• Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Oct 26, 2004
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. I don't care what you read anywhere else. This is a MUST HAVE game for anyone who likes music and owns a PS2. Admit it; at one time in your life you fancied yourself a drummer, beating on pots and pans or anything else that made noise. Now you can live out those fantasies and actually sound pretty good doing it.
  2. For music enthusiasts, picking up both games is a given, as Donkey Konga is worth playing, but for the more selective crowd, this Japanese drum should be the one you go home banging on your way out of the store.
  3. Easily one of the most addictive party games I have ever played.
  4. While the game could have used a bigger selection of pop songs (even those that are modified) in the unlockable areas, there is little doubt that the songs offered here are very cool, and a lot of fun to drum along to. This can be an intense workout, but the game is very enjoyable, and it's a certified winner.
  5. 90
    A rhythm game lives and dies by its music. Taiko Drum Master is packed with songs that you can find yourself playing for hours, and get a decent upper-body workout from too (hey, you try pounding through Oni mode for a couple hours without burning some calories).
  6. 90
    There's something very satisfying about playing Taiko Drum Master. That something is spending the entire game hitting things. And creating sweet, sweet music, of course, but the feeling of bringing those plastic drumsticks down on the taiko controller is something that you don't normally get from a home video game.
  7. Put plainly, this is a very welcome distraction from all the running, jumping, and silly key and coin collecting that you can enjoy with your friends and family.
  8. Rhythm games usually wear out their welcomes after a few weeks, but Taiko’s hands-on addictiveness provides months and months of wholesome family entertainment.
  9. Peripheral issues aside, Taiko Drum Master is probably one of the first rhythm games in a while to actually provide some amount of creativity to the genre.
  10. The drum is big, (sort-of) bulky and very loud, but it is pretty enjoyable and does register your strokes well.
  11. Taiko: Drum Master's surreal happy-happy smiling drums and their friends are much more charming and should easily win over the hearts of music-loving PS2 gamers across the globe. [Dec 2004, p.132]
  12. It's doubtful that anyone is hard-hearted enough to not instantly fall in love with the cylindrical, part-watermelon drum dog that acts as your host, and his equally bizarre pals all do a superb job of dancing around in a distracting manner as you attempt to pump out an amazingly complex drum solo. [Oct 2004, p.111]
  13. 80
    The most distinctive thing about the Taiko games is the bizarre cast of characters Namco has invented for the series.
  14. It even plays a lot better than "Donkey Konga."
  15. 80
    Bonus points: "My Sharona," the greatest freakin' song of all time, is one of 30 tracks in the game. Oh, my little pretty one!
  16. If you don't mind a lot of banging around, and are looking to expose your family to some musical challenges, Taiko: Drum Master is a good choice.
  17. 80
    If you have the choice, it holds many advantages over "Donkey Konga." The graphics and song list are superior. However, drumming requires a bit more coordination than playing the bongos.
  18. Very fun, and the graphics are incredibly endearing. [Dec 2004, p.106]
  19. This has a great song list and gives you what a good music title should: a taste of what it's like to play the instrument in real life. [Dec 2004, p.177]
  20. 77
    Playing through the 31 songs and mastering them is well worth the money if you're looking for a good rhythm game with some intricate drum patterns and a whole lot of ready made drumming practice.
  21. Taiko's patterns can be incredibly addictive, often sending mixed signals to your brain like every good challenging rhythm game, but once you nail a string of rapid-fire sixteenth notes with rimshots buried in the middle, the game will hook you with that classic "just one more try" addiction.
  22. And with the exception of the fact that the mini-games suck, the game on a whole is pretty cool, and the concept is well executed.
  23. If you're willing to take turns with friends and family, the frolicking oddballs of Taiko Drum Master -- dancing cats, drums, chicks, goldfish, turtles and, no joke, fluffy cotton-candy critters that cheer you on -- will happily keep you banging the drum well past bedtime.
  24. Taiko Drum Master finally brings percussion to the video game music craze, but the cool factor that made Guitar Hero popular has fled this game on account of its cute presentation.
  25. A game that you can't help but have fun with, but which might be best rented for parties and suchlike given its bundled-with-a-peripheral price tag and somewhat limited single-player appeal.
  26. Play the pounding ''My Sharona'' on the Taiko peripheral and you may feel as though you are doing more than just beating a gimmicky peripheral in time with the music. You may feel as if you are grooving with the band, achieving oneness with your video game.
  27. Like "Donkey Konga," Taiko Drum Master ultimately suffers from being a one-trick pony that grows a bit boring after playing the included songs enough times.
  28. A lot of fun, offers great music but could use a more sensitive, less frustrating controller.
  29. The selection of 30+ songs is a bit uneven, but the game is still a blast, and even has a few off-kilter, non-musical mini-games. [Holiday 2004, p.98]
  30. The game, while fully localized, is rich with Japanese iconography that gives it a decidedly Asian feel. The dog/watermelon/drum characters that dominate the on-screen activity are so bizarre that they cannot help but be endearing. The rest of the game's cast of characters is just as off-the-wall, and it is this offbeat cast that helps to further separate it from the competition.
  31. One of those games that's good, but it suffers from being too niche to ensure it broad acceptance from gamers. Couple that with the fact that the Taiko Drum is yet another specialized controller that'll probably never see use again.
  32. 70
    A rhythmically sound game, Taiko Drum Master doesn't break the same ground Donkey Konga did, but it is fun in its own right.
  33. The skill levels are very well balanced, meaning you'll probably beat the easy songs and then get destroyed when you switch to the hardest difficulties, but that's definitely a good thing.
  34. For one hundred dollars you could buy a keg, a stripper, a clown, or make a down payment on a bouncy castle. Now THAT'S a party. While Taiko Drum Master's novelty value is clear, you might want to skip this beat in favor of a cheaper groove.
  35. Too much effort was spent trying to force loveable, quirky characters down my throat with all the believability of The DaVinci Code's plotline.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. MadC.
    Sep 20, 2004
    10
    SO DAMN CUTE!!
  2. AngelaS.
    May 31, 2005
    9
    As a drummer I was excited for the release of Donkey Konga, however, as a PS2 (exclusive, for lack of funds) owner, I was even more excited when I heard rumor of Taiko Drum Master. I bought the game on the same day that my friend bought it. So, my first day playing was mostly spent in duet mode. Like in Donkey Konga, you are either pleasantly surprised by the fact that the players notes differ, or you are scarred to death by the fact that "you don't get it" on the first try. This was enough to make me a bit off every once in a while Full Review »
  3. Becky
    Jan 4, 2005
    10
    I love this game, I played it while living in Japan and was so excited to see it here in the U.S. on PS2! I highly recommend it, my 4 and 6 year old girls love it as well. Problem is the game only comes with one drum and they don't sell the drum seperately at this time. Full Review »