Developer Alpha Unit hasn’t done a terrible lot worth getting excited about over the past few years, but their DS game coming to Japan on April 4th, Rhythm De Run Run Run, looks like it could be a worthy import, having seemingly learned exactly the right lessons from the Rhythm Heaven series (previously covered smartly in an installment of One More Go).
Specifically, it treats rhythm (as I kept thinking about last night in my restless and listless post-daylight savings insomnia which I can’t seem to shake for the life of me) as the hair’s-breadth line you have to trace but dare not break: a fragile thread that can’t be deviated from without dire consequences.
In Rhythm Heaven, that’s usually compounded by aspects of public performance — trying to avoid the sidelong glares of your singing/dancing/military mates. For Alpha Unit, though, it’s about a goal you’re ultimately trying to reach, as in the video above, with the helpless youth desperately trying to make his way to a portable toilet being driven away (homage to genre grandfather Parappa, no doubt).
Even before Rhythm Heaven makes its way to the west for the first time (it’ll be launching alongside the DSi in April), I’m happy to see it inspiring others for the right reasons. As Siliconera points out, Alpha Unit are also planning to let you control the game with the built-in mic by tapping teacups, rapping plastic hammers, or with diligent training of your kitten, but that’s diversionary stuff: the real challenge is in keeping that thread intact.
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