Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session

Recently I had the good fortune to make it out to Japan.

One of my objectives was to get into as many arcades as I could, and to enjoy and experience that scene. So I took to a few games.

First off, being honest, I’m really bad at Tekken. After challenging some guy I had just met five minutes before to a duel, I was summarily stomped into the ground.

Secondly, if you’ll allow me to lie a little for the sake of this story, I’m pretty good at Street Fighter V. I feel like I know my way around Ken enough to tango with the best of them. Yet again, I was stomped into the ground. At least this time I was much closer to winning.

But what I didn’t foresee was stumbling upon a game I had both never heard of, and would never have expected to be decent at.

Enter, Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session.

This monster of a game franchise has had thirteen straight arcade releases, and has been out for nearly sixteen years to the day.

The “half the size of your kid” version

How did I miss this?

With popular theme songs from Japanese media like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Attack on Titan, and My Neighbor Totoro, this game satisfies an itch most rhythm games cannot.

On the other hand, most of the songs are Japanese Pop, and unless you’re a huge sleeper fan of Babymetal (I know I am), then you might as well pack it in and give your used Rock Band drum kit another whirl. You probably don’t want to drop $60 on a single awesome drum controller only to realize you need another 30 for international shipping.

The expensive, domesticated version

In Drum Session, you can even have a CPU play against you as a character relevant to the music, or have a ghost player pop out of your PS4’s friend data and you can relive the old days of losing a Mario Kart time trial.

Or, you can spend your time dressing your drum up in interesting costumes.

Hey man, whatever bangs your drum. No judgement here.