|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2008)|
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 first use stars to mention difficulties. It was used on the first DrumMania until DrumMania 3rd Mix.
Starting from DrumMania 4th Mix until now (V series), it uses 3 difficulties, Basic, Advanced and Extreme with the difficulty range from 10 to 99. Some songs only have two charts or one chart available for play. On DrumMania V4, playing Extra Stage songs from previous releases during Extra Stage can unlock access to Special Stage, which if Encore Extra Stage songs from the respective games as with the Extra Stage, several new charts for older songs will be acquired.
In XG series, the difficulties' name are changed to Novice, Regular, Expert and Master, with the difficulty ranges from 1.00 to 9.99. V series retain the difficulty and its range.
Extra Stage System
Extra Stage is first introduced in DrumMania 3rd Mix. Extra Stage is gained when several requirements are met. Encore Stage is gained when Extra Stage-specific song is played and meets several requirements. Another Encore Stage called Premium Encore Stage can be also gained, although the requirements for Premium Encore are much more difficult than those for Encore Stage. Premium Encore Stage is first introduced on DrumMania 9th Mix.
While early version of Extra Stage forces player to play Extra Stage song, in later mixes player may choose the song they want to play freely during Extra Stage. Not playing Extra Stage-specific song during Extra Stage will surely resulting in not getting access to Encore and Premium Encore Stage.
Starting from DrumMania V3, Extra Rush System is introduced. On Extra Rush Level 1, an Extra Stage song, Encore Stage song and a Premium Encore Stage song is set. Each time the Extra Rush Level is increased, a new Premium Encore Stage song is introduced, moving down the previous Premium Encore Stage, Encore Stage and Extra Stage song by one level (e.g. Premium Encore is moved down to Encore, Encore into Extra, and Extra becoma available normal play).
Similar to Long Tracks on early DDR games, Bonus Tracks are songs that is more than 2 minutes in length that is only can be played once per credit. It is first introduced on DrumMania 2nd Mix and continues to appear on later mixes, although on XG series, Bonus Tracks are removed.
First used on GuitarFreaks 2nd Mix/drummania, Session Linking can link the respective version of GuitarFreaks and DrumMania for play. Session Linking only uses songs that are available on both games, so GutarFreaks-only songs and DrumMania-only songs are not available. GuitarFreaks and DrumMania that is linked shares the same Excite Gauge in gameplay, so when one of the players makes a mistake, the Groove Gauge on the other game is also depletes and the combo is broken on both.
Because DrumMania is released at the same time with GuitarFreaks 2nd Mix, GuitarFreaks is one mix higher than the DrumMania version is linked up to (e.g. GF 6th Mix with DM 5th Mix). In V series and XG series however, the mix number are generalized.
Multi Session only appears on GuitarFreaks 5th Mix/DrumMania 4th Mix and Guitar Freaks 6th Mix/DrumMania 5th Mix. Keyboardmania 3rd Mix can be linked with them, although resulting in only a few songs available.
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.
Rock Band lawsuit
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.
A handful of DrumMania simulators have been created for use on PCs, the most popular of which is open-sourced called DTXMania, which also supports GuitarFreaks. It can be controlled using the computer keyboard, any USB device that can act as a joystick, or any MIDI instrument such as a MIDI keyboard or professional quality electronic drum kit.
- DrumMania 4th Mix General Information on RemyWiki. Retrieved 06-25-2012.
- Unlockable new charts information on RemyWiki. Retrieved 06-25-2012.
- DrumMania 3rd Mix general information on Remy Wiki. Retrieved 06-25-2012.
- GF/DM Glossary on RemyWiki. Retrieved 06-25-2012.
- DrumMania V3 general information on RemyWiki. Retrieved 06-25-2012.
- DrumMania 2nd Mix general information on RemyWiki. Retrieved 06-25-2012.
- DrumMania 5th Mix general information on RemyWiki. Retrieved 06-25-2012.
-  (automated English translation)
- Konami Digital Entertainment Limited (Hong Kong)
- GuitarFreaks & DrumMania OFFICIAL SITE MAIN TERMINAL GATEWAY (Japanese)
- DTXMania, a popular simulator for DM/GF. (Japanese)