I first encountered the Taiko no Tatsujin series in an arcade in Tokyo, but now it’s even less accessible: it’s out on PC but only via the Microsoft store. If you’re willing to make that journey, you’ll also be greeted by two new DLCs which adds Studio Ghibli tracks and music from classic Bandai Namco games.
Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master is a rhythm game inspired by traditional Japanese drumming. It features a grinning mascot-like drum, an appealingly colourful art style, and soundtracks inspired by Japanese pop. It has none of the story hijinks of something like Elite Beat Agents, but still has a great, upbeat energy. It’s also more approachable than something like Guitar Hero, as you’re only having to deal with hitting the drum or the edge of the drum rather than five separate buttons.
I’ve played the series most recently on Switch, but my limited skill – and limited interest in the music available – usually means I drift away pretty quickly. These DLCs are appealing for that reason, particularly the Ghibli tracks. Here’s what the DLCs add, from the press release:
DLC 1 Studio Ghibli Pack
- My Neighbor Totoro – Ending Theme Song (From “My Neighbor Totoro”)
- A Town with an Ocean View (From “Kiki’s Delivery Service”)
- Merry-Go-Round of Life (From “Howl’s Moving Castle”)
DLC 2 Game Music Pack
- Heat Haze Shadow 2 (From “TEKKEN 7”)
- No Way Back (From “GOD EATER”)
- IN THE ZONE From “ACE COMBAT X2 JOINT ASSAULT”)
- EAT’EM UP! (From “R4 -RIDGE RACER TYPE4-“)
- Brave Sword, Braver Soul (From “SOULCALIBUR II”)
I joke about the game being inaccessible on the Windows store, but of course that means it’s also available on Xbox Game Pass. If you want to buy it outright it’ll cost you £40/$50. The DLC are usually £4ish.