Rhythm Paradise Megamix – Review

rhythmparadise-review

I would like to thank Nintendo UK for giving us the opportunity to play and review this game. We hope it brings them success.

The written review is below

It was nearly a year and a half ago when Rhythm Paradise Megamix launched in Japan as Rhythm Tengoku The Best+ and at this time no one had any idea if the game would come to the West or not. Then to the surprise of many Nintendo revealed Rhythm Paradise Megamix to Western audience, promising it out by the end of 2016. While America received the title as a digital download in June, fans in Europe were promised a physical release like with past titles. Thanks to this fans have had to wait until the end of October to finally play the game.

So was the wait worth it or will Rhythm Paradise Megamix fall on deaf ears? Let’s find out.

 

Gameplay

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The gameplay of Rhythm Paradise Megamix does not do much to differentiate itself from past installments of the series although, in my opinion, it does not really need to. In the case that you don’t know however, Rhythm Paradise Megamix is made up of various mini-games that are all based around learning and following the rhythm of the song. Some games only rely on one-button to be pressed, often the A Button, while some get more complex and throw in multiple buttons.

It is hard to accurately judge the difficulty of the whole game as it relies on the player’s sense of rhythm to progress. For for players with good rhythm, they will enjoy the game. However, for those players who struggle to keep beats, they may find the game very difficult. For example, I am really good at the mini-game Ringside, but I am terrible at Lockstep, which requires going offbeat at points,  because going offbeat is something I find really difficult to do. However, this game comes packed with over 100 mini-games; some of which are harder repeats, so you are bound to find a few games that you’ll enjoy and a few you that you may struggle with. That is the nature of the game though so it wouldn’t be fair to class that as a negative point.

The mini-games only last about a minute at most and then at the end of a four mini-game run you are treated to a remix level. These levels utilize everything you have learnt from the past four games into one mega-game that you don’t get to practise on. It is very satisfying clearing one of these and is the ultimate mark of progress throughout the game.

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What isn’t a mark of progress and feels more like a hinderance is the gate challenges. There are only a few of these in the game and I did not enjoy them. For me, only one of them was any decent and that was because it was a remix of an older mini-game. These challenges are simple games that you have to ‘pay to play’, the higher you pay the lower the difficulty. However, you have to do these to advance through the game and they are usually games that revolve around counting up to a certain number in your head before pressing the button. You have to be so accurate and I struggled with them immensely to the point where I contemplated cheating or giving up the game but in the end I pushed through and succeeded…

…on easy mode.

For every mini-game you beat you get a ranking of either failure, OK or Superb. Getting these rankings increases the amount of coins you get and unlocks bonuses in the games museum mode. These coins can be used in the shop to buy other collectible items and more music while flow orbs from the game’s challenge mode can be used to purchase new, optional, mini-games.

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Challenge mode is a new edition to the series which sees the games mini-games categorized into sections like ‘simple’ games or ‘Japanese’ games which players do in a row in order to unlock Flow Orbs and more coins. This can be done both solo and multiplayer which also supports download play. I didn’t get to try the multiplayer out but I imagine it functions like the solo play does combined with the multiplayer from the Wii title. It’s in the challenge mode where the games ‘perfect’ events can be found. Just like previous games in the series, getting a superb rating will unlock the chance to randomly go for a perfect run of a mini-game. While it seems to take longer for this mode to unlock they have definitely improved on it by kicking players out of the mini-game if they fail the run. Past games just had the game keep going and wasted the players time so this is a nice streamlined feature.

In fact, a lot of this game seems to be designed for streamlining. On the Nintendo 3DS’ touch screen the game has a Super Guide Mode that shows you how accurately you are following the beat and for those really struggling there are visual cues to help get new players into the flow of the games. This is probably one of the best new features of the whole game and something I am glad they finally got around to adding.

There are a few minor features as well in this game that I will quickly mention. There is an odd pachinko-style game where you feed Turnips to a goat in order to level it up. The higher the level the more gifts you get. It is a simple, fun, distraction between mini-games.There is also a Streetpass feature which I did not get to try but involves fighting robots with other people you pass. Its there and sounds neat but I can’t really comment much on it.

The gameplay of Rhythm Paradise Megamix is the best it has ever been in the series with tons of games for people to enjoy and lots of options to keep players going.

 

Presentation

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Just like past games, artist Ko Takeuchi and musicians Tsunku return to work on the series and their work has never been better. As the name would suggest, Rhythm Paradise Megamix is a game that combines the best of the previous games into one mega package. The minigames are laid out in a way where you play one from the original GBA game, then a DS mini-game, then a Wii one and finally a brand new mini-game built for this game. For new players you would not be able to tell as all the returning mini-games have been completely remade to have the level of detail one would expect from a 3DS title. No longer are they pixelated sprites but actual illustrations that use the magic of technology to move and complement all of the updated music.

The remix levels are all entirely new with no previous combination of games being present instead providing quirky and silly themes that can be tackled in nearly any order. Not to mention the menus have been done in much more detail this time to add a real sense of flair. The songs have all been fully translated into English just like in past games, with a Japanese soundtrack available for traditionalists out there. The 3D feature in this game works fine. I ended up not using it much as it is not outstanding but it is passable.

