So, how would you combine the button-pressing, screen-tapping mechanics of Theatrhythm with the ol' Pocket Monsters? Pokémon has had more spin-offs than any other franchise, so we're a bit shocked that a music one hasn't been a part of that. And if we're throwing it into Theatrhythm's clothes, then the obvious route would be Trainer, Gym, and Elite Four battles in the Legato region!
Okay, we couldn't come up with a better name than that one, but imagine going through a mixture of gym battles in a brand new region. A different leader from every existing Pokémon game, each with their own Gym theme from their region. Trainer battles with region-specific music. And the same for the Elite Four and champions. But there's plenty of pretty fabulous area themes too, and Quest Mode could see you go through a different region or section of a region, traversing through different locations (a forest, a cave, then a mountain etc.). Or, if you wanted to get really daring, perhaps the Beauty Contests or Cooking could be adapted to have some rhythm-based mechanics?
There's no better combo than "good music" and "Castlevania" in our books, but like Sonic, this series has two different "styles" to translate into a winning musical formula. There are the stage-based arcade games and the Metroidvanias — though technically, every smaller area map in the Metroidvania games could easily translate to a stage-based level.
So let's add an extra layer of complexity to this rhythm Castlevania — create your own map or "game". Basically, pick a bunch of different "types" of tracks — a cave track, an entranceway track, a desert track (thanks Portrait of Ruin, how are we supposed to make that work!?), a library... dot some boss rooms around, make sure one area has Bloody Tears. Secret areas could be unlocked in place of Summons in Final Fantasy, and those rooms could either have your usual sub-weapons or new characters. And we're done.
The oldest franchise on the list, but this wouldn't be a Nintendo Life list without the Italian plumber, would it? Mario's already had time to show off his dancing moves in Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, but something a bit more traditional would easily work! And good lord how much Mario music is there? Galaxy and Odyssey alone over the past 15 years is enough. And the creativity of Odyssey and its 2D sections could lend them themselves really well to a Theatrhythm-style.
We're thinking about a lot of the 3D challenge levels from games like Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Sunshine, but more thematic to match the music being used. Or perhaps something a bit more simple for the side-scrolling games, where every few notes Mario could jump on an enemy or get a mushroom or fire flower. Maybe we can get the spin-offs involved with some Tennis or Mario Party-related rhythm minigames? We're rubbing our hands together just thinking about it.
When we were thinking about a fighting game to include on this list, nothing came close to Street Fighter and its iconic music. The premise should be pretty simple for this one — one-on-one bouts where success depends on how good you are at the song. Think about the boss fights in Guitar Hero 3 and put that into a Street Fighter rhythm game. Come on, don't tell us you've never wanted to beat M. Bison in a dance-off of sorts!?
We think you could get really weird with what games you include here. There's more than enough brilliant Street Fighter music over the years, but let's throw in the Puzzle Fighter games! Or, if we really wanted to make this a fighting game bonanza, Capcom vs. SNK or Marvel vs. Capcom could be crossovers — more characters, more stages, and some funk-jazz menu tunes?
There's also got to be a way to get those Bonus Stages in — the classic car kicking in Street Fighter II, barrel breaking in Street Fighter V, all of them! This is the simplest of all the games on the list — nothing could go wrong with a Street Fighter rhythm game.
The Legend of Zelda
You didn't expect us to leave this one out, did you? Koji Kondo has composed many iconic Nintendo soundtracks, but in our minds, his work on Zelda is perhaps the best. With this one, Nintendo could release an Ocarina controller for the Switch, right? And perhaps the visual style could either go for some SNES-inspired spritework or like Grezzo's Link's Awakening diorama doll style for something utterly irresistible.
But really, how do you combine the adventure of Zelda with an entire rhythm game? Cadence of Hyrule is pretty good proof that it works, but we want straight-up rhythm fun. We need classic dungeons, minigames, horse riding, boat sailing, and all of Link's iconic sub-weapons. Dungeons could be just like the overworld stages in Theatrhythm, and the minigames could all replace the combat stages — except for bosses. We need a good few rounds against Ganon. or Ganondorf. Or Zant. Whoever!
Who could be your guide instead of a moogle, though? Well, Tingle would be perfect for that, wouldn't he?
So, those are our picks for the ten video game series we'd love to see get rhythm games. Or, honestly, Square Enix could just bring All-Star Carnival to Switch and we'd stop begging.
Which of these would you like to see get the Theatrhythm treatment? Vote in our poll below and let us know what you picked — or perhaps you have some even better ideas. In which case, share them below!