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Like beatmania, notes come down the screen and the object is to "hit" the notes by pressing their corresponding buttons. Hitting notes will play parts of the music, while missing notes will make the music sound not like what it's supposed to be. Instead of 5-7 rectangular keys and a turntable like beatmania, pop'n uses nine big colorful buttons, requiring you to use your whole hands instead of individual fingers.
pop'n uses a cute, colorful interface to appeal to younger players, but don't let that deceive you into thinking this is a kids' game; pop'n is just as hard as other Bemani series, with songs requiring you to hit as many as 1,000 notes in the span of two minutes.
Currently, the series is up to 20 main arcade installments, along with consoles releases and spin-off releases such as pop'n music Animelo, pop'n music Best Hits and Hello! Pop'n Music.
Like most other Bemani series, pop'n music suffers from serious No Export for You-itis. The only games in the series that were released outside of Japan are Beat'n Groovy, an XBLA release that many players regarded as being completely awful, and a Wii release that did not involve the series' iconic nine-button controller. A simplified four-button-per-player redemption version was location tested in America, but it was quietly shelved and repackaged for Japan as Hello! Pop'n Music.
As a result, the arcade version is very rare outside of Japan. If you want to play at home, you could buy the official controller for a more affordable experience, but the controller has much smaller buttons, so you might as well play Beatmania IIDX. The other way is to spend a few hundred bucks on an arcade-sized controller. New arcade-sized controllers sell for at least $200; one such controller is more expensive than an entire Rock Band set. And this is all without the game or means to play the game on a PS2.
pop'n music in general contains examples of:
- Crossover - If a song is a remix of something from another Konami game, it'll most likely have one of the characters from that game as its song character. Examples include Vic Viper ("Gradius -Full Speed-" and "A Shooting Star"), Simon
BelmontBelmondo ("Akumajou Dracula Medley Hybrid"), and Goemon ("Ganbare Goemon Medley"). Pop'n Music 15 ADVENTURE even has a song from Mitsumete Knight (a pretty obscure Dating Sim co-made by Konami and Red Entertainment), "The Man From Far East".
- Ermine Cape Effect: Charotte
- Everythings Better With Bunnies / Cute Kitten: The game's mascots, Mimi and Nyami, respectively.
- Gratuitous English -- Though less than most other Bemani; song
namesgenres are written almost exclusively in Japanese characters. Each game in the series has an announcer who talks in English; some speak it flawlessly, while some will pronounce, say, "Challenge Mode", as "charenji moodo."
- In Adventure, if you play well enough, the announcer will say "You were cool!" that sounds more like "You waku!". Waku is the katakana spelling of wac, who is the sound director of Pop'n Music itself.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels -- 5-button, Normal, Hyper, EX(pert)
- Interface Screw -- The Dance Ojama modifier. The song character (or something related to the character) appears in the middle of the screen, partially blocking your view of the notes.
- Licensed Game -- Some of the songs are covers from TV shows and anime. Later releases give these songs their own category.
- Loads and Loads of Characters -- About 10-20 new characters with every release. Check out the character page!
- The Character page doesn't even begin to convey just how many characters there are. One of the Official Character Illustration books for the series has over 300 pages just devoted to Character bios alone. Granted, the book covers 10 games, but for a rhythm gave to even have characters, let alone 300+, well... you can see why this trope applies.
- To think this poster is pretty much outdated.
- Nintendo Hard
- No Export for You -- Only a completely horrendous XBLA adaptation and a In Name Only Wii version have been released outside Japan.
- Self-Imposed Challenge -- Challenge Mode's many normas. Before a song, you can select up to two normas, each with their own requirements (such as getting x points or getting less than y bads). Fulfilling a norma's requirement will earn you "Challenge Points". Though not necessary to pass songs, getting enough Challenge Points will yield an extra stage.
- Sugar Bowl
- Variable Mix -- As is the case with most Rhythm Games.
- Widget Series