Sunday, 13 July 2008
Rhythm Tengoku - GBA
Made by the same team behind the weird and wonderful WarioWare games, Rhythm Tengoku was released on the GameBoy Advance in Japan in 2006 and remains one of the best games ever released on Nintendo's handheld. Unfortunately, the game never made it to these shores, which is a real shame as it was fun to play, easy to understand and highly addictive.
Rhythm Tengoku is crammed with a great selection of music-based mini games which require you to try and keep the beat, usually only using the 'A' button. Rather than WarioWare's five second mini-games, Rhythm Tengoku's can last up to a few minutes.
The game is split into levels, with each level containing five games. The first level, for example, includes hitting baseballs in time to the beat, pulling hairs out of an onion (!) marching on the spot, helping a martial arts expert punch flowerpots and clapping in sequence with two other clowns. Strange? Well I did say it was made by the same team behind WarioWare! What did you expect?
If you think that sounds a bit crazy, other activities include shooting ghosts with a bow an arrow, bouncing a rabbit across turtles and whales, and guiding three mice across a table to a block of cheese, while trying to avoid the attention of a hungry cat.
Your reward for completing these games is a remix mode, which takes all five mini-games from the level and blends them together in a new song. And talking of songs, the music in Rhythm Tengoku is fantastic and while I wouldn't have it anywhere near my iPod, the cheesy Japanese pop suits the mood of the game perfectly.
Also included on the cart are drum lessons, which utilise every button on the GameBoy Advance. Along with the lessons, there is also a freestyle mode so you can hit the skins any way you want. It's great fun and sounds fantastic through headphones - and great if you can't afford Rock Band - like me!
As it's a couple of years old, and the GameBoy Advance has now been replaced by the all-conquering DS, there is no way the game will ever receive a western release.
But there is still hope for Rhythm Tengoku nuts - the DS version titled Rhythm Tengoku Gold is set for release in Japan on July 31st.
I'm not too sure of the finer points of this version. All I know is that you hold the DS like a book (think Hotel Dusk). Hopefully Nintendo will release it over here sometime in the future, but until then, I have the game ordered from Japan, so I'll post my thoughts next month when it arrives.