About | Cool sites | My art | Taiko no Tatsujin, or how I learnt to stop worrying and love the drum
note: this is a reposted version of my tumblr post onto this website, as my tumblr post is already informative enough, and doesn't need much tweaking!
Do you like Rhythm games? Do you like cutesy stuff from Japan? Do you like VOCALOID? Do you like bopping it to japanese music? Do you want to slap some drums to anime openings?
But, most importantly, YOU WANNA BECOME A DRUM MASTER?
This guide is for you! Whether you wanna be serious or just wanna jam it out, have a budget or not, or are just interested in my ramblings, this guide is FOR YOU!
Get ready donders, grab your bachis, and let's become drum masters!
(If you enjoy this guide, please share it with friends! It's super appreciated!)
what IS Taiko no Tatsujin? What IS it? It's a huge phenomenon in Japan. In short, a rhythm game created by NAMCO in 2001 in the form of an arcade machine featuring two huge japanese taiko drums. The game is ultra simple! Hit the notes, fill the Soul gauge, get maximum points!
Simple enough, right? Well, despite its cutesy look, this game is also notorious for having extremely difficult songs to play. Seems impossible right? But it's possible to do this! With… a lot of practice of course! Don't let these intimidate you! These guys didn't become master Donders in one day!
The game was eventually ported to a loooot of consoles. And is still very popular to this date, as a new arcade and new games are still coming out in 2019!
This game is sadly very very unknown in the west. ONE attempt was made before 2018 to bring Taiko to the west, but we'll talk about it later.
There are many ways to play! With a touch screen, with your controller, but with also what we call a TaTaCon (TAiko no TAtsujin CONtroller), which is basically a small taiko drum with its own bachis! Often, these are released along with new home console installment! However they're a bit expensive. But that's ok! You can still be a drum master even without an actual drum or bachis!
"Why should I play this?"
Short answer: Why not?
Long answer: Because it's a fun rhythm game with a lot of interesting songs, that can also be challenging to the most hardcore of rhythm game players! It's also a fun way to experience your favorite video game, anime, vocaloid (and so on) songs! And just… because it's fun??? It's SO much fun. And this game deserves much more recognition. Its aesthetic, its cleverness, its cuteness. Its an amazing game that gets overlooked often (and is honestly mostly known due to OSU but even then…)
So, let's dive into the games! In the west, we have the possibility of getting 3 games without exporting anything!
TAIKO NO TATSUJIN: DRUM SESSION (PS4) (2018) - The considered superior version between the two available on modern consoles. With a lot of songs, features and DLCs, you'll have a blast with this one! And you can also dress up your lil' drum too! I've never played this one, but it's the most popular version and most appreciated.
TAIKO NO TATSUJIN: DRUM 'N' FUN (Nintendo Switch) (2018) - This version of Taiko is very good for what it is! It's a great game as an introduction to Taiko on consoles! I own it, and it's loads of fun! Rather than dressing up your drum, you get to play as different characters from the franchise with different abilities to help (or hinder) your performance! It also has a bunch of minigames too! And it has good DLCs! And you can play as Miku if you buy the DLC :)
Note: IF YOU WANT TO BUY TAIKO NO TATSUJIN DRUM 'N' FUN, DO YOURSELF A SERVICE AND BUY IT WITH A JAPANESE NINTENDO ACCOUNT!!! Content comes out faster in this version, and as of right now it's the only version with Donkatsu battle mode available for free. Nintendo made it really easy to bypass regional locks, and the japanese and english versions are basically different games (for lord knows why). Please, buy the japanese version of the game. It makes you go thru extra difficult steps due to the language barrier but it's so worth it.
TAIKO: DRUM MASTER (PS2) (2004) - The black sheep amongst all Taiko games. NAMCO wanted to appeal to the american audience with this newfangled rhythm games. This was the era before Guitar Hero. Now, when you see taiko, you think "japan" right? It's a very japanese game. Then NAMCO decided to slap very VERY western songs in it, appealing to absolutely nobody! Cursed game at best, but at least the franchise didnt get extra milked in the west because of this? And we have classic hits like… Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius' intro and Toxic by Britney Spears in this game… Defo go with the most recent games.
As for all the other games on PS2, PSP, DS, WII, WII U etc… well tough luck, you'll have to import them! Wooo….. BUT, if you dont have a budget, lemme slide in somethin for ya, and no it's not emulators…
Taiko simulators, ah yes! Where Taiko's western audience was found until 2018. These are popular with veterans to train, but these are also good alternatives for those who want to try out Taiko, but don't want to spend any money, or can't spend any money.
NOTE: I WILL NOT COVER OSU!TAIKO. I AS WELL AS SOME OTHER DONDERS DO NOT CONSIDER OSU!TAIKO A GOOD TAIKO SIMULATOR DUE TO MANY FLAWS AND DIFFERENCE IN GAMEPLAY THAT ARE CRUCIAL TO THE OFFICIAL TAIKO EXPERIENCE. HOWEVER, YOU A FREE TO LOOK INTO OSU!TAIKO IF YOU'D LIKE. (It is probs the easiest to set up on desktop, but look into it if you want to)
Anyways, let's go!
TAIKO WEB (TAIKO.BUI.PM) - PLATFORM: WEB BROWSER - COMPATIBILITY: MOBILE PHONES, DESKTOPS, TABLETS (As long as you have a good performing device and internet)
Taiko Web is a great place to start if you'd like to try out Taiko! It has an online 2 player mode, a bunch of great songs, and (usually) are mapped nicely! If you want a quick to whip out and play Taiko experience that gets updated regularly, check out Taiko Web!
However, it comes with its flaws. As a serious Taiko simulator, it has its flaws. Some maps experiences desync with the song, there will be lag moments especially when entering Go-Go mode (and ESPECIALLY on mobile), and it has its bugs that can be reported to its github! Tho, it's a really good place to start!
Link to access it is on the title of this subsection!
TJAPLAYER3 - PLATFORM: COMPUTERS - COMPATIBILITY: WINDOWS, MAC (???), LINUX (???)
TJAplayer3 is a simulator developped by AoiLight, and is, in my opinion, one of the best simulators out there. Since you can download the maps of the songs online, you have access to pretty much all the songs in Taiko existance as long as you know its title in japanese (which can be easy to find if you know how to search for it). It's fairly easy to install, and while it doesn't come prebundled with any skin or any songs, the guide I linked provide everything you need to know or have! Including how to download the game and get it working, songs bundles and skins to make your experience better and how to find songs. Remember that most songs you'll want to search are those that were present in past and current taiko games. I suggest you look at youtube videos of taiko plays/the taiko no tatsujin soundtrack to find more songs. But the packs included should do the trick for you still!
Link to download and instructions is linked on the title of the subsection
So, I hope that wasn't overwhelming! And that it peaked your interest even just a bit! Got any comments? Any questions or concerns? Feel free to contact me either throught e-mail (linked at the bottom of the page) or contact me throught twitter or instagram (linked in my arts tab)
And please, if you enjoyed this guide, share it with friends! Help get this game out there!
And if you want to find songs, stay up to date with the game, or even find song lyrics for your fave song in Taiko, do visit Taikotime! This blog has been running for almost 10 years now, and has everything you need to know about Taiko!
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