Review: Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival – A solid entry marching to a familiar beat

Review: Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival - A solid entry marching to a familiar beat
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Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival Review - Screenshot 1 of 4
Recorded on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

Now, more than twenty years after its inception, you probably know if the Taiko no Tatsujin Franchise is for you. Featuring rhythmic gameplay across four control methods (buttons, touchscreen, motion controls, or the drum accessory itself), Bandai Namco’s new addition – Taiko no Tatsujin: rhythm festival – does little to refresh the tried and true formula, instead focusing on bringing more of it to existing fans.

It’s a largely successful approach, but those hoping for a more in-depth gaming experience are somewhat akin to it Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythmic Adventure Pack can find Rhythm Festival a bit lacking.

The Rhythm Festival takes place in the fictional town of Omiko, where you work to become the very best taiko master. Characters like Don-chan and Kumo-kyun will be with you every step of the way, often providing cute and amusing anecdotes as you hone your skills. In Omiko City you will find five interesting main areas that serve as different gameplay modes of the game. The main song, Thunderclap Shrine, where you’ll find the staple of the Taiko Mode franchise, features 76 songs that you can take on in any order.

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival Review - Screenshot 2 of 4
Recorded on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

The available songs are divided into different categories including game music, anime music, classical and more. All kinds of offers are offered, regardless of your personal preferences, e.g. B. Music off Super Mario Bros., Frozen II, Pirates of the Caribbean, One piece, and the classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Each title can be played on one of four difficulty levels, ranging from easy to extreme; Trust us when we say that you need a cat’s reflexes to get to the highest difficulty level.

Of course, 76 songs is a pretty generous amount and certainly nothing special, but Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival sets itself apart from previous entries in the franchise by introducing a new in-game subscription service called Taiko Music Pass. This Season Pass model shoves an additional 500+ songs into the mix and offers an insane amount of content if you’re willing to lay down the required moolah.

At the time of writing, the Taiko Music Pass isn’t available yet, so we can’t say definitively if its inclusion is worth your money or not, but judging by the preview list available in-game, there’s at least a strong strain available , if you decide to subscribe. Otherwise, the game offers additional DLC packs if you are looking for specific song packs, e.g Studio Ghibli pack that Hatsune Miku pack, and the dragon ball Pack.

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival Review – Screenshot 3 of 4
Recorded on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

The gameplay itself remains as strong and accessible as ever. If you decide to use the button control method, you have mapped the two different musical beats – “don” and “ka” – to “A”, “B”, “X” and “Y”. You can play with one Joy-Con if you want, but we’ve found that switching between two makes for a more intuitive experience, especially as you increase the difficulty.

Alternatively, you can opt for motion controls OK for the most part, but ultimately prove a little unreliable when trying to hit songs that are a little faster. The touchscreen controls, meanwhile, work great if you’re OK with putting a whole bunch of fingerprints on your Switch’s screen (we are Not ok with that by the way). Ultimately, the drum kit is the right choice if you’re looking for the most authentic control method available, but keep in mind that the Rhythm Festival bundle, which includes the drum itself, will only be available in a few weeks at the time of writing.

Aside from the main ‘Taiko Mode’, Rhythm Festival offers a slight twist on the standard gameplay with the Taiko Land party games. These are split into two options: Great Toy Drum War and Don-chan Band. In the former, you and up to one other player take on missions to earn rewards, which usually consist of battling a CPU opponent and sending deflections by hitting certain notes. The latter is a looser variant of the rock band Formula in which you and up to three other players take on a specific role in the band, be it backing vocals or guitar, and you each have to follow your own appropriate rhythm to keep the song going.

Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival Review - Screenshot 4 of 4
Recorded on Nintendo Switch (docked)

Finally, there’s a ton of customization options, including outfits for Don-chan (e.g. a pretty snazzy Mario costume), name tags, and online greetings. These are housed in the My Room option in the main menu, but honestly it’s a shame this hasn’t expanded beyond a bunch of text-based options. like, there is none indeed Room to dress up and procrastinate. Oh well. With so much to unlock, there’s still plenty of incentive to stick with the game for the long haul, whether you’re into the subscription model or not.

Ultimately, Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is just more of the same, albeit with a boatload of songs locked behind a subscription service. It’s not looking good for a game that costs almost enough, but with 76 songs available from the start, there’s plenty to do, at least for a while. Taiko Land’s party games offer a nice change of pace and make for fun multiplayer sessions, while the online mode is actually quite exciting when paired with someone of similar skill. However, for those new to the series, it might be better to opt for the more comprehensive pack that comes with Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythmic Adventure Pack.


Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is another solid entry into the franchise, but it’s also a very safe one. The core game is still a lot of fun and that might well be enough for some players. For others, the distinct lack of modes on offer can make for a rather short-lived experience, especially if you don’t want to dive into the Taiko Music Pass subscription service. Still, with a large amount of songs available from the start, Rhythm Festival is a no-brainer for fans of the series; You know what you’re getting into and we think you’ll love it.

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