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Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! Review

Official Score

Overall - 80%

80%

Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! Hits all the right notes in its jump to the PC. With a healthy amount of songs and a system that’s every bit as challenging as you want it to be, Don-chan and Ka-chan’s rhythm game is the place to be.

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Ever wanted to be a drum master, but don’t have the musical chops? Worry no more, keyboard warriors – Bandai Namco’s Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! is now available for the PC. The series has countless entries in arcades and consoles – does this version have what it takes to make some noise?

Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! Review

For those who have yet to get down with the anthropomorphic Don-chan and Ka-chan, the rules are simple. Notes will scroll from right to left, and it’s up to players to hit the corresponding buttons when the notes overlap the frame. There’s different inputs for blue and red, big notes, drum rolls, and even balloons that can be popped.

Part of the joy of Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! is that it’s every bit as challenging as one wants it to be. Casual fans who just want to bang on some stuff can cruise on by with its easy mode to their hearts’ content. However, the hardcore among us all can crank it up to extreme and attempt to go for a Donderful combo on every song.

A rhythm game is only as good as its song list, and Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! Has one of the better ones in the series. Tracks are broken down into pop, anime, Vocaloid, variety, classical, game music, and Namco originals. There are lots of well-known hits hailing from Studio Ghibli films like My Neighbor Totoro and Castle in the Sky, Undertale, Beethoven (it works!), and even Wham! Put simply, players won’t be bored.

While this review was played with a controller as opposed to a drum, this method works surprisingly well – even for higher level play. However, there are plenty of options that make the jump to PC as seamless as possible. Players can also utilize a keyboard, and there are deep calibration settings that can be automatically or manually adjusted. For the absolute purists that need a peripheral, the Hori Taiko Drum Controller for Nintendo Switch can also be used through a plug and play method.

Players can earn currency for each song, which can then be spent at the Shop. Unlike the gacha system found in Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! for the PlayStation 4 (you can read our review here), everything can be purchased outright. Choices include songs, instruments (including our favorite, the fart), and outfits. One is also able to customize said outfits, their title/nameplate, and even greetings. There’s plenty to keep people busy.

While there are some DLC songs in Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master!, it is nowhere as egregious as Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! With more than 70 songs to choose from, what is here is a healthy package.

Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! Hits all the right notes in its jump to the PC. With a healthy amount of songs and a system that’s every bit as challenging as you want it to be, Don-chan and Ka-chan’s rhythm game is the place to be.

This review of the Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! was done on the PC. The game was played with a purchased subscription for Xbox Game Pass.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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