The Idolmaster: Must Songs (Red) : Banging on the Bongos Like A Chimpanzee

imas_mustsongs_redI managed to pick up a godawful flu last week and spent a solid five days in bed either sleeping or wishing I could sleep.

During the “wishing I could sleep” bits, I played through a couple of Vita rhythm games, because I needed something to keep my spirits up.

I can happily report that The Idolmaster: Must Songs is a FANTASTIC way to keep your spirits up, at least assuming you like Idolmaster music and taiko drumming, because it mixes both of those and adds glitter and sparkly bits to taste.

When opened up video games to international ordering a few months ago, I ordered Must Songs completely sight unseen.  I knew that it was (a) an Idolmaster game and (b) a rhythm game and (c) very cheap, and that seemed like a good combination.  I’ve been a fan of the Idolmaster series since being both intrigued and confused by seeing it in Tokyo arcades back in December of 2005, but I’ve never been very good at the “proper” idol management sim entries in the series and have mostly stuck to lighter entries like Live For You and Shiny Festa.

So that’s my background leading up to Must Songs, anyway.

It turns out that it’s actually an Idolmaster-themed entry in the Taiko no Tatsujin series, which is one of those rhythm series that has been running for absolutely ages but which I’ve never gotten into before.  It turns out that I have been missing a wonderfully fun and energetic series of games – the controls are simple but the pace is frenetic and the screen is covered with bouncing taiko drums and dancing backgrounds and rainbows and … well, it’s a sort of gleeful sensory overload that rather resembles a tuned-to-the-point-of-being-weaponized version of Peggle.

The particular Must Songs I got was the “Red” version, which is 40 im@s songs covering the first five or so years of the franchise.  The “Blue” version picks up from that point, so if you are more familiar with the anime and recent games it’s likely the one you’d want instead.

My one complaint is that, while the first couple of difficulty settings are very straightforward, and the third setting brutal-but-learnable, the top setting “Oni” difficulty more than lives up to its name.  I had to put it aside and admit that my fingers are just a little too old to hit notes at the pace that level demanded of me, so I won’t be picking up the platinum on this one.

Recommended for: Rhythm game fans, Idolmaster fans, anyone who has ever wanted to dress a Taiko drum up like Akizuki Ritsuko and give it a good poun…

…let’s just pretend we didn’t say that.



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