CS General Info

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Text originally borrowed from the Beatmania/IIDX/III FAQ on Bemanistyle, originally written by Kimcicle and updated by rmz.

Which style should I buy?

Every person has their own opinions about which style is the "best". Rather than point out a definitive list, I'll list the pros and cons of each style, and let you decide. It is easier, however, to get the newer styles. There is also a list of all CS songs and their appearances at Console Songs Guide.


beatmania IIDX 3rd Style

Total Songs: 81
Unique Songs: 39

Pros

  • Huge songlist.
  • Beginner friendly songlist.
  • Can be found cheap used.
  • Actual music videos.

Cons

  • Timing is bad on certain songs (GAMBOL, OVERDOSER).
  • No BEGINNER mode (but there are enough easy LIGHT charts that you can get away with it).
  • Interface is widely considered to be poor compared to later titles.
  • Single and Double scores for songs aren't saved individually.
  • Some songs only have one chart.


beatmania IIDX 4th Style

Total Songs: 53
Unique Songs: 19

Pros

  • Good song selection, with few songs repeated on other styles.

Cons

  • Expensive to purchase.
  • LIGHT charts are significantly harder than other styles.
  • Smallest songlist of all the home releases.
  • No BEGINNER mode.


beatmania IIDX 5th Style

Total Songs: 64
Unique Songs: 12

Pros

  • BEGINNER mode included.
  • DRILL MODE introduced to test your skills with.

Cons

  • Slower speed mods than other games.
  • Many complain about timing issues.
  • Nearly all of the originals have appeared in later CS releases.


beatmania IIDX 6th Style

Total Songs: 69
Unique Songs: 18

Pros

  • Also has a BEGINNER mode (covers all the songs in the game).
  • Lots of extras in the game: tatsujin videos, movie clip mode, expert daily courses.
  • Debut of HI-SPEED 4.
  • Decent difficulty balance.

Cons

  • Songlist is hit or miss for people.
  • Notecharts by this time were getting harder, and this style reflects it.


beatmania IIDX 7th Style

Total Songs: 90
Unique Songs: 22

Pros

  • Good BEGINNER mode.
  • Decent difficulty balance.
  • Large songlist.
  • Fairly easy to get now.
  • Songs no longer have to be played in ARCADE MODE to unlock in FREE.

Cons

  • Only two unlockable songs (murmur twins and Abyss -The Heavens Remix-), and the 2nd one is hard to unlock.
  • Some complain about the sound quality, and say the style has an "incomplete" or "rushed" feel to it.


beatmania IIDX 8th Style

Total Songs: 90
Unique Songs: 25

Pros

  • Easy to get.
  • New sort methods. Other info can be displayed while selecting the song.
  • Balance leans a little towards the harder side, but beginner's mode can cover for it.
  • Random+ is entertaining.

Cons

  • Lack of regular record screen as from previous styles.
  • Scores achieved in Expert Mode do not save.
  • Many songs have been repeated in later games.


beatmania IIDX 9th Style

Total Songs: 87
Unique Songs: 47

Pros

  • New high-res graphics make the game extremely pretty.
  • Quite a few first-time repeats (songs that have not been repeated before, including a lot from 3rd and 4th style).
  • Lots of remixes of songs from previous styles.

Cons

  • Not many revival songs; only 19 total.
  • Lack of regular record screen as from previous styles.


beatmania IIDX 10th Style

Total Songs: 88
Unique Songs: 45

Pros

  • .5 speed mods from HAPPY SKY introduced.
  • S-Random is more entertaining than Random+ - luckily, both are included.

Cons

  • Difficulty skews very high on 7/14KEY.
  • Lack of regular record screen as from previous styles.


beatmania (USA)

Total Songs: 58
Unique Songs: 20 (14 beatmania only)

Pros

  • Easy to find.
  • Comes with a controller.
  • Beginner friendly.
  • Contains many beatmania songs which have yet to appear in any of the CS beatmania IIDX releases.
  • Ability to save replays of your performance.

Cons

  • Grades are artificially inflated from Japanese and arcade releases.
  • None of the new licenses have ANOTHER charts.
  • Some songs have changed notecharts.
  • Total amount of songs is low compared to recent releases.
  • Only 40 of the songs are beatmania IIDX songs.
  • beatmania songs only have one chart.


beatmania IIDX 11 IIDX RED

Total Songs: 89
Unique Songs: 39

Pros

  • Displays in-game score graphs.
  • Can import up to five players' scores onto your memory card.
  • Hidden+ and Sudden+ from DistorteD are selectable mods.
  • Can change speed mods during a song.
  • Lots of unlockable interface items.

Cons

  • Another chart difficulty skews very high compared to earlier styles.


beatmania IIDX 12 HAPPY SKY

Total Songs: 91
Unique Songs: 47

Pros

  • Everything new from the last CS release is included, plus lots more unlockable interface items.
  • In-game score graph now displays how far you are from your next letter grade.

Cons

  • Timing is notably late compared to other styles.


beatmania IIDX 13 DistorteD

Total Songs: 95
Unique Songs: 55

Pros

  • Large amount of CS originals, and the first Japanese style to include traditional beatmania songs.
  • Increased speed adjustment functions and REGUL-SPEED in Training Mode.
  • Several unlockable interface items.
  • Timing vastly improved from HAPPY SKY CS.

Cons

  • Rather small revival list, with somewhat of an emphasis on certain artists.


beatmania IIDX 14 GOLD

Total Songs: 97
Unique Songs 54

Pros

  • Floating HI-SPEED introduced, allowing for more intricate tuning for timing.
  • Large varied songlist, with more beatmania revivals, too.
  • ASSIST CLEAR introduced.

