This post is from my own personal journey involving rhythm gaming. Now that that’s out of the way the picture above for those that don’t know is from my #1 favorite rhythm game of all time Elite Beat Agents. Yes it beats out Guitar Hero, Rockband, and DJ Hero. No, I didn’t own DDR nor did I borrow it from anybody because no one had it.
To start from the beginning the very first Rhythm game I remember playing was the classic Parappa Da Rapper for PS1. Though I never recalled making it past the 1st level with a kick and a punch. It will always be the first memory of rhythm gaming to me and a lasting one at that.
Jumping ahead a few years I managed to get my hands on EBA. I could not put the game down. I played it on every difficulty. The hardest song trying to complete Jumpin’ Jack Flash. I would always fail during the last solo. Then on the day I was suppose to go overseas while waiting in the airport. I finally beat it I went to show my mom why, I don’t know, but I had finally beaten the impossible. Next thing on my mind was I’m going to try it again.
My Senior year of High School is when I got caught up in Guitar Hero. My friend brought over GH3 fresh out the box and this began the long years of rhythm gaming. For months we would play this game trying to get past the medium difficulty. Then during Christmas of the same year another friend had acquired Rock Band and the Band Kit at that. The bass pedal didn’t last too long but that did not deter us from practicing on the guitar to get better or playing in full band mode. My friend and I would constantly challenge each other on a harder difficulty to both improve our skills and beat each other. Our song of choice was Reptilia by The Strokes. Eventually by around late spring we had progressed our skills to handle expert on Rock Band and decided to take these newly acquired skills back to GH. Lets just say we quickly realized that this game was actually harder on expert than Rock Band. Reptilia was again the song of choice to practice our skills and by the end of summer most of GH songs were playable to us on expert.
During my first day at college since it was the day freshmen arrived we all gathered in the main hall and little did I know I would meet one of the founders of ATG there playing GH. It wasn’t until months later that I realized that I was playing Warren that day and still to this day I can count on my fingers how many times I actually beat him. Throughout my few years in college Warren and I played various versions of GH and its kid brother Band Hero along with its cousin DJ Hero. Let me add that on more than one occasion did we stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning with a bunch of friends playing Band Hero and other games as well. DJ Hero changed the game in my opinion. It was by far the closest game to actually simulate playing an instrument. This was before Rock Band 3 which allowed people to use real instruments. DJ Hero had everything but a 2nd turntable and allowing the user to learn to mix the songs, outside of that cutting and scratching was on point and rather difficult to do. DJ Hero 2 didn’t quite have the same difficulty as far as cutting and scratching goes but was still a good game. After college I got my hands on GH: Warriors of Rock and they stepped up the difficulty yet again but overall it was the same game.
A bit further down the road I got to play Dance Central. That is a great game and it really changed up the flow of rhythm gaming since the user had to actually do the moves. Poison by Bel Biv Devoe was my song of choice and I still find myself doing some of the moves when I’m out dancing. Now this whole new dance craze had sprung up. I also played the Micheal Jackson Experience for the Wii. This was a lot of fun to play with others and I enjoyed it. I tried the same game for the Kinect and I just couldn’t get into it. It just seemed off and the added singing just wasn’t working for me. Warren let me try it for the Vita and once I understood how it played I was surprised at how fun it was. Honestly I never gave it a thought cause I figured it would suck and so did he but he got bored and decided to give it a try. Last but not least Just Dance. This was pretty cool to play cause of the song variety but sometimes I think they could do a better job with the dancing. All you really had to do was move the Wiimote around and that took the fun out of it when you had THAT kind of player and on top of everything else would be beating you too.
Now that I got a 3DS I will get my hands on Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. I just played the Demo for it and it reminds me a lot of EBA but with added motions and a whole lot of songs. In the near future they are releasing the Curtain Call version of the same game but with over 200 songs to play. Talk about hours and hours of fun and if you love Final Fantasy Music and you played this game already I bet your already looking forward to this.
What rhythm game stands out to you? Or your own personal experience with this style of gaming? Send your comments and questions on to our Facebook, www.facebook.com/AroundTheGeek, or twitter, @atgpodcast.