Rhythm Heaven Fever Review

The latest installment of Rhythm Heaven Fever– does it live up to its predecessor?

By Mel Turnquist. Posted 02/28/2012 10:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Hilariously creative mini games; diverse array of games; addictive; fantastic localization
Poison Mushroom for...
Broken rating system in some games; frustrating for those without a sense of rhythm; 2-player mode is limited; maybe a bit too challenging

I would’ve gotten to this a lot sooner, but I promised myself that I would play through the entire game before I gave my impressions. Three days and a sore list later, I stand before you having gotten through the entire game and medaling in pretty much everything. A true accomplishment when you realize that sheer difficulty in keeping up with the rhythm in these games. Despite this, this review is nothing short of glowing.

For those who haven’t played either Rhythm Heaven or any of the WarioWare games, Rhythm Heaven Fever is a collection of short mini-rhythm games with bizarre scenarios and adorable artwork. In this game (unlike its predecessor in which you had to tap and flick everything), all that is needed is the A button and the B button on the Wii remote. This is both a blessing and a curse. The controls aren’t really what matter, however. It’s your sense of rhythm that is put on trial for the game to judge and decide if you’re worthy to move on to each level.

What works with this game, first off, is the levels and the scenarios that you find yourself in. One minute you’re golfing with a monkey and a mandrill, the next you’re mimicking a primate with a tambourine or maybe a wrestler answering interview questions from a young woman, or a dog playing badminton in an airplane with a cat. And I haven’t even gotten to the Donk-Donk game…that game is way too hard to explain. Even the description of the game itself is stumped. They’re quirky, fun, and very memorable. Though playing the Bossa Nova mini game can be a little embarrassing if you have someone in the next room who doesn’t know the game.

Rhythm Heaven Fever screenshot, monkey tambourine game
Sense…. This doesn’t make a lot of it.

I could go on with each game, but that would take forever. What I will say is that during Flip-Floppers, it took me about 5 tries to medal it because I kept squeeing at the baby seals and how cute they were. The Samurai game was very tough but worthwhile too. Probably the game that gave me the most fits was Packing Pests 2 with the offbeats. Love Rap gave me some fits as well. However, the best game in this bunch (or at least my favorite) has to be Karate Man. It’s the legacy game that finds its way into each installment. Plus, it’s surprisingly fun to punch flower pots and do combos on a bunch of things.

What else works with this game are, most importantly, the songs. The tunes are excellent and catchy. A big selling point for this game is the music itself, produced by famous Japanese music producer Tsunko (the o is actually a male symbol). It spans from rock to pop to funk to even bossa nova– a very diverse mix of music. What is the best thing about this game compared to its predecessor are the songs with lyrics. A huge worry for the North American version was if the localization was going to butcher these songs quite like they did in the DS version. While that version is fantastic, the songs with lyrics were pretty much lacking in either tone or words-wise. Nintendo took notes on that and did a fantastic job with translating the songs and hiring singers who sound like they actually give a crap about what they’re singing. Huge improvement. I can’t pick which song I like best of these ones. It’s either got to be “Dreams of Our Generation” or “Beautiful One Day” (don’t let the Engrish title fool you, it’s not as awkward).

Rhythm Heaven Fever screenshot seal game
Even Mario appreciates the importance of dressing appropriately when seal… hugging.

Now for things that I found wrong with it, most of them are pretty subjective. One thing is the fact that it is very challenging. If you are someone with no sense of rhythm whatsoever, you are going to find yourself frustrated with this game. You’ve got to be able to stick with it and work through it. The 2-player mode, which was harped upon quite a bit in commercials, was not as fantastic as I thought it’d be. It’s basically just the same games but with the addition of another person. It may have been better if they had some tailor-made 2 player games instead of just rehashing old games (not that 2 player Ring Side isn’t hilarious because it is).

My biggest nitpick, however, goes to the one game that just bothered me the most– Love Rap. In the Japanese version, this game was awesome and carried out well. The translation, however, just didn’t work. While I appreciated the effort and I thought that MC Adore’s voice was perfect for it,  the words just didn’t work. “Into You” just doesn’t feel lovely enough. I thought “Fo Sho” was a nice touch, though. I guess I have some slight Cheer Readers nitpicking with one line “Rah Rah Sis-Boom-Bah-Boom” instead of “Never give up” (which in its Engrish sound, it’s Nevah give-a a-poo). I think it works for the challenge at hand, but it just isn’t as well done. Once again, that’s me nitpicking.

Overall, this is a game well worth the price tag. For $29.99, this is a bargain in an age where the average Wii game is about $49.99. I’d recommend you all to pick it up, especially if you love rhythm games or at least enjoy the strange and surreal. Just be careful not to chuck your Wii remote at the screen if you end up sucking at it.

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