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Append Gottamix
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CompleteMix2

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Beatmania III
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Dreams Come True
Best Hits

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European Edit
Append Gottamix2
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The Sound of Tokyo!

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7thMix
The Final
Beatmania (2006)

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Game Boy Color
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Beatmania Pocket

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BeatmaniaIIDX series
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beatmania 6thMIX -THE UK UNDERGROUND MUSIC- / beatmania III APPEND 6thMIX / beatmania 6thMIX + CORE REMIX - Arcade, PlayStation (2001)

Soundtrack Cover

Japanese PlayStation Cover

After months without a new release, Konami finally continued numbering the series. Much like 4thMix, there are no returning songs on the playlist, instead this version only has 26 tracks at default, with the ending theme "Lying on the bench" hidden away. Gone is the split of Easy and Hard modes, merging the two into the same standard mode with 3 song difficulty levels to choose from: Normal, Hard, and Another. This is also the first mix to include a hidden Expert+ mode, with one single 10-song long course. However, it is made up of the hardest high-end charts available, so completing the course is no easy feat.

The subtitle denotes the British talent commissioned by this mix, gathering 7 artists to create one or two songs each, giving this game a distinct sound compared to the rest. Most of the commissioned music are forms of drum'n'bass or UK garage flavor, with many of Konami's in-house composers taking aspects of these genres in their own tracks. Of these, Distant Soundz' "Jack and Mark Get Busy!" was popular enough to spread to DDR and Pop'n Music before the contract expired, and one of only two non-Konami songs to be included on the 5-disc Bemani Anniversary Collection soundtrack. Even a couple of crossovers had rearrangements for this mix, with a 2001 remix of Naoki's "Hysteria" from Dance Dance Revolution Solo Bass Mix and an edit of Sparker's "Funky Modelling" from Dance Maniax 2ndMix. This mix and the next one lacked many of the old pre-4thMix artists.

The visualizations take a sharp nosedive in this mix, limited to mostly simple blocky patterns or very pixelated animations that even the random visualizers on many computer music players surpass. This leaves the aesthetic of the game lifeless and forgettable.

Another upgrade for Beatmania III was created based on this mix, released on the same day the 5-Key machine hit arcades. Along with all the 6thMix songs, Append 6thMix had long versions of "Disabled the Flaw," Pink Dream," and "Funky Modelling (Edit)". Even the chart of "Surge Line" was changed to a longer cut.

The PlayStation version was bundled with the new songs from Core Remix, along with 6 new remixes. MGS2 "mission R" is a remix of "Yell Dead Cell." Two of the unlockable home version exclusives are remixes of Shogun's work. As an added bonus, all the long versions from the Beatmania III Append version are available. Sadly, this would be the last home port of any 5-Key Beatmania arcade release.

beatmania 6thMIX (Arcade)

beatmania 6thMIX (Arcade)

beatmania 6thMIX (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


beatmania 7thMIX -keepin' evolution- / beatmania III APPEND 7thMIX - Arcade (2002)

Logo

Released over 6 months after its predecessor, 7thMix kept all of 6thMix's songlist and doubled it with new tunes. The biggest change to the gameplay was the new full spin scratch note, which requires the player to make a complete 360 degree spin with the turntable platter within the bar's length. The move proved difficult to pull off consistently, so the note never returned in future releases. This is the first arcade mix to add the option to play with separate lanes like in IIDX.

The music a return to form for the series. In fact there's a heavier influx of hiphop in this mix, which was missing from the last few releases, thanks to the licensed/commisioned works of Alpha, You the Rock, and DJ Yutaka. One of the sillier songs is Asletics' "Disco Dog," with dog barking samples and the vocoder lyrics including "Who let the dogs out?" One short-lived outside artist to make his debut here was Napakick, a friend of Slake who started on home versions of IIDX and would only make 6 songs total throughout the Bemani series. In addition there are three crossovers from other Bemani titles, such a "Afronova Primeval" from Dance Maniax, a remix of "Baby Baby Give Me Your Love" from DDR 4thMix, and a rearrangement from the recent Pop'n Music 7's "Yakankou."

Once again, a Beatmania III upgrade version was made and released around the same time, adding long versions of "Be Lovin," "Healen," "Peace Dream," "Reference" and "Steel Cage," but removing the Sana cover of "My cherie amour".

beatmania7thMIX (Arcade)

beatmania7thMIX (Arcade)

beatmania7thMIX (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


beatmania THE FINAL / beatmania III THE FINAL - Arcade (2002)

Logo

Seeing as the original 5-Key series was losing the spotlight to its now more successful spinoff IIDX, Konami decided to make a farewell sendoff to the series that started it all. The last 5-Key arcade game sports the biggest songlist of all, topping nearly 190 songs in total from the entire lineup (excluding Dreams Come True). Even most of the Beatmania III tunes finally made their way to the original series. Unfortunately, the back catalog seemed to lack mostly from some of the middle releases. It's understandable that all but 2 licenses from 7thMix were axed, but only one song from ClubMix is included, most of the remixes from Core Remix are missing, and half of 6thMix is also unavailable. There also plenty of home version exclusives that didn't make it into the game; only four of the PlayStation-only songs appear in The Final.

