News Article

Rhythm Thief Producer Aims to Revive Music Games

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Hopes to immerse gamers in the story

We rather liked Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure here at Nintendo Life, which has made the apparently underwhelming sales in Europe a particular disappointment. The title is set for release in North America on 10th July, however, and producer Shun Nakamura — who worked on Samba De Amigo on Dreamcast — has been talking about the motivations behind the project.

In his interview with, Nakamura emphasized that Rhythm Thief's objectives are to provide enjoyable and varied activities alongside an immersive plot.

What I wanted to accomplish is the blending of rhythm and narrative. Standard rhythm games don't have such backbone and the core fun factors are to groove and simply enjoy the music. I liked being able to a different level of fun there.

For example, by matching up the music with a particular scene in a movie, it helps people get into the story. In the same way, I thought we could create a game that gets players deeply into it, while also incorporating fun [and] expanding on a usual rhythm game by offering specific gameplay with specialized music for each scene.

My other objective was to break away from standard rhythm games. Most rhythm games offer different songs with a single mechanic which is very simple. However, this game offers a variety of controls and gameplay mechanics which match the scene of the story. I thought I could create a wide variety in the game which would excite players.

...In fact, my personal feeling is that the Bemani style has reached its limit and users feel that way too. As I mentioned before, I created a similar game about 10 years ago and I felt that creators ran out of fresh ideas to grow the genre and as a result, users have grown tired.

The approach we are taking now, of adding in plot, is my way of reviving music games. In this new method, I believe old-fashioned music games and Bemani style have a place to live.

If you like quirky fun and are a fan of rhythm-based titles such as Elite Beat Agents, then this one should be on your radar: you can also check out our Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure review for more details.


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User Comments (25)



cfgk24 said:

Elite Beat Agents was Really Perfect!

Rhythm Heaven on DS was Perfect

I found the demo for rhythm thief a bit irritating and was very disappointed to do so



NintendoMaster said:

Ouendan and Ouendan 2 were my favorite Rhythm titles, much better than Elite Beat Agents. If only Nintendo will make another. Ouendan 3!!!!



C-Olimar said:

Samba De Amigo wasn't released on Gamecube was it? I thought it was just Wii and Dreamcast?



C-Olimar said:

Rhythm Paradise Wii and Theatrythm are both on their way - I think the rhythm genres doing just fine



C-Olimar said:

I just checked, Samba de Amigo was Wii, Dreamcast and Arcade, not Gamecube :/



CanisWolfred said:

@C-Olimar - There have been niche entries in the genre for a while now. That does not mean it's doing well...When was the last time they made a Guitar Hero? Or Rockband? I don't even see those on store shelves anymore. DDR has been floundering for ages. I think the genre has been losing its appeal as of late, and while a new game that doesn't rely on gimmicky add-ons and actually takes elements from other genres to broaden the appeal of the game may help, I still think it's a long shot to say he might "revive" the genre.



ToadFan said:

Well the rhythm genre has been down after Guitar Hero and Rockband. I wouldn't call it dead if you count Just Dance. Also with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy coming out and Rhythm Thief itself.



Mahe said:

Rhythm Thief was priced too high. Good game, but the high price scared a lot of consumers off.



Dodger said:

@Mickeymac But nobody has ever heard of Rhythm Thief. A lot of games that are new die because they are forced to be the same price as Mario, CoD and Just Dance.



Sneaker13 said:

I love Rhythm Thief. I especially love the adventure bit and the mini games are a nice addition.



Luffymcduck said:

If you want to revive music games, put this on eShop for max 15€ and I´ll buy it. The demo was okay, but didn´t seem like worth 50€. I might be wrong.



FonistofCruxis said:

I wish I was better at rhythm games so that I could experience the rest of this game. I was really enjoying both the story and the rhythm games and they provided a good challenge too but it just got too hard for me at chapter 7 and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get through the rhythm games in that chapter.



Ryon said:

how do you revive something that isnt dead?

also i hate those music games except DDR. DDR feels more right when its not full of american crap.

I LOVE DDR1 with the original dance , techno, music stuff.



sinalefa said:

Interestingly, Amazon is pricing this $30 USD in the US, $10 less than other 3DS games, including Theatrhythm.

I never thought the rhythm genre was dead, it was just overflowing with tons of Guitar Heroes. I rather prefer new approaches to rhythm games (like the Rhythm Heaven games or this) instead of a new set of songs for my plastic instruments.



marc_max said:

Rhythm Thief is a poor game IMHO.
If you want to revive (I didn't know they were dead) please make a better game. Rhythm games must be very polished and Rhythm Thief is not very well balanced, some minigames played great, others didn't seem to had been tested: they were unplayable even for music games players.
I was very disappointed with it. A Professor Layton rip-off (and completely linear) with a story that looks promising at first and then it's killed by a silly ending, with a lot of frustrating minigames. Although it had some tributes to Samba de amigo and Space Channel 5 (killed by touchscreen controls).

If you want to revive music games, I hope you realize that motion controls don't work with them.



FonistofCruxis said:

@Marc_Max I didn't have much of a problem with the motion controlled rhythm games and I enjoyed the second one so much that it made me want a motion controlled Punch-out for 3DS but then again I only got to chapter 7 and you've beaten it so maybe there are some really frustrating ones later on.




I only have a pssing interest in the genre but have to say Rhythm Thief is already a 3ds classic. Awesome game with brilliant cutscenes. I prefer it to Elite Beat Agents and Rhythm Paradise DS.

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