Video Game Review: Taiko No Tatsujin Drum ‘n’ Fun


Credit: Elizabeth Zhong

Join WSPN’s Izzy Poole-Evans as she reviews the best video games to play during quarantine.

Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun, developed by BANDAI NAMCO studios, was released for the west in Nov. 2018 on the Nintendo Switch. It’s a rhythm game focused on music. Like its name suggests, your musical instrument is a Taiko, which is a type of Japanese drum.

There isn’t much of a plot to Taiko no Tatsujin, something about which I’ve complained before, however, I don’t think the game needs it in this case. Taiko no Tatsujin is a party game, and a fun one at that. When you load up the game, you’re given quite the selection of songs, nearly 70, instead of just one or two. Rhythm games typically go track by track: once you play through a track successfully, you may move on to the next one. But in Taiko no Tatsujin, a high score on any given track unlocks further song choices.

The controls in Taiko no Tatsujin are also very unique. Other rhythm games use the “ZL/ZR” and “a/b” button controls. Of course, you can revert to using these in Taiko no Tatsujin, but what’s stopping you from going all out? In Taiko no Tatsujin, you’re given the option to use motion controls and swing your joysticks as if you were actually playing a drum. It’s an experience that most of us aren’t familiar with here in America.

Taiko can also be played with other people. I believe the game’s Party Game mode allows four players to play together, which sounds both fantastic and chaotic. You can also play against others online with the “Online Battle” mode. Thus, you can use a private code to connect with your close friends or go head-to-head against random players online.

My only complaint about Taiko no Tatsujin is that playing the game for too long leads to wrist and forearm pain. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from playing Turkish March on Extreme mode. When I first downloaded the game, I tried to play for as long as I could, but I had to stop after about four hours because I could no longer feel my hands (this could also be the result of the fact that I don’t work out routinely, or at all).

Jokes aside, I’m giving Taiko no Tatsujin a solid 9/10. The tracks, old and new, are catchy and the overall game mechanics are interesting and very fun to use. I can’t wait to start playing it more with my friends and family, and I highly encourage you all to do the same. The game is on sale right now, and it’s definitely worth the cash if you own a Switch.