1_General CDJapan
Monday, January 18, 2021

One of my dreams became reality this year, thanks to the Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun game with a worldwide release. Now you can play the famous Taiko Arcade game from Japan in your own living room. But is it as good as in real life? Let’s find out!

This game is available for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 (Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session, download only), both consoles have different songs and play modes. In this review the European Switch version will be reviewed. Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ fun is a drum rhythm game with 70+ songs so there will be plenty of time needed to complete this game. The songs are divided in categories: Pop, Anime, Vocaloid, Variety, Classics, Games and Namco Original songs. At the start you only have a few songs to choose from and the more you play the more songs become available. Each song can be played in a different difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, Extreme and a few songs in an even higher mode.

This game might sound simple but sometimes it’s more difficult than it looks. You have to hit notes as they reach the left of the screen and align with the circular mark, the higher the difficulty the more notes you’ll get. But it’s not the same note you have to hit everytime, there are a few different notes so that makes it more challenging.
– Small red note don: hit the center of the drum
– Small blue note kt: hit the rim of the drum
– Big red note don: hit the left and right sides of the center at the same time
– Big blue note ka: hit the left and right sides of the rim at the same time
– Drumroll: hit the center as many times as you can in the given time
– Balloon: hit the center as many times as shown and get extra points if you finish

One of the benefits of the Nintendo Switch version is that you can play in different ways: drum, touchscreen, buttons and motion controls. The drum gives that extra special taiko vibe while the buttons make it easier to complete songs if you’re fast enough. So choose the controls which suits you the most!

There are 2 different game modes: play mode and party mode. The play mode is the regular playing mode in which you try to play the songs as best as you can. You can play this mode up to 2 players while the party mode can hold up to 4 players. The party mode has 20 different party games, in each game there is a different song and different rhythm. In those games you have to hit the drum (or move the controler) at the right time but it doesn’t appear as easy as in the play mode so you have to listen carefully.

Songs and visuals

The visuals are very simple, cute and bright coloured, it takes the whole family to a Japanese festival. The characters you can choose from are from previous games (arcade included) but this time more characters are included for example the cute round pink ball everyone knows: Kirby! Each character has their own abillities and strength so choose the charater that suits you the most. The songs are mostly Japanese but a lot of them are famous so you will still recognise a few and it’s always nice to hear new songs!

Honest opinion
As someone who doesn’t have the best rhythm this game is really enjoyable. But after 30-40 minutes my arms get exhausted, this isn’t a game you can play all day long. After the first weekend of playing I even got musculair pain and my arms needed some rest. Build up your taiko stamina in time if you don’t want to suffer like me. The game can be a nice escape from daily tasks and with a friend it’s even more fun. I still suck at the party games but it will probably need some more practise. Some songs are not my cup of tea, for example I don’t like playing the ABC-song because I’m not a kid anymore. Maybe they can make a special adult version in the future? Also be aware that some housemates might not be happy with the drum sound. Have fun playing Taiko!

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