YMMV / Rhythm Heaven

  • Anti-Climax Boss: The final remix in Tengoku. It goes at a moderate, easy rhythm, and none of the cues are particularly hard to miss. The remix also primarily consists of Rhythm Tweezers (Vegeta-pull) in contrast to the Final-Exam Boss (which is oddly a Disc One Final Boss instead of the final remix).
  • Breather Level:
    • Quiz Show in Tengoku. Despite being one of the few mini-games to have insta-fail conditions, you don't actually need any rhythm to pass. Just do as many button inputs as the host. However, it becomes slightly tougher in Megamix, where you have to follow the host's pattern to get its skill star and higher scores.
    • Night Walk in Tengokunote . It is literally just pressing A over and over for the entire mini-game. No variation whatsoever. Thankfully, Night Walk 2 actually mixes it up with obstacles.
    • Tap Trial in Tengoku. It's the last non-sequel rhythm game, and it comes right after Fireworks and the other tricky games of the fifth set. However, it only uses one button, the cues are clear and can be seen in the visuals easily, and it's just a fun level in general. Its sequel is also relatively tame (it helps that it comes only a set after the original game, so you won't need a refresher), and that comes right before the Final-Exam Boss.
    • Karate Man in Heaven and Fever is the last main game before you hit the credits, and it usually focuses more on being memorable than being challenging, utilizing no camera trickery, basic controls and timing, and more cues than you probably need.
    • Ringside in Fever, mainly as the result of being the subject of much Memetic Mutation. Since most of the parody videos are based on a perfect run, anyone familiar with the meme has the rhythm of the song memorized, making the level even easier than it would otherwise be.
    • The first part of post-credits content in Megamix is three rhythm game sets leading up to the final encounter with the Gatekeeper Trio. Unlike the previous seven sets, there aren't any Remixes; it's just twelve basic games (three of them new to Megamix) accompanied by humorous exchanges between Tibby and his friends. With the exception of the infamous Lockstep, none of them are too tricky, and the sequence is just a warm-up for the final three sets (which include both challenging sequels and the biggest Remixes in the game).
  • Broken Base:
    • Let's just say there's quite a divide between fans of the original Japanese soundtracks and those of the localized soundtracks. It seems to have cooled after Fever, due to its high-quality translations as well as the option to choose between the two in the PAL release.
    • Manzai Birds, one of the Endless Games, was left out of Fever as most Westerners will not get its Japanese brand of humor. While for the most part this isn't seen as a problem due to being too widgety for export, there are some who think that it should've been translated and brought to the overseas versions anyway, pointing out that "Power Calligraphy" involves Japanese/Chinese characters but made the cut anyways.
    • There's a bit of minor conflict over Nintendo's decision to make the English version of Megamix digital-only. However, the European release does have a physical format, at the cost of coming four months later.
    • Megamix also doesn't have Translated Cover Version songs like the other two games, instead replacing the new songs' lyrics with instrumentals. Still, the blow is softened by having the Japanese audio track readily available.
    • Is the "Go for a Perfect!" system a good way to curb unhealthily obsessive attempts at getting Perfects on stages, or is it a Scrappy Mechanic that adds much-unneeded pressure?
  • Disappointing Last Level: The last third of the Medal rewards and post-game content in Heaven are all based around a That One Level that involves a Scrappy Mechanic. After you unlock Rhythmove Dungeon, there's no real motivation to collect Medals other than 100% Completion.
  • Ear Worm: The music is mostly by Tsunku, one of Hello! Project's mainstays.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Karate Joe and the Wandering Samurai for Tengoku, the Chorus Kids for Heaven and the Wrestler and Reporter for Fever. In fact, the Chorus Kids are so popular that Marshal, a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, became the mascot of Fever. The Tap Trial girl of Tengoku, DJ Yellow of Heaven, and MC Adore of Fever are slightly lesser examples, but still incredibly popular among the fan base.
  • Fandom Rivalry: There's a bit of a rivalry between fans of the Chorus Kids, Marshal, and Karate Joe on who should be considered the mascot of the series, generally correlating to who should be a hypothetical Rhythm Heaven character in Super Smash Bros..
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • One of the reasons Donk Donk may be so odd compared to the other games is its rhythm—electrodes and octopi may not be inherently weirder than, say, Working Dough, but Donk Donk's rhythms are in triple time (DONK-DONK-wait DONK-DONK-wait), while almost every other game has double time rhythms (WHOA, you-GO big GUY *tap TAP*).
    • Think how you'd say "Cheerleaders" if you were doing it in a stereotypical Engrish voice. Then remember that, in Japan, this particular game is full of Gratuitous English...
