Sunday, January 17, 2010

Syndicated Post: Taiko no Tatsujin and 3D Dot Game Heroes are Made of Win

This post is syndicated from Lady Lara Jones Adventures. Lady Jones is also a writer here for Geek Girls and wanted to make this post on both of her blogs. Thanks for reading!

Many of you video game enthusiasts out there probably already know about Taiko Drum Master, known in Japan as Taiko no Tatsujin (Master of Taiko). Indeed, it is a fun series in the same genre as Guitar Freak, Drum Freak, the late Dance Dance Revolution (which I miss dearly and wish still existed in arcades around Tokyo) and other rhythmically driven arcade games. It's a pretty simple concept, really, but is super fun in the arcade and especially with another person. Basically you stand in front of this giant monster of an arcade machine with a big LCD screen above two giant Taiko drums.

Brian plays Taiko no Tatsujin.
     And sure, the game has been around for quite a few years now, but I wanted to do a little post about it to show my support to the developers. This game isn't as complicated as Rock Band or Drum Freak, but it's really fun and can get rather difficult if you gear it up to the highest difficulty setting. There was a short-lived time in the US where you could get the game on PS2 (and I think the Wii has a version as well) so if you can pick up a copy at your local game store you get a sense of how fun it would be in the arcade. If you have an arcade near you that has this game then GO PLAY IT! Take a friend! It's worth your 100 JPY!

     The next game I want to mention is something based on a game near and dear to my heart. 3D Dot Game Heroes is practically a rip of the NES Legend of Zelda (with some obvious changes to avoid copyright infringement) but you can't really argue with fun + works well + well designed = an awesome game. Seriously, there is no reason people shouldn't make new games using the classic top-down Zelda, dungeon crawling formula. It's fun, it works, and I know a lot of people who love it just like I do. We were told the game finally received a US release date so if you haven't picked up a PS3 yet this is just one more reason to get you motivated.
 The summary (from Wikipedia) reads as follows: "The game's gameplay
(good job wikipedia writer, that's some good English you have's gameplay....ugh sorry)
-     strongly resembles that of retro 8-bit games of the past, particularly that of The Legend of Zelda. Players move characters from screen to screen exploring dungeons, battling enemies, collecting items and solving puzzles reminiscent of the classic games of past. When the player's health bar is full, the player's sword will grow to tremendous sizes whenever swung. Swords in game can be customized and leveled up to increase its length, girth as well as magical power, other special items that can also be used include boomerangs, lanterns, candles and bows."

 Okay, I would like to note here that it does not just strongly resemble The Legend of fricken takes like every other enemy and alters their appearance only slightly with 3D Modeling in order to not be sued. Again, I don't have a problem with this. I think it's neat to see what Legend of Zelda could have been with a 3D (yet still somehow 2D) top-down environment. Also, when they say your sword grows to tremendous sizes, they mean it pretty much extends across the screen to destroy everything standing in front of you. It's a good innovation on the "launching beam" that came when you had full hearts in the original Legend of Zelda.

 The dungeons are cool, and admittedly we can't read enough Japanese to know where we're exactly supposed to go next (or what we're supposed to collect) but for the most part we've been winging it and still getting pretty far. When the English version comes out we'll be sure to pick it up because we're only borrowing the Japanese version from a friend for now.

To give you a better sense: here's an awesome preview video for 3D Dot Game Heroes:

Sooo cool! Everyone out in the US should get ready for this Instant Classic.
Lady Jones and Brian Jones

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