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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Song of the Week! 20 November 2010


This week it's our choice, but we'll get to your requests next week, so don't worry! We remember all of 'em (as long as there aren't too many). So, which song did we pick this week?

Oodain (大打音)
Allx5 (198)x6 (282) x7 (460)x9 (620,620)
Taiko 8, 9, Taiko PSP 2, Taiko PS2 7, CD 2008
Namco Original -> Game Music

One of the most interesting experiments in creativity to ever come from the Taiko team. The game from which this music arrangement is based on is Ordyne, a side-scrolling shooter released by Namco in 1988 only in Japan, for the arcade and later ported to TurboGrafx-16. You control a scientist, Yuichiro Tomari, in a red ship with his partner Sunday Chin (a.k.a. player 2) in a green ship. The main objective is to rescue Tomari's fiancee from the evil Dr. Kubota. Today you can play the game on the Wii Virtual Console.

The first thing you notice is the title of the song. Not only does the Kanji title have the exact same pronunciation as the title of the game it's based on (as opposed to 'Daidaoto', the normal way of translating the kanji), it also describes the notes in the entire song. Literally it means 'all big notes'. And that's exactly what you'll see when playing Oodain. Each and every note in the Oni difficulty is a large one, and they scroll at you at nearly twice the normal speed!

In the arcades, scoring double points on the big notes is simple as you can get away with it by just hitting the drum surface with just one hand and still get x2. Not for the poor PSP/PS2 versions though, two buttons must be hit for the big notes to score x2 points, which is nigh impossible as most of the notes are clustered, and the top score when doing it normally is half that of the arcades. That surely did not stop players from trying, however.

Oodain forks into only two paths, Normal and Master Notes. If you don't get to Master Notes, you're stuck on Normal for the rest of the song, playing with small notes and a reduced scrolling speed. It's easier because of the slower scroll, but your score is halved. To get to Master Notes where all the big ones are, you have to hit the first four notes in the song with 良. The PSP version allows for some redemption by allowing the 5th note's 良 to be counted, and only four out of the five notes have to be 良 to advance to Master Notes.

The patterns on both paths are exactly the same, with the only difference being the speed and note size. However the big notes can be quite difficult to read and confuse players mostly in the middle where there are handswitch streams and 1/12 clusters mixed in with the regular ones.

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