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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Super Taiko 3D Deka (26/02/16)

While not being choke-full of content like most of 2015's broadcasts, this year's first Taiko Team livestream session sure had some aces up on its sleeves, in forms of artist cameos (...sort of) and some surprises along the way, all packaged with the usual degree of cheese of the broadcasting series.

Enough filling your eyes with big-sounding words! Here's what happened during the last Friday.

Continuing the tradition, the first 45-minutes of the run were about Etou and the other livestream hosts interacting with the fans and testing the equipment for the real, subsequent portion. This time around, for "fan interactions" we also include random surprise headbanging action while Daifuku answers one of the Nicovideo spectators' question, blissfully unaware on what's happening on her left.

What has been the main focus, however, is the appearance of a very special signature plate, which is going to be given to the lucky winner of the upcoming Taiko tournament at the Huis Tech Bosch amusement park, currently scheduled on March 19th this year.

It's a very valuable item which includes signatures from all people involved in Taiko gaming, from livestream hosts to notecharters to even NAMCO SOUNDS personalities like Linda Ai-CUE, Taku Inoue, ryo, kyo, Ayano Yasuda (of Kimi no Akari fame) and others!

The pre-livestream portion ended right after the autograph board's showing, featuring the welcomed return of a video series during the break: Audio Deka!

Hirooto and Masubutchi's drama adventures full of cheese have made their triumphant return during the livestream's two breaks, featuring the episodes that were broadcast last year. Luckily for us, some kind soul on Youtube has posted the single episodes before and now we have the full trilogy uploaded online in a 15-something video! See the video below for all the audio detective action you'll ever need.

As a brief disclaimer, this livestream has seen the debut of the third episode ("SEASON 3") in a Taiko broadcast, as it was previously featured during a separated NAMCO SOUNDS livestream session on USvideo last year.

At the livestream's official beginning, as usual, we are greeted to the usual Comment Challenge reward board, and...

...ladies and gentlemen, we already have a (negative) first-time result to report for this broadcast; after 11 successful comment challenges, this is the very first one whose goals have not been completely achieved by the audience, as the total comment count barely passed the 50k milestone. On the flipside, Classic song Mars isn't leaving Taiko Chogouka-Ban's songlist, if you want to play it on console grounds!

For the livestream's first topic, we also had a temporary host change, from Masubutchi to... a Tatsu-Don cardboard cut-out? Seems legit.


Anyway, we're into Taiko World Championship 2016 talk once again! Nothing much has changed since the announcement of the core tournament's Preliminary/Area Elimination mechanics from Tokaigi and World Hobby Fair '16 talk, so we'll just forward you to our previous Quick Takeaways on the topic to catch up with the schedule situation as of now.

Then what's new this time, you may ask? For one, we're finally given the release date of the remaining CreoFuga '15 winning songs on Japanese White Ver. arcades! Rather than adding them one per week, the songs are going to be delivered in couples (and triplets!) in 5 different weeks, with April's release dates already pinned out and the May ones still unknown.

Another new tournament-related feature being introduced is one that will make more victorious people join the fray at the Finals! Below is the situation as we knew it so far, with the two main divisions' Finalists and the Taiko winner ot the 2nd Tenkaichi Otogesai accessing the finals.

Here's instead the new picture, featuring two new categories of people that will be able to compete together with the other contestants of the Middle-and-upper division!

The new division in red is the Losers' Bracket, where all losing contestants from the Preliminary phase have another chance of joining the Area Elimination by scoring high in a future online tournament! Said event should happen in June, right before the Area Elimination phase' beginning.

With the Last Chance Qualifier (in green), an additional player among everyone else has the chance of directly accessing the Finals by achieving the first place of yet another online tournament! Also appening in June, this bracket will start right after the Area Elimination phase.

The Finals' battle structure should look like this, with the division's finalists at the bottom in matches of 4 players and two special figures that will automatically access the quarter-finals. One is the Taikai winner, but the other one...?

Away from tournament dynamics, we're going to have another side event for Banapassport players which will net extra goodies to all participants! This event will last from April to June.

Much like for the Taikai tournament, all Banapassport players will be able to collect tickets for the unlocking of special content at their own profile page at Donder Hiroba. For this event, there are three new songs and 20 tourney-related title parts! We'll talk about the songs in more detail later on.

In this event, tickets are earned by either simply imputing a credit (1 ticket per day) or playing songs from the CreoFuga '15 winning tracks (1 ticket by selecting a song, 2 if it's cleared), earning up to 5 tickets per play. When claimed on Donder Hiroba, the tickets gathered are automatically spent into one of the new songs (if there are any available), with the cost for the title partes rounded down to 1 in case of odd quantities of spare tickets.


See the picture below for a visual sum-up of how tickets are automatically spent!

Playing during April and May alone with the latest CF songs will also earn another kind of monthly unlock! By playing on April there's a Tiger Petit Chara for everyone, while the Dragon PC will be awarded to May players. The Team still hasn't got a definitive name for both, so feel free to punch in your suggestions to their Twitter account!

