We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

NWR Staff's Favorite 10 Games of 2012

Rhythm Heaven Fever

by Nate Andrews - January 8, 2013, 3:39 pm PST

Pose for the fans!

"It's your first date with the girl of your dreams! Also, some weasels are on a date! Don't let the double date be ruined by flying balls!"

This atypical, highly specific scenario is the kind of inviting weird that players of Rhythm Heaven Fever encounter over and over. One of the last significant titles for the Wii, Fever is leagues more spirited and exciting than the fading console on which it was released, delivering a tight collection of eclectic and just-plain-fun rhythm experiences.

The Wii Remote can be an unwieldy, multipurpose tool in the wrong hands. For Rhythm Heaven, which uses two buttons and a minimum of motion control, it's an exercise in reduction and simplicity. Each of the mini-games within starts with the same simple premise—push one or two buttons on a cue, often visual, in time with music—but the directions in which they run wild with it are as distinctive as the pattern of an exploding firework.

Much of the fun of Rhythm Heaven Fever is in exploring the curated madness of its many experiences; you may find yourself trading skin with fellow monkeys as you make your way around a watch face, or sternly conducting seals as they practice their flips. Little is exempt from the game's polished incorporation of rhythm, humor, and visual delight, and nothing comes up short in any regard.

Even so, gameplay is the first priority in each moment of Rhythm Heaven Fever. The design of focusing on only two of the Wii Remote's inputs gives a wide berth for both accessibility and difficulty. Although the cheery exteriors of its games often hide some tricky rhythmic challenges, the basic concept and execution of each is simple enough to attract and satisfy even the most modest of players. Its mini-games are absurd and charming curiosities, fantastic, tightly produced scenarios that act as echo chambers for the player's few inputs and channel the complementary music into surreal and often hilarious visual presentations.

Each piece of Rhythm Heaven fever is unique, delicious treat; visually, aurally, and for the few fingers you'll use in playing it. If you can find a way to have a less than downright delightful time with it, your soul may need an ice pick.


spitmanJanuary 07, 2013

Skylanders Giants

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 07, 2013

Crashmo is a slice of perfection. It's right up there with Beat the Beat, The Last Story and Hotline Miami as one of my top games of last year.

As for Little Inferno.

"It’s a very well-rounded product, and while it may never be clear whether it’s a game or not, what can’t be argued is how enjoyable it is."

Desire...to...buy game...just to...make...point...rising!
:P: :

Truthfully though, I have no intention of ever buying Little Inferno.

purevalJanuary 07, 2013

Crashmo I am kind of meh about. I enjoyed it, but I got stuck way too often and finally gave up pretty darn early. Just could not change my mindset.

Little Inferno I am absolutely loving. Think of it as a puzzle game and I think you will get it. It is my favorite of the Wii U games I have gotten so far (Batman, NSMBU, Nintendoland and Sonic Racing).

coffeewithgamesJanuary 08, 2013

I don't even like mentioning one part of the game mentioned in the piece, as I hope it's a "surprise" to many new players of it.

I usually refer to it as "Bacon", and if you have played it you may know why.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with ZombiU, and fortunately I didn't hit/experience any "game breaking" bugs or glitches in, that being said though I do hope Ubisoft releases a patch to fix some of the glitches. I think a patch fixing the issues would help new players not get frustrated with it, and I could take out my default, "It's not perfect, you may experience glitches that cause you to have to start over..." lines here and there, but I'm very glad to see ZombiU see the light of day, and I do hope we get more of it in the future...in some fashion.

DarthBradyJanuary 08, 2013

I wanted a Wii U very badly upon release, but there wasn't a game I didn't already have or couldn;t wait to get. So I bought a Wii U, and took a chance by making ZombiU my first Wii U game purchase. That was a great choice.

