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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sympho-Neighbours - License to Resonate

At this point in time, it's not a surprise to state that one of the Taiko no Tatsujin series' main strengths lies in its giant pool of licensed songs, with its huge catalog of J-Pop/Anime/early Variety songs to gather the attention of casual arcade players with widely-recognizable tracks from local music and pop culure akin to the Japanese audience.

That said, however, many other rhythm game franchises are dipping their fingers in this treaty sauce from time to time! Below is a selection of how licenses are treated in other major rhythm game franchises.

Licensed tracks are not that common on bemani grounds, but the few ones who manage to join the fun often hasve the luck to be ported in a huge number of other games in the bemani family nearly at the same time!

Golden Bomber's Memeshikute (also on Taiko games) is a good representative of this trend, featured above in a couple of videos from GITADORA, the modern re-naming of the GuitarFreaks&DrumMania franchise. The EXTREME charts above are for the Guitar and Bass respectively.

See the videos below for some other outings of the song in Bemani grounds!

pop'n music
Future TomTom

As unusual as it may sound, there has been another kind of song-licensing trend in recent years that -while aiming to a different audience from the usual J-Pop/Anime tracks- can still be classified as song-licensing action: the adoption of songs made by independent artists (mostly from Bemani File Simulator fields) which aren't proprietary to a specific rhythm game series.

The first track for the SOUND VOLTEX series of this kind was conflict, composed by the duo cranky/Ryo 'siromaru' Sakata and sung by pico. Since the SDVX port (and in some cases even before said port!) the song has had the opportunity to jump into a number of other rhythm games either as the original version or edited/remixed variants (for Cytus's case, in both ways!), such as for Superbeat: Xonic (video unavailable as of now) and the following rhythm games:

Tone Sphere
Groove Coaster

Back to the more regularly-conceived definition of "licensed songs" with Synchronica, which holds its own pool of exclusive J-Pop and Anime from the Taiko no Tatsujin series (with some shared tracks as well).

One of these is Plus-Tech Squeeze Box's starship 6, the J-Pop track available on launch which already boasts one of the game's highest-rated Technical charts!

Out of Bandai boundaries, here's an alternative cover play of fripside's only my railgun on Taito's Music Gungun!2. Being one of the few tracks of the Anime genre to have gained the Very Hard difficulty, there's more to do to clear the song, such as drag-shoot the notes and rotate the switches of the the guns that are used to play!

Always from Taito, the Groove Coaster series got a distinguished flair of making song covers of popular licenses playable: due to the game's really flexible visual presentation not being locked by static screens, it's possible to set custom background elements that come closer to the song's source and topics.

For a clear example of the trend, Groove Coaster series' cover of The Other self is full of custom references related to its source material (being the opening theme of the basket-centric Kuroto's Basketball Anime series) and basket itself, with the court lines of a basketball stadium and the numbers of the uniforms of the Anime's main basketball team.

Sega's approach to licensing is mixed, with some of the songs receiving their original music video/Anime OP video as background and others getting custom videos instead. Niko's NIGHT OF FIRE decidedly joins the latter category, being a cover rather than the original song.

If you thought that the Taiko franchise is the only currently-active one to care about Western licensed tracks, think again! John Paul "Scatman John" Larkin's 1994 Eurobeat hit Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop) has actually made it into CHUNUTHM's launch song list! It's also one of the most averagely-high rated MASTER modes among the POPS & Anime category, clocking at Lv.11.

And finally, here's some more extreme method of incorporating certain popular tracks into rhythm gaming lore!

For the song Kakushinteki☆Metamaruphose!, opening theme of the Himouto! Umaru-chan Anime (of which we already heard of before... sorta), the pop'n music series has gone one step beyond featuring the original song by making said Anime show's protagonist an actual playable character! Umaru has her own set of custom animations just like any other regular character in the series, with his big brother Taihei making cameos in some instances.

This fortunate opening theme also had place in some other music games' songlist, of which we include the links below:


That's all for today! See you next time.

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