Marching to the beat of the cutest drum ever, however the push to hire additional content material is robust with this one.
A few of my fondest video game-adjacent reminiscences contain Rock Band and Guitar Hero-themed events, lengthy automobile rides enjoying Elite Beat Brokers, and overcoming emotions of being homesick by shedding myself within the Uematsu-flavored stylings of Theatrhythm Remaining Fantasy. What I am getting at is that I am no stranger to music video games. That stated, that is my first expertise with an precise Taiko no Tatsujin drum, which I used as a part of this evaluation for Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Competition. What follows shall be a evaluation of each the sport and the peripheral, and in each instances the outcomes are an inconsistent mixture of attention-grabbing and irritating.
Taiko no Tatsujin, as a franchise, has existed since 2001 and was initially an arcade sport. The arcade collection itself has seen over two dozen entries, however the first North American console model got here to PlayStation 2 in 2004. Its lovable mascot character Don Wada, or DON-chan, and even simply DON, and its signature drum-centered rhythm gameplay assist these video games stand out. I’ve undoubtedly performed a number of Taiko no Tatsujin arcade video games rising up, however Rhythm Competition will be the first console model of the collection that I’ve ever owned.
Rhythm Competition is not the primary Taiko title on Swap; that will be Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Enjoyable!, which truly had a collector’s version that got here bundled with a drum and a bodily copy of that sport. For evaluation, I used to be shipped a separate drum and given a digital code for Rhythm Competition. I am going to begin by sharing my impressions of the sport itself and ending with my ideas on the drum peripheral.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Competition’s setting of Omiko Metropolis has 5 areas that you could go to from the primary hub display. The Retailer lets you use in-game foreign money earned by enjoying songs and leveling as much as buy new outfits for DON, devices to vary the sound results you produce, and title plates and greetings to point out off throughout on-line play. My Room is the place you possibly can regulate settings, calibrate the controls, change your outfit, and rewatch cutscenes.
The true meat of the sport is within the subsequent three areas, the net mode of Dondoko City, the Taiko Mode of Thunder Shrine, and the celebration mode of Taiko Land. My time with the net portion revealed a reasonably strong ranked mode and no points connecting with opponents. Taiko Land’s choices are multiplayer-centric however may be performed solo: DON-chan Band and Nice Drum Toy Struggle. The previous featured 4 gamers performing a music collectively to earn extra followers and full missions. The latter has particular person missions and its personal on-line part the place you compete towards one other participant and ship toys in a kind of central tug-of-war by enjoying nicely. You possibly can even ship pretend distraction notes to your opponent, giving this specific sport mode a little bit of a enjoyable twist.
It is seemingly that almost all gamers, no less than initially, will spend most of their time with Taiko Mode, which is mainly the realm the place you possibly can freely play any music you select. There’s additionally a particular function right here referred to as Enchancment Assist that permits you to replay particular sections of songs, maybe to enhance on a very difficult set of notes. Whichever mode you play, Rhythm Competition rewards you with expertise factors and gold to spend. As your Drum Degree goes up, you advance alongside a monitor that bestows cash, provides inventory to the shop, and unlocks story beats, which typically contain DON interacting along with his pal Kumo-kyun (a cloud, in fact).
The place the cracks in DON-chan’s colourful facade start to point out is within the music library itself, a reasonably important a part of the bundle. The in-game monitor library consists of 77 songs, which is definitely greater than Rock Band shipped with on disc (58) in 2007. However in that sport, you had totally different devices to be taught and play to vary the expertise. Extra regarding is that almost all of the tunes in Rhythm Competition are virtually definitely going to be unfamiliar to a lot of the western viewers who would possibly decide up the sport.
A lot of my very own enjoyment with music video games comes from enjoying out the fantasy of truly creating the tunes I’ve beloved for thus lengthy. As catchy as a few of the monitor lists are on this current Taiko no Tatsujin sport, it is a bit disappointing to not see a bit extra selection. That the “Sport Music” class (which does not embrace tracks particularly made for earlier Taiko video games) has solely 10 entries is a serious disappointment. One saving grace was the inclusion of Persona 5’s Life Will Change. All the pieces begins to come back into focus while you understand that there is a separate Music Move you should buy that provides you time-limited entry (30 or 90 days) to an extra 500-plus songs. Any means you slice it, virtually half of all of the music obtainable in any respect within the sport falls below the NAMCO Unique banner, which typically come from earlier Taiko video games. This means that Rhythm Competition could possibly be a a lot better celebration of the franchise’s previous than an apt start line for newcomers.
So far as the drum accent is anxious, my takeaway is that it is extra of a novelty than a online game assortment staple. The principle difficulty is that though setting it up and connecting by wired USB connection to the Swap dock is simple and easy (regardless of the shortage of English within the instruction handbook), utilizing the system to play the sport was truly more durable than the Pleasure-Con movement controls or commonplace button controls. The left facet of the drum specifically is not delicate sufficient to recurrently register hits on the middle or the rim, and so I discovered myself having to smash my stick towards it to activate notes or else follow enjoying completely on the suitable facet of the drum. Even with some observe, attempting to finish any music on an issue increased than Regular utilizing the drum was an train in futility. I might see myself bringing it out at events for a little bit of enjoyable, however I might want one thing extra correct to interchange the opposite management strategies.
Whereas I used to be thrilled to lastly have a Taiko no Tatsujin drum to check out with Rhythm Competition, the accent and the sport itself left me eager to a level. Followers of earlier video games and Japanese music, together with the handfuls of anime themes obtainable right here, will discover a charming and compelling bundle in DON-chan’s newest outing. Others may not recognize the shortage of selection within the fundamental library, which appears to demand that gamers fork over for the extra strong choices of the Music Move. It rubs me the improper means when, at launch, the bottom model of a sport incorporates however a fraction of what may be bought or rented digitally. There is no denying the lovable and colourful characters of the Taiko no Tatsujin world, however you are virtually compelled to pay a premium to maintain the celebration going.