As great as the Nintendo press conference was earlier today, the complete lack of Wii titles was a tad depressing. Sure, we saw The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, but that was it. Aside from that, a new Mario Party title, and Kirby Wii, there isn’t a whole lot more software inbound to breathe life into the system. One of the reasons that the Wii has been one of my favourite consoles of all time is due to the strange (often incredibly Japanese) library of games I’ve piled up for it. Rhythm Heaven may very well be the last of that breed to hit the system.
Join me for some brief impressions after the break.
Those familiar with the Rhythm series know what to expect by now: cartoony, pastel visuals, great music and simplistic but challenging rhythm gameplay. While I’ve read quite a bit about the titles, this afternoon was the first opportunity I had to play one of them. The Nintendo representative I spoke with seemed to have this peculiar attitude towards the game. She didn’t seem to know why it was there or why the game’s menus weren’t translated into English. It was as if Nintendo really didn’t want to bring it, but needed to fill the space in their monstrous E3 booth. After all, you can only have so many Skyward Sword cabinets.
Anyways, the E3 demonstration featured three levels: someone stabbing peas with a fork, a samurai slicing up ghosts, and a dog and cat playing badminton whilst flying around in airplanes. Yes this game is a tad ridiculous, but it is also strangely addictive. Almost instantly I could see why the previous entries in the series were so popular on Nintendo’s handhelds. I found the demo so addictive that I was a bit of a jerk and hogged the demo for a tad longer than I probably should have, but it was just so damn entertaining I couldn’t put the Wii remote down.
The gameplay revolves around pressing the “A” button at the appropriate time. There’s some wacky, entertaining music and visual cues to help you get the timing down, but that’s about all there is to the game. While the concept is simple to understand, it’s not quite so easy in practice. Rhythm Heaven is actually a fairly challenging affair, one that could take some time and skill to master.
Try as I might to find out when we can nab this one up, the Nintendo representative remained steadfast in her belief that Rhythm Heaven currently has no scheduled release window. I suppose we’ll just have to keep a watchful eye for this one, folks.