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Rhythm Heaven Fever (Nintendo Wii) Review
Review by 
8.95/10 from 19 user ratings
 

Have you ever wanted to play badminton with a cat and dog as they fly their airplanes over the horizon? Or felt a great desire to play the tambourine with a dancing monkey? What if that monkey could help with your golf swing? All this and much more await you as enter the whimsical world of Rhythm Heaven Fever.

Hot pink monkeys with shades. Careful, they're bad boys!


Rhythm Heaven Fever is the sequel to the DS Rhythm Heaven, and much like the game before it, players' rhythm skills are fully tested while all sorts of crazy events and absurd characters interact as the player progresses through the long list of 'levels.' There are only two button inputs you will ever need to play: (1) the A button and (2) the A & B button pressed simultaneously. The game structure follows a basic pattern where you play four unrelated 'levels,' each with its own music and set of rules, followed by a fifth level called the 'remix' that combines the previous levels into one mishmash of rhythm tastiness. Rinse, repeat. These remixes provide some of the greatest challenges as the player is abruptly switched between the different songs/ rhythms, forcing you to react accordingly while staying on the beat and avoiding the distractions. The fact you're pressing buttons instead of tapping and swiping as in the DS version gives you better precision, especially when some of the levels give you little room for error.

So how do you play Rhythm Heaven Fever? It's all about pressing the right buttons at the right time. As the music plays in any given level, you will have to tap the buttons (or in some cases, hold and release the buttons) with correct timing to fill in or supplement the music you hear. Many times there also visual indicators as additional aids to identify the correct moments, but the game deviously incorporates the graphics in clever attempts at throwing you off the beat.

The graphics in the game are very bold, bright, and clean. Although many times there's not a whole lot of flash or advanced rendering techniques being used, the graphics are always integrated fittingly well with the music and gameplay that. As mentioned before, distractions are abundant and can be quite humorous. For example, in one level a transparent storyboard/ comic book style panel overlays the entire screen. The funny part is there's no way you're going to be able to read or pay attention to it when you're so focused on keeping the beat of the song. These kinds of moments happen very often and make the game perfect to play in group settings, where bystanders/ spectators can appreciate all the stuff that's happening and trying to screw over the player.

Not surprisingly, the music is very catchy and covers a broad range of musical styles to satisfy a variety of tastes, with some of the levels also including full songs with vocals. I can't stress enough what a fantastic job Nintendo's done with the localization for this Japanese game. The singers are excellent and the songs fit perfectly with the gameplay, ensuring an audio delight to anyone within earshot. The great localization is also apparent in other aspects, particularly the writing; in most cases text is very clever and genuinely funny, including the descriptor/ intros kicking off each level.

The amount of unlockable prizes and the desire to perfect every one of the levels greatly extends the depth and replayability of the game. Most of the unlockables can be achieved by getting medals, which you have to earn by achieving a 'Superb' grade on any given level (by making as few mistakes as possible). Earning enough medals allows you to unlock some entertaining 'Rhythm Toys.' There are also some 'Endless Games' that you can play for a high score (no online leaderboard though). 2-player mode must be unlocked one game at a time, and unfortunately there aren't very many of them compared to the single player mode, but I found these very satisfying to play. It's hard to explain, but simply having two people playing at the same time increases the craziness: You're distracting each other on the screen, visually and audibly (when one person misses a beat it can screw up the other person); you're also competing because you want to get the better score, yet cooperating at the same time to get that highly desired 'Superb' rating. It's a Nintendo trademark to feature this friend/ foe relationship in multiplayer, and it's done very well here. It's just too limited.

Part of the fun in playing Fever is just soaking in all the absurd situations happening at any given time. Because none of the scenarios really make much sense (Air Rally is a fun example), you're left anticipating the next challenge just to see what else the game is going to throw your way. Every level has an animation or sound to indicate you either missed a beat or didn't do hit it quite right. Most of the time, these indicators are absolutely funny to witness. The karate man will spin on his back when he messes up his combo, the guy eating peas with the fork will cough and/ or choke when the pea gets stuck between the tines of the fork just before he devours it, your tap-dancing partner will blow a raspberry, and so on.

