So we’ve finally received a new entry in the Dissidia Final Fantasy series, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, but what you may not have known is that it is actually a port of a Japan-only arcade game that was released in 2015. It was quite big in the country, with Sega, Namco and Taito-owned arcades dedicating a large amount of floor space just to that game alone. At the time of its release, fans in the West could only dream of what the game might be like to play. As the years went by, it seemed like there was no chance of the game getting released outside of Japan. Lo and behold, people across the world are now playing it on their PS4s from the comfort of their own homes. The fantasy became reality.
But we can never be fully satisfied knowing just how many great games remain thousands of miles away, locked behind the paywall of a plane ticket. Japanese arcades are bustling with unique experiences that are just downright fun to play, and we westerners deserve to play them too. So here are five Japanese arcade games that need to come West.
Taiko no Tatsujin
5 Japanese Arcade Games That Need to Come West
Forget Rock Band. Forget Donkey Konga. If you want the most enjoyable drumming game, then look no further than Taiko no Tatsujin. This has been one of Japan’s most popular rhythm arcade franchises for years, so popular in fact that you may see imported versions of the machine floating around other parts of the world. It’s a game where you have to bang a giant taiko drum to the beat. There’s only one lane, and only three colored notes which indicate if you have to hit the center of the drum, the rim, or if you have to mash. Its simplicity is probably why this game captures so many different demographics. That’s not to say it can’t get challenging, however – it most certainly can be on harder difficulties.
This game technically has received a localized version in the form of Taiko: Drum Master on PS2, but that was a very long time ago, and it was only one entry. Japan has seen over 20 Taiko no Tatsujin titles outside of arcades across the PS2, PSP, PS Vita, DS, 3DS, Wii, Wii U, and most recently, the PS4; there’s also a Switch game in the works. Is it so much to ask for just one new release to come to the West?
Check out this video if you want to see just how much fun you can have playing Taiko no Tatsujin, and then be sad that we don’t have it.