Rhythm Heaven, the Wario Ware-esque and delightfully weird music-based mini-game collection, is coming to DS this April along with Nintendo’s latest iteration of its handheld, the DSi.
Though it doesn’t use any of the DSi’s notable features like the two cameras, special microphone or lack of a GBA slot, Nintendo will be launching Rhythm Heaven, a sequel to a Japan-only music game, alongside their brand new upgraded DS on April 5.
Rhythm Heaven is basically a collection of rhythm-based minigames that you have to play through in rapid succession. Each minigame centers around some exceptionally weird situation that requires you to tap and slide the stylus in rhythm with the background music. In the original you’d be tasked with pressing buttons to a certain beat to do things like pluck overgrown chin hairs off an onion with a face or fire arrows at ghosts trying to sneak through someone’s backyard. You do four of these games in a row and then have to beat a remixed stage that mashes up all four to finish the set. The sequel sounds like it’s at least keeping up with the original for pure quirkiness: you’ll be refueling robots and doing silly dances in the first set of minigames, according to early impressions. And if it all sounds kind of like a music-based Wario Ware, that’s because it was developed by the same team.
“Simple gestures with the stylus combined with fun music and quirky visuals make Rhythm Heaven a completely unique musical experience for players of all ages,” Nintendo said. Kind of odd that they would launch such an offbeat game in conjunction with a product they hope will be a mass market success. It certainly is in Japan, where the game has sold more than 1.6 million copies since last July, but that’s Japan.
I guess they’re expecting the My Spanish Coach and Brain Training crowd to be into hyper-Japanese rhythm games with hardcore learning curves. We’ll see how that pans out, but for the rest of us, especially those who imported the first game (or the second for that metter), April 5 should hold more treats than a new DS.