Lets be frank, I love rhythm-based games. I'm a sucker for Guitar Hero and Rock Band and all the like,
so when my friend got Rhythm Heaven
on the DS, I immediately was wanting to try this game. Though many DS games based solely on mini-games happen to be complete bombs [cough Red Bull BC One
], I was drawn to the game, and realized one important aspect of the game: it was friggin' awesome.
Rhythm Heaven is a collection of over 50 mini-games all playable with the stylus. No button presses
are needed, just your stylus and your reflexes will take you far in this game. The simplicity of the game can actually be complex enough to challenge you: whether you're playing Ping-Pong or Synchornized Swimming, Rhythm Heaven
brings you to every which way of these mini-games, and all of them have this sense of creativity and style that makes them all fresh and exciting, even though most of the time you'll be tapping and flicking.
Like said before, Rhythm Heaven has 50 mini-games in its main part of the game. But after that are
more mini-games among the mini-games for you to punch in more hours for this title. Along side the mini-games are Endless Games, which are simple games that, well, never end. You go as long as you can until you mess up. Games like flipping a coin and catching it on time to hitting a cowbell in tune to a carride will give decent fun when you just feel like playing the games to play them. If you feel like having really mindless fun, there are Rhythm Toys, which could be a Slot Machine that gives you coins for hitting the beat right, to a telephone where you use the tones to create tunes [you know you've done it before]. All these are just little snippets that tie in the game well if one of the mini-games is frustrating you for not getting that Superb.
If a mini-game is becoming too hard for you and you just can't seem to pass it, Rhythm Heaven has a
nice feature where if you fail a song three times, the game's Cafe owner, The Barista, allows you to skip the troublesome song and gives you the chance to resume play, it's nice to where if you hit a road block, you can continue on with the game. The Cafe is a place where you can kick back and relax, as the Cafe is also the venue to where you can check out the Gifts you have received from perfecting songs. There are 50 Gifts in total that range from songs in the game to reading material to help you in the game, or to make background art make more sense in the songs. It's a nice little place where you can relax if the game happens to frustrate you.
One thing that can be frustrating is the grading system, the grades range from Superb, to Just OK, to OK,
all the way down to Try Again. Some grading systems for the mini-games are real hit-and-misses, where you can miss 3 on one game and rank a Superb, but miss 2 and get a Just OK on another. It's not the biggest problem, but can make you do some mini-games over again when you're sure you got it right the first time.
Along with getting Superbs on the mini-games, you can also achieve Perfects, which come randomly
throughout the course of the game. Perfects may only be given when the song has been Superb-ed. When you're opted to achieve a Perfect you must finish the song completely without missing a single beat, with some are generally easy, others test your skill as you try to Perfect some of the harder levels. The problem with the Perfects is that you can't Perfect a song unless you're given the opportunity to, and if you fail three times in a row to get the Perfect: you can never get it again. It's annoying enough that you're never given a second chance, but Perfecting it on the first try and receiving that Perfect would've been nicer instead of expecting for it to show up.
Rhythm Heaven's main parts will net you around 6-8 hours of play, with each song generally lasting
around one to 1 1/2 minutes. Add the endless games, the rhythm toys, and other mini-games that I'd rather not ruin since you'd have to work hard for them, this game can easily take 10 hours to fully go through and enjoy every tidbit.
All-in-all, I found Rhythm Heaven to be a fantastically made game jam-packed with games to keep you
busy for days to come, its simplistic yet rewarding gameplay gives newcomers to the Rhythm Genre a nice foot in the door, but gives the perfectionist in all of us a real challenge to become the ultimate Rhythm Master. This game is a definite buy for DS owners alike and should be known as one of the best mini-game collections in the past couple years.
- + Fun and Incredibly Addicting
- + Oodles of Mini-Games
- + Quirky and Cute Style
- + Simplistic yet Rewarding Gameplay Mechanics
- + Hours upon Hours of Gameplay
- - Somewhat Wonky Grading System
- - No Control for Gathering Perfects