Developer: FUN UNIT inc.
Platform: 3DS eShop
Release Date: May 23, 2013
ESRB: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older
A download code was provided by the publisher for this review.
I love rhythm games. I also love the fact that there seems to be a resurgence of them lately. However, with all the good that weâ€™ve seen, thereâ€™s also the bad. I went into Groove Heaven with high hopes of it being a great game considering its unique concept as a rhythm title and its very cute art style. Boy, was I wrong.
Groove Heaven starts out as an adorable and amusing love story. Basically, the Devil lord wants our little demon protagonist, Rhymi, to deliver a love letter to a beautiful angel in Heaven. Heaven is all the way at the top of the tower, and itâ€™s up to you to help Rhymi groove through every floor. Unfortunately, the ending isnâ€™t worth it at all. Well, except for the fact that itâ€™s finally the end of the game and you can stop playing now.
The gameplay and design has a lot of potential. You must direct Rhymi through levels by tapping the â€œmoveâ€ and â€œturnâ€ buttons on the bottom screen. At the same time, you must masterfully time yourself in order to avoid enemies and collect roses and pink notes. Unfortunately, the concept was executed very poorly in Groove Heaven, resulting in frustrating and tedious playthroughs.
Sure, itâ€™s easy enough in the first ten levels or so. Then the game starts getting ruthlessly unfair. Evil cats that will chase you down to the ends of the earth (and theyâ€™re way too fast). Unpredictable angels that thirst for your blood. Disappearing platforms with almost impossible timing. The worst part is that if youâ€™ve started running out of lives, then youâ€™re going to be instakilled each time an enemy gets you or when you fall down a hole. Have fun grinding for pink notes in earlier levels to stock up on more lives.
Okay, maybe the music is good. Itâ€™s a rhythm game, so it has to be! Sorry to burst your bubble, but itâ€™s just as annoying and repetitive as the rest of the game. As there are only three themed areas (one for every 10 levels), there are only three songs being played while youâ€™re scaling the tower. They get really old fast.
Thereâ€™s not much to do once youâ€™ve gone through all 30 levels of Groove Heaven (which should only take you about an hour or two). You can go back and collect all the roses, but nothing special happens after you do. Thereâ€™s also a Timed mode. With no online leaderboards or anything for Timed mode, though, you probably wonâ€™t even touch it â€“ especially after already having played through the Story mode.
I think Groove Heavenâ€™s only redeeming feature is its art style. Itâ€™s very cute with its chibi characters and bright colors that pop. I also really like Rhymiâ€™s character design â€“ she reminds me of a tiny, little Etna from the Disgaea series. As for the 3D effect, theyâ€™re nothing special (as is to be expected from this simple 2D style).
So, thatâ€™s Groove Heaven. A rhythm game that had so much potential, but was brought down by way too many factors. Itâ€™s hard to recommend Groove Heaven, but if you are in real need of a new rhythm game and have $4 to waste, then go for it.
+ Cute, bold art style
+ Cheap price
- Unique concept marred by too many negative factors
- Amount of music is very small
- Incredibly unfair in later levels
Overall Score: 3 (out of 10)
Groove Heaven looks to be a promising rhythm game, but itâ€™s actually quite the opposite. Donâ€™t bother with it unless youâ€™re a hardcore rhythm fan.