Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Appreciation of the Past - Rhythm Heaven

Rhythm Heaven, also known as Rhythm Tengoku Gold, is a rhythm/music game from Nintendo. To get straight to the point, what is so incredible about this game is its incredible integration of music into the gameplay. The result is something that goes beyond other music games like Dane Dance Revolution or even Nintendo's own Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents series; for the gameplay in Rhythm Heaven isn't completely under the jurisdiction of the music, nor is the music under the gameplay's jurisdiction, rather, the two elements of gameplay work hand-in-hand to form something completely original. You as the player are creating the music in the game, but your actions are being led by the music itself.

The gameplay is incredible as well. Unlike other music games where you follow a pattern or sequence, in Rhythm Heaven, you input various touch screen actions that go into the actions that your character performs. Like all of the great Nintendo games, RH's gameplay creates complexity out of simplicity, as everything is done with taps and flicks, but the amount of diversity and creativity that went into the game is astonishing. Furthermore, the music games in Rhythm Heaven are incredibly intuitive, similar to the WarioWare series, which is no surprise, because the game design of Rhythm Heaven was done by none other than Yoshio Sakamoto and his team at Nintendo R&D1.

The word "innovation" is thrown around a lot these days, even by myself I'll admit; but Rhythm Heaven is a true example of innovation in modern gaming. It utilized the DS' touch screen so creatively that no other systemn could playa game like Rhythm Heaven and provide the same satisfaction of gameplay. If there's one thing that Sakamoto knows how to do, it;s to take full advantage of a systems abilities, and utilize them to their fullest. First with WarioWare Smooth Moves on the Wii, then Rhythm Heaven on the DS, and soon another Wii offering in the form of Metroid Other M. Truly, I expect MOM to take completel advantage of the Wii system, and the result will be a truly satisfying experience.

I can't show a gameplay video of Rhythm Heaven, because simply watching the game does it no justice. It is a game that truly must be played to completely understand.

A new entry in the series is being developed for the Wii, which is bound to be great.

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