Taiko no Tatsujin: THE Music Game

I have been a music game lover since forever. The first game that I played for over one week is a Chinese music game, and after that, I explored many kinds of music games on different platforms. I have tried OSU!, Lovelive!, Deemo, Jukebeat, etc., but the music game that I think is the most interesting and challenging is Taiko no Tastujin (太鼓の達人).


Taiko no Tastujin is a music game produced by Bandai Namco, a Japanese game company. It first appeared in 2001, and it can be found on a lot of platforms such as arcade game, PSP, 3Ds, Wii U, and it is said that there will be a version for the new Nintendo Switch. That is how popular this game is.


An arcade of Taiko no Tatsujin

In this game, there are five kinds of keys in three categories. the red key means the middle of the taiko (traditional Japanese drum), the blue key means the border of the taiko. If the red and blue keys appear in a larger form, the player needs to hit the certain button on both side of the console at the same time. All keys of other style means to hit the middle of the taiko for multiple times.


This is how a typical game looks like.

The version I play is Taiko no Tastujin Deluxe on PSP 3000, and I have played it for about 3-4 years. Here are the reasons why I want to recommend this game to other music game lovers, and why I think it is THE music game that you would like to try.

First of all, it has tons of songs, and each song has four levels (easy, normal, hard, devil). My version has 197 songs to choose, but since I am a relatively high-level player, I only play the hard and devil level. That are still 394 choices. I can easily spend hours with this game if I do not have anything else to do.


The iPad version has much less songs, but the PSP version has a lot.

Another awesome thing of this game is that you can play it for a long time without quitting the game to wait for your “hearts” to recover. Many games have introduced the system of “hearts”.

For example, in Era of Music, my first music game, a player only has 6 “hearts” to play for a period of time, so he/she can only play 6 songs in a role. It usually takes 10 minutes to finish them all. After using all the “hearts”, the player has to wait for them to recover very slowly for a couple of hours, or spend money to buy more “hearts”.

This system is designed to prevent the players from indulging in playing games, but for many players who have the ability of self-control, this system seems to be superfluous and annoying. In Taiko no Tatsujin, the system of “hearts” does not exist, and you can play ten or fifteen songs continuously.


The Wii version even has mini physical taikos. This has been my dream…

The third advantage of this game is that it is challenging, but you cannot make anything easier by spending money. Nowadays, almost every game has in-app purchase currency for the players to enhance their ability, and music games are not exceptions. They either ask the players to buy props and “pets” that can eliminate a certain number of missed keys, or ask them to buy higher-level characters that has better ability such as adding extra points or deciding whether a key should be “perfect” or “great”.

Taiko no Tatsujin does not have this system. The players cannot spend money on this game to become a better drummer. For instance, there are many difficult songs that I can barely read, but when I find out that it is too hard, the only thing I can do is to practice more to become better. It is fairer for players who do not want to spend money on games, or for people like me who do not have much extra money.

The video below is one of the most difficult songs in Taiko no Tastujin. It is called “Buddha 2000”, and is played by a master on Wii 3. Remember, this player made it all by practicing but not purchasing any magical potions.

I really want to share and recommend this game to you because I think it is one of the most interesting, free, and fair music games. It may be challenging, but the difficult songs can train your fingers and brain together. If anyone asks me to recommend a music game for him/her, Taiko no Tatsujin would be THE game that I recommend. Surly I have played many other great music games, but this is definitely my first choice.

What kind of music game have you played? What games are you currently playing? Feel free to share your thoughts with me. I am a huge fan of music games, and I am waiting for your recommendation. What is your favorite one?

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