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E3 2011: Nintendo’s Got Rhythm with Rhythm Heaven and Shield Pose

June 14, 2011 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook E3 2011: Nintendo’s Got Rhythm with Rhythm Heaven and Shield Poseon Twitter

I was completely surprised by the appearance of Rhythm Heaven on the Wii at E3 this year. It wasn’t discussed at Nintendo’s press conference, and if somebody hadn’t mentioned the title to me on the last day of the show, I would have never known it was there. I was fortunately able to run over and play through the three songs that were available right before the show floor closed.

I also checked out Nintendo’s Shield Pose technical demo on the Wii U, which is essentially a rhythm game as well. But I’ll get into this one a little more after the jump.

Let’s start with Rhythm Heaven. I had fun with the DS game and enjoyed a number of the tracks although more than a few got my blood boiling with their difficulty level. Still, I was looking forward to experience the game on the Wii with some waggle controls, ala WarioWare: Smooth Moves, but it seems that Nintendo has something else in mind. The three stages that were available on the show floor opted to use timed presses of the A button as opposed to using motion controls, which surprised me giving the title’s shift to the Wii.

One game involved catching peas on a fork that were flicked at you from a distance, while another had you hitting a ball back and forth with a cat in airplanes with a poppy tune in the background. The third involved a samurai who was cutting demons in half while a strong, Asian-influenced piece played in the background. It felt like Rhythm Heaven, and I was told that artist Tsunku♂ is once again on board to lend his musical talents to the game. My favorite piece of the demo, however, was his incredibly upbeat menu theme. I’m looking forward to checking out more of the game here in 2011.

The second rhythm-inspired experience at the Nintendo booth came in the form of Shield Pose. While this was only a technical demonstration, I had a lot of fun with it. Basically, archers on the boat ahead of you fire arrows that the captain calls out (center, up, right, left). The player then proceeded to move the Wii U controller in that direction to block the arrows, which showed up on the controller’s touch screen as suction cups attached to the screen. It was a neat little demo, and I really got into the groove of it as up to five arrows at once were fired, requiring you to shift from left to right and back to the center while the scenery on the controller’s screen changed in real time to correspond to which direction of the boat you were peering out from. I’d love to see something like this made into a full game with some catchy music, or even as a mini-game in some larger collection of Wii U experiences.

What do you think of Rhythm Heaven on the Wii and Shield Pose on the Wii U? Are you excited about the prospect of playing rhythm games using the Wii U’s unique controller?

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