Get. Away. you little basketball, I'm on a date and the weasels are watching!

One of the downsides of the game is simply its rhythm nature; it's the core of the gameplay and little, if nothing, more than that. Having said that, Nintendo has done an excellent job of adding enough variety and surprises to prevent the game from ever becoming boring. If you're not a fan of the genre, it's possible the rhythm emphasis can prove to be exceedingly frustrating and difficult. The game could be hit or miss with even some rhythm genre fans. However, the game does a nice job of showing you the basics through a tutorial for every level, and you can also watch a demo to understand the timing. When this help is still not enough for you to overcome a difficult obstacle, you are given opportunities to bypass levels you are struggling with, if you so desire. It's also worth noting that no matter how difficult any individual level is, there is always a discernible pattern; it's only a matter of picking up on it and being able to react quickly. Or pick up the rhythm through a lot of practice and trial and error.

In the end, I have to give this game a high recommendation based on the fact it's such a joy to play. Nintendo has taken such a simple gameplay concept, perfected it, and presented it in a beautiful package that will leave you smiling for a long time.

One of the early levels, Air Rally

A Negative World review by
Eric Lopez

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Posted: 02/29/12, 06:23:15  - Edited by 
 on: 03/01/12, 02:56:21    
 
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
 
Wabazabazaba zat true?


Posted by 
 on: 02/29/12, 06:32:07  - Edited by 
 on: 02/29/12, 06:32:25
EH.

(Good review)


Posted by 
 on: 02/29/12, 06:41:58
Monkey Clock is one of the coolest things ever.


Posted by 
 on: 02/29/12, 06:48:03
I'm going to have to try this game one of these days. It's too bad Nintendo doesn't have an online store with demos for console games. I'd probably buy a lot more Wii games, if that were the case.

How does this game compare to Wario Ware?


Posted by 
 on: 03/01/12, 04:45:12
@sirmastersephiroth

It's got the style and simplicity of WarioWare, but the games are all longer and deeper. The remix levels are the closest thing you get to WarioWare.


Posted by 
 on: 03/01/12, 04:48:36
I do wish that one of the endless games was a huge ass remix ala WarioWare. That would make my day.


Posted by 
 on: 03/01/12, 04:51:34
@Zero

You unlock Endless Remix if you get all 50 Perfects.

No one will ever play it.


Posted by 
 on: 03/01/12, 04:53:36
DAMN yeah, that's impossible. Or at least, not worth the pain.

In theory it'd be possible to create something WarioWare-esque by just having a bunch of random parts that match random parts of a basic song and randomly mixing them all up and then getting faster and faster and faster...


Posted by 
 on: 03/01/12, 05:08:28
@GameDadGrant

Fo' sho' !

@Secret_Tunnel

Superbs are tough.

@Zero

Yeah, it's true. It's Monkey Watch though.

@sirmastersephiroth

Secret_Tunnel is correct. The styles of both games bear a striking resemblance, but it's Heaven's focus on the music that sets it apart from the WarioWare series. Both games do use very simple control inputs, with games that require quick reflexes at times.

---

I wish I could play Endless Remix.


Posted by 
 on: 03/02/12, 07:16:34
The multiplayer endless games are awesome, especially the rice hammer one and the ball hitting hack and forth.


Posted by 
 on: 03/02/12, 07:32:47
Good review, Roy! I didn't even know that this game was out, to be honest. There's no question of me getting it, though.

I mean, I will.


Posted by 
 on: 03/02/12, 17:21:00
@roykoopa64

I didn't even realize that the format of my post is almost identical to the evaluation screen. I was just imitating the wrestler and complimenting your review!


