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Rhythm Tengoku

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Is this our first look at Rhythm Heaven Fever?


Jan 16
// Jonathan Holmes
I keep forgetting that Minna No Rhythm Tengoku (the Japanese Rhythm Heaven game on the Wii) and Rhythm Heaven Fever are technically two different titles. When it comes to gameplay, they're the same game, but when it comes to...
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Rhythm Heaven Fever infects North America February 2012


Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Friends, we've weathered hard times these past months. Nintendo faithful across the land have endured quite the drought. So few compelling titles may have tested the resolve of less devout fans, but not us. No, we patiently w...
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Rhythm Heaven Wii is now Rhythm Heaven Fever


Oct 30
// Jonathan Holmes
In Japan, the latest Rhythm Heaven game is called Minna No Rhythm Tengoku, which roughly translates to Everybody's Rhythm Heaven. It looks like Nintendo of America is going with a different direction for the game's Western lo...

It Came from Japan! Rhythm Tengoku

Sep 15 // Allistair Pinsof
Rhythm Tengoku (Game Boy Advance)Developer: Nintendo SPD Group No. 1Released: August 03, 2006Current value: $65-100  Fan translation: NopeFor fans of: Elite Beat Agents, WarioWare series, Rhythm Heaven Given the wide claims of OCD-ridden children and the growing popularity of rhythm games during the early '00s, it wouldn't surprise me if Rhythm Tengoku was made in response. Like Gitaroo Man and Elite Beat Agents, Nintendo's charming rhythm game collection is memorable for its music as much as it is for its strange sense of humor. Even when the game gets difficult -- grunting starts to mask the sounds of your tapping feet, head nodding turns into aggressive headbutting --  it's hard to get angry at the charming world of Rhythm Tengoku. However, it's very easy to be upset with Nintendo for keeping it from those outside Japan. After implementing innovative vocal technology in Wario Land 4's soundtrack and redefining mini-game collections with the WarioWare series, Rhythm Tengoku was the next logical step for Nintendo. It was an ambitious project with a bubblegum pop producer and one of Nintendo's most innovative development teams. Well, maybe not completely logical, but thank God it happened! Unfortunately, Nintendo decided to forgo a Western release due to the arrival of the Nintendo DS. Like Mother 3, Rhythm Tengoku is one of the greatest games for the GBA, one that I and the rest of the Internet soon discovered through emulation and imported copies. [embed]210680:40712[/embed] Like WarioWare, Rhythm Tengoku is a series of mini-games with controls that don't get more complicated than pressing a button or two in time to the music. Unlike WarioWare, the visuals are some of the most striking of the GBA's catalog, and the mini-games are more varied and developed -- as they should be, since you'll be spending minutes (not seconds) with each one. The game contains eight "stages," each containing five levels/songs and a sixth remix level that sets a combination of all the previous level actions to a new tune. Given the format of the game, which varies from song to song (and level to level), I thought that it'd be best to give my thoughts on my top five favorite levels. Make no mistake, I could easily list ten. Even if those ten included entries from Tengoku's two sequels, the majority of the list would still be dedicated to the original.   5. Night Walk Night Walk is one of the few levels in the game that doesn't open with a tutorial because of the simple fact that you don't need one. It's as reductive as the game gets -- press the A button in time with the beat. Your reward? You get to watch your 8-bit avatar skip from box to box, as stars twinkle and scroll behind him. Although my love for this level has waned since the first time I played it, it remains a memorable one due to the music and tension it draws out in the player. Given the relentless rhythm of the song and the seemingly endless sprawl of the stage, Night Walk's challenge has more to do with fatigue than timing. I often find myself becoming self-aware of what I'm doing and suddenly freaking out, wondering if I'll be able to persevere to the end. It's also the only stage to have distinctly retro graphics that refrain from pushing the power of the GBA yet still manage to charm and create a unique atmosphere as well as any other level in the game. The recently released Japanese sequel Minna no Rhythm Tengoku even has a direct tribute to Night Walk at the end of the game!   4. Air Batter Here is another "hit the A button in time with the music" level that I love. Maybe I'm just simple in my tastes, but the reason this one sticks out has more to do with presentation. It's rudimentary in concept, but Air Batter is one of the few levels in the game that messes with your perception. It's also the first and best stage that does so. Like Night Walk, the player is tasked with pressing the button in time to the beat, although this one is more consistent in its melody and rhythm. Your avatar is a baseball player trapped in a green room floating in space. Your visual cues are baseballs that are launched from a pot and return to the infinite when struck. The mind game is in the stage's inexplicably zooming in and out, to the point where the ball is no longer visible. Succeeding based on the visual cues is no longer an option, leading to inevitable failure on your first attempt (most of the time). To add to the stage's manic quality, your character's head becomes a giant tomato or a bunny after each extreme close-up. 3. Hopping Road In addition to having wacky character-based games, Ryhthm Tengoku is filled with wonderful abstract gems like Hopping Road. Here, you bounce small balls from one platform to the next, one controlled by the D-pad and the other by the A button. The balls bounce along to a shifting tempo that makes the timing hard to predict until they are right in front of your controlled platforms -- I develop an uneasy sensation every time they get near. Soon enough, the level throws multiple balls at you, each with their own rhythm which quickly ramps up the challenge. For a game that is so much about the audio-visual response, Hopping Road is surprisingly fun despite its simplicity.   2. Bon Odori There are many categories the mini-games of Rhythm Tengoku can be filed under. For example, Bon Odori is a "clapping" game, where you clap to a song as your three partners jump up with glee or give you dismissive glances (depending on your performance). As I mentioned above, the music is what sets Rhythm Heaven apart, and Bon Odori is a shining example of this. It's one of the few songs with full vocals, which are compressed though not enough to sound grating. The track itself is a traditional Japanese song, but it's so giddy and warm that it always puts me in the right mood. 1. Toss Boys I'm a fan of tossing stuff, be it salad, balls, or salad balls(?). If you knew this, you may have suspected that Toss Boys would be my favorite mini-game on tap in Rhythm Tengoku. After all, what could be more fun than tossing some balls with adorable children? By the time you reach the fifth tier of levels, you begin to feel like you've seen all the game has to offer. This isn't far from the truth, given that the levels remaining after the fifth tier are remixed, harder versions of previous ones. Toss Boys, however, is one of the most original and jovial entries in the game, tapping directly into my love of 16-bit volleyball games. With three characters mapped to the buttons and D-pad, Toss Boys has you keeping the ball in play as you toss to the beat. The beat will frequently speed up and throw your characters into full-on volley panic mode, keeping you on your toes. It's a simple idea that's well executed with just the right amount of feedback and presentation to make a mini-game that is memorable beyond its soundtrack. [embed]210680:40879[/embed] The post-GBA years  Rhythm Tengoku's legacy has carried on, with a DS sequel reaching Western gamers in 2009 and another one for Wii on the way. However, the original remains the best for many reasons. The music and stages of the series' debut are unmatched in quality, whereas I struggle to find a memorable tune or a stage that didn't make me want to pull my hair out the DS game -- jury's still out on the Wii game. Even in their best moments, they can't capture the magic and surprise of the GBA debut -- to be fair, I haven't played all of the recent Wii sequel. It's unfortunate that many will never be able to play this lost gem due to Nintendo's lack of faith in consumers. There was also an arcade port by Sega, but that didn't reach the States either. -----  Have played Rhythm Tengoku? Do you want to dropkick me for saying the sequels are inferior? Do you enjoy tossing balls as much as I do? Leave a comment below!   [Where we're going, we don't need roads.]
It Came from Japan! photo

