Title: D4DJ Groovy Mix
Release Date: 5/27/2021
Reviewed On: iOS
Genre: Rhythm Gacha
I’ve always said there needs to be some anime strictly focused on electronic dance music, and Bushiroad heard my call. Developed by Donuts, D4DJ Groovy Mix presents a rhythm gacha game with some banging songs that should honestly be played at major music festivals. And the best part is, no pay-to-win mechanics.
The story of D4DJ Groovy Mix is spread out among various DJ units that all have their own journey to make it toward the D4 FES. Think of it as the Electric Daisy Carnival, but in the D4DJ universe. There’s not too much to write home about, but the girl’s interactions with each other are great. If you watched the anime, you’d be happy to see that you’ll get a whole lot of Merm4id, RONDO, and Lyrical Lily in the story since all they got was a small cameo in the anime.
At its core, D4DJ Groovy Mix is a rhythm game with a few “DJ” elements, such as adding CDJs to spin and a slider. Being a fan of this genre, I loved the playlist. They have a little bit of everything, including big room house, trance, future bass, dubstep, drum and bass, happy hardcore, and even some hardstyle. There’s also video game music and theme songs from wrestlers in the All Japan Pro Wrestling. Not entirely sure why wrestler theme music is in there but I’ll take it.
Once you get into a song, you have to do is tap the notes, slide the slider and spin the CDJ to get a high score. The actual tapping never felt delayed, which is great. The only thing that took me a while to get used to was some of the more complicated slider notes where my hands contorted in a few different ways just to keep my combo. As cliche as this might sound, it felt like the perfect pseudo-DJ setup in a game for me to live out my DJ fantasies. Obviously, if you’re going to try the expert level, be prepared to break your fingers.
The background of your girls DJing isn’t actually all that distracting. If it is, you can change the look of the notes that come in to look more bold and defined. While hitting every note on time is great, you can get a higher score with the customizable background by using level-specific items you’d normally see at a club like your speakers, CDJs, lighting, and more.
Aside from leveling up your girls, you can level up their specific skills. Ideally, you’re going to want to focus on skills that have higher increases on your overall score during a skill activation which can happen at any time. Having the proper combination of all of this will really help boost your overall scores during songs.
I find it interesting that the customizable team compositions don’t heavily rely on four-star units. In fact, I found that I could rank just as high using a three-star unit. On top of that, it takes a pretty insane amount of time and resources to fully limit break and level up four-star characters anyway. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this, as it lets me focus on powering up my three-star girls quickly to be able to have a decent score on each song.
The more songs you complete, whether in single or multiplayer, the more rewards you get. There’s a great stamina multiplier feature that provides double, triple, or even quadruples the rewards depending on how much stamina you’re was willing to use. Even while I was on my resource grind fest, my team of three-star girls could hold their own in the multiplayer modes.
It’s definitely an interesting design choice when it comes to power, but it does allow free-to-play players a chance when competing against others. While your overall score uses the power of your team (even though they can’t be seen), the skill activated is only left for the leaders in the song. So you have to be sure of which girl you want to throw into the mix.
In the multiplayer mode, you team up with three other players to reach an overall target score. There isn’t a directly competitive nature to it aside from bragging when you score higher than other players. There’s also a general incentive to perform well since reward progression for each song is shared between single and multiplayer.
So, for example, if you play A Lot of Life by Photon Maiden 3 times in solo play, your fourth completion of the song is counted if the next time you play the song is in multiplayer mode. Therefore, it will grant you rewards for that fourth play. However, if you want even more rewards, you can try playing in the “veteran” lobby. The problem there is that a lot of the paying players are in there. But again, it shouldn’t totally matter, considering the game prioritizes playing together over beating other players.
The only real issue I had with gameplay was with my headphones. Depending on what headphones I used, there was a lag between my note tapping and the sound making for a disjointed experience. After returning four different headphones, I finally landed on a pair of Powerbeats that provided great bass and no audio lag. Of course, I know AirPods work just as well. So if you don’t want people around you listening to the fantastic music in D4DJ, be sure you have the proper headphones.
While D4DJ Groovy Mix is a pretty standard rhythm game, it’s a solid one. There are many catchy songs to tap along to through a responsive display but be warned that the emphasis is on electric music. However, there’s a satisfying gameloop that does require a premium investment unless you absolutely want to.
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