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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Namco Original Showcase: Taiko Ranbu Songs

'Ranbu' literally means, 'wild dance'. When the series first started on Taiko DS1, it was innovative in that completely no music of any sort was involved at all. Instead, the BGM was fully made up of a team of Taiko drummers performing. Three separate songs with three separate styles of note patterns, played to the tune of the same performance. This was composed by Masubuchi Yuuji.

All songs in the series are in Namco Original and have 'Ranbu' in its name.


-Taiko Ranbu series-


Taiko Ranbu - Honoo no Maki (太鼓乱舞 炎の巻)
Allx5 (118)x7 (190) x7 (368)x7 (499) (video
Taiko DS 1

The first and easiest of the Taiko Ranbu trio on Taiko DS1. Notes in the Fire chart are mainly clusters fully made up of 'don' with little changes throughout the song, with a few troublesome areas where players have to deal with 2 note clusters, but otherwise the clusters are quite plain and present no trouble with handswitching or anything of the like.

Honoo no Maki is also the only song in the entire series with Go-Go Time enabled from the start to the end of the song. Since a flame burns at the target window during Go-Go Time, it was the perfect representation of fire.

"Even as the flames of passion grow higher and higher, the wild dance's inner Fire never shuts down".

Taiko Ranbu - Kaze no Maki (太鼓乱舞 風の巻)
Allx3 (87)x5 (149) x6 (300)x8 (472) (video
Taiko DS 1

The second in the DS1 Taiko Ranbu trio. Following the same drum performance, the 'wind' in the song's title comes from the multiple and long Denden notes (which has a tornado blowing beneath it) and balloon notes, with multiple long drumrolls along the way too.

Basically this chart puts less emphasis on notes and more on testing the player's ability to mash at high speeds on drumrolls and related notes. Obviously enough, all the Denden notes were replaced with normal balloon notes on its way to the arcade, but maintains the same strenuous effect. The remaining notes of the song are intuitive and perfectly easy to follow, with the same troublesome 1/24 combobreaker stream at the end of the song as every other part of Taiko Ranbu.

"Even as the wind grows more and more restless, the wild dance's turbulent Air will match its speed".

Taiko Ranbu - Mizu no Maki (太鼓乱舞 水の巻)
Allx4 (156)x6 (211) x8 (436)x9 (639) (video
Taiko DS 1

The final Taiko Ranbu song on DS1, and the toughest one of the three. Instead of drumrolls and special notes, almost everything is replaced with regular notes. Mizu no Maki has the highest 'kat' note count among the three, which symbolized the 'water' in this set (kat notes are blue after all).

The note patterns in this chart are riddled with handswitch streams and confusing alternating clusters between red and blue, leaving no room for the player to take a break, and the middle part is dominated by mixed streams with 1/12 notes and 1/16 notes matched exactly to the drum performance at the back. With all this, it would be no surprise if this part of Taiko Ranbu remained a 9* song in this new generation.

"As the mountain river flows unstoppable, washing away everything it comes across, the wild dance's turbulent Water drags dancers into its twisted whirls."

Taiko Ranbu - Kaiden (太鼓乱舞 皆伝)
Taiko 11
Taiko Wii 3
x5 (118,156,87)x5 (190,211,149) x7 (361,436,300)x9 (499,639,472)
Taiko 3DS2x4 (118,156,87)x5 (190,211,149) x7 (361,436,300)x8 (499,639,472)
Taiko 11, Taiko Wii 3, Taiko 3DS2, CD 2008

This is a port of all the Taiko Ranbu songs from the DS to the arcade and merging them into one compact chart, allowing players to choose between any of the three elements by just selecting this one. The method of choosing between Fire, Wind and Water is exactly the same as the Garyoutensei songs, with a short drumroll at the start determining which path you will take for the rest of the song.

2 or more hits: Honoo no Maki
1 hit: Mizu no Maki
0 hits: Kaze no Maki

The arcade version of all three Taiko Ranbu charts have minor tweaks made from their DS origin. Denden notes do not exist, so they were all taken out of Kaze no Maki and replaced with balloon notes. The song-wide Go-Go Time for Honoo no Maki also does not exist, as all three were streamlined into one song. Mizu no Maki remains unchanged.

Due to the three charts being combined into one single song, the scoring for all three paths are also the same, which creates great disparities between the three since the number of notes are all different. On Taiko 11 it was designed with Mizu no Maki in mind, and the other two had reduced maximum scores of around 800,000.

However the situation was reversed on Wii3, when the standard score was used for Kaze no Maki (the one with the least notes) and the other two with increased scores, to the point where it is possible to get a crazy high score of 1.4 million on Mizu no Maki. Similarly for the Muzukashii chart, playing Mizu no Maki can net you up to 1.1 million points, which is the score you would normally expect from Oni 9*/10*. Whichever the case, since Mizu no Maki has the most notes, it is always the one with the highest score.

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