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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Song of the Week! 26 January 2013

The final aspect we would like to discuss in our PSP DX feature month is an Ura! Through the DLC packs some songs have come to PSP fully equipped with their enhanced charts, some of which are debuts for console Taiko, like Tank.

Today's song with Ura is a console debut, but was present on one other game before PSP.

 Metal Police (めたるぽりす)
Taiko 13, 14, Taiko Wii 3x5 (149)x6 (222)x7 (388)x9 (594)
Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko 3DS 2x4 (149)x6 (222)x7 (388)x9 (594)
 Taiko 13 to 14, 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 3, Taiko 3DS 2, CD Donderful

After the early days of Taiko on the old arcades and PS2 games, Namco slowly became more creative and experimental with their music for Namco Originals, exploring the different genres of music one by one and adding their own Taiko flavor to it. The metal genre was quite late in the queue, with Metal Police being released several years after older metal originals like Jigoku no Taiko Jiten and Mekadesu.

Taiko 13 introduced Metal Police as one of its default songs. Its composer is Yasushi Asada (浅田靖), a member of the game music production studio noisycroak Co.Ltd. Asada's portfolio includes music for games like Super Monkey Ball, the recent Castlevania games, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity (for 3DS) and some Bemani rhythm games too (Dance Dance Revolution, GuitarFreaks&Drummania), in which he is often spotted under the alias "Architect".

Like other songs made in the past, Metal Police was probably meant to be a tribute to another song in the same genre; the song's ID (metro) and its name itself suggests that Asada's song was deeply influenced by the works of the American progressive metal band Dream Theater. According to Taiko fans, "metro" is likely the shortned form of of Metropolis, Pt. I: The Miracle and the Sleeper, one of Dream Theater's most famous songs from the 1992 album Images and Words.

With such an unusual backstory for the song and its composer, its Taiko composition and notechart proved to be intriguing in more ways than one. Metal Police is one of the few songs on Taiko with a lot of unusual time signature changes, with 3/4, 5/4 and 7/4 signatures (three, five and seven beats in one stanza where there is supposed to be four). The Oni chart has many handswitch clusters and a very pressured ending with no rests, made harder by the changing beat signatures as players constantly re-sync themselves to the beat of the song. Adding to that are four extremely tough balloon notes, which last 0.25 seconds each and with an increasing number of hits for each of them (3-4-5-6), with the final one requiring 24 hits per second in order to break it (not to mention the risk of missing the notes after the balloon!).

On Taiko 3DS 2, Metal Police is the song used for the boss fight against the Gigant Rex, back in the Story mode's Dinosaur time period.

  Metal Police (めたるぽりす)
All arcade, Taiko 3DS 2

x9 (765)
Taiko Wii 3x5 (220)x7 (317)x8 (434)x9 (765)
Taiko PSP DXx5 (220)x6 (317)x7 (434)x9 (765)
 Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 3, Taiko 3DS 2

Taiko Wii 3 delivered another way to see Metal Police as a 9* Oni song; rather than focusing on giant notes, misleading patterns and insane balloon notes, the Ura mode is focused instead on the player's endurance skills, with a never ending stream of note clusters all over the screen and some with pretty tricky switches.

With the recent star reduction of a large number of older songs with Ura mode (Taiko Time included), Metal Police stands in the new generation of Taiko as the only song where Oni and Ura Oni are both 9*.


  1. how on earth is "telecastic fake show" not song of the week yet

    1. You're the second person to want that as the weekly feature song. We'll have to look at it soon then~

  2. For the song where Oni and Ura Oni share the same star rating, you forget Black Rose Apostle.

  3. Can I request the old "Wadaiko Sentai Don Ranger"?