Rhythm Paradise can probably best be described in one sentence as the bastard child of WarioWare and the exploding music genre. Lovers of one of those two types of games will not do a bad purchase with this game but whether it’s something for everyone, most especially the average DS gamer, is another question.
The first thing I noticed are the funny, colorful and especially welcoming structure, graphics and menus. Everything looks very charming and simple and the menus nicely play into your need to collect all minigames, unlock and then perfection. Getting such a gold border around the icon of a game, even if only purely visual, remains an addiction. You’ll often replay the 50-something games to get more points and unlock even more that way.
But beware as you’ll also often replay because you’re just not good enough! Those that don’t have a real feeling for rythm, a basic requirement for this game, will come home from a frustrating journey. Rythm Paradise in that case becomes Rythm Hell from the first playing hour on. I don’t consider myself being in that category (I’m pretty good with Guitar Hero on Expert) but my feeling for rythm was put on the test more than once! Quickly utter concentration is required to finish the games, let alone to get a Superb or Perfect score. Syluses all over the world will more than once fly through the air after yet another failure. The biggest trick is to not pay attention to the images but mostly opening your ears and shaking your ass on the tunes of the music. The rest will follow. Mostly!
The only criticism you can give to the difficulty degree is that probably the line to be able to go to the next game could have been put a little lower. You really need to play very well to succesfully finish something, and you’ll all too often have to discover through trial-and-error what you’re doing wrong, and how to improve.
The stylus is the only thing you’ll need to proove yourself. Compared to the 5-second games of WarioWare the games here are a lot longer and you effectively need to learn the controls before you can amaze the DS with your abilities. This takes away some accessibility and immediately the fun, but compensates with more depth. On top of that just about all games are so different in graphics, setting and sound that they’ll all seduce you to playing. Some examples: raising your stylus when a guy in a choir needs to sing hard and quickly shov it up when he has to shout. Or tapping on the rythm of the music to finish some sort of space shooter well. You’ll also have to assemble robots on a production line, take pictures of race cars passing by, chop vegetables that are flying around like a ninja or aim food into your mouth by clapping your hands. Sounds fun and it even is!
What also sounds amazing is the music. Not only did the clarity of the bleeps and sounds amaze me but also the songs in the game are very appealing. Luckily the makers tried to keep the original Japanese style as much as possible, and it’s that crazy and sometimes estranging take on things that makes the soundtrack irresistible.
Rhythm Paradise is charming, funny, immersive, original, musical and… difficult! If your inner rythm structures aren’t good enough to follow the beats of f.i. The Prodigy you’ll be sweating like a pig if you want to complete the entire game. Those that love music, super original and refreshing minigames or like a challenge is at the right address with this new DS game.