|The second of the Taiko no Tatsujin drumming games ported to PS2, Doki (the subtitle babelfishes as "Spring of the new tune being lazy the celebration") makes the crucial adjustments of saving your scores per song in Free mode, and of having at least one really kick-ass minigame.|
Like the first game in the series (see entry 964), song selection varies based on difficulty level: for instance, easy mode has 10 songs, while medium and hard have 29, although I think their selections differ slightly in terms of which songs are in the list. This is a little sub-optimal; why can't I play "Beethoven's Ninth" (totally kick-ass here) in easy mode, for instance? Anyway, the songs they chose follow the usual mix of J-Pop, anime, classical, festival, and game tunes, with maybe some rock in there too. I liked all the ones I tried so far, except maybe that Gundam one--didn't get a handle on the beat there.
The first two minigames are fairly unremarkable: one where you pump up little animate balloons by drumming quickly, then hitting a rim shot to shoot the balloon off (it even looks pretty phallic, too), and one that's Rock/Paper/Scissors--no real drumming involved aside from hitting one spot to make your selection. There's something odd in this one where you make your choice, then you can hit the drum to whack the opponent with a paper fan--if you won the RPS contest, you get a point for this, but if you didn't win it, you get penalized. But everyone knows that nothing beats Rock, so I don't see much point in dwelling on this game.
The third minigame, though, is something special. You control a little taiko drum creature running back and forth along the bottom of the screen, and hitting the drum launches fireballs out of the gun mounted on his drummy back. Yes, it's a vertical shooter! Friendly little critters run around on the ground below your stage, and nasty robot ships fly down and try to swoop off with them, so you've got to blow up the ships before they can get away with your buddies. The ships drop bombs at you; these don't hurt you, but they knock you down for a few seconds, during which the enemy could escape with your friends in tow. After five or so stages you have a big boss fight, then the game loops back to the first level, with slightly harder enemies; it isn't very tough overall, though, as I got to the loop three boss on my very first try. Still, it's very fun, and the Galaga sound effects that go with it just make it that much more delightful.