Hi Internet, I wonder if anyone is still around? It’s never too late to revive this blog and talk about my continuing love of MaiMai!
Over 4 years have passed since I wrote about MaiMai GreeN, but it doesn’t feel like that long, and any English-language discussion online is still a bit sparse and scattered. I no longer live in Asia, so have had less opportunity to play and practice, but any time I visit a city with MaiMai available, I’m always hunting down an arcade to check it out!
We are currently on version “purple” with MaiMai MURASAKI Plus, after Pink and Orange, and my Aime account still works, although I have no idea what my “rank” is anymore. This incarnation has a fun Japanese traditional shrine theme and related mascot characters, which I think are pretty cute.
As for some of the new features (perhaps a few were introduced with Orange or Pink, but I’m not too sure as I only played those versions a couple of times over the years), I’m a bit mixed on them. You can get lost in the super-robust Japanese wiki for this game for hours, but these are some general impressions:
・The blue and yellow “tracing” lines can now be super squiggly all over the place. It’s no longer just a straight line swipe across the screen. I think this is a pretty smart upgrade to the play experience, and makes the game more challenging overall.
・Point systems are in “Zenny”, another arbitrary money unit to help you buy nameplates, unlock songs (but why do I have to unlock them in the first place T___T), and also….to give to Otohime 乙姫 so she might toss you a reward in return? In a mini-game after your songs, you slap on the buttons as many times as you can/want in a given few seconds and hope you get a special sticker, but seriously I “donated” so much of my Zenny to her and she still just sneered at me. Boooo :(
・There are more special “events” to get special stamps and achievements, such as clearing or S-ranking 4 pre-determined songs in a row. I thought these were pretty good to force me to try out new songs I might not have otherwise selected randomly, since I’m pretty attached to the oldies:
・The difficulty level can also get ramped up with an even harder Re:Master level for certain songs if you achieve S-rank on Master level, and there are special “challenge tracks” where you must get all Perfects or else the song will shut down. The number of allowable goof-ups, i.e., anything not a Perfect, increases every few days after the song is released, until the song is released normally without the “challenge” mode. New tracks get released this way every few weeks, which is not a bad way to drum up excitement for it! Here is my terrible attempt at the song Ultranova (,,꒪꒫꒪,,)
・As for the songs themselves, despite a few notable additions, I have not been super impressed with the roster. A lot of them are forgettable Vocaloidish tunes or just EDM-style songs to use as a basis for super-fast “arms flying” tracks for the really hardcore players. Ok fine, I’m biased towards pop hits, but my favorites were always the ones I feel like I can really dance to while playing, and every time there is an update, I worry they’re going to take away classics like “Dancing ✩ Samurai” (RIP, Love Circulation, you are always such a relaxing little tune to play as warmup <3….and where is my fav Momoiro Clover Z track?? * cry *). The list of deleted songs just makes me kind of sad sometimes.
・However, I was soothed a bit by the (temporary??) addition of RADWIMPS’s “前前前世”, which is a terrific song from the movie “Your Name”. Please go see it if you haven’t yet!
・Finally, I don’t know when they added this, but probably as a nod to those poor arcade workers who used to have to hustle people out of the arcade at closing time, the machines themselves have a countdown and will stop accepting new players a few minutes before closing.
Overall, it’s nice to see this game’s popularity continuing, but I think some of the “extras” are a little bit complicated. I understand they want to keep churning out new features and ramp up the difficulty level for veteran players, but I hope they don’t forget the original elements that made this game a hit in the first place.
I’m also glad to have added a few more cities to my list of “MaiMai destinations”, so now it’s Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Taipei, Bangkok, AND Kawasaki, Yokohama, Fukuoka, and Seoul! Every arcade is just a little bit different, but players’ enthusiasm is always the same!
As for permanent USA availability, I’m not too hopeful. I’ve seen online some older versions pop up in California and Las Vegas, but they don’t appear to be connected to the Aime system and were pretty expensive (around $1.50 per song reported). Maybe this will be the only way I can eventually play some of my old favorites Stateside – if they decide to keep the machines around – but it’s just not quite the same. Oh well, until my next trip to Asia then!