Cons

  • Some videos were removed from songs to meet Japanese rating standards.

beatmania IIDX 15 DJ TROOPERS

Total Songs: 96
Unique Songs: 66

Pros

  • 22 songs new to beatmania IIDX, the biggest of any CS beatmania IIDX release.
  • New difficulty level above ANOTHER introduced, known as "Black Another".
  • Large, balanced songlist difficulty-wise.

Cons

  • Small revival list.
  • Some videos were edited to meet Japanese rating standards.
  • One of the AC originals (I'm In Love Again -DJ YOSHITAKA REMIX-) is not in the game, the first non-license since 3rd not to be.
  • Some songs (i.e. VOX UP) have annoying unlocking requirements.


beatmania IIDX 16 EMPRESS + PREMIUM BEST

Total Songs: 198
Unique Songs: 63

Pros

  • Contains a record 198 songs spread across two game discs, making this the largest CS release in BEMANI history.
  • ARCHIVE MODE contains near every result screen picture from earlier beatmania IIDX games.
  • PREMIUM BEST contains many fan favorite beatmania IIDX songs, and also serves as a good introduction to those new to the series.

Cons

  • Very expensive to find online these days. Prices often start as high as $200.
  • PREMIUM BEST disc doesn't have EXPERT mode, as well as several other modes.
  • No beatmania revivals.
  • Only one BEMANI crossover.
  • Some videos and images were edited to meet Japanese rating standards.
  • Only 40 pictures in Gallery mode.
  • All CS originals have generic movies.
  • Two disc system may be cumbersome for some players.
  • Some songs (i.e. Bad Maniacs) have annoying unlocking requirements.


beatmania IIDX INFINITAS

Total Songs: 64
Unique Songs: 37

Pros

  • First new CS beatmania IIDX release in six years.
  • First HD beatmania IIDX console game.
  • New controllers made, considered far superior to the old PS2 bundled controllers.
  • Ability to play beatmania IIDX 17 SIRIUS songs on a console beatmania IIDX game at long last.

Cons

  • Small songlist currently.
  • You need to pay a monthly fee to play the game (requires PASELI or a Japanese credit card).
  • Some songs may only be playable in certain modes which cost more PASELI a round to play them. (Currently does not apply, but it has in the past)
  • Some songs are locked for certain periods of time, and can't be accessed afterwards.
  • Missing several features of past releases (no Free, Expert or Dan modes, ghost is limited to pacemakers). This may change as the game is updated.

Which controller should I buy? I can't afford a controller right now, should I just play on a Dualshock?

Personally, I would wait to have the cash to buy one game and the controller at the same time. However, if you are -that- pressed for cash, I'm not stopping you from playing on a Dualshock. You won't get the same experience, however, and playing on a Dualshock is confusing as hell.

As far as buying controllers, there are a few options:

Konami Controller - An official controller by Konami, runs for about $90 from most online retailers. The keys are spaced correctly, but the turntable is smaller and closer to the keys. The keys are switchable so that you can emulate both the first and second player sides. People have problems with sticky keys, but you can mod your controller using cardboard to get around these problems.

American Controller - Also made by Konami, this controller comes bundled with the American beatmania, which these days usually costs $40 or so for the game and controller, depending on the retailer. It has some slight differences from the Japanese controller mentioned above; most are cosmetic, but it is worth noting that the buttons are significantly redesigned and the traditional "plunger" design has been completely replaced, and are therefore much less prone to sticking. This controller is leaps and bounds better than an unmodded KOC, though KOCs can more easily be modded to a player's exact preference in terms of key travel distance by adding or removing layers of cardboard. Though it comes bundled with the American beatmania, this controller is fully compatible with the Japanese versions of IIDX.

Rave Discman - Don't buy one. The price is attractive, but frankly, it's not all that great. For one, the keys are the wrong shape and are not spaced correctly. It's better to hold out for a Konami controller. It's possible to use a Rave Discman as a base for your own ASC, which some people on the forums have done. Take note this controller also has some voltage issues which could fry PS2->USB convertors that you might use.

Konami ASC - The official arcade-style controller by Konami. It's huge, it's pricey, and for some, it's worth it. The price tag is quite hefty, but with arcade perfect dimensions, clicking keys, and switchable from first player to 2nd player, lots of people have purchased them. Expect to pay around $350-400 when all is said and done.

Third-Party US ASC - two US controller makers well-known in the Pop'n Music community have both started producing ASC-like controllers for IIDX. These manufacturers are known for having long production times, good playability, and reasonable prices. Note: As of 2008, DA is not accepting new orders, and Ransai is only accepting replacements from people selling their place in the order queue.

Third-Party DJ Dao ASC - A Chinese manufacturer of various Bemani controllers sells several editions of IIDX controllers. High quality arcade feel controllers that are customizable to be arcade perfect. As of 2008, the product line consists of: A smaller controller, resembling a larger KOC with lights and arcade feel ($300 shipped), A larger controller, resembling a KASC with lights and arcade feel ($400 shipped), and an enormous arcade-perfect doubles deck ($1000 shipped). Independent overseas seller makes some people nervous, shipping is brutal, wait is about a month, quality is excellent.

There's a port on the side of my beatmania IIDX controller and I can't fit my finger in there? What is it for?

The port is meant for a foot pedal for beatmania III, but no home versions of beatmania III have been made. You can plug in a pedal from the drummania home controller into it, and triggering the pedal acts as a scratch. Cool, but mostly pointless.