I'm a pretty big fan of the Rhythm Heaven, aka Rhythm Paradise, series, so I was pretty excited about the announcement of Rhythm Paradise Megamix for 3DS (only released on the eShop in NA, sadly). The game is a "best of" collection, and includes the majority of mini-games from the previous three entries in the series, as well as a number of new ones. The game features the series' trademark hodgepodge of styles and types of music, and also includes a flimsy story, a first for the series, with quite a few new characters. Although in general I'm all for a good story, somehow here it just slows things down.
In general the structure of this entry seems to throw the pacing off. One of the best things about the other games was getting to play remixes of the songs at regular intervals, whereas here the remixes don't start to appear until quite a ways in. The game also somehow lacks the spark of brilliance of the previous games. Maybe it's just that the new mini-games stick too closely to the formula of the previous entries, but at times I felt like more judicious editing would have actually helped things. The mini-games start to feel a bit same-y even in the earlier parts of the game, and the game doesn't have quite the same feel of wild wackiness as the previous games, although perhaps that's just from being a long-time fan and overly familiar with most of the content.
There were quite a few mini-games I'd forgotten about, and it was nice to see localized versions of the mini-games from the original Japan-only GBA title. The game's best addition is easily its use of the bottom screen. Here the game gives you a visual indicator as to whether your button presses are happening too early, too late, or right on the beat. It's very useful, and an addition that should definitely be included in every future installment.
Overall this feels like another case where Nintendo has stuck too closely to an established formula, although this can be excused since this is a best of collection. Hopefully future installments will find some way to shake things up a bit. I played through pretty much the bare minimum to get to the final credits (and passing most mini-games on my first try), although I can see myself picking this up from time to time to earn the rest of the gold medals and maybe attempt some of the maddening Perfect medals.
Terrestrial Rhythm Paradise Megamix links:
- Entry on nintendo.com
- Page on Miiverse
- Entry on rhythmheaven.wikia.com. Includes links to the official trailer for the game and such.
- Review on NintendoLife
- Entry on Wikipedia