Taiko Drum Master, Etrian Odyssey, and Bravely Default demos, Nintendo Direct videos and more!
It’s been a great week for the eShop in Japan, which has seen the release of three demos and numerous 3D (both streaming and downloadable) videos on the eShop. Here’s all that you’re missing out on in your region:
3DS Downloadable Titles
Etrian Odyssey IV DEMO – FREE
Taiko no Tatsujin: Chibi Dragon to Fushigi na Orb DEMO – FREE
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy DEMO – FREE
Ganbare Goemon Sarawareta Ebisu Maru (Game Boy) – 400 yen
IN THE WAKE OF VAMPIRE (Master of Darkness, Game Gear) – 300 yen
Thanks to the surprise Nintendo Direct last week, there are tons of videos available on the eShop. The presentation in its entirety is available streaming on the eShop as are related videos such as the latest episode of Game Center CX featuring Kirby’s Dream Collection, New Super Mario Bros. 2 gameplay footage, the Dragon Quest X presentation, and trailers for Bravely Default and AKB48+ Me. Streaming 2D videos are also available for Little Battlers eXperience Explosive Boost, Etrian Odyssey IV, Calcio Bit, the upcoming Taiko Drum Master for 3DS and a streaming 3D video for Culdcept. All together, there is at least two hours of new content that became available this week. Not only that, but full 3D videos are available for download for Etrian Odyssey IV, Devil Summoner: Soul Hacker, E.X. Troopers, Samurai Warriors Chronicles Second, and Lost Heroes.
With tons of great content available on the eShop this week, it’s been a little tiring trying to choose what to play and what to pass over. One game series that I have been meaning to try out on a Nintendo platform is Taiko Drum Master. Being in Japan, it’s very easy to spot the multiple Wii entries on the shelves for reasonable prices, but for me, I’ve always been of the mindset that the games just wouldn’t be as great without the actual taiko drum in the arcade. Yeah, I’m sure that you can find peripherals to help emulate this, but I just wasn’t completely sold on the idea. Then along came the 3DS demo for the latest entry in the series, and my god, the rhythm nut inside me jumped on the chance to get it.
One cool feature of the game that is implemented into the demo is the story/RPG mode. While it’s not incredibly deep, it gives the player a bit more of a reason to come back to the game and complete the songs. The game starts by introducing you to the main character, Don-chan, a light blue taiko drum as well as a little dragon called Mao. As the two are talking to each other, they are then attacked by a goblin. When this happens, the song kicks in, and the standard gameplay that you come to expect from the series takes place. With every successful hit of the taiko drum, you whittle the health of your enemy down all the way until it’s defeated. Make too many mistakes and your enemy will be the one finishing you!
Gameplay is simple to understand. Being a rhythm game, you have to tap along with the rhythm at the right times. Pounding on the drum is all done on the touch screen, with hitting the center of the drum taking care of incoming red icons and tapping the side of the virtual drum handling the blue icons. On top of other series staples, like tapping repeatedly to blow up a balloon or to pound madly on the drum, there are sometimes bombs that appear on the rhythm track. If you accidentally hit one of these, the bomb gets launched at you and takes health off of your character. In conjunction with the 3D effect, the boss-like character that you encounter in the demo can also enable roses to grow and blossom over the rhythm track, partially obscuring your view from the incoming notes. While this isn’t much of an issue on the easy difficulty setting, it can get a little tricky at higher levels.
Not only is the latest entry in the Taiko Drum Master series a ton of fun, the visuals, while simplistic, look great in 3D. Perhaps the simple colors and art style mixed with stereoscopic 3D are what makes the game look wonderful on the 3DS. After being pretty set in my opinion about the Taiko Drum Master games, I’ve really rethought my stance and am considering purchasing this game at launch. With only seven plays available on the demo, I don’t have a lot of chances to play it for free!