Before Rock Band there was DrumMania/Percussion Master

Shaggy December 13, 2007 4

Rock Band is the latest music instrument playing game available for consoles right now and personally I have played it and enjoyed it as it is a great game. I received my latest copy of a certain game magazine that prizes itself in generally ignoring arcade games unless it has to mention them (it even feigns mentioning the arcade versions of Time Crisis 4 and Ghost Squad in those selective reviews in the same issue. The only place you see any mention of an actual TC4 arcade game is in an ad in the very back. But they do have an interview with Tomohiro Nishikado, creator of Space Invaders.) But for those out there that may not know their arcade games very well, here is a video of DrumMania/Percussion Master (by AndaMiro/American Alpha) which brought virtual drumming to the arcades quite a while ago. What you see on the screen is a bit different than Rock Band but the concept is the same as the drummers part, hit the drums at the right moment according to the notes. If you already have played DrumMania/Percussion Master then great. If not, consider this a friendly Public Service Announcement. Now you know and knowing is half the battle. (video posted by Youtube user Muymacho)

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  1. Nick December 14, 2007 at 4:15 am - Reply

    Even though the game is called Percussion Master, the real name of the game is Drum Mania. The name is different because it’s the Korean version, don’t ask me why they changed it.

    I wanted to take a video of it on my trip to Fun Zone, but my camera was dead so I couldn’t take it. The other game in the series is Guitar Freaks. Konami WAS going to release the game in America under another name but looks like they held off on it.

    Later versions of Drum Mania and Guitar Freaks can be linked together for “Session Mode”. One person plays the drum, and the others play guitar and bass. I wanted to get a video of us playing it to showed how it worked.

    Konami got beat in their own game. Harmonix just took Drum Mania, Guitar Freaks and Karaoke Revolution and made Rock Band. The thing that sucks with DM and GF is that almost all of the songs are generic rock, pop, ska and jazz style songs. Theirs VERY few cover songs, and the ones that are on there are either Japanese or HORRIBLE American covers. “You Give Love a Bad Name” is terrible.

    That’s what Guitar Hero did better then Guitar Freaks, is they either got the bands themselves or REALLY good covers and that makes the game more fun then playing generic songs.

  2. Icepagoda December 14, 2007 at 4:25 am - Reply

    A couple things wrong…

    1 – It’s Percussion Freaks that the article refers to (and the video shows), which is the Korean version of Drummania, both of which are Konami properties. (Andamiro/American Alpha has nothing to do with it)

    2 – Percussion Master is its own game, made by IGS (Website: and I think it’s a Taiwanese company…) and licensed for the US through American Alpha. It’s totally different than Percussion Freaks and is closer to Namco’s Taiko no Tatsujin. A video of which can be seen here:

  3. Shaggy December 14, 2007 at 5:02 am - Reply

    Sorry guys, I didn’t realize that although my local distributor has it as Percussion Master, I’m not sure why they would have the Korean version.

  4. editor December 14, 2007 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    We did a big piece in the Stinger a while back on the whole Drum arcade scene. You need to look at a game called MTV Drum Jammer, this holds sway over the drum game market in the US and UK – not because of its popularity but because the developer acquired the patent and so legally restricts the market. Andamiro and Konami have had great difficulty getting their games into the market because of this and may explain your distributor having a IGS grey import product.

    Regarding the mags, a little birdie tells me that one publisher has started asking questions about why their staff miss all the arcade releases – love to be a fly on the ceiling during that meeting!

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