Overall this game looks wonderful and on easily on par with the previous home console title, even though this time it’s on the handheld.

 

Story

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Usually in my reviews the story is the fast part I cover so that you all watching will know what the game is about however this time I decided to leave it until the end. The reason for this is because I have differing opinions on the story of Rhythm Paradise Megamix and how it was implemented.

For the first time ever, a Rhythm Paradise game has come equipped with a story mode. In this story you follow a young guardian called Tibby who has fallen from Heaven World and wants to get home. The story is harmless and the dialogue is cute, with all the characters that Tibby runs into on his quest feeling funny and interesting.

No, the story itself is not my problem but it’s the implementation of it that bugs me.

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I do not think the Rhythm Paradise series needed a story mode and its introduction messed with the traditional structure of the series. I checked and it took me 2 and a half hours before I got to the traditional Rhythm Paradise style of doing 4 minigames and a remix at the end. That is because the story has Tibby going through each land and doing every mini-game before he then has to repeat almost all of them at the end. This felt like padding to me in order to get more time out of the game and I felt it was unnecessary. Padding is an issue to me throughout this game from repeated mini-games to the fact that NPC’s will interrupt the game to speak to you everytime you beat a mini-game for the first time.

The addition of a story was different this time around and I do not hate it, but in the next Rhythm Paradise title I will be more than ok if it does not come back.

 

Verdict.

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I honestly never expected us to get Rhythm Paradise Megamix over here in Europe but I am glad we did. The game really lives up to its name by taking all of the best parts of the previous three games and updating it for this brand new package. You get a lot content for your money with this one, both returning and new. Many of the additions to the gameplay help to streamline things and make the game easier for those who might be rhythmically challenged.

The presentation is top-notch, even looking better than the only home console game in the series and the mixture of classic remixes and new songs really help you to feel the beat. While a somewhat innocent but padded story-line may cause some fans to get bored I think that pushing through the bad is worth it for this title.

It is definitely the best game in the series and I had a lot of fun with it, you just need a bit more patience this time around to unlock everything.

4-stars

Nantendo
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2 comments

  1. You can double-tap to go off-beat on Lockstep. Take it from someone who got stuck on that stage back on the DS version.

    I’ve been a huge fan of the Rhythm Heaven series for a long time, and Megamix was no exception. I did have some issues with it, though; as a veteran of the previous two games, having easier versions of games I had already mastered before having the originals brought back felt unneeded. However, from a new player’s perspective, they’d have an easier time getting into what is widely considered to be a difficult rhythm game, so I understand it’s purpose. I also agree that the Gatekeepers weren’t that fun of an addition, but that’s because I wanted to complete everything before going on and that meant completing easy, medium, *and* hard. If you lose to them too many times, they let you skip past them, but that’d just be admitting defeat to me. It also was a shame just how many coins you’d have to spend if you lost as often as I did, because all the rhythm items and instrumentals at the shop also cost coins, and it takes quite a while to build them up again. I wish I could just use Play Coins, I’m always sitting at 300 of those ’cause hardly any game makes use of them. With those negatives aside, Megamix does more than enough to make me enjoy the game. Having an indication on the touch screen to see if you were late or early was a massive boon, and having visual indications during training if you messed up too often would have been greatly appreciated back when I had to do Big Rock Finish in Rhythm Heaven or Donk-Donk in Rhythm Heaven Fever. Since I never got to play the original Rhythm Tengoku, even more of the stages this time around were new to me, which was cool.

    Not quite sure what you mean about the padding, though. I know you have to go through several worlds before you reach the remix areas, which I admit was a bummer after coming off of Rhythm Heaven Fever, but as far as my memory serves, there wasn’t a significant number of remakes in the remix areas before you got to play the remixes.

    I do agree that the story wasn’t necessary to the game, but I personally can’t put it as a plus or a minus. It didn’t get in the way of me enjoying the game, nor did it enhance it.

    Also feeding the goat isn’t just a neat distraction, it’s the most fulfilling job one could ever hope to perform. It’s the reason we wake up in the morning, the reason we have hope for the future! Or maybe I just think goats are cool, that’s probably a thing.

    Also not all the songs are in English, the Machine Remix just goes to an instrumental when played in English while it has lyrics in Japanese.

  2. I was crushed that there was no 10 minute long remix with all 70 some games at the end. I was so ready for it.

    I’m not sure how multiplayer worked in Fever as I’d only played Heaven prior to this game, but the way multiplayer was handled in this game irked me. As far as I could tell there’s no way to play a single game of your choosing in multiplayer. If you want to play a certain game you have to find a challenge train that includes the game, play whatever other games are part of its set, and abide by whatever restrictions/rules the train imposes.

    On top of that certain types of challenges, like beating a game with limited mistakes, will boot players who fail to a black screen until either the entire group fails or one person passes. Its meant to be a cooperative mode where the whole group passes as long as one person can complete the challenge, so why shouldn’t a player who fails still be allowed to keep playing as long as at least one other player has yet to fail? The first game I played with my brother he messed up only a few seconds in and then had to wait the length of the game for me to pass before he could actually play again. It just seems like a needless restriction.

    Multiplayer complains and annoying gatekeepers aside, the game is brilliant. Easily the most complete package in the series, especially for people like me who missed a game or two.

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