But what is there is still a treat. Konami tried as best as they could to cram in what the fans had asked for in the polls. Also, in the same style as Pop'n Music 8 and DDR Extreme, The Final includes many songs from other Bemani series, taking from DDR, Pop'n, Dance Maniax, Mambo a Go Go, Guitar Freaks, Drummania, and of course IIDX. Interestingly, four of the five included IIDX songs are popular tracks from the 1st or Substream releases. In addition, Konami added the ClubMix ending theme "Retrofuture" and "Coredesat," a medley of Des-ROW intro songs, as hidden unlockables. Many of the new songs had returning composers from the early Beatmania games and even 2 brand-new tracks from DDR's Naoki Maeda. A song by dj Taka sung by Sana, "Fellows," even thanks the fans for all the support. The Final is loaded with Expert Courses, 32 in total, ranging from artist themed courses to even a throwback of the first 7-track long expert course from the first Beatmania release. Its hidden Expert+ course, being the last, contains the 10 hardest Another charts throughout the entire series, with Drummania 2ndMix's "Implantation (Another)" being the most difficult of all with nearly 950 notes.

Most of the visuals are standouts from the entire series. Unfortunately, due to the vast number of songs taking up most of the space, the total amount is fairly limited. Also, the visuals were shrunk down, with most of the screen taken by detailed scoring data. At least toying with the options is easier than ever with many of them placed up front when starting up the game. As a nice touch, the song selection screen list the mix that the song debuted in.

One month later, the upgrade for Beatmania III was released. While it didn't add anything new, it boasts the biggest songlist of the entire series. Even the manager from the first game makes her appearance again on the mode select screen. Years later, a PlayStation 2 port was announced, which would've contained The Final, 7thMix and beatmania III's songlists, but the game was scrapped quickly afterwards.

beatmania THE FINAL (Arcade)

beatmania THE FINAL (Arcade)

beatmania III THE FINAL (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


beatmania - PlayStation 2 (2006)

American PlayStation 2 Cover

Though not exclusively a 5-Key release, the sole US home version of Beatmania was half 5-Key Beatmania and half IIDX. Based on BeatmaniaIIDX 9th Style, the US PS2 port had an assortment of songs from both franchises with a handful of shared ones, each playable in their own respective sets. In addition there were nine licensed songs playable in both modes, making them the last brand-new tracks playable in the 5-Key series. Unlike the bold efforts Konami's USA branch took with garnering licensed tunes for DDR, about half these songs were covers by WaveGroup, the same company that created the covers seen in Karaoke Revolution. Also, the actual music acquired were mostly cheaper fare with only "Funkytown" being a real standout. It also didn't help matters that their charts were way too easy in relation to anything else in the game.

As for the 5-Key song selection, it isn't terrible but very limited and skews mostly towards music from the early mixes, with nothing past CompleteMix2, and they're only playable on one difficulty. Interestingly, the Free Zones for scratching return from 1st and 2ndMix for this version. A mild change was rebranding the Flashing/Just Greats as Perfects. They were each given their own full motion videos, but no care was taken to make them anything but bland, mostly consisting of the lyrics floating in nebulous colors. The only exception was "Metal Gear Solid ~Main Theme~," which had scenes from the PlayStation game cut to the music with a few visual effects.

The game originally came bundled with a 7-Key IIDX controller, which fixed a few issues that the Japanese standard controller had, namely the gummy button switches that tended to get stuck. If anything, the game was worth its full $65 price tag for the controller alone. With a song selection topping only at 58 in total split amongst 2 sets when the Japanese home versions were nearing 90, it's pitifully anemic. Released in a post-Guitar Hero market where customers expect more well-recognized music, the game flopped on the sales charts. Even G4's X-Play infamously deemed this game a "lame Guitar Hero ripoff".

beatmania (PlayStation 2)

beatmania (PlayStation 2)

beatmania (PlayStation 2)


Additional Screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
Main Composers

Page 2:
Beatmania
2ndMix
3rdMix
CompleteMix

Page 3:
4thMix
Append Gottamix
5thMix
CompleteMix2

Page 4:
Beatmania III
ClubMix
Dreams Come True
Best Hits

Page 5:
European Edit
Append Gottamix2
Core Remix
The Sound of Tokyo!

Page 6:
6thMix
7thMix
The Final
Beatmania (2006)

Page 7:
Game Boy Color
WonderSwan
Beatmania Pocket

Page 8:
BeatmaniaIIDX series
Beatmania Da!! series
Cameos
Ripoffs

Back to the Index