Mindless fun and rhythmic gameplay create an enjoyable experience
Games are amazing things; they are wonderful learning tools. They can teach you all sorts of things. Titles like Brain Age are supposed to help sharpen your brain, Dance Dance Revolution teaches you to get up and move, Grand Theft Auto teaches — well… maybe not. And then there is Rhythm Heaven Fever, which taught me one thing — I have no rhythm.
Upon starting up the game, I was instantly reminded of another series, Wario Ware. While made by different developers, the visuals of the games are similar in style. Rhythm Heaven Fever is the third in the series developed by both Nintendo and TNX, but this is the first time it has been on the Wii.
Gameplay is fairly straightforward; the goal is to keep the button presses in time with the audio cues heard. As the word is in the title, rhythm is the main focus surrounding each mini-game. This is where some may quickly be turned off, if you have difficulty keeping up with the beats, you may be forced to just give up. Once you learn the timing and focus your ears on hearing the rhythm, you can succeed. Few games out there can be played without paying attention to what is happening on screen, this is one such game.
Mini-games are similar in fashion to other short burst titles like Wario Ware or Brain Age. Each level doesn’t last more than a few seconds, and before each one you are given the opportunity to be introduced to particular play mechanics. Some require only one button press, others require more. The practice mode isn’t necessary and can be skipped, although I recommend going through it as it significantly improved my score.
The levels are all quirky, ranging from having monkeys throwing golf balls at you, to screwing the heads on robots across a conveyor belt. When you don’t feel like playing one of the many games, you can spend your time in the Café or one of several other rooms. It is here where you can spend some time relaxing, have a talk with the barista, or perhaps instead you just want to listen to some music. I wouldn’t blame you if you choose the last option; the game features some outstanding pop tunes to keep your ears tickled with pleasure. Though others may send you into an audiogenic fit.
The Café also gives you the chance to brush up on your rhythm skills in case you’re feeling a little rusty. If none of what they offer sounds pleasing, then you have the option to purchase “rhythm toys” with which to occupy your time, if only for a brief few seconds.
There are 50 all new mini games to keep you busily mashing buttons. While playing titles such as these are fun by yourself, they are generally better with a friend. Luckily, this game has multiplayer for those who happen to have a willing victim within your immediate vicinity. Sadly, there are only ten levels from which to pick, all of them pulled straight from single player with only minor adjustments. Even sadder is the fact that those with an unwilling opponent are out of luck, being that the game includes no form of online multiplayer.
The mini-games are all mindless, which is really the best part. They do their job and keep you entertained and are all quick to pick up and put down for those short on time. Variety is the spice of life, and there is plenty of that here. If there is one thing Nintendo knows, it’s that mindless and quirky work. Let’s just hope that come the next release in the series they can do something about fixing the game’s multiplayer, so that the series can be enjoyed properly.
Tested on Wii
Review copy supplied