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Monday, July 20, 2015

Taiko V Version curiosities on Playstation Blog


Back in the hype-building days of V Version's pre-release stream of details (and post-launch, to some extent), we came to know that the Playstation Vita title's content was steadily reported by the staff behind the Japanese Playstation official blog (which we also linked here in the past), describing their impressions of V Version's features and most of the starting song list.

Last Tuesday, the 5-parter coverage of the game was ended with an interview with the four jolly guys above, (from left to right: General Producer Osawa Atsuto, Studio Producer Matsumoto Tomotaka, Studio Music Director Kawamoto Yoshinori and Sound Lead Designer Yuji Matsubuchi) which were so eager to reveal some side aspects and details about the game came to be.

Since the article we're going to cover here is 1-week old, we're sorry for our lack of timely coverage due to us being busy updating the blog's V Version-realted pages, but some of the trivia featured in this interview is tasty enough to merit a spotlight before any Song of the Week/Series/Miscellaneous coverage before it, so we decided to still cover the peaks of the interview. Let's begin!

The two main topics of the article, predictably enough, were the songlist composition and select details about some of the tracks featured, both old and new. About the former topic, Osawa stated that the most common age demographic of the portable system's users was highly kept in consideration for V Version's songlist composition, which in the case of the PS Vita hits an average of 20-something years old users. If you're asking any reason behind the game bearing 1/5 of the 10-star regular/Ura Oni challenges overall, now you know why!

The same reason has also driven the choice of really popular licensed songs (such as only my railgun and crossing field) making a debut in V Version, while also holding the usual 'Song Staples' of the series (read: Natsu Matsuri, Senbonzakura, Saitama 2000 and similar), just like fan-favorite songs are chosen to be included, kept and/or revived in many karaoke machines in Japan.

V Version's songlist also comes from both niche titles/games, peculiar "development team theme-ing" and 11th-hour additions, all of which are sumed up in examples with songs from the incredibly-generous Game Music selection. The first reason explains the introduction of Critical Velocity song BLAZING VORTEX, after the exilarating times Masubuchi had mapping the earlier Sunset Runaway for Wii U 2/Murasaki Taiko games. Suspects for some kind of reason behind the high number of Ridge Racer songs is also explained, as the sound team wanted to mirror the 'V' in the game's title as a subtle hint at how any Ridge Racer tracks are available (we remember that 'V' is the Latin numeral letter for 5)!

With many late-development additions, one of these was the arcade-returner Dual Moon, from Taito's Metal Black. We know from a long time that Taito and Namco have been very generous towards each other in rhythm games grounds for years, but this time around the revival was being pushed for another reason... Take a glance at Dual Moon in action of PS Vita and see if you spot it.



...that's right, your eyes aren't deceiving you: the notechart pulled a Donkama 2000 at two selected notes while keeping all the other elements and formations from the original! Masubutchi revealed that this was the original idea for the song's chart since its intended debut on Taiko 10, but the 2nd generation arcades of the time couldn't handle really low or really high scrolling modifiers. Now the chart works its intended original feel of playing the stage from which can be heard Dual Moon, 'Cry For the Moon', which is also played with enemies coming to the right and a background moon boss slowly-but-surely drawing closer to the players while still being a background object. Check this video out to see what I mean in action!

About other song trivia stuff, the guys also mentioned the newcomer Namco Original Cross Blue, whose Max Combo counters on each mode are all built so that can spell punny names for the players to enjoy!... That, at least, was the original intention. The song's Oni mode was actually intended to have 963 notes instead of the current 962, but due to a charting programming error (that will be fixed in later outings of the song in other Taiko games, as they said) there's one less note than intended. Errors on Playstation handheld games are becoming a tradition... aren't they?

*A-hem* Anyway, the last bit of trivia from the interview is something we would have revealed with our upcoming Boss Battle article, but it's so awesome that merits an early outing! It turns out, in fact, that not only the main Donder Quest storyline holds peculiar boss battles...



And here she is: the Last Boss! Sachiko Kobayashi will challenge players in two of the Mission quests with her songs, by employing the power of Niconico commentators! Her silhouette also proves to be an un-suspectable, yet powerful foe!

That's all for now. See you soon!

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