|The first conversion of the massive arcade drumming game has just about all the major features of later games in the series (see entry 930), with the following exceptions:|
- fewer and shorter songs: only 25 or so, and many of them don't last long
- only two minigames
- doesn't save per-song high scores
Oddly, the song selection varies slightly by difficulty level, so for instance the easiest difficulty has the Mr. Driller and Gatchaman themes, but medium difficulty does not. Most they share, though; they both have the Lupin the 3rd '78 theme, for instance.
As in later games, the song selection ranges from anime, to Namco game songs, to festival songs, to classical stuff. The balance is a little rough; some of the later songs on the easiest difficulty are, well, pretty hard compared to the earlier ones. Still, I like the musical selections here, and only found a couple that I didn't get much of a feel for on the first try.
The two minigames here aren't very good. The first one is just a series of sprint races, where you pound the drums as fast as possible to make your drum run down the track, trying to beat the opponent, who (in single-player mode) gets progressively tougher in each race. I'm not really a fan of this kind of simple speed minigame.
The second is, unfortunately, another race game, but this one's a marathon, and you have to manage your energy by alternating drum and rim hits. As you get up to and hold your peak pace, your drum's cardiovascular system will improve (hey, I didn't make this up), your drum/rim cycle shortens, and can run faster. If you screw the cycle up too much, though, you'll devolve back to the slower endurance level. You get a speed boost when passing the other creatures, which seems kind of weird, but I suppose I'm not going to complain. This game is somewhat more interesting than the last one, but it takes 8+ minutes to finish the race, which is really pushing it for a rhythm minigame.