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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Song of the Week! 5 December 2015

Get ready to bring here your quarters, because it's time to delve into yet another classic arcade Namco franchise, courtesy of the latest Taiko home console release.

 Where is the Target? Rolling Thunder 2
Allx4 (127)x6 (220)x7 (382)x9 (546)
 Taiko Wii U 3, Taiko PS Vita

Traditions for Wii U Taiko titles are truly hard to die, as -yet again- music from a Namco videogame that was never on the Taiko spotlight before appears as one of the unlockable Game Music tracks. For Atsumete Tomodachi Daisakusen's case, we have the Round 4 BGM from the 1990 arcade game Rolling Thunder 2 (ローリングサンダー).

Being a sequel, the story background picks up from the previous installment of the series, where the secret organization Geldra, thought to had been destroyed in the 1st game's events, returns to threaten the world's safety by destroying many of the world's satellites. With the returning enemies, the World Crime Police Organization (WCPO in-game) sends agent Albatross to deal with the organization once again, together with the once damsel-in-distress (in RT 1) agent Leila.

Sequel to the eponymous 1st title from 4 years earlier, the game runs under the Namco System 2 arcade board, retaining the same run-and-gun gameplay formula with an extra coat of paint and some new features. Players control either Leila or Albatross in side-scrolling stages, where they can change floors with stairs and take cover from enemy attacks by hiding behind doors. The two WCPO agents can dispatch enemies with their pistols, of which the ammo is limited and replenish-able inside the stages. A new feature in Rolling Thunder 2 is 2-player simultaneous action, as well as new environment traps and enemies to face in the game. Unlike the first title which was ported to NES, RT 2 got a Sega Genesis port in 1991, as well as a North American-exclusive sequel (Rolling Thunder 3) 2 years later.

The music for Rolling Thunder 2 is entirely made by SuperSweep composer Ayako Saso (佐宗綾子), who is more known on Taiko grounds under her nickname of sampling master AYA. Oozing of Sega Genesis-styled sounds, the Round 4 track Where is the Target? can be found outside the game in the 5th volume of the Namco Game Sound Express soundtrack series, as well as being part of a jazz re-arrangement of RT 2 music in the Namco Video Game Graffiti Volume 9 album, under the title of Rolling Thunder 2 (JAZZ MIX).

Among the Wii U Taiko games' "new GM from never-featured-before Game Series" songs (which include Pastel Sealane and Sunset Runaway), Where is the Target?'s Oni modes fares out as the easiest one of the bunch, being a slightly harder version of couplet-based notecharts such as Boku wa Synth. Watch out for the BPM, though- despite the notes scrolling at a reasonable pace for most of the song, the entire song is actually riddled by scrolling speed reduction from x0.50 to x0.75, stacking the deck for some tricky cluster settings near the end.


The Wii U 3 fun doesn't stop there today, as our Kaitou Miracle Shounen Boy feature has been updated with it Oni mode video! Click here to see the updated feature.

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