Technic Beat Review

Sure, Technic Beat is yet another music and rhythm game from the music and rhythm game crazed Japanese, but this one is a bit different. The first sign of this is that there is no dance pad included in the game. In fact, you don’t even play the game with a dance pad. Instead of mimicking on screen moves by pressing the D-pad, you are given control over a character on a fantastical dance floor. Circles of light will appear on the floor and another circle will begin growing from each one’s center. The object is to move your character to a circle which turns it white and then pressing the Square button at the moment the inner circle grows to the same size as the out circle. If your timing is good you’re rewarded with a “Good” or even a “Perfect” and you’ll cause a riff to be played along with the music, but if you’re off or miss the circle entirely you’ll suffer the indignity of a “Bad” and miss out on the bonus notes. Needless to say, rack up too many “Bads” and you’ll fail to get enough points to win the stage. Or even worse, string enough misses together and you’ll be booted from the dance floor before the music even ends.

Hit those circles!

Technic Beat is more than just running to circles. Some circles overlap allowing you to chain them together into combos. Others are special rhythm circles that will send out a wave of two or more expanding circles in a regular pattern. You’ll have to hit the circle each time one of the inner circles reaches the perimeter in order to get credit for clearing the circle and being rewarded with a beat riff. You can even find sweet spots where you can hit multiple circles at once to set off entire chains.

Your choice of character will have an affect on play. Some are faster than others when scooting around the floor and each comes with a unique special ability. Some of these include setting off “Perfect” hits on circles all around you, increasing the initial circle radius, and forcing closed circles to linger and automatically be chained into combos with the next batch of circles.

There are a large number of songs available, most of which fall into the light dance club techno category. There are no licensed songs available, well not in the way you’re thinking. There are a whole slew of songs drawn from old Namco games and given a techno beat. You’ll recognize a few of the Namco games, but for the most part the developers raided the sound archives for some pretty obscure titles. One major complaint is that the game does not allow you to sample the music before selecting a track for a game. You’ll have no idea what you’re getting until your little dancer hits the floor.