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 02:54:54
Rhythm is one of those games that has to be experienced to fully realize the gameplay. Sure, listening to the latest podcast makes me want this game even more. I never played any of the other Rhythm games, so watching the different videos is like a mystery of what the game truly has to offer.

When I watch some of the videos, its like, this looks kindof stupid. Nintendo really should have a downloadable demo for a game like this. Sure, I could go out and buy the game this weekend, but man, my backlog. I am getting to the point where I am feeling guilty with every new game I buy, even if its used cause of the huge stack of games I need to play from the past 2 years.

Ugg, why do all these great games keep coming out. Or better yet, why the hell don't I start playing all these great games I own!


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 03:56:00
After listening to songs for the transitions I chose in the podcast (and finally understanding the reason Ploot made so many weird noises during the Rhythm Heaven Fever segment of the podcast), I think I've caused my self to want this game. I gotta look into the best price but my only question is, just how much length is in the main game?

How many total levels are there? I'm not the type of person who will spend hours aiming to get a perfect on just ONE level, so if there's an extensive variety then I'm good. I saw the number 50 being shouted around in this thread a little, is that the amount of levels to be had? 10 "sets" of 4 levels then a fifth remix? How long does it take to really complete.?


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 04:09:38
Yeah it is 10 sets of 5 basically, the 5th one of each set being a remix. There are also some "endless" games. If you're just trying to burn through the game you can do it in 4 or 5 hours I'd think? But if you try to go for medals on each one (medals aren't perfects, they're just better than "ok") it'll take a bit longer.

I don't think it is a long game by any means though.


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 04:42:47
This is one of the few games that I enjoy so much that if I hear the music, I will stop doing my assignments or most things I am doing and start playing. Even if I don't do better, I will try it again without much frustration just because it's so much fun and has great music.

@anon_mastermind

The 2 player endless games are too much fun. It's easy to blame the other person when someone messes up (or just blame the monkey ).


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 05:50:57
@Zero

Enough content and fun to warrant 30 bucks then?

I know how Roy feels. And Gui and Ploot.


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 06:42:13
I dunno, value is relative. I got it for $25 and I'm happy with that. There are some multiplayer games as well that are pretty fun.


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 07:08:06
Nice review! This is definitely one of the better Wii games that's come out lately, and in my opinion, certainly worth buying. I've just gotten my final medal today and am now working on Perfects. Time will tell if I can get them all, though...a few of the games give me severe trouble to do flawlessly.

I have to complain again about a couple games though. Everything else is based strictly on rhythm, but Love Rap kinda forces you to simply react to the statements rather than truly feel the beat. Those "Fo' sho"s are killer and tick me off. I hope they don't include games like this in future installments. Tap Troupe is quite fun, but has a similar problem in that the final beat on the "tap-tap-TAP" parts tends to change at random--sometimes it's on the downbeat, sometimes the upbeat, and sometimes on a weird half-beat thing.

I agree with a comment Zero made elsewhere about the Wiimote not quite being ideal for the button-pressing in a game like this, especially if you consider its wirelesses having an inherent delay (compared to wired or the DS's input).

For the most part, RHF does a good job keeping the variety and fun flowing, though. I really appreciate games that go the extra mile to mix things up--the fishing game, while not a favorite, is pretty fresh, and Exhibition Match is a creative and exciting bit with great music and character animations. I do think some games (Tambourine/Working Dough, Micro-Row/Flipper Flop) can be similar to others, but it's nice to have more original games than the DS one overall and there're a plethora of unlockables to boot. The music is universally excellent and the learning curve is well done indeed.

And as usual, the Remixes are very cool.


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 07:36:28
My only real negative I have for the game is the inability to "TRY AGAIN" after messing up. There should be an option in the pause menu that allows a quick restart of the song. Messing up, quitting, watching the intro, skipping the practice... Gets tedious.


Posted by 
 on: 03/03/12, 07:53:28
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