Game Review by Barry Carenza
Title: Rhythm Core Alpha 2
Version: DSiWare (Played on Nintendo 3DS)
ESRB Rating: E 10+
Release Date: June 20, 2013
Obtained: Review code courtesy of SoftEgg LLC
If you enjoy making your own music and figuring out the best way to put sounds together, than look no further than Rhythm Core Alpha 2 on the DSi and 3DS eShop.
Story & Plot:
This is one area that I can’t grade this game on as there is no story or plot. You boot up the game, select your language, and are thrust immediately into the music making goodness that you downloaded this for.
It would have been nice for a tutorial to get you started. At least have the game inquire if you would like to run it upon startup. While there is an instruction manual built into the game, it’s in the bottom right corner under the “help” tab. If you don’t know to look there, it may take you a bit before you find it.
Gameplay & Controls:
The controls here are amazingly simple, which I’m very thankful for. I’ve never been that good at messing around with music makers, with the exception of Mario Paint, so I was very glad to see the touch screen work really well here. You are given 20 different instruments and sounds to work with and all you have to do is tap on the instrument’s corresponding line that you want to play. It will loop every 10 seconds and every time it repeats onto your note that you just placed, it will play that note.
But 10 seconds isn’t a lot? You’re right. You can place your stylus on the screen, hold, and drag down to bring down all the options from the top screen into touch control. Want a 20 second loop? You got it. It caps at 64 seconds which is plenty of time to mess around with.
Along the bottom of the screen you can also tab between a drum, a mixer, check your pattern, among other options. It’s more in depth than I would expect from a music maker and for those music lovers, I’m sure this will greatly add to your enjoyment.
Some of the instruments you can place your note, hold it, and drag the stylus across the line to extend the note that’s played. You can also mess around with the different instruments, each notes volume, and even the scale and tempo of the beat. It’s very easy to do and in no time, you’ll be rocking out to your own beat.
Here’s a little beat I threw together in about a minute. It’s quick but very easy to do.
Sadly there is only one game mode that I can find and that’s the main attraction here. All of the wonderful music making tools are bundled together. You can save, load, and export your songs which are fantastic features.
Graphics & Sound:
The graphics are honestly sub-par, but that’s not what this game is about. Everything is clear, the text is white and easy to read which is important. There’s a small graphical star like pattern on the top screen and colored beat bars that rise and fall to the beat, but that’s really it. It would have been nice to see some colors molding and changing to the beat like Windows Media Player does or even a mock band.
The sound however, is the reason you’re checking this game out. It truly delivers with a variety of instruments and synth sounds that are distinguishable. Is it Dolby surround sound quality? No. But it sounds great on my 3DS. I haven’t tried it on the DSi but I don’t see why it wouldn’t sound great there.
This is not a title I would have downloaded on my own as I am not into music makers. However while messing around with this for my review, I found myself getting lost in the joy of creating music. Not only did it happen to me, but I found my fiancée stealing my 3DS just to make some music of her own. If you loved messing around with making music in other games like Mario Paint and Animal Crossing, than you shouldn’t even second guess this download. It sets out with a goal and I think it succeeds. The lasting appeal here is directly proportionate to your personal enjoyment in making music.
Final Score: 8.0 out of 10
+ Great range of musical options
+ Ability to save multiple songs and upload them to an SD card
+ Makes you feel like a master musical genius
+ Simple to learn, fun to master
– No real graphics
– Not user friendly at the start
– $10 may be a little steep if you’re not into making music