Monday, June 22, 2015

Shall We Do It? (The Legend of Legacy and Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus)

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (or even Instagram and Google+) may already be aware of this, but since I have no idea how much crossover there is between all of the aforementioned social-media platforms, I'll share the info here, too: late last week, I returned home from work to find a copy of  Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus (or Rhythm Tengoku: The Best+, if that's how you like to refer to this just-released Japanese 3DS game) on our doorstep.

Considering I've been looking forward to getting my hands on Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus since it was first announced many moons ago, it probably should come as little surprise to hear that I spent a bit of quality time with it over the weekend.

Specifically, I put just over three hours into it on Saturday and Sunday. In that time, I've gotten to experience a good number of the mini-games included in this, the latest iteration of Nintendo's popular (in Japan, at least) series of quirky music-centric titles.

Sadly, only a handful of those have been all-new affairs, with the rest being returning "greats" that were pulled from earlier Rhythm Tengoku (aka Rhythm Heaven or Rhythm Paradise) efforts.

Actually, I'm not sure why I just typed "sadly" in that last sentence, as I didn't exactly drown in salty tears after I heard that The Best Plus would include a ton of songs and skits that first appeared in the GameBoy Advance, DS and Wii Rhythm Tengoku games. On the contrary, I did the exact opposite when I became aware of that fact. (That said, I'm still a bit miffed that one of my all-time favorites, that being "The Bon Odori" from the GBA original, was completely ignored by the folks who were responsible for piecing together this collection.)

Anyway, as pleased as I am with "old faves" that have been crammed onto this 3DS cartridge, I'm also pretty happy with the all-new mini-games that are introduced in The Best Plus. (I like "Stair Catch," which tasks players with controlling a pair of characters as they attempt to grab oranges and pineapples as they bounce down a set of stairs, the most at the moment.)

Unlike the previous three Rhythm Tengoku titles that have made their way to market over the last decade, this fourth one changes things up a bit by wrapping all of its mini-games in what seems to be an appropriately silly story. I've heard a lot of people complain about this particular addition on line, but I can't say it's bothered me much up to this point. 

Sure, it slows things down a tad, but I really like the colorful cast of characters that are showcased in the related cutscenes. Also, the diorama-like rooms that are tied to each story segment (and that contain four thematically unrelated mini-games) are stunningly realized. So, if a smidge of story was required for these components to exist, I'm all for them.

That's about all I can say about Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus so far, as I've yet to tackle some of the other intriguing modes that have been added to this sequel, but you can rest assured I'll do my best to talk about them in a future post.

As for the other game mentioned in the header above, The Legend of Legacy, I've only devoted about two hours to it since I first popped its cartridge into my Japanese 3DS LL, but that's been enough to give me the distinct impression that I'm going to enjoying working my way through it in the coming weeks and months.

Specifically, I love the art style employed in this SaGa-esque role-playing game--although I'm not as enamored with the aesthetics of its battle scenes as I am with the rest of its content. Also, the soundtrack is the definition of fabulous and the gameplay is both engaging and addictive. 

In regard to the latter, I'm especially getting a kick out of those battle scenes I just disparaged in the previous sentence. Although they're far from lookers (so far, at least), they're surprisingly satisfying thanks to their strategic nature. (You really have to think your way through many of the fights that pop up every few minutes; you can't just bludgeon foes like you can in many Japanese RPGs.)

They're also surprisingly tough, though, so make sure you're the kind of person who can laugh off being annihilated during a random encounter before you decide to pick up a copy of The Legend of Legacy.

As with Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus, expect to read more impressions of The Legend of Legacy in an upcoming write-up.

Have any of you played either (or both) of these 3DS imports, or are any of you looking forward to playing them. If so, let me and others know about your experiences--or your interest--in the comments section below. 


Inganno said...

Haven't got a chance to play them, but eagerly await them coming to the states. Happy to hear Atlus picking up Legend of Legacy. Now, we just wait for Nintendo to confirm Rhythm Heaven. I have no doubt it's coming, but they'll probably wait for a lull in 3DS software before bringing it over though to fill holes.

Justin Difazzio said...

I'm game for either when they make their way here. said...

Well, at least we know one of them will be released here, and I have a feeling the other will make it, too. said...

Yes, you're probably right RE: Rhythm Tengoku, Inganno. Hopefully they'll announce AUS, EU and NA release dates--or at least intentions--soon, as I personally think everyone needs a little Rhythm Tengoku in their lives :)

Obscure Video Games said...

I'm curious, can you give an example of the kind of strategy that Legend of Legacy requires? Is it like using the right element on the right monster? Or knowing when to defend versus attack? said...

Hey there, Steve! Actually, the strategic element of The Legend of Legacy takes both of your examples into consideration, plus a bit more. Admittedly, that’s mainly due to the strength of the foes a player tends to encounter.

So, more so than most JRPGs I encounter these days, it’s pretty important to carefully weigh “tanking” versus using magic versus healing versus defending while playing The Legend of Legacy. And then, like you suggested, there’s also the strategy of using the right element on the right monster and that sort of thing.

Anyway, it’s going to be very interesting to see how folks outside of Japan react to this game, as it’s not quite as straightforward or accessible as, say, Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest or even Bravely Default, if you ask me.

Rowan Carmichael said...

Are you finding this Rhythm Tengoku a little easier than past ones. I am constantly getting scores into the red range first try. said...

Hmmm, it's hard to say, Rowan. I definitely remember finding Fever pretty easy right from the start, too, and I may have felt the same way about Gold. I'm OK with it, though, as I'll enjoy it regardless. Plus, I hear the Challenge Train mode offers up a good stiff challenge!