Chat => Reviews => Game reviews => Topic started by: CarolineJohnson on September 01, 2013, 02:29:21 AM

Title: [PSP] Taiko no Tatsujin Portable 2
Post by: CarolineJohnson on September 01, 2013, 02:29:21 AM

Taiko no Tatsujin Portable 2 / 太鼓の達人 ぽ~たぶる2
System: Playstation Portable
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Publisher: Namco
Genre: Music/Rhythm
Release Date: September 4, 2006

Taiko no Tatsujin is a series in Japan in which you hit your taiko drum to the beat of various songs. One of the games was released here, but did horribly (probably because of the not-so-good song choices). Usually, you'll find this in Japanese arcades or semi-broken clone editions here in the US (I've tried one of them, but the hit detection was so bad that my arms hurt the next day from playing). Some of them even require a "drumcon", which is a taiko drum you hit on as you play the game, similarly to the Donkey Kong bongos for the Gamecube.

But hey, this isn't about those. This is about one of the PSP games. The second, to be specific. The PSP doesn't support any drum controllers and it appears Namco didn't go and make one, so no drum controller for you. Even then, it's a wonderful addition to the series.


This game has absolutely no story!

(...she lied through her teeth.)

Okay, so there's a story mode. It's not a very long one, but it has a story nonetheless. However, I don't understand Japanese, so I can only tell you what that story is based on what I've found about it and what various images in the game can tell me. All I can understand is that this story mode is about Wada-Don and Wada-Katsu, twin living taiko drums (Note: Don has an orange face and blue body, while Katsu has a blue face and orange body), as they travel around town to try and help their neighbor Hana prepare for her piano recital.

To help Don, Katsu, and Hana are all of their friends around town. Most of them are either animals or inanimate objects, actually. For example, Don and Katsu are friends with a hooded dog named Inu, a turtle named Kame, a girl drum named Donko-chan, and a boy named John (who they apparently live with). Other characters may include Mecha-Don and Mecha-Katsu (twin robot clones of Don and Katsu), the Bachio couple (two taiko drumsticks), Tetsuo (John's little brother), and Grandpa (John's and Tetsuo's Grandpa).

It's a cute story, and perfect for such a short, linear story mode. Apparently, this takes place over the course of five linear stages, and then it's over. Okay, so this was the very first game to have a story mode at all, so I have to give them credit for that. It's not a bad story, and it's not a bad start either. As with the other story modes, I can assume it gets harder the closer you get to the end, which is great. It's just too bad you can't pick a difficulty from the start... I mean, I was playing on hard mode from the moment I made my save file. Going from that to easy mode is annoying.



This is the highlight of the game. We've got two kinds of gameplay, actually: normal gameplay and minigames.

Normal gameplay consists of a black bar with a circle at one end. Different kinds of circles will fly toward the stationary circle at the end, and you have to hit the corresponding buttons. You've got DON, which is the base drum hitting noise, KAT, which is the noise you hear when you hit a part of the side, BALLOON, which requires you to hit DON as fast as you can and get a certain amount of hits within a certain period of time, and BELL, which requires you to spin the analog stick as fast as you can and get a certain amount of revolutions within a certain period of time. It's not too much, but it's not too little, either. The BELL notes are actually pretty fun to get, actually...

The game is quite difficult once you get good enough at it to tackle the harder difficulties, but... I guess that's quite expected. Though you wouldn't expect the hardest difficulty to have all of the songs be as hard as (or even harder than, maybe) Hatsune Miku no Gekishou or Hatsune Miku no Shoushitsu on Ultimate difficulty in one or more of the Project Diva games.

But anyway, the difficulties are as follows:
Minigames are...different. You've got four of them. The first is a game where you fly a paper airplane while avoiding obstacles, collecting clocks, and flying into speed-up rings. Short, sweet, and to the point. Each time you're hit, you lose five seconds. If you lose all of your time or hit the ground, you get a game over. It's really fun to try and get as far as you can, yet after a while you won't even care if you lose. The second minigame has you balancing Don and Katsu's friends as high as you can get them without unbalancing them enough to knock the tower over. It's kind of like that Stacker machine you can find in various arcades, but without any prizes. In the third minigame, you play as Kame the turtle. You have to hit buttons in a specific order to make balloon animals for everyone. It's pretty difficult. When they start asking if you're done, that means they're about to go away (I assume, as I didn't play for long enough to lose). The fourth minigame has you picking out the food from the inedible stuff. They cover each plate and shuffle them, and you have to remember which ones have the food and which ones have something you don't want. This one gets tricky fast, actually.

