Help, I can’t stop playing Taiko no Tatsujin on Game Pass

Help, I can’t stop playing Taiko no Tatsujin on Game Pass

Drum along to a wide variety of catchy tunes including the Guren no Yumiya opening from Attack on Titan.


I’m not sure where to talk about this incredible game, so Cortex it is! 

What is Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master? It’s a rhythm game currently available on Xbox Game Pass that lets you drum along to the beat of songs from anime openings to vocaloid tracks to arrangements of classical music.

Given its presence on Game Pass, it’s “free” to download and play, meaning there’s no risk in trying the game out if you’re curious about it. Each song has four difficulties to choose from ranging from Easy to Extreme, and different star difficulties for each like Easy at 2 stars, or Easy at 6 stars, etc. 

A 6-star Easy song is going to be harder to beat than an Easy track at 2 stars, and difficulty of this nature seems to be determined by things like the speed of the song, and intricacy of the notes.

As for the core gameplay (on Xbox), this consists of pressing two buttons for the two different types of notes (Ka, Don) in time with the beat. 

There are an assortment of controller schemes so you’re free to choose a setup that fits your playstyle best. If you hit enough notes correctly, you’ll clear the stage and get both a Silver Crown and a decent amount of Coins to spend on things in the Shop like cosmetics. If you clear a stage without missing a single note, you get a Gold Crown and a hefty amount of Coins.

The Shop lets you purchase additional songs for 3,000 Coins each, along with things like name plates and different drum sounds. Speaking of Coins, microtransactions can be a concern with games like these, but surprisingly Taiko no Tatsujin is very fair and balanced in the additional things it gives players the option to buy. 

It doesn’t have a “buy more Coins with real money” sort of option, with the game making it fairly easy to earn Coins simply by playing the game. As for what you can spend real money on, there are optional DLC song packs on offer (an example of one is a Studio Ghibli pack with music from films like Howl’s Moving Castle) available for less than $5. 

Because of how obsessed I’ve become with the game lately, having played just about every song on offer, I splurged on the Beat Pass Vol. 1 for $19.99 which contains 6 different DLC song packs, the Studio Ghibli one included. Unlike the feeling of regret that quickly befalls me after spending money on cosmetics in Halo Infinite, I didn’t regret my purchase for Taiko no Tatsujin at all as I not only had new tracks to play, but to replay as well. 

The songs in the game are extremely catchy, so even when you clear each song, there’s more than enough reason to go back and play again... and again, and again. I really love playing through the Attack on Titan opening Guren no Yumiya, along with some nostalgic songs I originally fell in love with back in high school like Bad Apple. 

With the game being on Game Pass, it can feel a little strange to drum along using your controller, but things like drum rolls where you go ham with the buttons more than make up for any feelings of awkwardness with the control scheme. 

There’s also a version of the game on offer for Nintendo Switch where you can buy a drum accessory for the game (I’m extremely tempted to buy it) so if you’d prefer classic drumming, the Switch version would be the way to go. 

And yeah… all that aside, I can’t stop playing Taiko no Tatsujin. It was a huge, delightful surprise when I was first diving into it after downloading it out of sheer curiosity, and it’s everything I could ever ask for in a rhythm game. Simple, but not too simple, and packed with incredible songs that make playing feel fun and worthwhile. 

It being on Game Pass is one heck of a deal as well. So if you’re looking for something new to play, I definitely recommend it! 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 17, 2022 11:02 AM

    Help, I can’t stop playing Taiko no Tatsujin on Game Pass

    Read more: Help, I can’t stop playing Taiko no Tatsujin on Game Pass

    • reply
      June 17, 2022 12:17 PM

      Picked this up on Switch figuring the joy cons would do well enough as the instrument. It kinda does. At least with right joy con. The left for the side hit doesn't register as well. Not sure if it's the game or my joy con. I never bothered to look online to see if it was a common complaint. I found there's a way to cheese the game (well, I saw my kids find it on accident). If I had more time to get into the game, I'd be tempted to get one of the drum accessories. It's a fun game.

    • reply
      June 17, 2022 12:56 PM

      Damn I could go for a music rhythm game, though I feel like I need some proper drums on this one

    • reply
      June 17, 2022 1:00 PM

      I got the Hori drum controller for the Switch after buying Taiko on sale for $20 a few years ago, no regrets at all.

    • reply
      June 17, 2022 1:24 PM

      Make sure you close the game out time to times. There is bug that it might not save properly after a while in suspended state. Lost a week worth of progress :(

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