I wonder what was going through the minds of the team that designed â€śBeat the Beat Rhythm Paradiseâ€ť. I want to know what their motivations were, because at first glance making a video game about mashing buttons in time to â€śbeatsâ€ť sounds like a one-way ticket to poor-town.
But after spending some time with this quirky time-waster on the wonderful wii, I think thereâ€™s more to this title than just inane foot-tapping. Thereâ€™s something deeper here, something a little more off the wall. And Iâ€™d want to have a beer, or a sake as the case may be, with its development team so that I could figure out exactly what the hell Nintendo were getting at.
Thereâ€™s not much to Beat the Beat Rhythm Paradise. The zany, slightly surreal, name probably gives you a pretty good idea of the kind of strange Nintendo territory we're in here. Basically all you are asked to do is hit the A button on the wiimote in time with audible and visual cues, and from time to time mash the A and B buttons together in a fit of rhythmic panic.
Your button mashing prowess is tested through a series of "mini-games" - which are just steadily more difficult rhythm challenges - that you need to progress through in order to finish the title.
However, the more you peer into that incredibly simplistic package, the stranger this seemingly banal experience becomes. Perhaps it's because this is a game that's clearly been designed for casual gamers, or maybe it's because been developed in that unfamiliar foreign wii style, but Beat the Beat Rhythm Paradise is just god damned weird.
It's as if the developers dropped a couple of tabs, ripped the guts out of guitar hero, printed off a couple of Salvador Dali paintings, and said to themselves "this isn't so hard. We could do that".
They couldn't, but they sure did try. And the results are very odd indeed. The fourth mini-game is a typical example - during the practice phase, a lonely emo-teen sits on a park bench and is asked to kick a soccer ball, a basketball and a rugby ball in time with the beat. Sounds simple enough.
But when the real action starts, two multicoloured ferrets erupt out of a hole in the ground in front of him, jumping with joy with every good punt. An emo-chick suddenly appears, and begins eyeing up your character in a decidedly R-rated fashion, and in the background each flying item of sports equipment is inexplicably caught by soaring ninjas. Not to mention that all of this is accompanied by a creepy syncopated beat. It's Fear and Loathing on the Wii, and that's just the fourth level.
Is Beat the Beat Rhythm Paradise a good game? No. Clearly not, just look at its ridiculous premise.
Does it offer anything amazing on a platform that's becoming increasingly weary? No. It doesn't even try. Forget the kinaesthetic Wii remotes, you could easily play this game on a jury rigged calculator.
Is it worth the money? Nuh uh, with an attention holding span of around twenty minutes, this isn't a game worthy of time or treasure.
But was it strange? You bet. Was it fun? In a peculiar way, yes. Timing button mashes with beats, as pink and yellow ferrets cheer you on, is just weird enough to be worth it.