Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Rhythm Heaven: My favorite DS game of 2009

Don't tell me: You expected to see the name of another game here, didn't you? Like Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside StoryProfessor Layton and the Diabolical Box or Scribblenauts?

Well, I played all of those games (and more) last year, and I certainly enjoyed them, but I don't consider any of them my favorite DS game of 2009. That "honor" goes to a little game known as (or maybe I should say little-known game) Rhythm Heaven.

Why was Rhythm Heaven my favorite DS game of 2009? Let me count the ways:

1) It's weird--Really weird. You participate in a glee club consisting of bald, bow-tie-wearing aliens (well, that's what I think they look like), you play ping pong with someone sporting a boxy, blue head and you pluck hairy beets from a farmer's fertile soil--all while attempting to match the beat of each level's background music.

2) It's difficult--I'm one of those cranky geezers who thinks today's games are too easy. I enjoyed having my ass handed to me while playing Kid Icarus and Metroid back in the day, for God's sake. Which means, of course, that I get a tremendous kick out of playing "Fillbots" and "Freeze Frame" and "Lockstep" (the hardest of Rhythm Heaven's mini-games, in my humble opinion).

3) It's addictive--If you're anything like me, you'll be unable to play "Crop Stomp"and "Love Lizards" and "Munchy Monk" just once. You'll play them over and over and over again. And then you'll play them some more. Why? Because the gameplay and especially the background music worm their way into your brain and turn you into a Rhythm Heaven-loving zombie, that's why.

4) It's fun--Whenever I play Rhythm Heaven, a huge, goofy grin wraps around my face. (Sadly, that accomplishment is less impressive that it sounds--thanks to my big mouth.) Not only that, but I giggle like a little schoolgirl--even when the game is slapping me around like I'm a redheaded stepchild. The sign of an amazingly awesome game, no?

By the way, if you're not averse to playing games in a language you don't understand--and you have the ability to play GameBoy Advance games--pick up a copy (if you can find one) of this title's predecessor, Rhythm Tengoku. I actually prefer it to Rhythm Heaven (called Rhythm Tengoku Gold in Japan), for a number of reasons I won't bore you with right now.


Viewtiful_Justin said...

I played the demo they offer on the Nintendo Channel, and I was hooked. I still haven't bought it yet...sadly. It's on my wish list.

Bryan Ochalla said...

If you liked the demo, you'll love the full game. Some of the mini-games are pull-your-hair-out hard, but you'll still get a kick out of it, if you're anything like me.