Rhythm Heaven Fever Preview - robots, monkeys and a luchador

With the launch of the Wii U looming on the horizon, the number of new Wii games is winding down fast. But don't pack away or trade-in your Wii just yet. Rhythm Heaven Fever is just one title that's worthy of your attention, especially if you haven't played the previous entries in the Rhythm Heaven series. Take a peek at the trailer to get an idea of what we're about to talk about.

Rhythm Heaven Fever is the third entry in the series and the first game on the Wii. No waggle or any kind of motion control is necessary, as the game is purely focused on how well you can keep a beat using the A and B buttons or a combination of the two. Before jumping into the game, we were given a series of tests first to see how well we could keep a beat with visual/audio cues and without. We imagine that trained drummers may have an easier time with this, but with practice, you'll find your groove - or so we're told.

What makes this series stand out from other rhythm games are the colorful and quirky animations as well as a catchy soundtrack. Each minigame is a short but delightful (and bizarre) experience, whether you're timing your button presses by hitting golf balls on an island with a monkey, interviewing a muscular luchador or kicking an assortment of balls to protect a pair of love-struck gophers. Rhythm Heaven Fever's controls are tight and responsive, but it's easy to miss a beat. Keeping your ears tuned to the music and audio cues is key, because while the animation is in line with the beat, the visuals can easily throw you off.

Unlike previous games where it's impossible to advance if you're stuck, Rhythm Heaven Fever has a cafe mode where you can either watch how the minigame is played, or skip ahead to play the next game. New to the series is a multiplayer mode, where you can team up with a friend and play some of the level simultaneously. High scoring performances will unlock extra content so there's reason to go back and try again if you're barely scraping by.

Even though we only had a chance to play a small sample of minigames, we enjoyed our time with Rhythm Heaven Fever and we're looking forward to how the multiplayer mode will work. Will it be a collaborative and friendly effort? Or will we make some enemies in the process? Find out when our full review hits on February 13.

Note: We were told by Nintendo reps that something interesting will be revealed when you watch all three Rhythm Heaven Fever teaser trailers. We have the latest one (2nd) in the article so stay tuned for the final!

Sophia Tong
Sophia is a transplanted Canadian who loves video games, dogs, poutine, snowboarding, photography, food, and naps.