Bandai Namco’s colorful rhythm game series “Taiko no Tatsujin,” known to Western gamers as “Taiko: Drum Master,” is coming westward for its first English-language release in 14 years. Fans can look forward to two new games scheduled for a November release: “Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun!” for Nintendo Switch and “Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session!” for PlayStation 4. Interestingly, the series won’t be going back to the Westernized “Taiko: Drum Master” moniker bestowed upon it when the game and drum peripheral first debuted in 2004 on PlayStation 2.
“Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun!” will make proper use of the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers as it allows players to drum in the air to a wide variety of different songs culled from video games and anime series. The opening to zany parody anime “Pop Team Epic” as well as familiar hits like “Dragon Ball Z’s” “Cha-La Head Cha-La” is included in the Japanese version of the game, though its not clear yet if some of the more obscured tunes will be included for the English version. There’s a wide offering of music, including popular J-pop songs and video game hits, such as “Super Mario Odyssey’s” rollicking “Jump Up, Super Star!” as well.
Given the Nintendo Switch’s penchant for multiplayer, the Switch version will feature a multiplayer focus, with support for up to four people at a time and 20 different rhythm-based mini-games. Players can even take on the role of Kirby or an Inkling from Splatoon while drumming their hearts out to each song’s beat.
“Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session!” will feature online play and ranking for competitive players, as well as a Guest Session mode that lets drumming enthusiasts play with characters like Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and the vocaloid pop star Hatsune Miku.
Western players were only ever given one opportunity to jump on the “Taiko no Tatsujin” bandwagon, as only the PlayStation 2 “Taiko: Drum Master” game and drum peripheral set were ever localized. There have since been numerous arcade, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and PlayStation Vita releases over the years. These two new titles could potentially bolster the series’ popularity with Western rhythm game fans.