8th February 2012; By Jack & Patrick
, the latest entry in Nintendo's musical mayhem series, is heading to the Wii and brings with it the usual mix of catchy music and weird but wonderful scenarios. The game promises to be crazier than ever, introducing the player to golfing monkeys, bobbing birds, corporate pigs, dancing shrimp, rather tall tap dancers and the cutest clock you will ever see; just to name a few of the 50+ games included. Jack and Patrick have spent the last few months playing through the Japanese release and have each picked three favourite games which they believe you should look forward to playing when the game releases next week.
Description: Sweaty wrestlers with pecs that flex to the beat. Quite simply, Ringside is the manliest thing to arrive on the Wii since Muscle March. This game, which sees you take the role of a wrestler giving a post-match interview, is one of the more complicated games Rhythm Heaven Fever has to offer, with three different commands to memorise. You'll be tapping A to nod your head in answer to the interviewer's questions, double tapping A to show off your triceps in response to her amazement and pressing A and B together in order to strike a pose for the press when asked. There is a lot to learn, but the reward is being able to enjoy one of the silliest games in the series.
Personal Reaction: Every Rhythm Heaven game in the series has always had one particularly catchy sound byte that always brings a smile to me. The original Gameboy Advance game had "Turn Light, Pixie Down, Pa-pa-pa-pawnch" meanwhile the internationally released DS version had it's fan club of monkeys shouting "I~ Suppose, Hey!". Rhythm Heaven Fever continues this tradition with its Wrestler's Interview stage, delivering a very catchy "Wubadubaduba that true?" and "Woah, you go big guy!", both of which never fail to bring a silly grin to my face (especially when you add in the wrestler's camp poses and cheesy grin).
Description: Leading the sixth set of games, Launch Party provides a welcome change of pace with its simplistic controls. However, much like the rest of the game, nothing is as simple as it first seems. The premise is simple: rockets appear and begin to count down and all you have to do is tap A when they reach zero to launch them skyward. Things become more complicated though as there are four varieties of rocket, each with different countdown lengths and speeds, ranging from the green bell-shaped rockets which race down from seven to the white bowling pin rockets (that look a bit like Orbulon from WarioWare) which star at one but has the longest delay between its numbers. If you can keep a calm head and feel the beat, even the farthest reaches of space will be filled with the sound of your success.
Personal Reaction: Sometimes simple is best and the simple mechanics of this game combined with its playful glockenspiel countdowns and rousing march music make it a great deal of fun both to play and listen to.
Description: This golfing groove is the very first game you'll come across while playing Rhythm Heaven Fever and introduces you with a steady beat, and the first set of many monkeys you'll become familiar with throughout the game. Your small monkey friend will toss gold balls towards you and all you need to do is tap A with the right timing to swing your club and launch the ball towards the green on the neighbouring island, securing a hole in one if your timing is perfect. That isn't all you have to deal with as occasionally your Mandrill caddie will throw a larger ball into the mix, which requires you to press A and B in unison to deliver an extra powerful swing. Sink enough holes and you'll soon be on your way to discover the rest of the weird and wonderful the game has to offer.
Personal Reaction: An upbeat tune, a vibrant island setting, and golfing monkeys? What more could you want? This uplifting song never fails to brighten the mood and is a perfect start to the game.
Description: Flipper Flop is one of Rhythm Heaven Fever's cutest games (only ousted by a certain clock) seeing you take charge of a group of round seals who flop their flippers and roll around in the snow to the beat. You'll be tapping A to waddle along with the beat, occasional having to do three quick waddles when signalled by an audio queue. That's not all, though, as your Inuit commander will occasionally ask you to perform a certain number of flipper rolls, which require you to tap both A and B together. The result of these flipper rolls is equally adorable as an odd number will leave you on your back, letting you roll in the snow rather than waddle along. It's not always an easy ride as you'll have to pull off eight or nine flipper rolls in a row towards the end, requiring quick timing.
Personal Reaction: JENTAA-HAJIME!!! This game is not only the absolute cutest thing ever; the fact that it's a great song with an amazing background guitar part just adds to it. The controls are perfect for what the seals do, and the rhythms are in sync with the song. In other words, this is basically perfect!
Description: Appearing in the latter stages of the game, Cheer Readers sees you becoming a member of a card-flipping cheer squad, turning your cards around both in time to the beat as well as your troop chants. Gameplay is similar to The Dazzles, which was featured in the Nintendo DS version of Rhythm Heaven. You play as the bottom right member of the twelve-girl cheer squad, and need to tap A at the right time to flip your card at the right time to complete the pattern. Each pattern also has it's own unique chant to help you remember when to flip your card over. For example, the chant "One! Two! Three!" corresponds to each horizontal row being flipped over in order while "It’s up to you!" corresponds to them being flipped over in vertical columns. The one exception to the rule is the chant "OK, it’s on!" in which you need to tap both A and B together to open your card at the same time as everyone else, revealing an image of characters from previous Rhythm Heaven games. While it may sound confusing in writing, with both the chants and visual cues to help, it's never too tricky keep track of what is going on. The Cheer Readers game actually makes two appearances in Rhythm Heaven Fever, returning for a trickier remix in the games final stages.
Personal Reaction: While the first Cheer Readers didn't really appeal to me, the second one did. The tune is better, the rhythms are better, the gameplay is more challenging, and it's just generally more fun. It's also quite cute to hear all the broken English!
Description: The Samurai Slice game has made an appearance in one form or another every Rhythm Heaven game to date and Rhythm Heaven Fever is no exception. This time he is back to doing what he does best and cuts his way through a horde of evil spirits. A swift press of the A Button is enough to dispatch most enemies that come to attack you, but occasionally you will have to deal with a swarm of green eyes daemons, in which case holding A and B together will deliver a frenzied attack to cut down the entire pack. Special mention has to go to this game's artwork which takes on a textured appearance that looks like it's straight out of a Japanese painting.
Personal Reaction: Who knew that one of the first games shown would be one of my favourites? Not only does this game tell a story while it's going on of a Samurai helping two kids get their pinwheel back, it has some of the best music in the game in my opinion!
Our picks are just a small sample of the weird, wonderful and toe-tapping games ahead and there is plenty more to discover and enjoy! Is there a mini-game that you're especially looking forward to playing? Let us know on Twitter! Rhythm Heaven Fever releases in American territories on the 13th of February, and we hope you have as much fun with it as we did covering it. Special thanks to NintenDaan for assisting us with the video footage!