Sega is a company rich in video game legacy, and it’s developers are often overlooked by gamers despite their contributions to the industry.One such developer, Shun Nakamura is the director in charge of Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure .
Other works from Nakamura include Sonic the Hedgehog and Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg.
So how does the latest Nakamura original stand up on Nintendo 3DS?
Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure follows the story of Raphael, a sharply dressed thief who is on a mission to unlock the secrets of Paris and to track down his mysteriously missing father.
The first thing that should be mentioned about Rhythm Thief is it’s exceptional presentation. The story unfolds in beautifully rendered 3D anime sequences which look stunning on the Nintendo 3DS’ screen. Subtitles are thankfully handled by the console’s lower screen which otherwise remains black through these cut scenes.
Gameplay is more of a mixed bag, however. The main bulk of the story mode involves moving around the character around a map, which brings up a new screen with point-and-tap elements. It’s probably the best way to tie in the gameplay with the story, though – your goal in these parts is to collect coins and record sounds, which is used as a side-quest type element.
The action is thankfully broken up into the actual rhythm games the title promises – and boy are these worth the point-and-tap-athon. Using the stylus, your goal is to either tap the screen or perform a gesture in perfect timing to the sound playing in the background.
These rhythm games are varied and always tonnes of fun, so it’s a stroke of genius that the game allows you to go back and replay them after you complete these levels individually. There’s also a two player multiplayer mode over local wireless.
Props should also be given to the sound in this game. While the Nintendo 3DS speakers don’t quite do the game’s jazzy soundtrack justice, a good pair of headphones converts the otherwise tinny tapping sounds into a high quality beat, making the rhythm games even more fun.
It’s a shame that the story mode is a little tedious to the extent that it may put off some of the more casual players, because the animation, rhythm games, soundtrack and unlockables including the StreetPass function in this title are extremely rewarding.
If you can stand some frustration, Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure is a worthy addition to anyone’s game collection.