|The eighth Taiko no Tatsujin drumming game released for PS2 in Japan (seventh was the Japanese version of the North American "Taiko Drum Master" (see entry 930), sixth was "Go! Go! Godaime" (see entry 969)), this, like the earlier "Waku Waku Anime Matsuri" (see entry 967), is a console-only spinoff of the arcade series, featuring specifically a large number of anime tunes, as well as some "Namco Original" pieces, which are usually kind of frustrating to play.|
You get 36 tunes to play at the start, and more unlock as you play. As usual, the anime stuff is something of a mixed bag, though I think I got along pretty well with most of them. No new gameplay twists are introduced in this special edition, but they did invent (I think) a few new animated dance routines that play as you drum.
But the best part of this edition are the minigames! Three, as usual, but unusually, they're all three pretty good, and you can unlock special challenge versions of them by performing well.
The first has you drumming madly to build up speed as a cat spins like a discus thrower, then tapping the rip in time with an angle marker to fling the disc (or whatever that paddle with eyes is) as far as your feline arms can muster. This is pretty fun, but the challenge version is better: here you do the same actions, but instead of just going for maximum distance, you're going for a specific distance, and you have to get a correct combination of power and angle to hit it.
The second game takes place in a bathhouse, and is...drumroll...a vertical shooter! Yay! Well, of sorts. You control the boy Tetsuo, armed with a super-soaker, who moves in increments back and forth, spraying upward at water balloons and other creatures frolicking in the spa. Hit the paddle creature as it flies across the screen and it'll drop a super-duper-soaker, with three-way spray action. This game's a real kick.
The third game takes skill, and probably some memorization. You're one of the masked teddy-bear creatures, clinging to a parasol and falling down from a great height. Your object: to land on a lilypad way down below within the time limit. Various clouds and powerups cross your path, but the clouds will slow you down, so you have to glide left and right to avoid them by tapping the rims of the drum. Hitting the drum directly extends or retracts the parasol; while extended, you fall slower, but you can dodge better. This one is hard, and not my favorite of the three, but it's still pretty good.