I'm not sure about you, but "you gotta believe" I'm a sucker for a good rhythm game. Game mechanics are usually boiled down to "hit this button at this time", but in reality all games are the same; rhythm games are just more explicit about it. Since I've moved my gaming stuff into the basement, I've been able to enjoy them a fair bit more than normal, and I figured it would be a good time to go through a few of my favorites (in no particular order).Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Series
This is the game that sparked the idea for the post in the first place. I LOVE Project DIVA
for what it is: a cheesy anime-based rhythm game. Push the button according to the matching icon and listen to some rad J-Pop/Rock...sounds good to me. The real bonus this game has over some of the others on the list is just how solid the actual rhythm mechanics are. The lack of a frilly accessory or sneaky control scheme takes all the complication out and leaves you with a solid experience. So what if it is centered around cute anime girls...I can like it for the gameplay, Mom!Frequency / Amplitude
Developed by a neat little company that went by the name of Harmonix (maybe you've heard of 'em?), Frequency
is a game with notes gliding down a track towards the player and hitting them completes the parts of the song. It is played on multiple tracks, with each track being a different part of the song. As a player completes a section, that instrument keeps playing long enough for the player to do the rest of the tracks. Excellent choice in licensed music, and a unique control scheme of using the bumpers to hit the notes makes this a stand out entry in the rhythm genre. The visuals are sometimes a bit overwhelming when you are trying to find your way in a song, but you'll get used to it before the difficulty ramps up too much. The stellar sequel, Amplitude
surpassed it's predecessor in all ways but soundtrack...which was a bit disappointing. Rhythm Heaven Series
, but with music" is how I would describe this amazing game by Nintendo. Rhythm Heaven
is more a collection of mini games put to music than a traditional rhythm game. The all original soundtrack is cute and catchy, and serves as a fun backdrop to the simple flicks and taps the player makes through a song. "Megamix" collections at the end of each set of stages mix up the fun and really test your memory of each rhythm pattern. The art ranges from gorgeous to minimal, somehow without really interfering with the experience too much. Nintendo's brand of solid production is also in full form here, with everything fitting together in a really nice package. A must buy for anyone with a pulse, and drummers too!Rocksmith
One of the biggest complaints I heard out of the Guitar Hero
era were from people who really enjoyed the game and then went and bought a real guitar. The games had given them no real indication of what it is to actually play an instrument, and they felt betrayed. In the meantime, Ubisoft actually did something half ok for a change, and made the gem that is Rocksmith
. Unlike the plastic-toting variants, Rocksmith
makes the player use a real guitar...and all of the troubles that come with one. The game plays great and really helped me improve my playing a bunch, but I still can't help feeling like it really needed a more social aspect...at least a 2 player local co-op or something. The presentation also left a bunch to be desired, with odd nested menus and an archaic method of the game telling you what difficulty you can play on with no selection from the player. Still, it was ambitious and a great pickup if you are wanting to sharpen up some real guitar skills.JubeatJubeat
is one of the odd Japan-Only rhythm games, but probably one of the most solid and easy to get into. The "board" is divided into 16 LCD-backed buttons, which each indicate when they need to be pressed in sequence. What makes Jubeat
so fun to play is how accessible it is. Anyone can get their head around pushing buttons as they light up, sorta like wack-a-mole, and the intuitiveness is where the game gets good. It easily becomes second nature to string together huge, impressive looking combos while rocking out to one of the best soundtracks I've found for a rhythm game in years (side note: mostly J-pop/rock and electronica). It gives all the satisfaction of playing a game of Dance Dance Revolution
, without the need for an inhaler.
Well, I hope this will keep you dancing for a bit! I have a few more rhythm games I'd like to talk about, but I think I'll save that for a Part 2. I'm always on the lookout for more, so let me know what your favorites are, and I'll check 'em out!
Till next time!