The Drum Mania gameplay screen. The left is the gameplay area, the right shows a video often related to the song.
|Publisher(s)||Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.|
|Mode(s)||Single player (Can be linked with other Guitarfreaks cabinets)|
|Arcade system||System 573 (until V),
Bemani Python 2 (until V4),
Windows XP-based (as of V4)
|Display||Raster, standard resolution, horizontal|
Drummania was first released in 1999 as an arcade game, then subsequently ported to the Sony PlayStation 2 in Japan in 2000 as a launch title. Subsequent mixes have been released approximately once a year. In 2010, a series XG was introduced, adding a floor tom, left cymbal and left pedal to the cabinet setup. To focus on the new game, development ceased for the original version, with the last mix V8 released in 2011. The most recent arcade version is DrumMania XG2, which was released on March 9, 2011.
The game can be linked to its guitar-version sibling Guitarfreaks, allowing for cooperative play as long as they are from the same release. Earlier versions of the game could also be linked with Keyboardmania. From 7th mix onwards, the game has been linked to Konami's e-Amusement system, allowing for online competitive play.
DrumMania simulates real life drumming. It is played using a controller designed to imitate a drum set. Five pads are arrayed from left to right for the hi-hat, snare drum, high tom, low tom, cymbal and bass drum. On XG series, a left cymbal, left pedal and a floor tom are added. During play, the player presses the pads and steps on the pedal in sync with the notes falling vertically from the top of the screen in time with the music.
The player's accuracy is judged for each note played, and while the individual note judgments have changed throughout the series, the current system uses Perfect, Great, Good, Poor, and Miss to evaluate performance of each note. Ratings of Poor or Miss will deplete the player's "Excite Gauge", while accurate play will replenish it. If the Excite Gauge is emptied completely, the game ends. Players will be able to play anywhere from three to five songs depending on the game's configuration, with the potential to earn one or two additional stages in certain versions of the game if performance is good enough. At the completion of a song, players are given a letter rank for their performance which can range anywhere from E to A, as well as S and SS depending on how well the song was played, and how the particular release of the game being played computes ranks.
DrumMania uses a modified Yamaha DTXPRESS electronic drumkit. This drumkit is used for players for gameplay and navigating through select screens. Navigating can also be done by pressing Select and Start button on the right side of the machine. On home releases, a drum controller made by KONAMI can be used, although rather than separating each buttons on their own pads, home controllers place the pads on a single place, more resembling a palette. PlayStation 2 DUALSHOCK Controllers may also be used.
The game's songlist has steadily grow with each release, with the final version V8 containing over 500 songs. Songs are primarily in-house original compositions, covers of popular Japanese or English songs or edited master tracks licensed from the artists. Most songs are pop and rock in style, although there are often a wide variety of musical genres available.
Initial reception of the PlayStation ports were negative. IGN's criticized the game for its lack of realism, that it was "nothing like real drumming" . Nevertheless, the arcade version of the game remained popular and continues to be played in arcades throughout Asia.
In 2008, Konami sued Rock Band developer Harmonix for allegedly violating three patents for its drum and guitar based music games. The lawsuit was eventually settled in 2010 and its claims dismissed.
- Official website (Japanese)