Now, I have known about TnT for several years, but I had always thought that it could only be found in arcades in Japan because of the hardware needed to play it (since half the fun is being able to hit the giant drum). As soon as I found out that it had been released to DS, I just -had- to get my hands on a copy and try it out~!
The gameplay is very much like other music/rhythm games; a note slides by the screen and when it reaches the hit area, you press the correct button. Daiko no Tatsujin is however limited to two commands; top of the drum (orange faces) and edge of the drum (blue faces). The bigger faces require you to hit a specific part of the drum (center of the top and exactly on the edge, respectively), but while all this sounds pretty simple and straight forward, the harder difficulties will seriously mess up your timing.
The songs are many and varied, both in genre and difficulty. I’ve made a short list below with all the songs (in romaji) divided in the same way they are in the game. I’ve omitted the artist names due to lack of space, but will be adding videos as soon as a mail goes through and I get access to a beta of a plugin~
•Ketsui no Asa ni
•WON’T BE LONG!
•DANCE2 feat. Soysauce
•Kimi ni Touch
•Juken Sentai Gekiranger
•PreCure 5 Smile GoGo!
•Doraemon no Uta
•Meitantei Konan Theme
•Anpanman no March
•Symphony No. 7
•William Tell Overture
•Orpheus in the Underworld
•Flight of the Bumblebee
•Classic Medley (Wedding version)
•Super Mario Bros.
•GO MY WAY!!
•Mori no Kuma-san
•Inu no Omawari-san
It is possible to unlock items in order to customize your character (WadaDon), who is seen dancing on the top screen during songs. In the beginning, you can only change the colour of the drum (as can be seen on the drawing I made), but as you play the game, you will also unlock specific costumes that you can dress WadaDon up in, such as a pirate outfit, various animal outfits, food items, etc.
But costume items aren’t the customize items you get; you will also unlock items to customize the sounds made by your drum when you play it. So instead of the normal taiko drum sounds, you can hear farts, sumo sounds, pacman game sounds, baseball sounds, etc. Some of them are super cool and make the song sound even more awesome 8D
Modes can also be unlocked in order to amp up the games difficulty. In the beginning, four modes are unlocked: Auto, baisoku, sanbai, and nashi (none, i.e. the off setting). Auto is used to get a feel for the song by having the CPU play it perfectly, while baisoku and sanbai increase the speed the notes on the screen fly by with (2x and 3x, respective). You can unlock 4 other modes by clearing the songs (getting an accuracy rating of 80%): Yonbai (4x speed), Doron (removes the coloured face clues, leaving only the below hiragana), Kanpeki (Perfect; song will end if you miss a note), and Abekobe (Inverse; changes the orange Don to blue Ka and vice versa).
I absolutely LOVE the game!! There are a lot of varied and fun songs, and once you start thinking it gets too easy, you can just one-up the difficulty. It even has a secret unlockable difficulty called “Oni” (Ogre/Demon) which is just friggin’ insaaaaaane!
Also, due to the nature of the game, it’s a perfect pick-up-and-play game; there’s no story, nothing you have to know to understand the rest, so you can just pick it up at anytime, play a song or two, and that’s it.
While it -is- a fun time killer for when commuting, there’s not really anything there to motivate you to get better at the game. There are occasional random missions you get with the mail which will let you unlock more customize items or songs + the daily “Test your drum skills dojo”, but that’s pretty much it. I think it would be more fun if you could have missions or objectives to beat on all the songs on various difficulties, since that would want to make you play all the songs several times over and you’d be driven to get a better score or more accurate presses, etc.
All in all, a wonderfully funny game that I heartily recommend. You can play wireless 4-player mode (via download play, I think) so it’s a great games to play with your friends too.