Taiko: Drum Master never hit the big time in North America, but the Taiko no Tatsujin series still sells strong in Japan. The latest game, Takio no Tatsujin Doka has a new adventure mode, similar to the Dance Master mode in the recent DDR home games, where you have to complete challenges. In adventure mode you guide Wada Don, the little drum mascot of the series, on a branching game board where you have specific challenges to beat. The goals are fairly basic all you have to do is complete a song under a certain difficulty level, get a high enough combo or enough points to win a mission. Takio no Tatsujin Doka’s adventure mode isn’t going to challenge veteran players, but it will get you to play all of the songs.
Besides the adventure mode Taiko no Tatsujin Doka is still pretty much the same thing as the other entries in the series. You’re going to hit a plastic Taiko drum to the beat either in the center on the edge. The real reason that you buy a new Taiko no Tatsujin game is because of the song list. Since this is a Japanese game, Taiko no Tatsujin Doka’s song list is primarily J-Pop and anime themes. On the 47 song list is a cover of Asuka’s “real voice”, the Doremon theme, a song from the Idolmaster, “Mappy’s Melody” from the NES game and the Naruto opening song “Re: Member”. I could go on to describe each song, but it would be better if you heard them. Watch the video below for a clip with song samples in Taiko no Tatsujin Doka.
Honestly I wasn’t too thrilled with the song list, but that’s more of a personal choice. I really got Taiko no Tatsujin Doka for the four mini games. Yesterday I put up a video of Taiko Santa where you deliver presents by hitting the drum. The other winter themed game is a snowball fight where you can throw snowballs by hitting the center of the drum and move by hitting the left or right edge. In the Taiko rocket game you help guide a Wada don shaped rocket into space. You start out with five seconds to beat the drum as fast as you can. Once your in the air you have to dodge falling pans by hitting the edge of the drum and utilize the three boosts to see how far you can get. The most surprising mini game is where Wada don checks a kid’s homework. You have to check the kanji to hiragana conversions and see if the kid filled in the correct kanji in the blank. You’re going to have to be able to read Japanese to play this, but if you’re learning Japanese the easy mode can be a fun way to brush up on your kanji skills. After you get done with the kanji section you check over math problems and at the tail end are general trivia questions.
Like I was saying before, the adventure mode is a nice addition, but not a real reason to rush out and buy Taiko no Tatsujin Doka. At this point you either like the Taiko no Tatsujin series or you’re sick of it so the only real reasons to pick this up are for the mini games or the song list. If you’re new to the series there are better packages to get like Taiko no Tatsujin 5.
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