Rhythm Heaven (NDS) Review

Author’s Note: Another old review and probably the last one I’ll post for a while. Will probably dig up some more old reviews in the future, but I’ll be focusing on more recent stuff now. So I present to you a review of Rhythm Heaven for the Nintendo DS, which released back in April 2009. One of my all-time favorite DS games and favorite series of games. If you’ve been following the JustOneGamr channel. then you should know that I post up a lot of gameplay for rhythm games. Simply because it’s one of the my favorite game genres and Rhythm Heaven is easily one the best out there.

The music and rhythm genre is really taking off here in the states thanks to games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Even the Nintendo DS has its share of great titles in this genre with GH: On Tour and Elite Beat Agents. Now that genre is about to get shaken up thanks to a once Japan-only gem that Nintendo has graciously brought to the U.S. That gem is Rhythm Heaven, and that isn’t just the name of the game, as it’s also the feeling that you will get from this very charming title.

Rhythm Heaven is the DS sequel to the hit Japan GBA game Rhythm Tengoku. Created from the same minds that brought you the hit Warioware series, comes a wacky rhythm game full of so much fun and craziness. This game is absolutely ridiculous, and in a good way.

Rhythm Heaven is a compilation of various touch-based rhythm games, with different music accompanying each one. Each game will require a simple motion from the player ranging from holding and releasing, tapping, sliding, and flicking. The games are separated into columns of five. The first four games will be simple rhythm games, with brief tutorials letting you know of how that specific game will be played. The fifth game is known as a remix, and it is a mash-up of the previous four games that you just played. This is the simple formula of Rhythm Heaven.

The games are very unique with each one having its own story. You may be playing a member of a three-man choir, a photographer taking pictures on a racing track, or even a farmer gathering up his vegetable harvest or a research scientist in love. There’s a ninja dog who chops up vegetables, and a monk who eats dumplings. These many different characters help make the world of Rhythm Heaven a joyous experience.

At the end of each game you will be given a rating on your performance consisting of “Try Again,” “OK,” and “Superb.” Getting “Try Again” is like failing and will require you to play the game again; “OK” is the standard passing point; and “Superb” is the best rating you can get, meaning you were near perfect. “Superb” may be what you want to aim for, as getting a specific amount of “Superbs” will grant you some unlockable side games and rhythm toys.

Rhythm Heaven is a simple pick up and play game. Anyone can easily get sucked into it, and all you need is rhythm. Just follow the simple audio and visual cues, and you’re well on your way to mastering this quirky title. Play it long enough, and you may even be able to play some of these game with your eyes closed. I have to admit that being able to do this is quite fulfilling.

The graphics aren’t anything to be amazed by, but they really match the theme of the game. It really represents the game well. The audio on the other hand is what you will remember the most. Since this is a rhythm game, music is major factor of the game, and Rhythm Heaven doesn’t disappoint. There are really catchy tunes that you can’t help but enjoy. Don’t be surprised if you’re humming these tunes outside of the game.

Rhythm Heaven is very easy to get into. If for whatever reason you put this game down and don’t play it for numerous hours or days, you don’t have to worry, as you’ll get right back into it. It won’t take you too long to go through all the mini-games though, but I’m sure you wouldn’t mind playing through a couple again and again.

Getting “Superb” on everything is a pretty difficult task also, and will take time to do. It also adds in another part of the game. With each “Superb,” you gain the chance of achieving a “Perfect” rating. Occasionally, the game will notify you of this opportunity and you will get three tries to do so. In order achieve a “Perfect,” you will need to complete the mini-game without any mistakes. If you are successful, more unlockables will be given to you. This process of getting “Perfect” ratings certainly adds more life to the game.

There’s no doubt that Rhythm Heaven is a great game, but it does have its flaws. Since the game is solely touch-based, players may encounter some difficulties with the controls. Certain games will become difficult since some motions won’t respond correctly. It’s certainly a bit frustrating to deal with, and the blame could be on the system. Should you run into difficulty, the game is kind enough to allow you to pass a mini-game after a certain amount of unsuccessful tries.