“Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah! I Suppose Yeah!”, those words haunt me in my dreams. They are lyrics from one of the catchy songs of Rhythm Heaven due out the 1st of May. I have had the honor of playing the Japanese version (not recommended if you don’t read Japanese) and then American version. Europe finally gets their chance to flick and tap on their DSi with the rest of the gaming world. “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah! I Suppose Yeah!”.
This game did feel like many of the other mini-game esque genre that Nintendo has made millions off of. So how does this one stand out from the others like Flash Focus, WarioWare Touched, or even productivity games like Brain Age? Well like the title says, this is rhythm and all of the games revolve around it. I actually found that closing my eyes helped me hit my mark on the first game. And if you are in a place that prohibits you from hearing the audio, you will find it very tough to progress. This game is very approachable and can be picked up by most anyone. The objectives are simple and easily understood with an opening explanation screen. Don’t be fooled by the ease of the concept. This is very much indeed a game that takes a minute to learn, lifetime to master.
If you don’t mind a little hair pulling frustration, then you find a large amount of fun in this game. I feel that I have a good sense of rhythm. I am musically inclined and can play an instrument. I have even spent a few years of my youth in a few bands. I wouldn’t call myself overly talented, but I have a good hold of rhythm. With that said, this game is freaking hard. It may not be on the level of Contra 4 hard, but it definitely made me want to turn off my DS before I threw it across the room. Not many games can thoroughly boil my blood like that and I am glad to see it happen from time to time. Without ranting too much, it does seem like a lot of games are way too easy to progress through and many of the beginning levels can almost feel boring. Not Rhythm Heaven. I failed the first level and all you have to do is flick the bar into the square washers.
If you can manage to keep your head and progress you will find many excellent stages. In all there are 10 sets of games. Each set includes 4 different games and 1 final stage that is just a mixture of the four previous ones. On the 7th set you will start to see games repeat themselves with a harder difficulty. Don’t fret my little friends, all of your hard work and irritation can pay off with added goodies. When you do well in a particular game you could earn a medal which in turn unlocks a whole host of things in the Cafe section. Some of the extras include Endless Games, Guitar Lessons, Rhythm Toys, information or side-stories for the various challenges.
Endless Games are pretty much what the name states, endless. The first one you will unlock is a coin tossing game. See how many times you can catch and flick the coin. As for Rhythm Toys, these are more time killers than anything else. The first Rhythm Toy you will unlock is ‘Business Card’; you have a box of business cards and you can nudge them around inside the box. Another Rhythm Toy is a phone where you can just randomly press numbers (try dialing 555-eat-beet).
There is really a whole host of things that can be unlocked depending on how well you do in each challenge. Not only can you earn a medal for doing very well, but you will also have a chance to perform a ‘perfect’ round once the game opens this option up to you. You are also giving a score called ‘flow’ that can go up and down based on how well you do in a challenge. I believe I was on my 7th challenge when the first challenge’s ‘perfect’ mode became available. I didn’t get a perfect and my flow decreased, which seemed to take away my ability to try to get a perfect on that challenge for the time being.
Don’t take our word for it. Here is what some other people had said:
IGN.com gave it a 9.0 out of 10 ~ “Even if you’re not a music fan you’re going to love Rhythm Heaven. It’s completely off the wall and unlike anything you’ve ever played on the Nintendo DS, not to mention incredibly fun and just as addictive.”
1up.com gave it a B+ ~ “Rhythm Heaven is a great DS game, hilarious and energetic and accessible and clever enough to slice across the arbitrary demographic divisions that other game publishers live and die by.”
GoNintendo.com gave it a 9.1 out of 10 ~ “There is only one reason to avoid Rhythm Heaven. If you don’t like music games, you probably won’t like this.”