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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Song of the Week! 17 January 2015


General Nintendo gamers who have watched the previous, not-Japanese run of the Nintendo Direct presentation series are aware that the previously-exclusive 3DS title Puzzle & Dragons Z is coming this May to Europe and North America, together with a brand new Super Mario crossover game.

What better occasion for another P&D-oriented double feature?

 Sakasama Sekai (さかさま世界) Puzzle & Dragons Z
Version
Allx3 (104)x4 (157)x5 (318)x7 (438)
 Taiko 0 M (limited), Taiko Wii U 1
 157
 none
 puzdrz

(video processed to bypass muting)

As you may have guessed, today's featured songs all come from the aforementioned Puzzle & Dragons Z (パズドラZ), the franchise's first spin-off title for the 3DS.

Released in Japan on December 12th, 2013, P&D Z is the first game for the series to be set in an actual story against the original iOs/Android app's approach. In the game's world, people and dragons are able to co-exist thanks to the power of the mystical Drops. However, the sinister organization Paradox wants to break the power balance for their own schemes; it's up to the player, as one of the world's Dragon Tamers, to foil their plans, with the help of the mysterious dragon Syrup.

While Z's puzzle game approach is basically the same of the original mobile app, the game is branched to be like a proper, Pokémon-styled RPG, with player-input attacks (through orb combinations) and many collectible monsters to get and train. The positive reception of the game in Japan (over 1.5 million copies sold as of June '14) has led to the creation of multiple titles and general media about P&D Z's world, such as a CoroCoro Comic-serialized manga and a couple of arcade games: Puzzle & Dragons Z: Tamer Battler and Puzzle & Dragons Battle Tournament, both featuring many of Z's signature monsters and Dragon Tamers. Even the original app included these characters as monsters, too!

While Z wasn't a collaboration-savy game like the original, it was possible to unlock special dungeons with specific passwords, mostly featuring many of the first game's "Descended!" line of bosses. Wouldn't you know it, the Taiko no Tatsujin franchise is the only external one to appear as a password dungeon in the game! As such, a limited campaign has been issued between arcade Taiko games (Momoiro) and the first Wii U title, with both games featuring P&D Z's main theme and a 2-part Syrup outfit, becoming the first simultaneous release of content between console and arcade Taiko since Taiko 12 and Wii 1. As the collaboration ended, the song is still playable only to the Wii U users who managed to download it before its removal.

Speaking of the song itself, Sakasama Sekai (lit. 'Upside-Down World') is the 18th single of Japanese tarento Shoko Nakagawa (中川 翔子), and second song on Taiko by her after Strawberry melody, one of the 10th Taiko arcade's exclusive J-Pop tracks. Her single of this song, releaed the day before P&D Z's JP launch, is paired with her opening theme for the Japanese run of the American TV series Once Upon a Time.

With upbeat rhythms and a constant speed, Sakasama Sekai's Taiko Oni plays like an average J-Pop song notechart, with different cluster formations and some drumrolls/hitballoons sprinkled in.

 Kessen!! (決戦!!) Puzzle & Dragons Z
Version
Allx3 (109)x5 (175)x6 (310)x8 (538)
 Taiko 0 K to Mu, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko +
 154
 none
 puzdr4


Some time after the Taiko x P&D Z collaborations, Taiko games have received a proper, in-game track from the game, which -like it's predecessor before it- has quickly touched both console and arcade grounds. Being used for many of the game's boss fights, Kessen!! (lit. 'Battle!!') is composed by in-house GungHo musician Kenji Ito (伊藤賢治), already responsible for the music in the iOs/Android game. The song is also available to play in Taito's Groove Coaster games, both on the arcade releases and on the original iOs app Groove Coaster Zero.

With 100 more notes than Sakasama Sekai's Oni, Kessen features a denser barrage of clusters and repeating note stanzas, becoming a good benchmark for newbie players for early memorization approach and stamina-enduring skills. This is also the first Game Music track not from Bandai Namco games that is being used for a Taiko boss battle, against the alternative version of the Giganto Rex in one of Taiko 3DS 2's DLC Story mode chapters.

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Thanks again for sticking with us for another Saturday feature! Anyway, if you are looking for a trusty Horus player for the North American P&D servers, my ID is 389,4-hey guys what are you doing HEY PUT ME DOWN LET ME FINISYFE0WRUHP+èP+

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