Namco is well-known for introducing unique gadgets into well established genres of play. Most probably already know about how Namco revolutionized the lightgun shooter by introducing Time Crisis
and its foot pedal, but there are a whole host of Namco games that most ‘Stateside gamers have never even heard about. How about Photo Shoot
, a quirky game that requires gamers to photograph animals with a camera controller? Along the same line Namco has added some depth to the rhythm genre by introducing a unique controller that is both fun to use and simple to master. Oh, and the game is pretty good too.
That’s because drumming is in our blood. One of the first things we learn to do as a child is to beat stuff with other elongated objects. When my mom used to take me out to Chinese restaurants as a kid I used to use chopsticks as drum sticks and wail on the cups, plates and tables. The point is, even if we sucked, drumming was a hell of a lot of fun. Namco takes that into account with Taiko Drum Master
and provides gamers with an experience that’s challenging, yet intuitive at the same time. At the end of the day you can sit back and say “hey, I had a great time and I annoyed my neighbors.” Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
We’ve already discussed the basic premise of TDM but there’s a little more to it than just banging and smashing everything in sight. It’s a rhythm game so there’s a little bit of skill and timing involved. Notes appear on the right side of the screen and travel towards the left side; speed depending on the beats per minute of the song. As the notes travel towards the left side of the screen you’ll need to hit the corresponding portion of the Taiko in order to be successful. Red notes require you to hit the actual Taiko (if you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a giant Japanese drum) while blue notes require you to hit the rim of the drum. It sounds like a simple premise but the game gets insanely hectic as it does a great job of mixing up the two types of notes while syncing their rhythm to the beat.
Most people put heavy emphasis on the song selection but I don’t really feel that it’s the make or break point of these kinds of games. Just look at a game like Guitar Freaks
, the songs in that game are awful but are ultimately entertaining due to the game’s design. So let’s not put too much emphasis on the song selection here. All you need to know is that the game features more than 27 songs ranging from pop, rock, cartoon show themes, classical symphonies and Namco title tracks. There’s some good variety here and there’s a good chance that everyone will find something to suit their tastes. Each song can be played at three different difficulty levels which feature more complex note patterns as you progress.
Page 1 of 2