At first glance, people in Japan probably dismissed Chunithm as the ripoff of Sound Voltex but after sometime, the close comparison to Chunithm is Deemo in which the gameplay is somewhat similar. Unlike Deemo, Chunithm has multiple lengths of the notes which range from tiny to large and they are positioned anywhere in the playfield. The playfield is obviously divided into more than several note panes as if they represent the corresponding piano keys. In addition to the notes in various sizes, there are also notes where you have to raise your hand above the keys while being at the corresponding positions those notes are on. The laser notes in Chunithm have the starting and ending points anywhere similar to what Sound Voltex III has. Prior to the third game, the starting points for the laser notes are left for blue and right for pink but unlike Sound Voltex, there are no horizontal paths (Whoosh parts) where you instantly shift to the other side and Chunithm has more than two laser notes on the field. The major challenge is the fact that the virtual keys are kind of crammed that you may need to find other ways to ensure that both hands don’t collide when sliding from one side to another but obviously for zig-zag like laser note patterns, you can split up the group of virtual keys into two that easily.
The keys are not physical and I guess that Sega might have used the same technology for the controls as the one for Project Diva Arcade Future Tone. It should support like multiple touch points and Chunithm has the sensor technology for the air notes. The strange addition to the cabinet is the large black & green LED display on top of the main monitor like it tries to act like the VMU or some sort during gameplay. And of course, there are elements where you have to choose one of the cards representing whichever character as the assist items for gameplay.
To compensate for the un-originality of the gameplay, there was some collaboration between Chunithm and Deemo which was a promising stumble that some of the songs will be commonly playable. Of course, expect some differences between these two games and it looks like Sega’s finally doing right this time. Other rhythm game collaborations include some Bemani songs as well as the ones from Paca Paca Passion, Persona 4 Dancing All Night, etc.