Take one shot of PaRappa the Rapper's Simon Says-esque gameplay, a few dashes of WarioWare's fast-paced, addictive mini-games and top it all off with a hefty dose of Elite Beat Agents' off-the-wall touch screen mechanics
- Quirky, fresh, and entirely original; downright addicting
- Slight difficulty curve; prepare for odd looks on the bus
A portable gamer through-and-through, I'm pretty used to playing any number of DS or PSP games during my daily bus journeys. Rhythm Heaven, however, may be the first title that's officially engrossed me enough for me to not only miss my regular stop altogether, but find myself the victim of a "Last stop!" call, dumping me a good thirty miles from the GamePro offices. Trust me — it doesn't look good on an expense report.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
Take one shot of PaRappa the Rapper's Simon Says-esque gameplay, a few dashes of WarioWare's fast-paced, addictive mini-games and top it all off with a hefty dose of Elite Beat Agents' off-the-wall touch-screen mechanics (shaken, not stirred), and you've got a delightfully original experience with Nintendo's DSi flagship title, Rhythm Heaven.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah!"
As a gamer, I'm always looking for innovation in the industry. From blood-spattered Wii slaughter-fests to disgruntled rappers searching for jewel-encrusted craniums, as long as a game has something imaginative enough to stand out from the rest of the generic shovelware crowd, you can count me in. Enter Rhythm Heaven: a unique (to say the least) collection of mini-games from the people that brought you the prestigious WarioWare franchise, not to mention original tunes from Japanese pop sensation Tsunku.
A sequel to the Japanese-exclusive GBA title Rhythm Tengoku, Rhythm Heaven takes the quirky mini-game-centric interface from the overseas original and masterfully integrates the DS' touch-screen controls into the title, leading players to tap and flick their way to victory through a series of charming mini-games. From fuelling up robots in tune with a mechanical cadence to taking control of crooning Moai heads, Rhythm Heaven exudes one-of-a-kind charisma that's guaranteed to keep your stylus tapping well in sync with your toes.
Can't stop, won't stop
Each "stage" in Rhythm Heaven consists of four unique mini-games, each featuring a specific beat and/or tune. Once all four mini-games have been cleared, you move onto a "Remix", which plays as a mash-up of the stage's previous challenges, integrating all of the melodies you've heard so far into an oddly alluring, and incredibly accessible symphony where you act as conductor. This may mean tapping in sequence as a space ship blows alien menaces out of the sky, or suddenly flicking the DS stylus to the tempo of a ping-pong rally. Each mini-game finds new and inventive ways to take advantage of the DS' touch screen technology, with each mini-game proving zanier and more creative than the last. It's also worth mentioning that the game's graphical style changes from game to game — one minute a squiggly black and white chorus line, the next a colourful, cartoony group of synchronised swimmers.
While the infectious beat is enough to get players absorbed into the melodious mini-games, Rhythm Heaven's difficulty curve is sure to turn some gamers away. There aren't any difficulty settings for the harmonically challenged, so if you're bad at a certain mini-game you're going to have to either power your way through to an "OK" rating, or wait for the game to take pity on you after three failed attempts and simply skip it altogether. While I could really drag the game's difficulty curve into a larger argument, the more I played through even the trickiest mini-games, I found the skills that I'd built and the basics that I'd learned incredible helpers as I progressed further into the title.
And the beat goes on...
Still, with such a wide selection of games to choose from with over 30 core mini-games, not to mention medals to win, "Perfect" ratings to earn, and incredibly simple yet insanely engaging Endless Games and Rhythm Toys to unlock (never thought I'd spend two hours digitally flicking a coin in tune with an ever-changing tempo), Rhythm Heaven is a must-own for handheld gamers everywhere, plain and simple, and a welcome breath of fresh air for the gaming scene in general.
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A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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