DrumMania (alternately drummania, abbreviated DM) is a music video game series produced by Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., where colored notes travel down the screen which correspond with color coded parts of an electronic drum set. The player must hit the drum parts when the notes reach the bottom of the screen in order to fill in missing drum parts from a song.
Earlier versions of DrumMania which includes before the release of DrumMania 10th Mix, have been released in Asian countries, under the title Percussion Freaks.
Since DrumMania V, DrumMania and GuitarFreaks had been united with a single version number as part of the 5th Anniversary of the video game. As of writing, DrumMania V5 is the latest version of the DrumMania series, and it links to GuitarFreaks V5. They are essentially the 15th and 16th versions of each.
Konami has not mass produced an American version of DrumMania, primarily since John Devecka holds the US patent for "drum simulation games", which Activision had purchased and utlized in Guitar Hero series. Even with this possible obstacle in mind, Konami has tested English builds of DrumMania and Guitar Freaks V4 at the ATEI exhibition in London and at a Brunswick Zone bowling alley in Naperville, Illinois - though official releases have not been announced. Nonetheless, imported versions of DrumMania can be found in various locations across the United States and Canada.
To the right of these pads, there are three buttons, Left, Start and Right, which are used to select and decide in the selection screens. In those cases, the Left button is assigned to the snare drum pad, Right to the low tom, and Start to the cymbal.
To play the correct note, the player must hit one or two of these pads and/or step the pedal when the note bars reach the yellow line. The note scroll in DrumMania is in essence a drum tablature timed with the music and placed vertically.
The player's accuracy is judged for each note played, and while the individual note judgments have changed throughout the series, the current system uses Perfect, Great, Good, Poor, and Miss to evaluate performance of each note. Ratings of Poor or Miss will deplete the player's "Excite Gauge", while accurate play will replenish it.
If the Excite Gauge is emptied completely, the game ends. Players will be able to play anywhere from three to five songs depending on the game's configuration, with the potential to earn one or two additional stages in certain versions of the game if performance is good enough.
At the completion of a song, players are given a letter rank for their performance which can range anywhere from E to A, as well as S and SS depending on how well the song was played, and how the particular release of the game being played computes ranks.
However, when linked with Keyboardmania, only about a dozen songs are available to play. Keyboardmania 3rd Mix can be linked with GuitarFreaks 5thMIX and DrumMania 4thMIX, or GuitarFreaks 6thMIX and DrumMania 5thMIX.
Since 9th Mix, the series has taken advantage of Konami's e-Amusement system, which adds several online capabilities to the game:
Players can select NORMAL, PERFECT or COMBO modes upon selection of the song to determine the final calculation. Upon winning or losing, they will be entitled to promote or demote to another higher BATTLE CLASS rated from D3 to SS, where players are sorted according how well they have successfully defeated opponents.
However, without the use of the e-AMUSEMENT Pass, if there are additional Drummania machines in the arcade, an additional Battle Mode (Local) option is created, just like in a LAN. They have the same functionaility as the Battle Mode (Worldwide); otherwise do not have Battle Classes to sort the players.
Other than Battle Mode (Local), alternatively players can select the Battle Mode (CPU) which is also available only Drummania machines without e-AMUSEMENT access. This mode allows players to complete with the CPU, rather than a player.
However, an online registration must be submitted via the BEMANI TOP RANKER website and the player must play the complusory songs to determine the players who will be representing for their country.
As of Drummania V4, Skill Points are dependent on the first 14 songs released for the particular mix, next 36 songs from previous mixes and last 3 long songs from any mix played throughout the song list.
The previous mixes uses a different calculation of Skill Points since NON-STOP Mode is abolished in Drummania V4. The old skill point calculation is dependent on the first 13 songs released for the particular mix, next 35 songs from previous mixes, 2 long songs from any mix and the last 3 non-stop courses played throughout the song list.
Skill Points are awarded upon successful completion of a song, and depending on how well the Skill Percentage earned for the particular song, the player earns the amount of Skill Points reflected at the end of the game.
As of DrumMania V5, the arcade versions of DrumMania have contained over 700 songs in total. Most songs are either crossovers from other Bemani games, J-pop and J-rock. Some mixes also contain covers of popular North American songs.
A handful of DrumMania simulators have been created for use on PCs, the most popular of which is called DTXMania, which also supports GuitarFreaks. It can be controlled using the computer keyboard, any USB device that can act as a joystick, or any MIDI instrument such as a MIDI keyboard or professional quality electronic drum kit. This is also compatible with the Rock Band Series Drum Sets