  • Good Bad Bugs: At least in Megamix, Quiz Show is the only game where you can flunk out through the tutorial. As a result, you can score a Perfect on the game by failing the tutorial, since you haven't technically "started" yet!
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • Screwing up while going for a Perfect. Not only because it means that you've burned one of your three chances for a Perfect, but also because it's loud. Thankfully, it's quieter in the Wii version, but it can still be jarring. The sound returns in Megamix in Challenges invoking the Lives rule, where you can hear it up to three times per game.
    • Failing the Monster Challenges in Megamix resulting in a huge roar from the monster as it eats the screen.
  • It's Easy, so It Sucks: The first third of Megamix can be a real drag for veterans of the franchise since four of the first five groups of games consist of watered-down versions of games that return in their original form later on, with no Remixes to break up the monotony. It isn't until the sixth group (the group just before the Lush tower) that the easy-mode games permanently end.
  • Memetic Mutation: Certain minigames can lend themselves to this easily.
    • Munchy Monk 2 (courtesy of Pinkie Pie, more My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, The Tenth Doctor, and The Medic), DJ School, and Ringside have attained some popularity in parodies.
    • Touhou and Team Fortress 2 seem to compose a good chunk of the parodies on Nico Nico Douga and YouTube, respectively. Naturally, the TF2 ones are known as "Rhythm Fortress." "We go together, doctor!" "Jawohl!"
    • The infamous Rule 34 parody of Fever's Remix 10.
    • Man, Suki's gonna die.../She must really hate Suki note 
    • Looks like she got over her hatred of Suki note 
    • BA-BOM BOM BOM note 
    • Wubba dubba dubba, 'zat true? Whoa, you go, big guy! / Piki-piki-piki desu ka? Eeeh, sugoi desu ne!
    • Remix 8 of Heaven has a lot of parodies on the net. Remix 10 of Fever has even more.
    • It's become popular to make custom Remixes using the sound effects from the game. Particularly popular picks are Undertale songs, especially "Death By Glamour". Some of them are actually really good (see here for an example).
    • Rider Heaven - redol's edits of the final remixes of the games using Kamen Rider. Here is for Tengoku, Heaven, Fever, and Megamix.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Many sounds that accompany failed actions. In particular:
    • The standard "boink" sound.
    • Wrong-pitched rapping in Love Rap.
    • The sound of your seal bumping into the neighboring ones in Flipper Flop.
    • The aforementioned BA-BOM BOM BOM if you're trying to stay focused, as demonstrated here.
    • The sound of getting an OK, particularly if you were trying to get a Superb. The worst is when the game gives you some words of praise...only to follow them up with "but still just...OK."
    • The "Try Again" jingle, especially if it's That One Level.
    • The cringe-worthy Record Scratch when you blow a Perfect Challenge. Megamix took this Up to Eleven; when you fail a Perfect, the whole minigame halts, huge metal doors slam into your screen with a bang, and to rub it in, the words You missed... etch on your screen along with the game over music. Challenges invoking the Lives rule combine both: it plays the record scratch whenever you make a mistake and then does the door slam after the third mistake.
    • Some even find the announcer annoying, mainly in games like Tap Troupe and Shrimp Shuffle where she's constantly spouting off cues.
  • Narm Charm: Most of the appeal of the series, especially the vocal songs based around The Power of Love. The lyrics (and occasionally singing) can be hilariously bad, but oftentimes they can wrap back around and wind up being adorable.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Using the R button (or L, depending on your dominant hand) in Rockers 2.
    • "Go for a Perfect!" To elaborate, getting a Perfect on a minigame not only requires a perfect run, but also that the minigame be marked for a Perfect challenge or it doesn't count. One minigame is marked at a time and you only get three chances, and quitting out of said minigame counts as using up one of those chances. Ultimately, the biggest concern isn't just playing perfectly, it's doing so under the pressure of limited opportunities.
    • Flicking in Heaven, due to being a motion-based input and therefore being rather inconsistent on detection. Even though there's an option for touch screen controls in Megamix, it completely removed flicking, and returning Heaven games that had flicking are reworked to use button inputs instead.
    • Buying the Extra Games Megamix. You buy them using Flow Balls, which you gain by either clearing a Perfect chance, or clearing one of the challenges. You only get one Flow Ball when you clear a Perfect campaign, and it occurs only for each game once. Challenges can offer up to 3 Flow Balls depending on the difficulty, the catch being that Flow Balls are only awarded once, when you complete each Challenge for the first time. In addition, unless you play Mutliplayer, each challenge costs coins every time you attempt one. Counting all the perfects and challenges means there's only 184 Flow Balls you can obtain, with the combined total cost of all the extra games being 144 Flow Balls.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: The series has gotten easier over time, Tengoku being the most difficult installment and Megamix being the easiest. This is due to the timing windows gradually getting wider and the grading scale becoming more lenient; what would be an "OK" or even a "Try Again" in Tengoku can be ranked as a "Superb" in Megamix. Also, if you get a "Try Again" score that's close to OK, earlier games would give you words of encouragement but still fail you, while in Megamix, these words of encouragement will actually boost your score to a passing amount. However, the challenge courses and Ace timing window make Megamix very difficult when it comes to 100% Completion.
