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Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure

Updated 08-15-2012
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Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure

Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure is one of the most unusual games I've played this year. There is not much about it that follows any sort of familiar trajectory.

It's a story driven, rhythm-action RPG set in Paris. The main character is a skinny teenage burglar who doesn't care about money. He's a lot more interested in foiling the plans of the reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte and putting down his Putty-like foot soldiers with one-hit knockout punches.

While the game is packed with lavish 2D/3D cut scenes, the occasionally voiced dialogue doesn't always match the language of the corresponding subtitles. Every once in a while, the actors will say a phrase in French, but the subtitles will be in English, and vice versa. Maybe that was done intentionally? With a game this weird, it's hard to know where the "bugs" start and the "features" begin.

This is a title that sets out to do something unexpected, and the ways that it fails (and succeeds) to meet its goals make it even more surprising. The end result is a game that is consistently interesting, even when it fails.

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