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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Feature: 2017 - The Year in Hindsight

Another year has come to an end, leading us to the usual tradition of looking back what the Taiko no Tatsujin franchise has granted to its fans in its latest 12 months of activity. The year 2017 has been one of those really eventful ones for the series in recent memory (for better or worse), so join our last chronicle-based efforts of English-spread news casting about the franchise!

As usual, see you after the jump.

January 2017

The year's beginning has always been dormant on the side of new content's delivery, as it's usually a time to set up teasers of greater and fun stuff to come. 2017's January was no exception, between hints to Red Version's arcade firmware successor and the latest Taiko x Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls event, which started at the end of the month.

This has also been a nice time to be a console Taiko player due to the promise of a new title's release to the incoming Nintendo Switch system, still set to the fabled TBA-Land release date. On retrospect, it made me chuckle to take a look back at that last line from that announcement post of ours about said topic... boy, if we've been wrong on that last guess!

February 2017


Before that, however, we've had another month with something to enjoy for both sides of the Taiko-playing coin, from the additional contents to the then-active console release to the aforementioned Im@s CG arcade event's month-long run and many teases to the release of Yellow Version, the currently-active firmware.

True to our December '16 blog housekeeping plans, we've deepened the ranks of the artist features for the Behind the Drums section, with the year's first 3 months being the most busy period of time for fulfilling that course of action.

March 2017

Last March can be decisively remembered as an arcade-centric one, with the release of Red Version's firmware successor stealing the show for most of the month. While its running time is coming to an end in the next months, Yellow Version is surely going to be remembered for a number of reasons among the former HD firmware releases, including the revamped Don/Katsu Medal unlock shop and, of course, the longest list of song removals among all the current-gen arcade versions.

It's also worth mentioning that the Taiko Team has begun to post partial/full cuts of the latest songs for the series on the Bandai Namco Youtube channel; all during the same month which has seen what has currently been the last Taiko Team livestream to date...

April 2017


Similar to the last January, this month has saw marginal updates of sorts for both arcade and console fronts, with the only difference being that the first location-limited events of the year have started to roll around for the arcade side with the yearly Reitasai and an IOSYS-related, cross-music-games anniversary celebration.

With more features from our side and Yellow Version coming out in General Asia arcades (not to mention the cheese-tastic Butanpunch times we've had), there has definitely been a little something for everyone!

May 2017

While the month of May doesn't exactly have a positive record about either Taiko lore or this blog in general, we can safely state about the more-than-usual dreary mood that enveloped the pre-Summer month in 2017. The third 3DS game's DLC run was ended, Yellow Version had its 2nd (out of 3!) round of song removals and one of the biggest mass video removals of Taiko-related recordings has been accounted, with a good chunk of these coming from quite the regrettable loss in the popular playerbase scene...

The combination of these events happening with a number of other factors have contributed into our temporary blog time relocation, in order to address video link fixes in our most active pages while still keeping up with a decent new-post ratio to go along with the other minor happenings of the month.

June 2017

A collaboration with the unit GLAY and the early Taiko x Touhou Project merchandise plans aside, June's prime topic of interest was the early reveal(s) of what has become the first home consle Taiko game for the current generation of home consoles! Despite the quickfire Switch nods, the PlayStation 4 was revealed to be the home of the next big console entry, which was then released four months later.

Two more points of interest have to be highlighted about the past June as well: us getting our digital space into a Taiko-focused Discord server (join the fun, we won't bite!) and the Taiko Team putting out one of the shortest blog entries ever produced in our records... hence, again, the choice of the header picture above these lines.

July 2017

Between announcements and actual runs, the Taiko franchise's July '17 has been mostly dictated by a number of collaborations with many of the still-running titles of the series with such actors like invading grannies, Japanese Youtuber networks, gacha game male idols and many more.

The highlight of those ties is the ones with the emerging sound-making company INSPION, with which Bandai Namco is actively collaborating for new Namco Originals and other song ports.

August 2017

While the Taiko PS4 news flow still lurking from the backlines, we managed to hit our 7th year of Taiko blog activity! Once again, it's our duty to remind that it's all due to our loving readers' support that this project has went this far, so thanks for sticking by regardless of your blog visit frequency.

Arcade-wise, this August has been relevant for the introduction of the Issho no Waiwai Ensou multiplayer mode, which focuses more on clearing songs with a soul gauge in common with the other player.

September 2017

As another collaboration-based time gap for the closing year, this has been the 2nd September in a row that saw the coming of a public Touhou Project event for the arcade scene, which was rounded up with Taiko-rooted songs appearing in other games as part of external events, from Deemo to Groove Coaster.

For the console side, more and more scoops about the incoming Taiko PS4 game came and went between gaming magazines/websites and public events, while the undying Taiko Plus app saw the loss of a couple of in-game side modes/features.

October 2017

From a long 'more of the same' news-related period down to Taiko gaming's most busy month of the year! Session de Dodon ga Don, the much anticipated PS4 Taiko game has come for the joy of all region-free lovers with its multi-language support, no unlockable songs and a preemptively-illustrated DLC plan that is bound to grant the game more meat to its song list for at least six months since its launch.

There has also been a lot to talk about the arcade side as well, with the popular A3! idol gacha game collaboration and the Tenkaichi Otogesai tournament starting again for its 4th edition. Even blog posts plagiarism showed up once again!

November 2017

...at the risk of sounding repetitive, YES- this month's news bulk was setting up more future collaborations with popular brands in the coming year, from more idol-related shenanigans to the Nobita Nobi lookalike armyOsomatsu-San series. Not to mention that the next arcade firmware color already lurks around some corners of the Internet...

The 4th Tenkaichi Otogesai song delivery for its tournament was also finalized, bringing 5 tracks to each of the main participants and thus fitting itself in a "quality chart" between the iconic 1st edition and the really stingy offerings of the 2nd and 3rd runs of the cross-over tournament series.

December 2017

While this ending December hasn't been that much relevant on the news side, the Taiko-related social inner-workings that have happened in the past few weeks can be easily considered as the crystallization of the Taiko games' evolving social interaction with the Taiko fan community as a whole... for the better or worse.

Starting off with the end-November's announcement of a less frequent Twitter/official blog update schedule, the overseas movement from not-JP Taiko players demanding for the Banapassport/Donder Hiroba services that Japan has since Taiko 0's inception was answered with a (supposedly) lack of attention, coupled with the Taiko Team members not signing blog entries as themselves but rather by using the Taiko franchise's mascots.

But hey, at least now the Taiko no Tatsujin Twitter account has been verified! That sure has to amount to something, right? ...


...yeah, I'd be lying to you guys if I didn't address the overall Taiko gaming current in 2017 as anything but short of disappointment, as least when compared to some of the previous years under our watch.

Besides the key moments that brought to either the arcade or console scene more than one new song at the same time (Taiko 0 Yellow/Taiko PS4 releases; seasonal Rewards Shop changes; more generous events like the returning Tenkaichi Otogesai), the remaining periods of time have been slumping into a news drought, with promises of future collaboration that wouldn't start earlier than 3-6 months from their reveal. November/December's media presence retraction only added to the bad taste in the collective mouth, though it doesn't look something "out-of-character" for what concerns how the series is being handled on the PR side since the very beginning.

Still, we got new major releases to tinker around with, each geared with tons of new features and tracks. Plus,we've got some eggs in our "future-y stuff" basket to gawk at in the future, eventually the origin of greater things to come for both the arcade (Taiko Blue Version) and the console side (that Taiko Switch title that has been teased since last January)

As we step into another 12-month cycle, let's hope that it's going to be a good one!

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