beat the beat drum paradise

For many people, their only experience of music-based games is well-known titles such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, both of which are entertaining but even fans of these titles would say they have been done to death by now. Grabbing miniature versions of instruments and using them as controllers to pop out a simulated solo that requires a fraction of the actual skill needed to actually play the song has simply gotten a little old by now, so one would think that there are few places for this kind of game to go.

This isn’t entirely true however, since there still exist some musical games that are so eccentric you couldn’t possibly think that they were created by anyone in the mainstream developer world. One such game is Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise, which takes the rhythmical fun of its more straight-laced music game friends and injects eccentricity and lots of unpredictability.

Beat the Beat : Rhythm Paradise isn’t a long-winded adventure game but rather a series of musical mini-games that involve you imitating the movements and actions of a variety of unusual characters in order to keep up with the rhythm. Thankfully, this game doesn’t make the mistake of other titles such as Major Minor’s Majestic March (possible link in to end site at some point or simple external link ) which is relying on motion-based input. Any rhythm-based genre requires spot-on, real-time input that can only be provided at this stage by button-possessing controllers, and thankfully this game’s input method is exactly that. You must tap the A button and sometimes combination of the A and B button in order to keep up with the music. It may sound straightforward but this game is far from it if you’re playing it for any longer than five minutes.

Tutorials precede each level, allowing beginners to ease into the premise and the feel of the rhythm of each level, whereas veterans can skip this altogether and go straight for the kill. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself struggling as each level progresses though since the cues become more difficult to follow as distractions are added and rhythms are made even more difficult to follow. You’ll eventually realise that you pretty much need to be a solid and unwavering human metronome in order to maintain perfect rhythm in the harder levels since the visual distractions and audio obstacles become more frequent and ferocious as time goes on. The difficulty exceeds that of even some of the more well-renowned rhythmical games of the flash variety such as Symphonic TD.

One of the most recognisably brilliant features of this game is the sheer eccentricity of its visuals as well as the concept of each level in general. It isn’t unusual to see a man playing golf with a monkey and baboon, an Inuit with a harem of seals, or a quadrilogy of shrimps dancing on the beach. You’ll be forgiven for thinking that the developers in charge of this project at Nintendo may have had an encounter or two with some hallucinogenic substances at some point in their lives because of the insanely colourful and wildly unusual nature of it all. The outlandish visuals and generally unhinged concept feels more like the working of some supremely skilled indie developers rather than the multi-million selling company that brought us such household names as Super Mario and the Pokémon franchise.

Though the difficulty get frustratingly fierce at times, there’s something about the nature of this game that compels you to keep tapping the A button as accurately as you know how. Though some may find the button-tapping a little repetitive and simplistic, if you take into account the design and generally light-hearted nature of the game than you realise that it simply wants to entertain you the only way it knows how: eccentrically with a pace that is increasingly challenging to keep up with.