Stealing the Beat
Have you noticed it? I have. There seem to be quite a few rhythm games in the works at the moment. Square Enix's Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and the Evangelion-themed title that Grasshopper Manufacture (the studio behind No More Heroes) is working on for the PSP are the first examples that come to mind.
But this article is not about either of those games. No, the game I write about is SEGA's Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, an upcoming game for the 3DS with the potential to outdo its competitors with its incorporation of action and adventure elements alongside rhythm gameplay.
- Cross Professor Layton with Elite Beat Agents and you're on the right track -
The game takes place in Paris, and stars a young man named Ralph who lives a quiet life with his dog Fondue. However, this is all a cover-up. Under the guise of the (rather smartly-dressed) thief "R", Ralph has become infamous for the unusual practice of returning the treasures he steals from famous museums a few days after he has stolen them. All of this, though, is done simply in his search for his missing father.
Adventure and mystery await Ralph as he and Fondue explore the streets of Paris in search of clues and answers. And since this game is called Rhythm Thief, be ready to move to the music, as the game fits several rhythm mini-games into the overall narrative. One example of these mini-games has Ralph being chased by the authorities across rooftops. Icons for the A and B buttons appear, and the player will have to press them at just the right moment to jump over roller-skating cops and dodge police helicopters, all in time to a jazzy rhythm, of course. In another one, Ralph is being attacked by a butler-looking fellow, and the player has to tilt the system to avoid the man's jabs. Nearly all of the 3DS' features come into play in these mini-games, which have our hero running, hiding, fighting, and dancing (it is a rhythm game, after all) his way across Paris.
- Gameplay uses every feature the 3DS hardware employs -
While it is too soon to say with any certainty that Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure will be a great game, I am, nonetheless, seriously intrigued. Of all the rhythm games I see on the horizon, this is the one that has my foremost attention. While the other ones look interesting, I find this title's mix of action, adventure, and, most of all, story to be a fascinating lure. Hopefully, when the game comes out early next year (it's slated for release in Japan this winter), it'll turn out as fun as it looks.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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