Rhythm Paradise (Rhythm Heaven) (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 21.07.2011 1

Review for Rhythm Paradise (Rhythm Heaven) (Hands-On) on Wii

Rhythm Tengoku on the Game Boy Advance arrived so late in the day that even though it eventually amassed strong sales, it never quite fulfilled its true potential. The Gold edition on DS went on to sell well in excess of 1.5 million copies and made its debut in the US and Europe, complete with an advertising campaign featuring Beyonce. Now the third entry has just arrived on Wii in Japan and is due late 2011 for the US and early 2012 for Europe. Cubed3 got the chance recently to take three of the levels for a spin to see if it improves upon the already excellent previous two releases.

The build of Rhythm Paradise (Minna no Rhythm Tengoku in Japan, Rhythm Heaven in the US) that was on show at the recent Nintendo event was still all in Japanese since the game is not scheduled for release in Europe until early 2012 and only arrived in Japan itself recently, yet just as it was easy enough to navigate through the Japanese-only Rhythm Tengoku on the Game Boy Advance, figuring out the basics of this third entry into the series from the makers of WarioWare was not exactly taxing.

There were three modes of play on offer, each supposedly increasing in difficulty. However, as many players will know, it all depends on the tune featured on a stage and how well you get to grips with the background beat that determines the timing required for button presses (or stylus taps/swipes in the DS edition). Maintaining the weird and wacky nature of both the first two entries in this rhythm series, as well as the WarioWare series, the first level had players controlling a giant fork and having to catch peas that were flicked from deeper into the screen outwards at an angle.

Screenshot for Rhythm Paradise (Rhythm Heaven) (Hands-On) on Wii

The second stage involved a samurai, slashing his sword in time with the beat in order to slice different types of ghosts in two as they emerged from a dark cave, attempting to knock the warrior over. Finally, there was a mid-air badminton match that took place in bi-planes, with the computer opponent whacking the shuttlecock in your direction in varying patterns with the aim being to continuously return it without fail.

Being on Wii does not mean that Nintendo has decided to opt for vastly improving the visuals by adding a level of 3D to proceedings, but it has allowed for some extremely finely tuned 2D graphics to be used, whilst also retaining the charming cartoon-esque imagery of the past two games. In terms of the music included, it was initially tough to gauge. When entering the Nintendo Press event at the start of the day, all TV sets had their volume on quite low so as to avoid disturbing and disorientating those playing in close proximity to another title.

Screenshot for Rhythm Paradise (Rhythm Heaven) (Hands-On) on Wii

Thankfully, though, after a discussion between myself and Ben Southam (Cubed3 user ‘dojo,’ who used to work on the staff side of the site, but now helps at Nintendo events), a request was made and the volume of Rhythm Paradise was considerably upped. Prior to that, people were looking thoroughly bored, since tapping on a Wii Remote (held straight forward, and not like a NES pad as some first believed would be the case) randomly when no music can be clearly heard is obviously a fruitless exercise. With the music cranked up, however, it revealed how addictive the tunes of Mitsuo Terada (also known as Tsunku) can be.

Although tapping the ‘A’ button in time with the rhythm starts to come naturally the more familiar you become with the tune for a specific stage, the environment was not particularly conducive for the special surprise included in Rhythm Paradise, that of scenes where darkness descends or graphical obstacles start to obscure the screen. In past entries you could almost ‘cheat’ by timing taps merely by watching the on-screen visuals very closely.

Screenshot for Rhythm Paradise (Rhythm Heaven) (Hands-On) on Wii

However, Nintendo has added an extra level of difficulty to challenge players even more, yet sadly in the crowded room these parts were tough to complete successfully. The idea, however, is a very satisfying one for anyone hoping for a trickier experience. Peas flying at your fork slowly, super fast and sometimes in pairs, ghosts flying slowly towards the samurai or pouring out in groups that require ‘A’ to be held instead of just tapped, and a badminton mode that was extremely reminiscent of the superb table tennis level in the DS edition where the opponent flies further into the screen to make returning shots more taxing before cloud cover makes the player relying purely on their hearing skills, all help to make Rhythm Paradise one of the most anticipated releases of 2012 for European Wii owners, and potentially 2011 for US gamers (if nothing changes in terms of release schedule).

Screenshot for Rhythm Paradise (Rhythm Heaven) (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

It is already extremely apparent exactly how addictive Rhythm Paradise for Wii is going to be, and the decision to choose button input controls rather than motion-activated gameplay is definitely a wise one, harking back to the original Game Boy Advance edition that die-hard fans prefer to the Nintendo DS touch-screen iteration. Look out for some catchy tunes and dastardly action in Rhythm Paradise Wii early next year in Europe.

Also known as

Rhythm Heaven Fever









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


I had SO much fun with this. It was really disappointing to see some people looking bored when trying it. When I jumped on it was a case of really feeling the rhythm and getting into the swing of things.

Playing Kirby Wii, XenoBlade and Mystery Case Files basically involved me half paying attention to them, whilst tapping my fingers on the edge of the controller to the Rhythm Paradise music playing over my shoulder. Highly infectious stuff!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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