It’s been over 5 years now since the last entry in the Rhythm Paradise franchise (Heaven, Beat the Beat, Tengoku – there’s not a whole lot of naming consistency) but we finally have a localised and new title to grace our 3DS screens with Rhythm Heaven Megamix.
While it’s true that Rhythm Heaven Megamix has 100 Rhythm minigames included, you won’t be finding 100 new Rhythm games, there are only about 20 new rhythm games to this game, however since it collects from the un-released GameBoy Advance there’s whole lot new for Western players to enjoy. Collecting from Rhythm Tengoku on GameBoy Advance, Rhythm Paradise on DS & Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise on Wii, you get a “Best of” Collection, which is why in Japan this is known as “The Best Plus”.
The setup of this game is completely different to previous titles. This time instead of a giant grid you slowly unlock, you now have mini games split between Lands, Gates & Towers. The Lands are basically the story mode of the game, (yes this has a story mode now because reasons). As you can imagine it’s not the most gripping tale by any means.
First off you have Lands, there are 5 of them. These are themed after various things like Bees, Scissors, Cars, none of these mean anything of course just some visual flavour to the game. In each land you have 4 minigames, one representative from each of the 4 games. However if you have ever played a title in this series before you will probably recognise these games are much shorter and have a different song they play to. This is because these are just the ‘easy’ mode of the game.
As you progress through these lands, you will sometimes run across some Gatekeepers. These have a single mini game (some new, some old) that you must complete on either an Easy, Medium or Hard difficulty to progress through the gate. Each time you want to challenge these gatekeepers it will cost you Rhythm coins that you gather up from playing any other minigame. Don’t fear though, as if you can’t beat the challenge on even the easiest difficulty (which trust me some are really dumb) the game will pity you and just let you pass through.
So you have cleared the 5 lands, and now you have reached the Towers. This is what you have been waiting for the entire game so far. REMIXES! FULL VERSIONS OF THE SONGS! DIFFICULTY! Ah, it’s glorious. Each tower gathers the same minigames from their respective land, but increase the difficulty with full length songs, or B versions of the song.
After you have cleared the story and let the credits roll… there’s more waiting for you. Once you beat the story mode, you get 5 more lands, Harder versions of the songs, new songs (including Lockstep for better or worse) and more towers too! However that’s not all, you also have the Challenge Train & Perfect Train.
Perfect Train should be self-explanatory; you are presented a random game, and are asked to get a perfect on this song. Easy right? Challenge train will pit you against a series of modified games grouped together. Some of these will require you get a certain percentage of hits in a song, some require you to only make 3 mistakes, and others are just sped up. These are really easy to start off with, but like the gatekeepers these are divided into 3 difficulties. The hardest challenges are seriously crazy. I’m talking complete 4 increasingly sped up versions of lockstep in a row crazy.
Completing Perfects and Challenges will gain you some coins to buy more minigames. You only play about 80 or so in the main part of the game, the others you will need to buy yourself to unlock. To get everything you need to be fairly competent at the game, as clearing challenges alone won’t net you enough, you will need to perfect songs too. Thankfully this is made slightly less painful with the shorter songs being generally easier to complete but can still be a pain to gather enough coins to unlock everything in the game.
Review was written using the Japanese version of the game