Konami’s string of dance party antics since their switch to more Kinect-friendly booty-shaking continues with Rhythm Party, an Xbox Live Arcade title that feels very much like a simpler version of Dance Masters, but without all that made Dance Masters great. In fact, one might even go so far as to say Rhythm Party is a spiritual sequel to the ParaPara-lite we were treated to with the NAOKI-fueled Dance Masters, but with a lot less directions.
Rhythm Party packs ten songs (a few licensed, from Lady Gaga to the Village People) into a strange little package that doesn’t ask you to strike a pose at predetermined intervals during Eurobeat classics straight out of Japan, but to simply dance. Your on-screen avatar (not the Xbox Avatar) reflects your actions in the real world. When ripples appear, it’s your job to hit them.
You needn’t worry about how you do it, only that you do it. A wave, kick, punch, or any type of movement that registers inside that circle should work just fine. And the rest of the time you’re simply dancing your heart out, filling up your rhythm gauge. Doing so alters your environment and your on-screen avatar, which can morph from an astronaut to an anthropomorphic boombox. Yes, it’s trippy to say the least.
Pulling off sweet moves isn’t the job of a choreographed dancer like in Dance Central or the Kinect dance workouts you’re used to. It’s all on you. Either you give each song your all and dance your heart out and net a huge bonus, or you’re saddled with an abysmal score due to your lack of effort.
If you’re looking for routines to memorize or a game that prides itself on keeping on beat with the music included, you won’t find it here. But you will find a creative venue in which you can bust out your own dance moves with the added bonus of receiving a score – how often can you do that while dancing along in your bedroom?
Rhythm Party‘s production values are top-notch as well, so it’s easy to discern why you’ll be plunking $10 down for this package. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and visually arresting hues and filters only make it more so – even more than Dance Masters, if you get right down to it. It’s a frenetic playground in which you’ve got the time and the motive to bust a move like your score isn’t riding on your ability, and one that actually works quite well with Kinect’s abilities. It’s not as full-featured as you might be expecting, but it’s a risky move on Konami’s part that pays off for rhythm/music gamers and hopefully a sign of more to come – ParaParaParadise, anyone? We can dream.
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