[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] Japanese games often possess a delirious quality that leaves some...

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Spoilers: Rhythm Heaven Wii's biggest secrets unlocked


Aug 21
// Jonathan Holmes
I've been working on a import review of Minna no Rhythm Tengoku (known as Rhythm Heaven Wii in the U.S.) for almost a month now. Problem is, I just don't have the skills to unlock everything in the game. Though it has incred...
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Oil up: Rhythm Heaven Wii gets a 4 disc soundtrack


Jul 31
// Jonathan Holmes
[Image from Nintendo Japan's official Minna No Rhythm Heaven wallpapers] Since receiving my import copy of Rhythm Heaven Wii last week, a day hasn't gone by by when I haven't gushed about how awesome its monkeys are (usually...
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Revel in the sweet sights and sounds of Rhythm Heaven Wii


Jul 23
// Jonathan Holmes
These videos have convinced me to buy the Japanese version of Minna mo Rhythm Tengoku, known in the West as Rhythm Heaven Wii. I know the game is coming to the United States soon enough, but I'm sure that some of the Japanes...
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Kids and weird ladies are all up on Rhythm Heaven Wii


Jul 09
// Jonathan Holmes
Rhythm Heaven Wii is about to be released in Japan, and marketing for the title is starting to pick up. We've already gotten a look at some of the game's 50+ levels, multi-player mode, and a endless games, but these TV spots...
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Rhythm Heaven Wii makes Nintendo of America look good


Jul 03
// Jonathan Holmes
Nintendo of America has been getting a a lot of bad press lately. Operation Rainfall, and their efforts to convince NoA to localize Pandora's Tower, The Last Story, and Xenoblade, continue to make headlines. More aggressive ...
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E3: Wii U gets Rhythm Heaven-hot with some pirate sh*t


Jun 09
// Jonathan Holmes
I'm actually about to run out of time here at E3, so I have to make this post short. There is a Wii U demo of a game called Shield Pose where you have to use the Wii U's camera, separate screen functionality, and motion cont...
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E3: Rhythm Heaven Wii kills it


Jun 08
// Jonathan Holmes
Have you played Rhythm Heaven? This WarioWare-esque rhythm-action series has been largely ignored in the US and Europe, which is a shame. My guess is that this is largely because the superior GBA iteration of the game never ...
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E3: Rhythm Heaven trailer further proves baboons rule


