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3DS: Friend Codes on First Page, OMG THE THIRD DIMENSION


The Damned
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  • 2 weeks later...

Review time!

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hk_small.PNG

HarmoKnight

Platforms: 3DS (eShop)

Developer: Game Freak

Genre: Rhythm/Platformer

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Last year, a game was announced via a Japanese Nintendo Direct event that caught my eye. No, it wasn't Denpa Ningen RPG 2 (though that was the same presentation and I was intrigued by it), the sequel to the already-reviewed The Denpa Men. It was a little game called HarmoKnight: Rhythm Hunter. It was a rhythm game from the minds at GameFreak, and though most of the songs were original there were some audio cameos in the form of Pokémon songs. Time went by and it was eventually announced for localization, much to the relief of many, myself included. And it just came out yesterday, sans the "Rhythm Hunter" subtitle. So was it everything I had waited for? Did it live up to the hype? Why don't you read on and find out, eh?

harmoknight2.jpg

After a brief introduction, the game drops you off at some tutorials. Thankfully these are fun little endeavors that help you get acquainted with the game. Also there's only 3 of them, which helps too; the last of these is designed to kickstart the actual storyline, and does so quite nicely. Beings known as Noizoids have invaded the peaceful realm of Melodia, and their very presence emits sounds that drive the local creatures insane. Tempo, the main character, and Tappy, his lapin friend, are tasked with carrying a legendary staff to Symphony City where Princess Ariana can find a worthy hero to wield it. Along the way they meet up with Lyra, an archer who shoots enemies from afar with her harp, and Tyko, a drummer who travels the world with his monkey friend Cymbi. Both have brief tutorials on how to control them, as there are stages where they temporarily take over for Tempo partway through.

It's a small group, but no game truly needs a large ensemble. The gameplay is pretty simple too, utilizing only a few buttons. There's also a nice interconnected world map a la Super Mario World that you traverse. The map is broken into sections, usually based on genre. For instance, there's a jaunty march world, a craggy rock world, a festive jazz world, and so on. I really enjoyed seeing the new areas and hearing the music; it's pretty good, which is almost a prerequisite for any music game. The boss stages are fun too; these stages take a Simon approach to the gameplay. You're told what to do with vocal commands and then you repeat. For instance, one stage might have you input RIGHT LEFT HIT HIT JUMP, all to the rhythm of the music. As with many rhythm games, the more you play the better you get, and some stages may take several tries to get right.

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You're ranked at the end of each stage based on how many notes you collected; if you score high enough, the notes will cause the Victory Flower at the end of every stage to bloom. This gives you the Royal Note for that stage, which are necessary to proceed through the game. There are three ranks you can earn upon completion of a stage: So-So, which does nothing and means you have to retry for that Royal Note (provided you haven't earned it already); Good, which earns you that much-needed Royal Note; and Great, which gets you both the Royal Note and unlocks the option to replay the stage at double speed. If you get a Great on both versions of a stage (normal and fast), you'll unlock concept art visible in the Stage Selector, accessible on the World Map by pressing Y.

There's a lot of replayability in this title, something that's common across all rhythm games. After all, you'll want to keep playing to get a high score, and in this game there's unlockables for doing just that. You can also listen to the music of any stage by highlighting it and hitting Start while in the Stage Selector, something that I find incredibly awesome. Though the story may not take long to wrap up, there's some extra-hard stages that lie hidden within the world of Melodia, and it'll take some exploration through the stages to find out how to unlock them. The game also has a great sense of humor; the interactions between the group were very well-written, and I eagerly awaited seeing what they'd say next. Even Tappy, the game's helper character, is funny; you'll find him holding signs at various places throughout the stages, and sometimes he says some pretty hilarious things. It's also fun to hit him; if you time it right, an attack will make him stumble backwards and drop the sign he's holding. What's even better is that this is a good indicator of whether your timing is off or not; if you can hit him, then you're in good shape to continue the stage.

All in all, HarmoKnight is quite the gem. Though the pricetag might be a little high at $15, I find that it is well worth it. There's so much to do and the music is so good that I've found it difficult to put the game down; I'm constantly going back to old stages to get a Great on them, or trying the Fast version of a stage to get a Great on that. HarmoKnight is definitely worth your time; it's a welcome reminder that GameFreak can make fantastic games outside of Pokémon, and one that gives hope for more unique experiences from them. There's a free demo available right now, and though the available levels in that aren't quite in harmony with the locations in the actual game, it's still worth it to check that out. Until next time, game on!

Edited by Mirby
Replaced removed image with one hosted by myself
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Glad you got to the bottom of that, DS. Thanks.

I wonder if the 3DS might see a further new model. A 3DS XLi, if you would.

I've been wanting an XL but NoA REFUSES to give North America the beautiful silver one. So I wonder if I should just wait for a new model. I'm giving them til E3.

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it's pretty fun. not as crazy combat as it looks though there's a set combos (a + up, down, left, right and y if you charge it up) and it's a matter of timing. its still a fun strategy game though

did you ever play Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier?

if so, is the battle system like that? or like Namco X Capcom?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

http://kotaku.com/phoenix-wright-ace-attorney-dual-destinies-is-coming-504590832

Ya know, I'm actually pretty conflicted about this. I would really love a physical copy of the game. Having purchase every Phoenix Wright game to come to the shores, it's gonna feel a little weird not being able to have a physical copy of this next one. I'm also a little worried that we're seeing less and less of the Ace games. I'm a diehard Phoenix Wright fan, and seeing decisions that Capcom makes like this has me a little worried about the future of the game. RIP Megaman...

On the other hand, I'm incredibly grateful that we are getting this one at all. Maybe this could show to Capcom that they can localize games for a little less and get their moneys worth, and we can see other Capcom games localized (Phoenix Wright vs. Layton and Ace Investigations 2 plz).

Hopefully this all works out for the better

Also, anyone who is on the border of FE: Awakening should definitely get it right now. You now have no excuse not to own this game!

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