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Let Me Tell You About MaiMai GreeN

Since my last post about MaiMai PLUS, Sega has released an updated version called MaiMai GreeN! (Yes, the N is capitalized). While the gameplay and machines are still the same, there have been some changes to the experience. Some of them I love, some not as much, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on them here.

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Yes, the machines are “GreeN” now too.

I explained all the basic elements of gameplay (slap buttons or tap a screen to match colored rings appearing in beat with a song) and using the personal Aime card in my original post, so if you’re new to the game, please read my write-up there.

NOTE: When I first tried to use my Aime card on a MaiMai GreeN machine, an alert popped up saying once you configure your card to the new machines and import your player data, you cannot go back to using the Aime card on a MaiMai PLUS machine. I imagine most, if not all, of the arcades in Asia with Aime-compatible MaiMai PLUS machines have already upgraded to GreeN by now, so it shouldn’t be an issue for players, but just  something to be aware of.

There are 3 major changes in MaiMai GreeN from MaiMai PLUS:

1) New songs, plus sorting 

I am SO happy with the songs out on MaiMai GreeN. They still have all of the old songs and your scores for them are saved if you have Aime. Meanwhile, they’ve added excellent hits such as L’Arc~en~ciel’s “Ready Steady Go!“, Exile’s “Choo Choo Train“, Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s “Rewrite“, and Flow’s “Go!!!“. All you FMA and Naruto theme song fans can rejoice! There are also some relatively new songs to enjoy. One of my current favorites is a quirky song by the Japanese girl group Momoiro Clover Z, “Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimitachi yo” or “Farewell, My Dear Sorrows”. Whoever programmed the game’s ring sequences is also a genius, because this song is SUPER fun to play.  Here’s the music video, viewable in-game:

A new feature of the game allows you to sort the songs by popularity ranking and this one always ranks high. You can also sort by difficulty level when you only want to play Master level 11 songs, ha.

*All songs are listed on the Sega MaiMai GreeN site here.*

2) Maimile points

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On MaiMai GreeN, you can now earn “maimiles” to “buy” things in the game, such as new songs and icons/nameplates/wallpapers for the screen above your head while playing.  The game just throws a bunch of points at you at the beginning of each game, and you can get more points by scoring high or getting certain achievements.  I like that you can earn points to buy new songs, but I’m not too sure about shelling out points just to dress up your profile screen.  Some of them are quite “expensive” too, costing thousands of maimiles! I’d rather save them up for songs I can play. The menu to choose from isn’t bad either.

3) No more classic leveling-up

This might be the biggest change, in my opinion. In the past, as long as you kept playing and playing, you could level up, all the way past level 100. I’m not sure what the maximum level anybody reached was, but it seemed like you could only go up. In MaiMai GreeN, your ranking can now go up OR DOWN depending on how well you play. When I switched my player data over to GreeN, I vaguely remember it converted my 110+ ranking into a 5 or 6, and as I kept clearing/mastering new songs the ranking quickly went up in increments ranging from 0.01 to 0.1 all the way to 10.

Above 10, however, it becomes more and more difficult to level up. I’ve been playing for a few weeks and am currently stuck hovering around 10.42. If I happen to play worse on a song than my all-time high score, the ranking can drop. It’s a bit frustrating, actually, but I guess the game discourages grinding to level up.  I haven’t figured out the exact science of the plus and minus, but in short, you can’t slack off!  So far, a number of more advanced players in Hong Kong are somewhere around 11.xx.  I haven’t personally seen anyone break 12 yet, but perhaps it’s possible (Update: Seen it! Yeah, I lost that round of VS Play, ha). Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about this new feature because even though it gently pressures you to keep improving, it’s really discouraging to see the ranking drop when you’re not in top form that day and just want to play a few rounds for fun. This system is definitely catering to more competitive players.

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That’s about all it for the major changes.  Overall, I still think MaiMai is a great game and continue to play the new version often. I’m also very happy to have now tried it out in seven Asian cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Taipei, and Bangkok). It’s been really enjoyable to see the different songs that are popular among players in each location, as well as their enthusiasm for the game.  Although I missed out on this, it looks like Sega held MaiMai tournaments in various cities, and some players are now sporting MaiMai-branded gaming gloves in the arcades.  So cool!  I’ll just have to be satisfied with my plain black ones in the meantime. To any players reading, DEFINITELY get a pair of gloves. It will save your hands and improve your game a lot. Just a simple pair from a costume shop will do. They don’t have to be special capacitative ones.

And to the powers that be at Sega, PLEASE bring this game to North America. I would be ever so grateful if you plopped a MaiMai GreeN machine in say…New York City. I’ll be there soon and would love to play it!