Game: Rhythm Tengoku
Developer: Nintendo SPD Group No.1
System: GameBoy Advance
Release date: 2006
As good as Rhythm Tengoku Gold (aka Rhythm Paradise in Europe and Rhythm Heaven in the States) is, its predecessor is that much better. The series' first entry features the same wacky--and wonderful--WarioWare-esque graphics, Simon-ish gameplay and toe-tapping music as its DS-based successor, but it also does a few things better than that 2008 release. For starters, Rhythm Tengoku is simpler, as nearly every mini-game is controlled by pressing the GameBoy Advance's A button (a couple require you to use the directional pad, but they're few and far between). An added benefit of this minimalistic control scheme: Rhythm Tengoku is, by and large, more enjoyable--due to it being a lot less frustrating--than its stylus-focused sequel. Finally, although both of these Tsunku-backed titles offer players a bevy of extras to toy around with when they're not working their way through the main game, the GBA version is home to the best of the bunch--a "drum mode" that allows players to add percussion, using the system's A and B buttons as well as its directional pad, to each of the title's earworm-worthy backing tracks.
See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts