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Gamertell Review: Rhythm Heaven for DS

Sections: 2D, Casual, Developers, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Exclusives, Game-Companies, Genres, Handhelds, Music, Originals, Publishers, Reviews

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Rhythm Heaven box

Title: Rhythm Heaven
Price: $34.99 at some stores (GameStop), $29.99 at others (Amazon).
System(s): DS
Release Date: April 5, 2009
Publisher (Developer): Nintendo (Nintendo)
ESRB Rating: “Everyone” for Comic Mischief
Pros: Unusual, innovative, simple to play, addictive.
Cons: Somewhat expensive, difficult to pass at times, lots of unlocking
Overall Score: One thumb up, one sideways; 80/100, B-; * * * out of 5

It’s always great to see Nintendo take a chance on translating and localizing established series, which is why it was both a shock and pleasure to hear the company was releasing Rhythm Heaven, also known as Rhythm Tengoku Gold, outside of Japan. Quirky games have found great success on the DS, and it is likely that Nintendo is looking to tap into the casual audience with the game.

Rhythm Heaven

Music is all around

Rhythm Heaven is a series of around 50 music-based mini-games. You unlock them one at a time, tapping and flicking along to the music and audio clues. In this combination music/casual game, players will have to be a cheerleader, work in a factory, bang a drum, do a lizard mating dance and more. All this is done to incredibly catchy original songs.

If you can make a check mark, or tap a screen, you can play Rhythm Heaven.

Rhythm Heaven

Close your eyes and get into the groove

Rhythm Heaven is stylish. It’s a unique game when it comes to premise, gameplay and images. The thing is, that individuality may not be for everyone. Some people may not get into the simple mini-games. They may be put off by the fact that everything must be unlocked one mini-game at a time. They may find themselves searching for more recognizable music or gorgeous graphics.

Graphics are secondary in Rhythm Heaven though. Personally, I found I did much better in the mini-games if put on headphones, closed my eyes and simply relied on aural cues.

And frankly, you’ll need to rely heavily on the audio. Rhythm Heaven isn’t going to hold your hand, ignore your faults and give you any sympathy. This game is merciless. Prepare to play some mini-games over, and over, and over again until you finally perform in a manner the game deems adequate.

Finally, Rhythm Heaven seems a bit pricy. Many stores and sites are listing the standard price at $34.99. (Amazon’s not.) The difficulty and nature of Rhythm Heaven may make people who pay over $30 feel a bit ripped off. It’s a good game, and worth purchasing, but somehow it seems a $19.99 to $24.99 price may be a bit more fair.

Rhythm Heaven

Have you got the music in you?

As anyone who’s been stuck on Glee Club for over an hour can attest, Rhythm Heaven is unforgiving. It’s adorable appearance and simple controls mask a ruthless system which will except nothing less than rhythmic perfection.

If someone is patient enough to dedicate themselves to the game, working hard to unlock all of the mini-games and remixes, Rhythm Heaven will grant you a sense of purpose and achievement. Those without patience or rhythm should probably look to the slightly more forgiving (and cheaper) Elite Beat Agents.

Site [Rhythm Heaven]

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