ZombiU is a fresh and challenging take of a Zombie game. In a world flooded with Zombie games, it really stands out, and shines. It easily justified the usefulness of the new Wii U game pad, and yes - it scared the hell out of me too.I have tried to explain the game to curious non-Wii U owning friends, which can be a challenge in it;s own right. It usually goes something like this:

"ZombiU, is a zombie survival challenge game. It's not like other zombie games in a sense or 'guns blazing zombie-slaying hero', at all. You don't run around picking up crates of ammo and items - in fact, anything you find you cherish as a survival too no matter how simple it is, whether its 2 bullets or a can of soda. ZombiU sets you in a world taken over by zombies. Mankind's fate, (as well as yours) seems desolate and hopeless. You are alone. You are outnumbered. You are unprepared. You don't get to try or do anything over. You are screwed.You WILL die in this world, and you will die alone. The only connection to any other form of sentient life a mysterious voice on the radio. SO, you have two options: give up and die, or die a warrior that gave his/her all to the fight on the way down. Fight as long and hard as can, with one goal: SURVIVE. You have a cricket bat, a motion sensor and a backpack - good luck."

- I think that sums it up.

AVJanuary 08, 2013

ZombiU is exactly my cup of tea and I am enjoying the hell out of it. I love true survivor horror and resource management in my FPS's and this is everything I would have wanted. So glad I have this game.

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 10, 2013

The best Mario platformer in 21 years?

Ha! You guys crack me up.

*2D platformer

xcwarriorJanuary 11, 2013

None of these comments make sense with Kid Icarus, but I for one totally agree. It's was a great game and only The Last Story beat it out for my GOTY. I've gotten so used to the controls I don't consider them an issue anymore. Great dialoge, awesome levels, multiplayer is tons of fun. Love fusing weapons together. Just so much replayability to it. Still playing it multiple times a week.

MrPhishfoodJanuary 11, 2013

I tell ya in Kid Icarus I spent hour and hours crafting the perfect weapons.

Like the phosphora bow that already has the best homing shots of any weapon with passive paralysis, the one I made had even more homing and paralysis. It was almost impossible to evade my shots unless you were already in the evade animation.

Because of that article, I might go on an Uprising bender. Fuuuuu!

acccJanuary 12, 2013

One of the last significant titles for the Wii, (Rhythm Heaven) Fever is leagues more spirited and exciting than the fading console on which it was released

What kind of comment is that? Just because the Wii is at the end of its life, doesn't mean that the console was lacking in spirit or excitement. Especially when you compare it to the alternative consoles, which delivered nothing but boring FPS games with ugly colorless graphics and stagnant control schemes.

I think it's a perfectly accurate statement, but I'd argue it also applies to the other two consoles. All three of them have faded over the course of an extra-long console cycle.

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 12, 2013

This is nothing new for Nintendo fans. We're very familiar with the concept of having little or no releases towards the end of a console's life cycle. I'm sure some might point to other games, but in my opinion the last 2 years of the Wii has given us a total of 4 noteworthy releases.

The Last Story
Skyward Sword
Rhythm Paradise/Rhythm Heaven Fever

As good as those games are, 4 releases does not a health release schedule make. During the same period the 360 and PS3 have had much more to offer in terms of quality retail releases (contrary to what some might have you believe not everything released on these consoles are drab First Person Shooters).

It should not be surprising that Nintendo turn off the water for an outgoing console, but it's always disheartening that they seem to do so with so many months still on the calender before the sucessor is even released. I appreciate that there is always going to be certain drop off in support in the lead up to a new console release, but Nintendo's approach seems to be very precipitous indeed.

Or perhaps it just seems more sudden because Nintendo don't seem to be able to garner the same level of third party support that the other console manufacturers have.

VahneJanuary 12, 2013

Still sad that we never got Pandora's Tower in America :'(

StealthJanuary 13, 2013

this is no step forward for rpgs, its just another good rpg

pokepal148January 13, 2013

nobody is complaining about kid icarus controls

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 13, 2013

Quote from: pokepal148

nobody is complaining about kid icarus controls

I complained incessantly when it was released (I think Uprising boasts one of the worst control schemes on the 3DS). I liked everything about Uprising except for the part where I had to play it. The visuals are incredible, the voice acting is top-notch and level designs are inventive and surprising. Those controls, however, were for me awkward and at times painful. Of course, not everyone takes that view but that was my experience with the game.

I'm still torn between Sticker Star and Uprising as to which was more disappointing.

pokepal148January 13, 2013

i feel like some plastic grips or the xl would help

Got a news tip? Send it in!