  • Surprise Difficulty:
    • Hey, there's cute graphics and a song consisting only of do-re-mi-fa-so. All you have to do is flick to the song to get a bolt through two pieces of metal. This is going to be a piece of cake! Of course, you'll likely still be on Built to Scale after multiple tries, due to pulling a particularly nasty trick near the end... And even if you blaze past the first few stages, the first remix will hit you as hard as any Wake-Up Call Boss.
    • For an in-game example, Samurai Slice in Heaven only needs 17 Medals to unlock, but can get more complex than Battle Of The Bands.
    • Awww, the seals in Flipper-Flop are so cute! Sweet, I got a medal! It's time to go for Perfec- HOW'D I MISS? Wait, the timing window for their steps is that tight?!?
    • Donk-Donk and Shrimp Shuffle are other games with deceptively tight input windows.
    • Karate Man Senior is surprisingly difficult even by series standards. Oh sure, you're already used to the Karate Man games in the previous iterations being easy (see Breather Level), but you'll come to find that you really shouldn't take it lightly very quickly.
  • So Bad, It's Good:
    • The English dub vocals in the songs in the DS installment, most flagrantly "Thrilling! Is This Love?".
    • For a non-musical example, the English vocal cues for Space Dance are hilariously awful, even by Rhythm Heaven localization standards. Imagine a high-pitched voice with what sounds like a mixture of hysterically bad British and French accents shouting "AND POSE!" at the top of its lungs, and you've got a pretty good idea. Even better, the voice doesn't fit the characters at all (for reference, they're the same guys from Rhythm/Cosmic Rally). Either you'll be making a mad dash for the option to switch the soundtrack to Japanese, or you'll be too busy rolling with laughter to care.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: "Thrilling! Is This Love?", mentioned above, and "Love Ooh Ooh Paradise".
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The song for Fever Remix 8, "I Love You, My One and Only", is about unrequited love... or depending on your interpretation, a relationship gone wrong:
      Won't ever give you up, won't ever let go
      Even when you hurt me, I still love you so
      I'll let you take the lead, follow where you go
      Hear my plea, oh won't you baby
    • Blue Bear from Megamix, which follows a teddy bear who is binge-eating to forget his recent breakup. Thankfully, it turns out to just be a dream. The story continues in the Left-Hand Remix. It starts off with Bearbert expressing regrets about his overeating to his girlfriend, saying that he spent all his allowance and needs to go on a diet, before starting to binge-eat again. The end of the remix reveals that it is Bearbara who is having the nightmare this time, while her seemingly unconcerned boyfriend is stuffing his face with donuts.
  • That One Boss:
    • Remix 5 in the first game, Remix 8 in the second. Note that each rather prominently features parts from That One Level - Tengoku Remix 5 has Fireworks and its really difficult timing, whereas Heaven Remix 8 heavily features Rhythm Rally and also includes Fillbots (and its really difficult timing, especially at the speed said remix goes at) on two occasions. To clarify the second one, once you figure out that Rhythm Rally and Dog Ninja basically go at the exact same rhythm, the beginning turns into a matter of flicking at a constant pace. It's towards the end, when the game gradually starts to speed up, that things turn sour real quick.
    • Remix 8 in Fever. It includes a lot of tricky games, including Exhibition Match (one of the few games where you actively have to keep time yourself), Air Rally (which uses slow cues, unlike when it was in Remix 3), and others.
  • That One Level: Some players will latch on to certain mini-games as their favorites while others consider the same levels as the ones that frustrate them the most.
    • In Tengoku: Fireworks and The*Bon Odori (and its sequel Bon Dance) are the main contenders because of their difficult timing.
    • Heaven has a lot of these:
      • Fillbots is disliked due to its repetitive nature, nasty offbeat patterns, ad strict Superb requirements, despite only being the third game overall. Fillbots 2 is worse, due to adding in smaller robots, having a lot of Blackout Basement sections, and being unnecessary long, though it fortunately didn't make it into Megamix unlike the original.
