cool/Good judgements result in a combo.
At the top of the screen is a Groove Gauge. Like most music games, correctly sounding notes in sequence will fill the bar, while missing notes will empty it. Some modes include a guide as to how much of the gauge must be filled to continue to the next song. Should the gauge empty completely, the song is immediately stopped and the game ends.
Upon completion of a song, the player is shown their judgement totals, their score, and a grade. Players with a Platinum Crew card will also acquire Max Points.
Platinum Crew is the name given to Technika's internet ranking/score tracking system. Players wishing to join the Platinum Crew will need to purchase a Platinum Crew card, either from their arcade or from Bemanistyle.
Using a card without registering it online adds the following functionality to the game:
- Save your best scores for songs in Popular Mixing mode
- Allows you to accumulate Max Points
- Allow you to spend Max Points on various modifiers
- Allow you to accumulate experience and increase in DJ Rank.
Registering the card on the Platinum Crew website allows access to the fourth game mode (Platinum Mixing) if the machine has an internet connection and is connected to the Platinum Crew. (This can be discerned by looking above the card slot to see if the "Platinum Crew Link" lamp is lit, or by looking at the lower left corner of the screen for a green "NET" indicator.)
Platinum Crew officially launched in the US on January 11th, 2010.