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Posted on Feb 22nd 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (NeoMagicWarrior)
Posted under rhythm

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

"Wario-Ware, 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!


One of the biggest complaints I heard out of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band 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.


Jubeat 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!
~ Neo

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Lots of great picks here. Rhythm Heaven is so great. I've never heard of Jubeat though, I'll have to look into that one. I could name so many that I've loved over the years: Bust-A-Groove, Audiosurf, Elite Beat Agents, Rez, and most recently, Thumper are all amazing.
I love rhythm games. I may not be good at all of them but I love them.
Space Channel 5?
I'm not a big fan of a lot of rhythm games but I had a chance to play a bunch of JuBeat a few months back and it quickly jumped to one of my favorite games and nothing else I have found has scratched that itch. Found a few mobile games that have come close but aren't nearly as good. I know Tokyo Pop goes to a lot of conventions and they have a bunch of the machines. If you ever get a chance play a few rounds. Also if you ever see one give Sound Voltex a try.
You can make a custom Sound Voltex controller, and they have an emulator for it now, which is a good attempt at bringing the experience home. I love rhythm games myself, and love all the recommendations. beatmania meets DJ Hero:
@zophar53:They all made the "short list." I'm sure I'll do a Part 2 of this one.

@noiseredux: Fun Fact: I've never played it.

@DK1105: I think you are looking for "Tokyo Attack."...Those guys are amazing people and a bunch of fun at cons. That is where I first played Jubeat, and have been trying to find a good home solution ever since.

@Shadow Kisuragi: I'm terrible at Sound Vortex. I now need that in my life.

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