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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Song of the Week! 3 September 2011


Alright, for this week we have a Game Music song from a Japanese-only game! Taiko fans should be familiar with the name of this game, even though most people won't have played it before.

 Bambini (バンビーニ)
Taiko 11, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko DS 2x4 (174)x4 (213)x7 (374)x9 (631)
Taiko Wii U 2, Taiko +x4 (174)x4 (213)x6 (374)x8 (631)
 Taiko 11, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko DS 2, Taiko Wii U 2, Taiko +

Another Mojipittan song? I won't blame you if you haven't heard of this one; it's been in way less games than its more successful predecessor, Mojipittan Medley, and before it was brought to PSPDX, only in one generation of Taiko games, on one arcade and one console, before it was obliterated for more popular songs. It suits the PSP just fine though, because the game which Bambini comes from, Kotoba no Puzzle: Mojipittan Dai Jiten (もじぴったん大辞典; literally, Encyclopedia of Mojipittan), was one of PSP's launch games, released just four days after the PSP went on sale in Japan on December 12, 2004.

Mojipittan's game mechanics - briefly explained on the Medley series page - remain loyal to the arcade original which it came from, but optimized for Sony's then-brand new handheld by adding new game modes like VS. CPU and the Encyclopedia mode where you can look up words, and the expansion of the in-game vocabulary to recognize over 100,000 words and phrases in comparison to the previous Mojipittan games which have 76,500 words (another of Namco's ubiquitous use of number wordplay in its games). Mojipittan Dai Jiten was also accompanied by 25 new music tracks, which comprise of both brand new BGM tunes and remixes of pre-existing themes; the song Bambini, composed by Hiroshi Okubo (大久保博), is one of the former.

Bambini's Oni notechart is tougher than the song might suggest, with lots of fast moving clusters and complicated note patterns which are a mix of 1/16, 1/12 and 1/24 altogether with no break in between them! It's certainly one of the 9* songs that is able to challenge even good players.

As for other Game Music songs, Bambini's subtitle (i.e. the smaller line of text showing where the song comes from) have been different in every Taiko it appeared on; a generic "Mojipittan PSP" is shown in Taiko 11, the 2nd DS game just puts in 'Mojipittan' for obvious reasons, and finally the full name of the game was put into Taiko PSP DX's song list. However, while the Mojipittan characters have always traditionally appeared as dancers (especially on the 2nd DS game), there's no sign of them on the PSP.

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