Nothing about this game would work if the music were a dud, so it's a good thing these tunes are infectious. Each scenario comes with its own song, so you'll get a wide variety of different musical styles. When mixing love potions with the dreamy scientist, you're treated to a slow ballad that will make your experiment even more potent. In a competitive eating minigame, the fast music provides ample motivation to quickly toss food into your mouth. Although not everyone will love the saccharine fan club song, the fidelity of the different tunes is impressively high. Everything sounds good coming from the Nintendo DS speakers, but strapping on a pair of headphones takes your listening pleasure up to the next level. Everything sounds crystal clear, and some tracks, such as the Easter Island statue duet, sound incredible.
Silly game--birds don't need an airplane to fly.
There is one drawback to this otherwise charming, hummable game: It's hard. If you're rhythmically challenged, you'll find your progress stopped quite often. In most cases, the game does find a way to help graceless individuals along. If you fail a song three straight times, you are given the option to skip it and move on to something that is hopefully less taxing. However, this is not always the case. When you get to the end of the first batch of levels, you are never given the option to skip ahead and instead are forced to play it over and over until you master its tricky rhythm. This problem is made worse by a lack of direction in how to be more successful. Instead of offering pointers to people clearly unable to grasp the finer points of the minigame, the game merely says "Try a little harder," which makes your failure all the most deflating. Furthermore, the barometer for success is needlessly high. Even getting the vast majority of notes correct does not ensure safe passage to the next set of levels, and the game never gives an indication of how close you are to meeting its requirements. Although people who are overflowing with musical talents won't have to worry about their progress being hampered, the less rhythmically abled will fight an uphill battle.
Rhythm Heaven is fun despite its demanding nature because it's so charming and silly. The visuals that accompany each level have their own unique touch, making each minigame enjoyable to watch just to see what wacky idea will crop up next. The music is outstanding, providing catchy beats that will stick in your head long after you've turned off the system, and the fidelity is high, especially when you plug in a pair of headphones. It's disappointing that this game doesn't offer multiple difficulty levels, but if you have music in your heart, you'll find something to enjoy here.