Rhythm Heaven hits the Wii and will have you tapping your foot as well as the A and B buttons to the beat of some of the most catchy tunes and minigames ever made.
The Rhythm Heaven series was first introduced in the Japan-only Game Boy Advance release called Rhythm Tengoku. This was shortly followed by Rhythm Heaven for the Nintendo DS. Now, with the Wii console nearing the end of its lifespan, Rhythm Heaven Fever proves itself as one of the last breakout games you need to experience.
The Wii Rhythm Heaven Fever is a collection of fifty minigames. Each minigame offers a mundane but somewhat incredibly weird and endearing objective that you must accomplish. For example, one game puts you in the shoes of a balding samurai who must slash away at dark creatures, another lets you play as a boy out on a date who must kick soccer balls coming his way, and finally there’s one that features monkeys throwing golf balls at you which you must whack into a hole on an opposite island. All the minigames have a unique concept; there are no two that are similar, and all are drawn in a light-hearted and cartoony manner that is sure to melt the hearts of even the most jaded gamers.
To accomplish all these tasks, the player must press either the A or B button as required. However, you have to press the buttons at a specific instance, and this moment is dictated by the song playing on the background. In the beginning, the game lets you get a feel for the rhythm by giving you simple audio cues telling you when to press the button. As the game progresses, the tune becomes more difficult to master as the tempo increases. It helps that the music is so catchy that learning the right beat becomes second nature, but don’t let the simplicity fool you; Rhythm Heaven Fever is a game that relies not so much on skill and memorization but rather on quick reflexes and an intuitive feel for musical and visual signals.
The game also refuses to punish you for failing a task. When you are unable to pass a level after a few tries, Rhythm Heaven Fever will give you the option of skipping that stage and going on to the next challenge. This forgiving nature adds a sense of relief for players who might want to try the other minigames and forego those he considers too difficult.
Each level only takes about a couple minutes to beat, but if you want to achieve the highest score and gain medals to unlock extra content, you’ll have to completely master the rhythm in each stage without any errors, and this takes quite a while to accomplish. Other addons include a café where you can play all the songs featured in the game and an endless play mode.
Although multiplayer is supported in the game, you don’t get much variety with it. There are only about ten levels that can be played by a maximum of two people, and they pale in comparison to the single player campaign. It’s enjoyable to try to compete with another human opponent, but you don’t get the same package as offered in solo mode.
Rhythm Heaven Fever can be played on the Wii console with up to two players.
Rhythm Heaven Fever is testament that a game with simplistic concepts can achieve greater status when done correctly than a game with complex design but substandard development. Although tapping the A and B buttons repetitively might seem like a recipe for boredom, Rhythm Heaven Fever defies all odds and far surpasses expectations in both gameplay and appeal. Although there could have been more content included in the multiplayer mode, the solo campaign can more than satisfy your craving for a challenge. In the last days of the Wii console, Rhythm Heaven Fever should be considered its swan song.