Take one shot of PaRappa the Rapper's Simon Says-esque gameplay, a few dashes of WarioWare's fast-paced, addictive mini-games and top it all off with a hefty dose of Elite Beat Agents' off-the-wall touch screen mechanics
- Quirky, fresh, and entirely original; downright addicting
- Slight difficulty curve; prepare for odd looks on the bus
A portable gamer through-and-through, I'm pretty used to playing any number of DS or PSP games during my daily bus journeys. Rhythm Heaven, however, may be the first title that's officially engrossed me enough for me to not only miss my regular stop altogether, but find myself the victim of a "Last stop!" call, dumping me a good thirty miles from the GamePro offices. Trust me — it doesn't look good on an expense report.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
Take one shot of PaRappa the Rapper's Simon Says-esque gameplay, a few dashes of WarioWare's fast-paced, addictive mini-games and top it all off with a hefty dose of Elite Beat Agents' off-the-wall touch-screen mechanics (shaken, not stirred), and you've got a delightfully original experience with Nintendo's DSi flagship title, Rhythm Heaven.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah!"
As a gamer, I'm always looking for innovation in the industry. From blood-spattered Wii slaughter-fests to disgruntled rappers searching for jewel-encrusted craniums, as long as a game has something imaginative enough to stand out from the rest of the generic shovelware crowd, you can count me in. Enter Rhythm Heaven: a unique (to say the least) collection of mini-games from the people that brought you the prestigious WarioWare franchise, not to mention original tunes from Japanese pop sensation Tsunku.
A sequel to the Japanese-exclusive GBA title Rhythm Tengoku, Rhythm Heaven takes the quirky mini-game-centric interface from the overseas original and masterfully integrates the DS' touch-screen controls into the title, leading players to tap and flick their way to victory through a series of charming mini-games. From fuelling up robots in tune with a mechanical cadence to taking control of crooning Moai heads, Rhythm Heaven exudes one-of-a-kind charisma that's guaranteed to keep your stylus tapping well in sync with your toes.
Can't stop, won't stop
Each "stage" in Rhythm Heaven consists of four unique mini-games, each featuring a specific beat and/or tune. Once all four mini-games have been cleared, you move onto a "Remix", which plays as a mash-up of the stage's previous challenges, integrating all of the melodies you've heard so far into an oddly alluring, and incredibly accessible symphony where you act as conductor. This may mean tapping in sequence as a space ship blows alien menaces out of the sky, or suddenly flicking the DS stylus to the tempo of a ping-pong rally. Each mini-game finds new and inventive ways to take advantage of the DS' touch screen technology, with each mini-game proving zanier and more creative than the last. It's also worth mentioning that the game's graphical style changes from game to game — one minute a squiggly black and white chorus line, the next a colourful, cartoony group of synchronised swimmers.
While the infectious beat is enough to get players absorbed into the melodious mini-games, Rhythm Heaven's difficulty curve is sure to turn some gamers away. There aren't any difficulty settings for the harmonically challenged, so if you're bad at a certain mini-game you're going to have to either power your way through to an "OK" rating, or wait for the game to take pity on you after three failed attempts and simply skip it altogether. While I could really drag the game's difficulty curve into a larger argument, the more I played through even the trickiest mini-games, I found the skills that I'd built and the basics that I'd learned incredible helpers as I progressed further into the title.
And the beat goes on...
Still, with such a wide selection of games to choose from with over 30 core mini-games, not to mention medals to win, "Perfect" ratings to earn, and incredibly simple yet insanely engaging Endless Games and Rhythm Toys to unlock (never thought I'd spend two hours digitally flicking a coin in tune with an ever-changing tempo), Rhythm Heaven is a must-own for handheld gamers everywhere, plain and simple, and a welcome breath of fresh air for the gaming scene in general.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Synology DS216+ Review
- 3 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 4 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 5 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- YouTube Gaming update packs in landscape mode, new chat layout, and other improvements
- Warning: The new Marvel: Ultimate Alliance PC ports are a disastrous mess
- Nintendo's hotly anticipated Pokémon Go Plus wearable delayed until September
- Epic CEO: How Microsoft is plotting to cripple Steam and seize control of PC gaming
- SurveyMonkey: Pokémon Go popularity may have already peaked
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- CCProject Support Officer (Project Scheduler)WA
- CCContract IT Assistant (SQL/Windows) 160804/ITA/151Asia
- CCMicrosoft Business Intelligence (BI) ConsultantNSW
- FT1st Level IT Support - Microsoft EnvironmentNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst/ Scrum MasterNSW
- CCDatabase AdministratorNSW
- CCPMO ManagerVIC
- FTEnvironment Management AnalystACT
- FTSAP FS-PM/FS-PQM SpecialistVIC
- CCSenior Systems AdministratorQLD
- FTImplementation ConsultantNSW
- CCChange Portfolio ManagerNSW
- CCAssociate Engineer (Communications Engineering)Asia
- FTProject Manager- Change ManagementSA
- FTService Desk Team LeadNSW
- CCIOS DeveloperWA
- CCSenior ICT Project Manager - Extensive Government experienceNSW
- FTSenior .Net Applications SupportACT
- CCEnvironment Support AnalystQLD
- FTPortfolio Project Governance AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Process Analyst - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTJava DeveloperVIC
- FTDesktop Specialist - Application PackagingACT
- FTAgile Coach / Training & Support ManagerNSW