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|First release||Sound Voltex Booth|
January 18, 2012 (JP)
|Latest release||Sound Voltex: Exceed Gear|
February 17, 2021 (JP)
June 30, 2022 (US)
Sound Voltex (Japanese: サウンド ボルテックス, stylized as SOUND VOLTEX, often shortened as SDVX) is a series of music games by Konami. Sound Voltex Booth was tested on various cities in Japan starting on August 26, 2011 until September 19, 2011. It was then released on January 18, 2012.
Sequels Sound Voltex II: Infinite Infection, Sound Voltex III: Gravity Wars, Sound Voltex IV: Heavenly Haven, Sound Voltex: Vivid Wave, and Sound Voltex: Exceed Gear were released on June 5, 2013, November 20, 2014, December 21, 2016, February 28, 2019, and February 17, 2021 respectively. On February 17, 2021, the publisher Konami released a new version of the cabinet called Sound Voltex: Valkyrie Model which included new features, such as a touchscreen mainly used to adjust settings; the new cabinet doesn't change the core gameplay. Sound Voltex has seen a limited release in arcades outside of Japan. An official North American release of Exceed Gear, along with the Valkyrie Model cabinet, released on June 30, 2022. A conversion of Sound Voltex III: Gravity Wars, with the subtitle Konami Game Station was released as a PC game on October 4, 2017. At late 2021, Sound Voltex (PC) is updated to Exceed Gear.
Sound Voltex has two different parts that relate to each other: Sound Voltex Booth and Sound Voltex Floor. Sound Voltex Booth is the main game, while Sound Voltex Floor is a system where in game content is created by Japanese artists and musicians. Content chosen from Sound Voltex Floor will be inserted into Sound Voltex Booth and become available in the game.
Various objects, otherwise known as notes, come towards the player on the course lane, which consists of 6 columns with rails. The player is required to input corresponding commands when the object reaches the Critical Line at the bottom of the screen. The command required will differ, depending on the objects. Four white buttons in the middle of the controller are used to hit the white notes. Two additional inputs are also required, the two orange buttons beneath the main four buttons, otherwise known as FX buttons. These not only add an extra layer of difficulty, but also add effects to the song, similar to that of a DJ mixed song. Two knobs, on the top right and left corners, are used to control blue and pink lasers on the screen. The player simply turns the knobs in the direction the corresponding laser on-screen. The left knob controls a blue laser, and the right knob controls a pink laser. A blue button on the top of the controller acts as the “Start” button, also being used as an “Okay” button of sorts. On the arcade cabinet, holding the start button whilst turning the right knob will change the lane speed. Lane speed is the speed of which the notes go down. (this is as of Exceed Gear, older versions may require a different command.) 
As the player hits the objects, a judgment is received—from highest to lowest: S-Critical (Valkyrie Model only), Critical, Near, and Error—depending on the timing of hitting the objects. Getting S-Critical and Critical fills the rate gauge, while Error depletes it. From SDVX II onward, Near also fills the gauge, but fills 1/4 of the amount compared to S-Critical or Critical. The player is required to fill the rate gauge a certain amount (most commonly 70%) by the time the stage ends to clear it; otherwise the play session will be over. The amount required to fill the gauge differs depending on the rate system the player is using.
Skill Analyzer mode is a mode added in SDVX II, which can let the player test their Skill Level. The player selects a course to play which will immediately begin after selection. Each course increases in difficulty depending on the Skill Level. Each Skill Level has 3 different courses for the player to select.
There are 12 Skill Levels (in SDVX III) which are named after colors:
- Lv. 01 Bronze (岳翔)
- Lv. 02 Blue (流星)
- Lv. 03 Yellow (月衡)
- Lv. 04 White (瞬光)
- Lv. 05 Water Blue (天極)
- Lv. 06 Emerald Green (烈風)
- Lv. 07 Red (雷電)
- Lv. 08 Pink (麗華)
- Lv. 09 Silver (魔騎士)
- Lv. 10 Gold (剛力羅)
- Lv. 11 Crimson (或帝滅斗)
- Lv. ∞ Purple (暴龍天)
- Sound Voltex location test schedule (in Japanese). Konami.
- Su, Kevin (February 3, 2016). "Blasting into Arcade Rhythm Games: My Adventures with SOUND VOLTEX and the Church of Rasis". The Gemsbok. Your Mid-week Mission. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- SOUND VOLTEX FLOOR Information Archived 2012-05-14 at the Wayback Machine on Bemanistyle.