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Rhythm Tengoku Complete Music Collection :: Review by Charles

Rhythm Tengoku Complete Music Collection Album Title: Rhythm Tengoku Complete Music Collection
Record Label: Pony Canyon
Catalog No.: QWCT-10023
Release Date: October 15, 2008
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


The Rhythm Tengoku series features an eccentric style of gameplay that is a mix between the Dance Dance Revolution and WarioWare series. In the same vein, the Rhythm Tengoku Complete Music Collection features this mix of J-pop and WarioWare-esque music. This overwhelmingly large amount of tracks were mostly composed by Nintendo sound director Masami Yone and J-Pop music producer Tsunku (Mitsuo Terada). Being a music game, there has to be something good on the album, but the music is such a heavy part of the gameplay that the question is if it's worth listening to on its own merit.


I personally found a lot of this music to be a bit hypnotizing, for better and worse. I don't even know what in the world is going on in the first track with that kid going "hey baby" over and over, but it's true that some of these weirder WarioWare style tracks are pretty hypnotic. There are a lot vocal tracks on the album actually and they fit in nicely. Some are light-hearted weird ones like "Karateka" and then there are slightly more serious ones like "I Can't Wait for You" and "That's Paradise". The latter tracks and many others have a J-pop feel to them, but are for the most part well done.

There's obviously a lot of catchy stuff on this album and some of is quite unique. "The Bon Odoridi" has a kind of a traditional Japanese feel yet also a very catchy rhythm and melody. But of course it has a catchy rhythm... it's a rhythm game! I find that, whether a track is 20 seconds long or 3 minutes long, it's usually pretty catchy either way and there are interesting original motifs sprinkled throughout. On the downside, a lot of the music kind of sounds like back-up instrumentals; they feel like they need vocals, but the vocals wouldn't make too much sense and could be distracting for some of the game play. Also, a lot of the music jumps all over genres, which gets confusing, but overall there seems to be a dance genre gluing it all together.

With so many tracks that are more seriously composed, the album definitely has some worth to it. For the kind of mini-game driven titles that Rhythm Tengoku and Rhythm Heaven are, there are certainly a lot of fully composed pieces. Some non-vocal tracks also have a natural 8-bit feel to them, which is fun and goes hand in hand with the dance style. There are still loads of mini-game style tracks too. There seems to even be a bit of bonus content in the form of remixes at the end. It truly is overwhelming and the fact that most of this is Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance music makes it even more impressive.

There are a lot of tempo and pitch modifications in the game used to enhance the gameplay experience that you just won't find on this stand-alone album. These themes are meant to be played with, not just listened to. Although they are still fun, they are lacking a certain needed solidness. It ends up having way too much of the previously mentioned background instrumental style music that probably won't keep you coming back. It's not a bad album by far, but it's just missing something and that something is a game.


Honestly, you should not be listening to this album unless you have tried the game. A lot of it is just harder to appreciate. This soundtrack is obviously the core reason the game is fun, but the game is also a large reason this soundtrack is fun. There are still enough tracks on this album for someone who hasn't played the game to have a pleasant listen. The album definitely stands on it's own and manages not to be to repetitive even with some of the variations. Also, the fact that this album contains 140 tracks of Nintendo portable music makes it just that much more impressive.

Overall Score: 8/10