Taiko: Drum Master

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Taiko: Drum Master
PS2 US front cover
  • NA: Namco Hometek
  • JP: Namco
SeriesTaiko no Tatsujin
Platform(s)PlayStation 2
ReleasePlayStation 2
  • NA: October 26, 2004
  • JP: March 17, 2005
Mode(s)1-2 Players

Taiko: Drum Master, also known as Taiko no Tatsujin: Taiko Drum Master (太鼓の達人 TAIKO DRUM MASTER) in Japan, is a rhythm game developed and published by Namco for the Sony PlayStation 2 as part of the popular Japanese video game franchise Taiko no Tatsujin. It was released in North America in 2004, and Japan in 2005.

The game was notable for being the only Taiko no Tatsujin title to release in North America, until the releases of Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! and Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! in 2018. The songs featured in Taiko: Drum Master were all in English and mostly taken from various Western artists, even in the Japanese release.


Symbols moving horizontally along a timeline show what to hit and when. Home versions distinguish single and double strikes, unlike the arcade versions of this franchise which register hard and soft strikes. A drum simulating the taiko is played in time with music.

Successful play builds up a life meter. If the meter is past a certain point by the end of the song, the song is passed.

In the Japanese version, subtitles under the symbols give the pronunciation of the sounds (e.g. "do don do don") using a traditional system called kuchi shoga (口唱歌).

Despite the game's appearance, players may find the game challenging to master. Players need to accomplish at least a 65% clearance of a song which is determined by the tamashi gauge to pass, and can become challenging on harder difficulties as players progress.

North American release track listing[edit]

Pop and rock[edit]

  1. "ABC" by The Jackson Five
  2. "American Girls" - by Counting Crows
  3. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" - by Jet
  4. "Girls and Boys" - by Good Charlotte
  5. "I'm a Believer" - by The Monkees
  6. "Killer Queen" - by Queen
  7. "Lady Marmalade" - by Labelle
  8. "Love Shack" - by The B-52s
  9. "Material Girl" - by Madonna
  10. "My Sharona" - by The Knack
  11. "Slide" - by The Goo Goo Dolls
  12. "That's the Way (I Like It)" - by KC and the Sunshine Band
  13. "The Impression That I Get" - by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  14. "Toxic" - by Britney Spears
  15. "Tubthumping" - by Chumbawamba
  16. "Walking on Sunshine" - by Katrina and the Waves


  1. "Dragon Ball Z Theme" (Rock the Dragon) - by Shuki Levy
  2. "Jimmy Neutron Theme" - by Bowling for Soup


  1. "Beethoven's Symphony No. 5" (Beethoven)
  2. "Carmen Prelude" (Bizet)
  3. "Foster's Medley" (a medley of songs by Foster including "Oh! Susannah", "Kentucky Home", and "Camptown Races")
  4. "Hungarian Dances No. 5" (Brahms)
  5. "Symphony No. 25 in G Minor" (Mozart)
  6. "William Tell Overture" (Rossini)

NAMCO Original[edit]

Japanese release track listing[edit]


Children's Song[edit]


  1. "Beethoven's Symphony No. 5" (Beethoven)
  2. "Carmen Prelude" (Bizet)
  3. "Foster's Medley" (A medley of songs by Foster including Oh! Susannah, Kentucky Home, and Camptown Races)
  4. "Hungarian Dances No. 5" (Brahms)
  5. "Symphony No. 25 in G Minor" (Mozart)
  6. "William Tell Overture" (Rossini)

NAMCO Original[edit]

  • Brave Sword, Braver Soul
  • The Genji and the Heike Clans
  • Ridge Racer
  • Taiko March
  • Mojipittan Medley (a medley of songs from the Namco game of the same name)
  • Dragon Spirit
  • Saitama 2000


  • The bundle with the game comes with a Taiko controller with plastic drumsticks where players plug into the PS2 console.
  • The Oni (Extreme) difficulty is unlocked by clearing 25 songs.


The PlayStation 2 version of Taiko: Drum Master received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parrish, Jeremy (2004-10-26). "Taiko Drum Master". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  2. ^ Helgeson, Matt (December 2004). "Taiko Drum Master". Game Informer. No. 140. p. 177. Archived from the original on 2005-11-04. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  3. ^ Gee, Brian (2004-11-19). "Taiko Drum Master Review". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  4. ^ Palley, Stephen (2004-12-15). "Taiko Drum Master Review (Mobile)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  5. ^ Calvert, Justin (2004-10-28). "Taiko Drum Master Review (PS2)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  6. ^ Theobald, Phil (2004-10-25). "GameSpy: Taiko Drum Master". GameSpy. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  7. ^ Lafferty, Michael (2004-10-19). "Taiko Drum Master - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  8. ^ Buchanan, Levi (2004-12-10). "TAIKO: Drum Master (Cell)". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  9. ^ Lewis, Ed (2004-10-26). "Taiko Drum Master (PS2)". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  10. ^ Jongewaard, Dana (December 2004). "Taiko Drum Master". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. p. 106. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  11. ^ "Review: Taiko Drum Master". PSM. December 25, 2004. p. 98.
  12. ^ Leeper, Justin (2004-11-02). "TAIKO Drum Master Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on 2004-11-03. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  13. ^ Huschka, Ryan (2004-11-28). "'Taiko Drum Master'". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  14. ^ Herold, Charles (2004-12-09). "New Breed of Games Is Not All Thumbs". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  15. ^ "Taiko Drum Master for Mobile". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  16. ^ "Taiko Drum Master for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  17. ^ a b "Taiko Drum Master Critic Reviews for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-03-28.

External links[edit]