Rhythm Paradise Megamix (Heaven in the US) is a compendium rhythm game release for the Nintendo 3DS, which brings together many mini games from past entries in the Rhythm Paradise series, as well as some new ones. Read on for our thoughts…
The gameplay is pretty simple, each mini game lasts around a minute, tasking you to match a beat by pressing the A Button and/or D-Pad. Difficulty ranges from the charmingly easy to full-brained hardcore experiences.
Developed by the same team which produces Nintendo’s WarioWare series, Rhythm Paradise Megamix features a strong sense of humour, leaning heavily towards subversive and sometimes dreamlike scenarios for all of it’s mini games. One game requires you to pluck the chin hairs of an onion, while another gives you the role of and Astronaut translating Martian speech. This is all done to a catchy beat, as Megamix features a nice variety of funky and well crafted tunes, which will keep knocking around your head well after you stop playing.
As mentioned before, Megamix lifts a number of mini games from previous series entries, on GameBoy Advance, Nintendo DS and Wii. Altogether, these and the new rhythm games number over 100. The main bulk of the game takes the form of a light RPG-satire, which opens with you meeting the cute, alien character, Tibby. His first appearance in the series, Tibby has fallen from Heaven, and needs your help to climb back up to the stars!
This task doesn’t take any particularly adventurous form however, as the very light story leads you through most of the mini games in complete linearity. You must beat one to move on to the next, with little deviation from the straight road format despite a handful of small distractions. None of the mini games pose too much of a threat to your progress, but you must master each one to a certain degree to progress. Each game can be passed to two standards, ‘Ok’ or ‘Superb’. You’re scored out of 100, and anything less than 60 is considered a failure meaning you’ll have to try again before moving on, but it’s not as hard as it may sound. Additionally, there’s a special point in each game which if hit perfectly will reward you with a ‘skill star’. Earning skill stars or passing games without missing a beat awards you with coins, which can be spent on various other distractions – noted earlier.
Every now and then you’ll be beaconed to visit the Café, Megamix’s special area for extra game modes, settings or quick access menus. Here you can unlock other mini games such as a pachinko goat feeding simulator or street pass functions. There’s also a shop where coins can be spent on extra game functions such as a sound test for casual listening, which is especially welcome given the game features so many catchy tunes!
As well as the single player, there’s also up to 4 person multiplayer. This is a pretty basic offering, but playing the mini games alongside others is always good fun and a great way to get to know the games. The variety of games available is the same regardless of whether your partners own the game or not, as download play enables everyone to play from one copy, although the loading times in this scenario are pretty long. Although Megamix was only available to download in the US, you can pick it up physically as well in Europe. As a budget title, it should be found for £24.99 or less, which is an okay price given a lot of the content is not new. However, all mini games feature new high resolution graphics and the stereoscopic 3D is particularly pleasing when paired with the pop-art graphical visuals.
My only issues with Megamix are that is can be a little too easy at times. It’s been very rare that I’ve struggled to beat any of the games, beating any one of them after just a few tries. This isn’t that big of an issue, as too much difficulty could be frustrating, but it’s a shame each individual mini game doesn’t carry it’s own difficulty settings. It would be nice to increase the challenge of my favourites when replaying them multiple times over, but sadly that’s not an option.
The multiplayer mode, while very fun, also feels a bit thin. All you do is play rhythm games alongside friends, the level of interaction doesn’t feel that strong. Some sort of more intense or complex gameplay would have been great for dedicated players who want to master the entire game together. It is a very nice addition though, as other 3DS rhythm games such as Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX or Bit.Trip Saga don’t feature multiplayer at all.
Overall, I would highly recommend Rhythm Paradise Megamix. It’s the kind of rhythm game anyone can pick up and play, as each mini game is short and easy to understand. The humour and fun look also help the game from ever becoming frustrating, though it isn’t that difficult anyway. A few extra modes would have been great, but for a slightly cheaper price, this is a pretty spot on portable experience for rhythm fans.