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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Song of the Week! 5 February 2011


...well, after 6 Namco Original picks in a row, here's a song from the Classic genre, requested by koocono months ago. (had to clear the backlog sometime)

Swan Lake (白鳥の湖) ~still a duckling~
Taiko 8 to 11, 12.5, 14, Taiko PS2 6 x4 (144)x6 (243) x7 (406)x9 (609) (video)
Taiko Wii 2x4 (144)x6 (244) x7 (406)x9 (610)
Taiko 0, Taiko Wii 4, Taiko 3DS, Taiko Wii U, Taiko PS Vitax4 (144)x6 (243) x7 (406)x9 (610)
Taiko 8 to 11, Taiko 0, Taiko PS2 6, Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii 2, 4, Taiko 3DS 1, Taiko Wii U 1, Taiko PS Vita, CD 2008

Like the previous Classic pick (Kare Kano Kanon), this is also an old song rearranged by Namco and with vocals added; the composer is Akira Kamimae (神前暁), known for the various openings of the anime Lucky Star (Motteke! Sailor Fuku also appeared in Taiko games), and the lyrics are arranged by 'yura', who also made three IDOLM@STER songs featured on Taiko, HELLO!, GO MY WAY! and Kirame Kirari. It is sung by Kanou Mari (狩野茉莉)

As the title suggests, this tune takes inspiration from the ballet Swan Lake, op. 20, composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky somewhere between the year 1875 and 1876. The Russian ballet tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. With a rhythmical structure between Allegro and Moderato, the opera soon garnered much popularity. The Taiko version tells a slightly different tale through the lyrics: the "still a duckling" part doesn't refer to a swan but to a young, gluttonous girl who describes her life in the lyrics. That part of the title was relegated to the subtitle in Taiko Wii 4.

Swan Lake has been known to shock players. Its aggressive BPM (240) is one of the highest in the genre, and the scrolling speed changes twice, slowing down to 0.5 after the 1st Kiai time and x4 speed for the last note to catch players off-guard. Although the note patterns are simple, the extreme BPM makes even the simplest 3-note clusters quite hard to cope with, especially towards the end. In Taiko Wii 2, marginal differences were made to the first four beat stanzas after the first Go-Go Time, and the new Oni pattern stuck. Notes were rearranged and one more added. The high difficulty is what contributed to its long-lasting appeal, cut out of Taiko 12 only because it had a worthy successor in Kare Kano Kanon.

Swan Lake (白鳥の湖) ~still a duckling~
All arcade, Taiko Wii U, Taiko PS Vita

x10 (861)
Taiko Wii 4, Taiko 3DSx5 (264)x7 (376) x8 (657)x10 (861)
 Taiko 0, Taiko Wii 4, Taiko 3DS 1, Taiko Wii U 1, Taiko PS Vita

Remember that part from above, where the insane BPM makes even the simplest note cluster tough to manage? Be prepared to get even more flustered. This classic remix has its full hidden potential unleashed in the last Wii Taiko, where players have to deal with more than just 3 note clusters this time, but streams as well, and chains of notes that just don't stop, making for one of the craziest 10* songs in the Classic genre and with a high total note count rivaled only by Etude Op.10-4. The final note also scrolls at an even higher speed than before! Is one of the few great surprises packed in Taiko Wii 4.

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