Though the rhythm genre has fallen somewhat from its peak in the mid-2000s in the West, it has never died back in its home country of Japan where it enjoys a robust life even today.
One game that has become somewhat of a cultural touchstone for many back in Japan is Taiko no Tatsujin. Making its way to nearly every format, from the massive drum-based arcade machine to home consoles, Taiko no Tatsujin combines rhythm based-mechanics with traditional Japanese drum music for a experience that is quintessentially Japanese.
But it’s starting to catch on in other places as well, thanks largely to the numerous ports of the title. Originally released by Bandai Namco games in 2001, Taiko no Tatsujin takes inspiration from Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution in primary structure but gives players the chance to beat the heck out of a taiko drum set instead of dancing until they die of heart attack.
You according to the notes on the screen (onbu in Japanese) and you are rewarded for how accurately you reproduce actions in the game. To fill your spirit gauge you need to accurately perform music and, once you exceed your gauge, you will complete that song.
The most famous version of Taiko no Tatsujin is the arcade unit which comes equipped with taiko drums and bachi sticks to hit them. Anyone who has ever watched a traditional Japanese drum segment knows just how aerobically intense it can be and Taiko no Tatsujin’s original 2001 arcade cabinet recreates this to a large degree.
And, as you can imagine, translating this kind of experience to the home consoles is not that easy. Even the best peripheral devices won’t have the robust feel of the arcade cabinet which truly goes out of its way to replicate the heft and quality of taiko drums.
Most home based