Import: The rhythm/dancing game genre unparalleled popularity in Japan, which is made apparent by the glut of Bemani and similarly themed titles currently on the market. While they all tend to have the commonality of a heaping helping of style combined with some simple, addictive gameplay, everyone has a gimmick. Sony has decided to veer wildly from the standard musical them of rhythm games with TVDJ, a rhythm game based not on dancing, playing a musical instrument or rapping, but splicing together TV shows on the fly. While a wholly unique concept, TVDJ quite simply doesn't add up.
TVDJ throws you into the role of the new video editor at the fledgling BBB television station. The station is in trouble, and it's up to your masterful video editing skills to get ratings up and save the station. You then edit your way through four shows, none of which, unfortunately, are quite bizarre enough to capture the attention of those seeking that weird Japanese flavor. To edit the show, a row of cells scrolls across the bottom of the screen, divided into cell segments. Each face button on your controller spits out a short video clip, filling between one and four cells. You then fill up the segments with exactly 8 cells, and variety counts. To be blunt, TVDJ substitutes a test of basic arithmetic skills for actual gameplay. If you can count to 8, you can play TVDJ. While interesting in concept, this gameplay doesn't offer enough depth to base an entire game around.
Not that there is much of a game in TVDJ in the first place. With a total of four levels in the game, each level lasting no more than 5 five minutes, TVDJ can be beat in 20 minutes or less, guaranteed. After beating the game once, you're treated to the same exact game, with slightly higher difficulty. The shallow gameplay, shortage of levels, and lack of options make TVDJ's replay value all but nonexistent. The rest of TVDJ is equally unimpressive. The sound is quickly forgotten, as it offers nothing terribly engaging or irritating. Utilizing the soon-to-be reviled cell-shading technique, TVDJ's graphics suffice, though it's probably the least impressive use of the effect to date.
TVDJ is a minigame posing as a complete game, as it has neither the gameplay depth nor the length to qualify it as a game in and of itself. TVDJ will never see the light of day here in the States, which is no real loss, as its short-lived novelty isn't worth the time and money of even the most fanatical rhythm fan.