      • Rhythm Rally is one of the most cited, due to its overuse of flicking and its incredibly tight input window. Rhythm Rally 2 is generally one of the last Perfects obtained, if the not the last, because of this. Both return in Megamix, but the lack of flicking lowers the toughness by a lot.
      • Moai Doo-Wop. Despite being a simple Simon Says Minigame, the difficulty comes from the game's failure to distinguish light taps from hard touches.
      • Love Lizards gets a lot of flack not only because it's repetitive, but the controls tend to be over or underresponsive (depending on which one you don't want it to be).
      • Big Rock Finish manages to be disliked despite only having a single pattern — the difficulty comes from finding the beat and then working with the input windows.
    • Fever has a few of these too:
      • Monkey Watch is the first minigame that requires the player to have a consistent rhythm throughout. Said rhythm is constantly interrupted by syncopated beats in the form of the pink monkeys. Additionally, it`s the first game that has visual distractions, namely a very far zoom on the watch and a hot-air balloon floating in front of the Monkeys. Love for this minigame seems to be split down the line between people who have a developed sense of rhythm and those who are looking to improve their rhythm. For those with a strong sense of rhythm, it is one of the first truly-involving minigames Rhythm Heaven Fever has to offer. To everybody else, it can be a complete nightmare.
      • Love Rap, which ends up comprising the last twonote  medals most people get, mostly due to the rather unusual timing of the sequences (to the point where listening to the audio alone frequently produces worse results than trying to figure out the visual cues on each action). The relevant Remixes are comparably easier.
      • Tap Troupe. The major reason is that the rhythm you need to use to exit the triplet (the bounce-bounce section) is different based on how long the section lasted. You need to either end with another triplet or change to an eighth note. One particularly nasty change actually requires you to wait for about three-eighths before making the final step! Remix 7 has the same difficulty because of this.
      • Shrimp Shuffle is notable for two things. One is that the game counts the beats for you and it's still a pain in the crotch ("1, 2, 3! 3, 2..." *player presses button* "...1!" *miss*); the other is that when the shrimps pause, their shout of "Together!" is delayed, which doesn't actually change the rhythm - but interrupts the voice counting the beats, which makes it very easy to get confused.
      • Woe betide the fool who attempts to get a Perfect on Working Dough 2, which has nasty, off-beat patterns and entire sections with almost no accompanying music. And then it combines the two towards the end. Good luck with that. And if that wasn't enough, it came back for Megamix, ready for a whole new round of hair-yanking frustration.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Feeding the goat to level 200. First off, it's done via a Pachinko game, which is jarringly out of place in a series that, to this point, has utilized nothing but rhythm. Then it's a long grind to level the thing up (to put it in perspective, by the time you've Perfected every rhythm game, completed all of the Challenges, and bought every item in the store, your goat will probably be at around level 60 if you've been extremely lucky). And as a final slap in the face, the last 10 levels veer straight into Harder Than Hard territory by requiring literally pixel perfect shots, especially the last level which requires the turnip to bounce off a lone peg in such a way that it bounces backwards into a very tiny hole. While the feeding minigame goes on infinitely, it's likely that if you ever manage to reach level 200 for what will likely be your last medal, you'll never so much as look at it again.
    • The Monster Challenges. First off, they tend to get paired with Increased Tempo. To complete this type of challenge you have to avoid letting the game screen fall all the way into a monsters mouth, where it will get eaten, which is done by getting Aces (hitting the cues perfectly). If you fail get enough Aces to survive, the monster unleashes a startling roar and eats the screen, automatically ending the game right then and there. Getting Flow Balls is hard enough without the threat of a Scare Chord.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The giraffe from Tengoku's Tap Trial, but even more so in the Fever remake. It stares towards the player throughout the entire song, without blinking or bobbing along to the music. And if you get a superb, it continues staring in the victory image. And if that didn't freak you out enough, Tap Trial 2 originally had this charming fellow watching you before he was thankfully Dummied Out. Sweet dreams.
    • The bunny mask that the batter in Spaceball wears. It suddenly comes out of nowhere and just stares at you.
    • The cat in Megamix's LumBEARjack stares at the player with a creepy face throughout the level. If bending its body in a fluid manner supposed to help, having more appearing halfway through the music doesn't.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • So, is the second rocker a girl or a guy? The Try Again message for Rockers has the first rocker call the second "man", but for rock stars, "man" could be a gender-neutral term. Maybe the second rocker shares the player's gender?
    • Also, the kid whose pinwheel got stolen in the Fever version of Samurai Slice is called "Pinwheel Boy", but it's hard to tell. Megamix even goes and renames them to "Pinwheel Girl", furthering the confusion.
  • Woolseyism: The localizations of Fever and Megamix were fairly well-received, especially in comparison to the DS version.


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