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Future Tom Tom brings rhythm excitement and embarrassing anime heads back to arcades

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Konami, the company that by-and-large invented the "music game" genre as we know it in the late 1990s, is still at it in Japanese arcades today. Their latest in the field is called Mirai da Gakki: Future Tom Tom, and the best way to describe it is part Taiko Drum Master, part Samba de Amigo, and part ridiculous.

The arcade cabinet features four tom-tom drums which you and a friend bash away at with sticks. The gameplay's the standard stuff follow the little dots and hit the right drum at the right time.

Why is it like Sega's Samba de Amigo? Because like that game, Future Tom Tom asks you and your friend to strike poses mid-song for bonuses. Why is it ridiculous? Well, pick your answer. Is it the goofy anime heads that're super-imposed over your own on the game screen as you play? Is it the way you might be asked to switch drums or even stand behind your partner and bash on the two outward-facing drums in the most embarrassing fashion ever? Or is it the special "Couples" mode that flashes quick-fire relationship questions for you to answer, then rates your compatibility at the end of the game? (Hint: all three.)

Future Tom Tom is available for play in Japanese arcades beginning this week.