Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival Review thumbnail

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival Review

More drum fun for everyone

Mary Billington

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on 🥁

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is rated Everyone by the ESRB

If you're craving more taiko drumming then look no further because Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is here and it's phenomenally fun.

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Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival screenshot 1
Let's whip this joint into a groove

The songs

Bandai Namco never fails to deliver when it comes to new releases of the Taiko no Tatsujin series with each new entry presenting another vibrant and fun rhythm game. Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival brings you the classic gameplay with 76 songs to start and over 500 extra optional songs that can be unlocked by purchasing the music pass which is honestly a ludicrous amount of songs and I doubt anyone can master all of them! Anyway, the base selection includes pop, anime, vocaloid, variety, classic, game music, and Namco originals and of course, every song can be played via one of 4 difficulty settings with extreme being pretty much impossible except for hardcore veteran players. 😅 v1d30chumz 35-172-230-154

Great Drum Toy War

Even if you don't go for the music pass, Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival provides hours of gameplay with the base content including a new mode called Great Drum Toy War where you'll face an opponent as you watch a tug-of-war play out between the players. As you successfully complete notes, you'll unleash various toys on your enemy and the more toys you have, the higher the chance of success. If you hit the right notes, you'll also unleash skills which can be detrimental to your opponent such as by throwing extra notes at them that make it difficult to find the real ones. Overall, this is a fun new mode that mixes things up with its skill system. 😊

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival screenshot 2
This match may be a bit too extreme for my tastes

DON-chan Band

DON-chan Band mode allows you to play with up to 4 local players and given the simplistic gameplay of Taiko no Tatsujin games, it's a great game to have on your roster for a party. In this mode, each player chooses an instrument and they'll be given notes specific to that instrument to play. Some notes require all players to take part and others are shown in a chain that requires the next player to play the following note at the right time. It's a lot of fun and adds a feeling of comradery to the gameplay. 🎵

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival screenshot 3
Does my robot have enough rhythm for this battle?

Improvement Support

Meanwhile, Improvement Support mode allows you to practice sections of a song that you may be finding to be quite challenging. You can also replay a song with a slower speed than normal or try out a song that is recommended given your current skill level. For those who want to perfect their Taiko drumming, this mode could really come in handy and it reminds me of when I used to replay songs over and over again in Dance Dance Revolution at a slower speed to perfect the foot work. 💃

Online multiplayer

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival includes online multiplayer for both the Great Drum Toy War and Taiko modes with the option of a ranked match or room match. It also allows you to choose a song that you want to play when online rather than letting it be up to the whims of the other players which is a neat addition if you think you've perfected a song and want to put your skills to the test. 😎

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival screenshot 4
Thankfully, I have Kirby on my head for good luck

Presentation

Of course, as a fan of all things kawaii, the presentation of Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is right up my alley. It's actually quite astonishing how many adorable imaginative characters the developers managed to pack into the screen any given time. Even the loading screens and menus are bursting with cuteness. Plus, the appearance of familiar Namco and Nintendo characters is excellent. 😍

Unlockables

By completing songs in the different modes, you'll earn taiko points that can be spent on the rewards map. Here, you'll progress through a linear map of rewards and unlockables and if you land on a story square, you'll be treated to a cutscene and a new song. I wish the unlockables were rewarded in a more interesting way, however, such as by completing certain challenges.

Anyway, you'll earn coins as you play that can be traded for a variety of items including outfits, instruments, and greetings and name plates for online play. All of the items you've unlocked can be viewed and equipped from the My Room option. With all of that in mind, as soon as I unlocked the Kirby outfit, I vowed to never change it again. That pink puffball will stay with me forever, haha. ⭐

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival screenshot 5
BTS, eat your heart out!

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is yet another colourful and adorable rhythm game in an excellent series. Its Great Drum Toy War mode helps shake things up and the online and local multiplayer components are genuinely a great deal of fun.

  • + Colourful and adorable presentation that's brimming with personality
  • + Tons of songs to enjoy solo or multiplayer
  • + Great Drum Toy War offers a nice change
  • - Unlockables system is far too linear
  • - Mini-games aren't included
8.2 out of 10
Gameplay video for Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival thumbnail
Watch Mary play Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival
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