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Rhythm Paradise Megamix review


Listen carefully and you’ll soon notice how existence is filled with rhythmic flourishes. There’s the plip-plipping of raindrops on a tin roof, the wobble and throb of a lorry engine idling in traffic, and the wash of timpani whenever a wave hurls itself onto pebbles, fatally. There are the seasons – four beats of the bar that comprise each year. There’s the ticking of the clock, holding down an unwavering 60bpm till the end of time, or, at least, of batteries. Rhythm Paradise is a series that seeks to capture these joyous rhythmic oddities in microgames. It’s an approach that has served Nintendo’s designers well. Rock Band, Guitar Hero and all the other rock-posturing others clutter under-stair cupboards and garages. This series, in which you play, not as Kurt Cobain or Paul McCartney but as a microscopic amoeba, swimming with friends in elegant unison, or as an English interpreter for a Martian octopus, marches on, fortissimo.

The story – and, as the game points out, with typical irreverence, it’s not “one of these big serious stories” (“you won’t be quizzed on it”) – is that you must help Tibby, a bear with rosy cheeks and pink afro, back to heaven, from where he’s fallen. You do this, at Tibby’s suggestion, by climbing a massive tree. Each of the tree’s tiers of branches holds four microgames. Clear each with a passable score, and you can move to the next tier of the tree, and edge Tibby back home. Nintendo’s translators once again reveal themselves to be some of the finest and funniest working today. There’s comparatively little text in the game, but each new character you meet on your ascent is written with vivid wit (take, for example, Saffron, Saltwater and Paprika, druids who could have stepped from a deleted scene in The Princess Bride, arguing, as they do, about which has the best ominous patois).