Title: Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise
Developed By: Nintendo SPD Group No.1 and TNX
Published By: Nintendo
Based On: The third game in the Rhythm Heaven Series
Classification (AU): This title has been classified as G for General Audiences.
Review Conditions: Wii, Australian Edition
Catchy soundtrack? Check! Zany humour? You bet! Fun to play and to watch? You’ll see!
Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise for Wii brings the much-loved rhythm game series to home consoles – and that means everyone in the room can get in on the fun!
With just the A Button and B Button on your Wii Remote to contend with, getting into the swing of things is simplicity itself – but as the pace picks up and the rhythms begin to roll, you’ll need to master each song’s unique challenge to prove that you have what it takes to beat the beat.
One of the first games ever reviewed on this site was Warioware Smooth Moves back in March 2007, and while it is a pitifully poor review which I will not be linking to – this was one of the first couple of games also developed by the Nintendo SPD Group No.1, the developers of this game. The Nintendo Wii has found itself home to many mini-game compilations over the years, from the ‘party game’ collections to those that actually warrant skill and luck - some great, some poor and some meeting that borderline in between. That being said, given the team that developed it and my curiosity about how they could keep the entertainment levels high with simply button presses I dove into Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise and was pleasantly surprised.
The game is for most parts a button masher, ignoring the WiiMote’s motion control capabilities in all except the game menus. In this game are about 50 mini-games each with its own requirements, rules, music and means of using the A and B buttons to complete the levels. Especially in the later levels the game is no cakewalk, requiring precision and the ability to keep rhythm in order to complete the requirements to unlock the other levels… and there were a couple of times particularly around the end which I was given the annoying “Try Again” message.
While a fair few of the mini-games that make up the ‘over 50′ are the same game with increased difficulty and the number ’2′ at the end of the title, the stages do incorporate solid tutorials (That actually take longer than the games themselves), are challenging, creative and most importantly incorporate rhythm well. It is not practical to outline all the mini-games from the game, some of them include simple ideas such as swimming microbes while they form pretty patterns and hole-in-one golf to more innovative ideas such as playing shuttlecock in the sky with the opponent changing their speed of hitting to being a samurai out to rescue a child’s pinwheel from evil demons.
Some of the games controls are harder than others, but the game does shake them up a bit so you rely solely on the music and not visuals – from covering the screen with clouds, providing you with a whole storyline infront of your characters or filling the screen with Hue Birds of Happiness. In addition, for every four stages there is a fifth Remix stage, a merger of the four prior games (or later on all the games) which go with a particularly themed track. The 10 remix challenges in the game were a blast with unique themes and without tutorials effectively tested what you can actually do. I have included a video example of the first Remix challenge below as an example (Credits to uploader on Youtube)
Asides from the 50 main mini-games, they also throw in a bunch of dual-play games which were interesting to play through although only mild edits of the single-player games and additional side games including ‘Endless Modes’, which incorporated a high score system. Unfortunately as the game incorporates a medal system (Where perfect or near-perfect completion nets you a medal), at this current time many remain unlocked to me. The game also allows you to unlock set texts and music via the games Cafe menu option, but limits itself by requiring you to get perfect scores for randomly selected games.
Still, in terms of mini-game compilations for the Wii, this proved to be a highlight for the console with its quirky games, great incorporation and while completing the game can take only hours – actually perfecting it will take much longer. The only areas for improvement would be potentially a couple more remix challenges (The only one that utilizes all games is the final one) and perhaps more in terms of challenge to some of the games to make replaying a bit more interesting.
Visually, Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise is nothing special for the Wii Console itself but is bright, bursting with colour and comes with a set of comical character designs. This, alongside its delivery of a quirky and slightly comical game does work well towards keeping your interest and anticipation towards what the next game you unlock will be like. During Remix and -2 rounds, they do alter the visuals of the games included in them so it does sort of change the experience as well. Overall, given its purpose as a game the designs and visuals are of an appropriate standard.
As I have mentioned several times above, the game is all about Rhythm – and without a solid compilation of music and the music being used appropriately the game wouldn’t be all too successful irrespective of other factors. Fortunately the game comes with a great set of instrumental and lyrical tracks that suit their respective game well, and helps get into the mood. Asides from losing focus of the beat myself, I didn’t notice any major issues with keeping a beat and the music and required controls were mostly synchronous. The game comes with a number of lyrical tracks, but fortunately Nintendo have decided to allow you access to both English and Japanese dubbed tracks via the file select menu. The English dub – which is what I played with was pretty enjoyable but as always it comes down to personal preference.
With the Wii U set to release in November 2012, Nintendo are set to bring the console more into line with its competitors in the market. This has resulted in a line-up of games for more mature audiences such as Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed III and Darksiders II to be planned for the console and even Nintendo are aiming to bring their big name franchises such as Pikmin, Zelda and Mario to the party.
But you know what… if Nintendo were to develop another well thought out and creative mini-game oriented title such as this and were to release it for their new console, I would be equally ecstatic. Why? Because while I love my big games with lots of depth and storyline… there is nothing like putting them aside for a few hours and kick back with a couple of mini-games and simple controls.
Unfortunately there were a few limits to this game which kept it being perfect and is pretty short overall… you generally go into these games expecting a short and sweet experience and that is what you get.
Storyline/Character Development: N/A
Music/Voice Acting: A
Personal Opinion: A-
Overall Score: B+