Get Ready to Tap into the Rhythm
A while ago, I wrote a preview of Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure for Nintendo 3DS. In that preview, I made mention about how there are a lot of rhythm games at work in the industry. One game I was tempted to mention but chose not to was Rhythm Heaven Fever (a.k.a. Rhythm Paradise Wii in Europe), the Wii's successor to the well-received 2009 DS title of the same name. You see, while the games I pointed out in the Rhythm Thief preview have yet to be released, Rhythm Heaven (Minna no Rhythm Tengoku) has been out in Japan since July.
As the name implies, Rhythm Heaven Fever is all about keeping a beat. The game consists of up to fifty rhythm-based mini-games divided into ten sets of five, each of which lands you in a situation of varying quirkiness, requiring you to fulfill a certain task in order to clear it, all to a catchy beat. Examples that have been showcased include a game set in large white landscape, where you must use a fork to stab peas that speed towards you from the horizon. There's also a game where you are a samurai tasked with cutting through waves of demons emerging from a portal. Another example is a game of rhythmic badminton between a dog and a cat, both of whom are in airplanes.
These may sound simple (and quirky), but the game finds ways to up the challenge in fun ways. As you play through some of the mini-games, the scenery will come to partially block your view (for example, the badminton game mentioned above, where clouds will occasionally cover up the screen). This forces you to memorize the rhythm and rely on audio cues as an added challenge. The game also encourages the player to strive to achieve as high a rating on each level as possible, rewarding you with more extras the higher you score.
That's not all for Rhythm Heaven Wii, though. Debuting for the first time in the series is a multiplayer mode, where you and a friend can play simultaneously through two-player versions of the game's challenges. In this mode, both players are required to collectively earn enough points to clear the stage and move on, with extra points given depending on how well the two players can keep rhythm as a team.
Unlike the DS version, which made exclusive use of the portable's touch screen, the Wii's Rhythm Heaven's controls only require players to either press the A button or press the A and B buttons together. While I initially thought that this was a poor choice and that the game should have made use of the Wii's motion controls, I realized that it probably wouldn't have worked well, since this game requires the instantaneous input that only button-pressing is capable of. Either way, that's what they chose, so we'll have to wait and see how it turned out.
Rhythm Heaven Fever for the Wii appears set to be another excellent addition to the rhythm genre, much like its DS predecessor before it. Only time will tell if this game's funky aesthetics and catchy tunes will be enough to elevate it to rhythmic greatness.
Since the game was showcased at E3 2011, we expected Rhythm Heaven Fever to come out sometime later this year, but unfortunately, there's no official word yet from Nintendo about this game's release date, so hopefully they won't make us wait for too long!
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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