The minigames are fun additions to the game, but really aren't needed. I would've been happy with the Daily Dojo instead, as without that it would've already had as much to offer as Meccha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS: 7tsu no Shima no Daibouken, It's a nice touch regardless.


Also, as a side note, if you go into the download mode, you can get some downloadable songs. Hey, who wouldn't want those two IDOLM@STER songs? Or a Gods Eater song?

As you play the game, you get rank, by the way. Your rank determines Don's costume and sometimes causes you to unlock songs. It's actually pretty nice, as it tells you how much experience you get and how much you need to rank up after every song (in Ensou Game at least).


It's perfect. Nothing more can be said about it.

No but seriously, it's really extremely nice. All of the songs are in high quality. Some of them are nice remixes. We've got songs like Koi no Maiyahi (Numa Numa / Dragostea Din Tei), Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis (Cruel Angel's Thesis), Makasete Splash Star (Precure Splash Star OP), Karma (Tales of the Abyss OP)...the list could go on and on. And it does, right here ( if you really care. The songs are all very good quality. If any of them had the singers changed (if there are singers; some of the songs are instrumentals), I wouldn't even be able to tell you. They did that good on it.

The drum sounds are very good too. You've got the standard DON and KAT, but you could always change that to DONK and DING (though the names of the notes don't change accordingly, just the sound) or BZZT and BUZZ...maybe even a standard drum noise and a cymbal crash. Or, if you don't want the sounds at all, you can even turn the volume down to favor the music instead of the drum. You can't turn it off completely, as the slider to do so has drums at one end and music at the other. Even with it all the way on the drum end, you can still hear it very faintly. However, I would never turn the sound down or up. It's very pleasing to the ears to hear your drumming mix in with the song.

Now as for the visuals...they are extremely cute. Sure, don't have costumes except for the ones you unlock to show your rank (I miss the syringe costume from Taiko DS 2), but it's okay. You've got other things, like cute characters and pretty backgrounds moving by and dancing while you play a song. That totally makes up for it. One thing, though. When you fail notes, your drum (usually Don or Katsu) will throw little ghosty guys called Tamashi at the score bar. These Tamashi are absolutely adorably sad...but in canon, Don and Katsu were made living by Tamashi. THEY COULD BE LITERALLY KILLING THEMSELVES WITH THIS ACTION. So ominous, man.


That's basically the whole game, there. It's a very nice game and I don't regret my purchase at all. I would definitely recommend you play it as soon as possible. If you don't have a PSP, get one for this game. You'll have to import it, as it's a Japan-only release, but it's the cheapest of the handheld Taiko no Tatsujin games. Hell, it might even be the cheapest out of all of them! "But wait," you say. "I don't like rhythm games." Well you do now. This is a wonderful game. I will definitely get all of the soon as I have some money, that is.

STORY: 8/10
SOUND: 10/10

TOTAL: 9/10
Title: Re: [PSP] Taiko no Tatsujin Portable 2
Post by: Cupcake Fury on September 01, 2013, 03:16:08 AM
Never knew there was a actual game.. just thought osu added that in for the hell of it, well now I know its origins.
Title: Re: [PSP] Taiko no Tatsujin Portable 2
Post by: CarolineJohnson on September 01, 2013, 05:21:10 AM
Honestly, it's a really fun game. Even the shitty taiko clone I played at that arcade was fun, despite having shitty songs and the hit detection of DDR if it were made for Kinect.

I'd probably say the arcade ones and the console ones that use the drumcon are probably more fun, but the handheld ones are cheaper and portable. LOL

But seriously, look up videos. Not of Oni or Ura Oni difficulty, though. Most people actually instantly reconsider the game when they see an Oni/Ura difficulty video because the only indication of difficulty in a Taiko game half the time is a picture (also those who don't read Japanese just call them by the English-translated names besides Oni. I probably should've explained this in the review, and I'll edit this in right now, but the difficulties (from easiest to hardest) is かんたん (Kantan / Simple / Flower), ふつう (Futsuu / Usual / Bamboo), むずかしい (Muzukashii / Difficult / Tree) , おに (Oni / Demon), 裏譜面 (Ura Fumen / Opposite Note Sheet / Ura Oni -- Note: Official name is Ura Oni, many Taiko games only include this difficulty through button sequences and do not show the actual difficulty name).

If you look this up, don't get discouraged by extremely difficult songs. Look up Bamboo or Tree difficulty maybe.
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