Rhythmic Drumming Makes For Strange RPG Battles

Rhythmic Drumming Makes For Strange RPG Battles
The second game allows for 9-on-9 battles, while the first is only up to 4-on-4. (Screenshot: Bandai Namco / Kotaku)
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Released last week for the Nintendo Switch, Taiko No Tatsujin: Rhythmic Adventure Pack is a bundle of two Japanese role-playing games in which players bang a drum to get through random encounters and boss battles. It’s weird.

Taiko No Tatsujin: Rhythmic Adventure Pack is two games making their first trip to the West, Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythmic Adventure 1 and 2. Both games feature Bandai Namco’s drum character Don and friends, travelling through time and spreading the power of taiko drumming. Players battle cartoony characters by hitting their drum in time with music ranging from classical tunes to modern-day anime themes. Hitting the notes does damage. Missing notes gives the enemy a chance to do damage. Making things extra dangerous, the note lanes in fights are littered with bombs, which players must avoid hitting.

While there are more than 130 songs total between the two RPGs, which can be played in the pack’s standard rhythm game mode as well, each area of the games only features three or four songs for random encounters. That means there’s a lot of song repetition, which could get old for some. I just think it’s neat to see how fast I can defeat enemies. As my party powers up, those same songs get shorter and shorter as my adventurers gain more strength and do more damage.

The games are really cute, and I’m having a lot of fun playing. My only regret is not having Hori’s taiko drum accessory and having to use my boring old Joy-Cons instead.

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