TVDJ Hands-On

The playable demo of TVDJ was recently released in video rental stores nationwide in Japan, and we've got the first hands-on impressions on the game.

TVDJ game is best described as a rhythm-music game that has you editing movie bits together. You assume the role of a TV DJ - an editor responsible for making top-notch television programs by merging the right clips together. A scrolling gauge, similar to the one found in BeatMania and Guitar Freaks, indicates what buttons you should press and when. The gauge is divided into eight sections, and each button on the controller represents a numeric value, from 1 to 4. The gauge will highlight a certain number of blocks, and you'll have to press the correct number of buttons to equal that value. Failing to hit the correct buttons results in an "NG" (or "no good," a term used in Japan for bloopers), and you'll have to repeat that scene again. Every time you file, the speed of the movie slows, making it easier for you to complete that scene.

The game starts you out in a tutorial mode to help you better understand the game. The game mechanic takes a while to get used to, but the game isn't particularly hard once you get the hang of things. Unfortunately, that game is like playing Parappa without the downbeat to synch with - there is music in the game, but it doesn't seem to correspond with the button presses. Pressing one of the four buttons actually corresponds to a certain action or camera angle for that particular scene. For example, pressing the O button might make the actor in the movie shoot a gun.So if you keep pressing the O button eight times in succession, you'll see the actor shoot the gun eight times in a looping - or should I say stuttering - fashion for that fraction of the scene. This can become annoying if the button had been assigned to make a lady scream eight times. Also, since you are busy looking at the gauge at the bottom, you're really not enjoying the movie onscreen. The good thing is, you can see the final product after you've finished the particular movie.

Overall, TVDJ is trying to expand on the rhythm-game genre, but integrating your standard beat game with movie editing doesn't seem to be the best combination at this point. We'll know if that is entirely true when the final product is released on June 29 in Japan.

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