Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival – Review
Follow Genre: Music, Rhythm game
Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival – Review

Site Score
Good: Fun gameplay loop, Great soundtrack
Bad: Game tries to push subscription-based song library
User Score
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Rhythm games are often a hit-or-miss experience. We reckon many people around the world will have already played at least one iteration of the Guitar Hero series, while other gamers prefer a rhythm game with an interesting narrative, such as Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory. This time, however, we’re going to drum to our heart’s content with Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival. We very much enjoyed our time with this fun rhythm game, even though we do not agree with certain tactics to make players pay for even more content.


Truth be told, you’re probably not going to get this game for its deep and engaging plot. Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival is all about the gameplay but the game does a superb job of making everything fun. The game has a simple story that revolves around DON-Chan, a sentient Taiko drum, who wants to make it big. DON-Chan wants to become a great artist and he’ll get the help of Kumo-kyun to achieve his goal. The story is very lighthearted, and it’s simply amusing to read through the silly dialogues as you progress.


Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival is a very cheerful and colorful game. The UI is very clear and the game just feels very pleasant to look at. As this title is mainly menus and colorful backdrops, it’s important that things don’t get too crowded when you have to focus on the input prompts during the actual gameplay, and the developers made sure of that. While the game has quite a few moving components, they never feel distracting when actually playing the game.


As this is a game that’s all about music, it’s important to have an interesting and varied soundtrack. For the most part, Rhythm Festival delivers, but we do have to say that the base game feels a bit tame compared to the content that is offered in the Music Pass. We realize that this is to push sales even harder, but even so, we would have loved a bit more variety in the base game. Sound effects are decent, but they aren’t the main focus of the game.


Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival is a rhythm game in the same vein as the Guitar Hero series. The player will have to play through different (iconic) songs to then press certain buttons to the beat. The game only utilizes two different ‘notes’, making this a very accessible title. Nonetheless, the game also spices things up by alternating rather quickly between the two, or by adding a bit more oomph to them, making you press two buttons at the same time. Other than that, there are also drumrolls, which will have you press buttons in rapid succession.

The game is fairly straightforward and with practice, you’ll notice that you can gradually increase the game’s difficulty. Playing more and more will net you more coins to buy new outfits, sound effects, or even toys to use in the Great Drum Toy War mode. The latter is basically a more competitive mode in which you can create your own toy army, which will be deployed the better you perform during the songs. Other than that, the game also offers online modes, local cooperative and competitive modes, and of course a general free-play option.

One of the biggest issues with our modern-day gaming landscape is painstakingly noticeable in Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival. The base game offers around 80 tracks, while the Music Pass already has more than 500 songs available. While 80 songs is a reasonable offering, it does lack a certain variety and you’ll find more captivating and interesting tunes in the Music Pass repertoire. This means that if you truly wish to get the most out of the game, you’ll have to spend even more money on the game. To make matters even worse, the Music Pass is a subscription-based service, and thus you’ll have to continuously keep paying if you wish to ‘own’ these songs for your game.


Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival is a very fun rhythm game and might actually be one of the best ones out there. Our slightly lower score is due to the fact that the game is doing its best to sell even more content after you’ve already paid for the base game. This is a glaring issue with how games are presented nowadays, and it just feels like an underhanded technique to earn even more cash. Negative sentiments aside, this title offers a very enjoyable experience with fun songs, interesting mini-games, and battle modes, and you’ll just have a blast with this one – with or without the drum controller.

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Aspiring ninja.

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