Jun 07
// Jordan Devore
Those of you who have been keeping up with the new Rhythm Heaven for Wii will recognize much of this E3 trailer. The footage shown isn't new, except for the final segment. Considering how the single new sequence has one seriously awesome baboon in it, all is forgiven. Look at him, and his equally incredible little buddy! That's enough to leave me satiated for a while to come.
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Get a good look at the new Kirby and Rhythm Heaven games


Jan 30
// Jonathan Holmes
A couple of days ago, we got the word that a new Kirby game is coming to the Wii. In typical Nintendo style, this announcement was made with little fanfare, with nothing but a few details and a tiny, thirty second video to m...
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A look at the best upcoming Wii games


Sep 29
// Jonathan Holmes
We already showed you Nintendo's 3DS teaser compilation video from tonight's big Nintendo press conference, but there's more where that came from. Though the 3DS is getting all the love and attention that newborns usually re...
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New Rhythm Heaven and Fatal Frame titles totally teased


Sep 29
// Jonathan Holmes
All this 3DS news is great and all, and I'm totally excited about Mega Man Legends 3D and the new Resident Evil stuff, but on my end, the biggest reveal from tonight's Nintendo Conference was actually related to Nintendo's ot...
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Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin': Rhythm Heaven


Aug 27
// Ashley Davis
You could easily accuse this week's HAWP of prioritizing aural pleasure over humor. We're pretty much okay with that, considering the aural pleasure in question comes from the mind of one Danny Baranowsky -- if you've ever pl...
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Rhythm Heaven mall event has free stuff, hot cosplay


Apr 26
// Jonathan Holmes
Yesterday, Matt told us about the Rhythm Heaven events going on this weekend all around the country. I headed to the one at the Burlington Mall, not expecting it to be anything worth reporting on. I didn't even bring my camer...
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Nintendo partners with DJ Academy for Rhythm Heaven event


Apr 07
// Nick Chester
If you've already mastered Rhythm Heaven on the Nintendo DS, Nintendo wants to put your real skills to this test this week in New York City. This Thursday, April 9, Nintendo will be hosting a Rhythm Heaven event at the S...
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How should we market Rhythm Heaven in the US? Oh yeah, Beyonce!


Mar 19
// Colette Bennett
I understand the practice of using celebs to advertise gaming -- after all, it worked well for Nintendo when they featured Yuri Ebihara in a DS commercial. Still, there's something ultimately laughable to me about the fact th...
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Happy Birthday, Destructoid: The Rhythm Tengoku cake


Mar 16
// Colette Bennett
At GDC 2007, I met Niero for the first time, and it was literally less than a few hours before he was waving his DS Lite and showing me a strange little game I had never seen before. "Rhythm Tengoku", he said. "...
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Rhythm Heaven coming in April?


Feb 10
// Colette Bennett
You may recollect I was a bit of a sad panda over the supposed November release date for Rhythm Heaven DS, the English-language version of Rhythm Tengoku Gold (better known as the best rhythm game on the DS EVER). Thanks to a...
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My closet imploded on top of me. Also, Rhythm Tengoku


Feb 05
// Niero Gonzalez
Let it be known that, in addition to amassing more video games than I will ever play through again in my lifetime, I also have more comic books than I could ever read.  This is simply one of the trappings and joys of bei...
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Rhythm Heaven spotted with a November release date


Jan 06
// Colette Bennett
If you read the import review that Dale North and I wrote about Rhythm Tengoku Gold, you may have imported it already if it's your cup of tea, or you may have decided to wait for the English version, which we knew was coming ...
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Rhythm Tengoku x Final Fantasy equals pure, undiluted awesome


Nov 30
// Colette Bennett
 Some people mistake what I mean when I say something is deliciously nerdy in a rapturous tone of voice. After all, nerdy has not always been a positive word -- but let me assure you, I mean it in the best way. To get al...
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Rhythm Tengoku delights! retrospective soundtrack announced


Sep 11
// Colette Bennett
You should be playing Rhythm Tengoku Gold (and yes, I know it's not out here in its North American incarnation, what I mean is you should have imported it and played the f*ck out of it already), and if you are, you know that ...
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Japanese sales show victory for Phantasy Star Portable, Rhythm Tengoku Gold


Aug 04
// Colette Bennett
First day sales numbers are in from Japan, and things are looking good for fans of both the Phantasy Star and Rhythm Tengoku fanchises. Here are the hard numbers:Phantasy Star Portable (PSP, SEGA) - 217,000 (90% of initial sh...
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Rhythm Heaven commercials are delightfully queer


Jul 21
// Jonathan Holmes
 Ever wonder why Wario Ware: Smooth Moves wasn't a crazy awesome as the other games in the series? It might be because Nintendo R&D1, creators of all the other Wario Ware games, took a break from that game to instead...
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Rhythm Tengoku Gold spotted on a release list


May 28
// Colette Bennett
The robot overlord is actually responsible for introducing me to Rhythm Tengoku, sure to go down in history as one of the kookiest rhythm games ever made (and if you aren't familiar, I suggest you make it a mission to do so)....

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