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Ok now onto this week’s topic. From the title of the this week’s Blog entry, I’m sure you can deduct that I want to talk about Rhythm Gaming. If you are unsure what constitutes a “Rhythm Game”, some examples include music games like Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, Guitar Hero Rock Band, Elite Beat Agents, and dancing games like Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance. Even some mobile games like “Piano Tiles” could be considered Rhythm games. Basically any game where you have to hit a button or make a move in succession with a music’s beat is considered a Rhythm Game. We have it defined, but you may be confused on why that is my topic for the week. Well dear reader, I decided to talk about Rhythm Gaming because I just discovered a Rhythm Game which has rekindled my love in the genre of videogames.
This week I discovered the Rhythm Game called Voez (or VOEZ) which was published by Square Enix (the same Videogame company that made Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts) and is available as an app on Apple Products and in the Google Play Store as well as being on the Nintendo Switch. Now I went with the free version on my Android Phone, but I’m sure it’s great on all the platforms. This game is has a very simple premise if you are familiar with Rhythm Games and their gameplay, then you might be able to guess that your goal is to tap the icons as they scroll down the screen. Some you press, some you hold, and some you swipe depending on what the icon looks like. These are timed up with the rhythm of the song that is playing and there are a range of difficulties between songs. Some songs are slow and melodic while others are rapid and have a lot of icons scrolling towards you at any given time. You wrack up points for hitting each icon as well as your accuracy and you overall goal is to hit every note extending your streak while also hitting them in time. It can get quite intense and I’ll admit when I get a perfect streak, I let out an audible shout of excitement. The game is even better because it has an amazing soundtrack full of songs from East Asian countries like Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. There are a mix of songs that are in English and songs that are in their native languages and a lot of the songs sound like songs you’d here on a Dance Dance Revolution soundtrack. Some of the songs I just listen to because I don’t know the language it is being sung in, but others are actually pretty catchy and I find myself stumbling to sing along as I tab those icons.
Since I’ve found this game, I’ve been playing a lot of it plus I’ve been listening to the soundtrack back and forth from work. (You can find it on Spotify if you’re curious.) All this Voez gameplay has made me nostalgic to a time where I played a lot of Dance Dance Revolution. I’m sure you remember a time when we pulled out our original Playstation and the large, plastic mats to play some DDR or maybe you first played it in an arcade and you haven’t looked back. If you don’t know what I am talking about, go out and go find some kind of video game arcade and play some Dance Dance Revolution! Honestly Dance Dance Revolution is the pinnacle of dancing games (in my humble opinion) and games like Just Dance can’t touch it! Now I didn’t actually own Dance Dance Revolution (the old farmhouse I lived in couldn’t handle it), but that didn’t stop me from going over to friend’s houses and playing it until exhaustion. It was a great way to spend time with friends, burn off energy, and get some exercise that you don’t usually get when you’re playing video games like Call of Duty, Halo, or Super Mario Bros. I still love Dance Dance Revolution and all its sequels and less than six months ago, I went out with some friends to a Japanese Arcade to play a variety of Japanese video games including Dance Dance Revolution. It was a blast!
Another mini-story about Dance Dance Revolution is that when I was ten or eleven, Nintendo came out with Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix for the Nintendo Gamecube and I wanted it so bad. It mixed my love of Nintendo with my love of Dance Dance Revolution and I wanted to spend all my time playing it. However Dance Dance Revolution games were pretty expensive because you had to buy the dance pads in a bundle. So I saved up for it and asked for it for both my Birthday and Christmas, but in the end I wasn’t able to get it because it was discontinued. I don’t think it was super successful and Nintendo probably didn’t want to lose any more money on making and shipping the dance pads so it wasn’t in store for very long. My childhood self was broken. Then like all eleven years old, I moved on to something else like playing outside with a stick or something. I had a vivid imagination so it didn’t take a lot to entertain me.
So yeah there’s my topic about Rhythm Gaming, Voez, and Dance Dance Revolution. There will always be a little part of my heart dedicated to Rhythm Gaming because I think it is just a simple premise that can lead to a ton of fun gameplay. The idea of “Just play some notes” or “tap some icons” or “bust a move” can be turned into hours of hours of fun. Plus you can always invite some friends and family over and videotape it. That footage is internet gold!
If you love Rhythm Gaming as much as me let me know in the comments below. Or maybe you have a suggestion for a game I should play. I’d love to hear your suggestions! I hope you spend some time on the website and check out some other pieces I’ve written. I have Weekly Blogs which usually post on Sundays and Creative Writing pieces which are usually published on Wednesday’s and Friday’s, so feel free to stop by and read new stuff as it comes out.
Thank you for all your support and I hope you have a wonderful week!