The tourney-related talk is finally done, and with that is the Tatsu-Don cardboard, as another recurrent livestream host is flexing his most plastic pose. Welcome back, Kawagen Collagen!

For this livestream, he's here to share bits of new Namco Original songs with the Team and the audience, all of which are future rewards for the aforementioned ticket-based event of the World Championship 2016. Right below you can find a textual recap of the portion, but we actually are in luck as the whole portion (with song previews, no less!) was uploaded on Youtube! The video is further below.

Each of the clip previews featured the song's beginning followed by some comments of the song's singer while the song's instrumental base still playing in the background. The songs' composers also left their impressions of their works but mostly in paper form, being read before the song.

The first track in line is Princess of Donder, sung by Erica Kaibo (海保えりか) and composed by MOES, who has pointed out the hentai genre lore as being the source of inspiration for his track's creation (...really, I'm not joking). Up next was Kaneko Chiharu's Shonin YokkQ, featuring the voice of another CreoFuga contest-winning Namco Original, Tsundere Cafe e Youkoso☆. The last one was Harunaba's Ghost Mask, starring voice actress Chihiro Ishiguro (石黒千尋) in both her real self and her Vocaloid version in Yuzuki Yukari!

Finally, here's this lengthy portion for all of you to enjoy:

After a 2nd Audio Deka break (and Masubutchi returning), we jump back to White Version talk with a proper introduction to Tokkun Mode (特訓モード).

Tokkun Mode will require more than a regular credit to access, as it requires a Banapassport account which has been charged with a (still un-clarified) amount of Banacoin. Further slides (listed below) underline that the Banacoins can be charged only to Banapassport cards which are already linked to a proper Bandai Namco ID.



Tokkun Mode can be accessed in the arcade's very first menu after inserting one regular credit, as the rightmost option of said menu. Selecting this mode will fix the time of playing with 10 minutes of gameplay in Tokkun mode, followed by a regular song play among the ones available in public arcades on that day.


The in-game screens -as you can see below- highly resemble the ones of previous console games' Training mode, only with a coat of paint from the Dojo Ranking-styled visuals. Alongside returning functions like fast-forward/rewind and autoplay, Tokkun Mode will allow players to try out songs at different BPM speeds, as well as keeping track of the note hit percentage for the three accuracy evaluations (Great, Good and Miss). A handy counter for the leftover time in Tokkun Mode appears on the top-right corner of the screen.


It's also important to mention that Tokkun Mode might not be available in all White Version arcades due to operators' personal preferences, as well as being a selectable option only during specific time frames, with the "default" ones being from opening time to 12 am and from 5 pm to closing time.

This concludes the Tokkun Mode talk, leading the Team to reiterate recently-announced news on the arcade grounds, starting with Game Version 5.07 deatils. Among the features mentioned, the one that was not advertised at all before is the inclusion of new unlockable outfits: a relaxed Korosensei (available by playing QUESTION) and the Kamen Rider Ghost... Rider (unlocked by playing Warera Omou, Yue ni Warera Ari).

Following this was the opening announcement of White Version's Special Title Parts Gacha, which will be discounted to 100 points per pull thanks to the Comment Challenge's 3rd goal being conquered by the viewers.

Following this was the talk of March's monthly unlocks (already featured in one of last Thursday's Taiko Blog entries), together with another much-appreciated return! ...

That's right: technical issues! While at this point I'd normally throw in a random mountain-y Internet reference, for this one I don't need to- Etou plugged in a small meme by reacting in Engrish! Tens of "Nice mountain." comments flowed on-screen upon said comment from the Taiko Team leader.

In more serious tone, next March will see the return of several campaigns of the past, such as the Taikai ticket-collecting event. If you're still missing one of the 3 songs or any special Petit Chara, here's your second chance!

The still-running Taiko x Love Live! collaboration event will also get a time extension to the entirety of the month of March! For those who still lack some of the promo Petit Charas, each LL! gacha pull will also net double the unlocks in the next month.


The last voices left to check for the "obligatory reminders" corner are the extended Taiko collaboration with EXILE and MyBachi being able to be booked on online websites like Amazon. We've already talked about both topics extensively, so let's move on.


Our last bit of news for the livestream concerns White Version arcades once again, as they're going to have some never-heard-before songs next month!

First, we had the announcement of another couple of songs from IOSYS personalities coming to Taiko arcades as part of the God Collection custom folder, already hosting the Taiko debut works of aran and Massive New Krew.

And with Masubutchi making a dramatic undressing to his Audio Deka attire, another Namco Original is announced in for of a new 'de' series song about the Audio Deka segments!

We're in luck once again, as you can hear some bits of the three incoming Namco Originals by watching this video about the arcade announcements portion! Just start at 12:46 to avoid the rest.

Closing the stream is the usual discussion with the audience about the latest livestream-spawn title, with Dangerous (やばい) trumping the fierce competition of memes and Audio Detectives!

Darkwing Duck would be so proud.

With that, another livestream session with the Team is over! While not breaking every comments goal sure is a downer for arcade goers, it surely had its high points, hasn't it?

See you next time. Audiós!

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