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For my first time playing a Taiko no Tatsujin game, I wouldn’t say I did too badly having played both the Switch and PS4 version. The PlayStation 4 version sadly is hard to get hold of physically in the UK and doesn’t come with a bundle which is disappointing and even worse is that the Switch USB drum doesn’t work with it either. So having to buy the game and drum from abroad and have them imported is quite a problem personally.
Despite the lack of a physical Taiko drum controller, Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session is a great game for rhythm fans. The songs are excellent, and although the amount of available DLC songs is overwhelming, there are more than a handful of tunes anyone can have a good time with. Better yet, the challenges presented by the bingo cards and online play give you plenty of incentive to start getting better at the whole soundtrack, and it's something you'd like to see utilized in other rhythm games. In short, Drum Session is well worth checking out.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session is Bandai Namco's latest bet, that after over twelve years, brings the series back to the West, introducing to a new generation of players a fun, colorful and very traditional franchise.
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Even if I didn't discuss it, Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Sessions! biggest strength is song diversity. It's the only rhythm game where you can play game, anime, Jpop, classical and more songs. This alone makes it a solid choice for anyone who loves music or the rhythm genre. Sure, it might seem rather simple and overly cute but it's a game with untold amounts of depth. While online doesn't do much to maximize it and the bingo system is only compelling if you're not that skilled, it's still a solid experience.
It is great to finally see the Taiko series released in Europe, even if it is at the cost of having the drum kit available to play it with...which was kind of the whole big selling point of it all. Without having the drum to test out, it is difficult to tell if Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! is an inferior game without it, but it is still most definitely a fun rhythm title in its own right with the regular controller. With only a few note types - and, therefore, buttons - to remember, this is simple to pick up, and the support options make it highly accessible to rhythm casuals. The higher difficulties and plentiful options to add handicaps allow experts to test themselves freely, too. For a very Japanese themed rhythm game that is chock-full of tracks, Drum Session! is well worth a beat.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! (PS4)Developer: Bandai NamcoPublisher: Bandai NamcoReleased: November 2, 2018MSRP: $49.99 (No Drum)Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session, is the second of two Taiko games that launched last week, alongside Nintendo Switch release Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun. But whereas the latter's focus is on mini-games and party modes, Drum Session's PS4 release is more focused on the core Taiko no Tatsujin experience.Drum Session's rhythm-action gameplay is very straightforward. You bash along, on your drum controller or PS4 pad, in time to symbols that appear on a fast-moving on-screen track, ala Rock Band, Guitar Hero or any number of previous similar titles. The red symbols represent hitting the skin, the blue symbols require a tap on the rim. The larger symbols mean you strike with both sticks together, while extended yellow bars require players to hammer out a thunderous drum roll.Players score points for perfect timing, as well as for not dropping a beat, with extended combos making for major league scores. There is a large variety of songs to choose from, ranging in difficulty, and you can compete against a friend or against other player's "ghosts" online.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! is a bright and cheery arcade drumming classic digitally packaged without the physical equipment normally used to play it, conceding a DualShock 4 as the solitary drum to bang across dozens of energetic pop anthems. It's a fun, albeit plain, rhythm game that you can imagine being even more fun with the hilarious drum controller that isn't included or available in North America.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! has rock-solid drumming mechanics and a fair difficulty curve, but the amount of DLC available at launch is a little extreme. Buyer beware – this is one game that will cost completionists a pretty penny.
The decision not to release the drum controller in the West is a baffling one, as it robs Taiko No Tatsujin: Drum Session of its identity. However, if you're willing to give it a shot with a regular pad, there's a challenging rhythm game here for you to master, with a wide variety of tracks and seamless online play. The lack of extra modes is a shame, but if you get hooked on this game's unique brand of beat-matching gameplay, the climb towards better scores should keep you going for a good while.