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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Song of the Week! 19 May 2012

It's time for another Ura! Today is another old Namco original revived in the 3rd Taiko PSP game.

 Sports Digestdon (スポーツダイジェスドン) ~Fill In The Sky~
Taiko PS2 3
x5 (266) x7 (436)x8 (436)
Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii U3x4 (177)x5 (213) x6 (278)x7 (436)
Taiko PS2 3, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii U3, CD 2008
Fusion -> Namco Original

The first three years of Taiko no Tatsujin was not as focused on expanding song series; in its infancy most of the time was spent in creating original songs of a wide number of musical genres, especially European music,  in order to find out what genres were appreciated the most by Taiko players (that's why the old genre arrangement had so many different ones, some genres with only one song in it!). Today's entry is one of the 'rejected experiments', being a console-exclusive song even until now.

Sport Digestdon is a full-instrumental jazzy piece composed by Junichi Nakatzuru (中鶴潤一), responsible for most of the Soul Calibur songs and the Taiko rearrangement of Dvorak's From the New World. This song made its debut on the third Playstation 2 videogame, under the Fusion genre.

As Nakatzuru stated in the early days, he was inspired by the works of T-SQUARE (also known as The Square), a Japanese jazz fusion band founded in the late 70s and which is still active. T-SQUARE has had many members over its long tenure and even now is a popular icon in Japan. Just to get a glimpse of their worldwide influence, the theme song of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix (motorsport) was one of their label songs - Truth - for nearly 20 years in a row, from 1989 to 2006! Although the band was not involved in the creation of Sports Digestdon in any way (or probably even realized the song existed), its songID pays homage to it as its source of inspiration (sqr).

Later on, this obscure Namco Original track was featured in the 2008 Wii videogame Family Ski (We Ski in America and Japan) as part of the game's BGM songs. Then it came back to Taiko PSP DX, just its second outing in Taiko, where it got revamped Futsuu/Muzukashii notecharts, and a new Kantan mode has been added. The original Oni chart was left untouched, but only because something else was brewing in the works for PSP DX (see below)!

On Taiko PS2 3, the Oni and Muzukashii had identical charts with sparse clusters and long breaks, which explains the rating drop by one star, but could potentially drop further based on the new standard. Guts Jet, the second member of the Guts Squad, challenges Don-chan with this song on Taiko PSP DX's Omikoshi Battle story mode.

Sports Digestdon (スポーツダイジェスドン) ~Fill In The Sky~
Taiko PSP DXx5 (197)x6 (234) x6 (337)x9 (733)
Taiko Wii U3

x9 (733)
Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii U3

Instead of receiving an updated Oni notechart (like what happened to most of Taiko Wii 3's revived songs), Sport Digestdon earned a whole set of Ura difficulties and lots of added notes for the Oni chart, bringing its max combo to equal Ridge Racer and the second Monster Hunter Medley. The clusters are made denser and much more complicated, fitting for a song with irregular beat signatures. Roughly speaking, its difficulty level and notechart is similar to Saturday Taiko Fever Ura.