PREVIEW: Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure

Friday, June 29th, 2012

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Strike a pose!

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure is a rhythm based game for the Nintendo 3DS co-developed by Sega and Xeen.  If you’re outside of North America, you already have a chance to purchase and play the game.  For us in North America, the game will release on July 10th but we can get a sneak peek at the game right now.  The demo for Rhythm Thief is available in the Nintendo eShop.

Around the staff that have played it so far, Rhythm Thief has given off a feeling of Elite Beat Agents and Rhythm Heaven, two great rhythm games from the Nintendo DS.  Never having played either one of those, I can’t agree with them.  What I can agree with them on is that Rhythm Thief is a good game and is worth the money.

For anyone looking for a glimpse of the story for Rhythm Thief, you’ll come up empty handed.  There is no story in the demo.  So here is a quick two sentence briefing: You play as a thief name Raphael who is looking for his father who disappeared around the same time Napolean’s casket was stolen.  Raphael is looking for answers to both issues.  Here is a more in-depth look at the story.

Now let’s get to the gameplay.

Rhythm Thief has about 50 levels in the full game.  For the purposes of the demo, there are three.  The first level, Showtime, has Raphael dancing around Paris with two backup dancers as you draw lines and circles when commanded.  For the most part, the response is good, though I have had some trouble with the circles (I don’t think I’ve got the rhythm down for that yet so it’s probably just me).

Level 2 is Looting the Louvre.  As you might guess from the title, Raphael is running around the Louvre, ducking behind the statues as guards shine their lights on you.  To execute this, you hit the correct color on the touch screen for the corresponding statue.  Miss and you get some comedic falling from Raphael.  Of the three levels, this was not only my most successful but my favorite in terms of music.

Level 3, Battle Diabolique, feels like a boss level (which I’m sure was the intent of Sega and Xeen).  Enemies come at you and you have to either hit the D-pad for those on the left or the A button for those on the right.  Of the three levels, the 3D effect works best on this level as the enemies jump right at you.

Here’s a little something to look forward to: Gyro-controlled levels.

The 3D works tremendously well on all the levels.  The music is great with what appears to be a mix of a number of genres.  I hope that there is more of the Big Band/Bebop style Jazz music that was played in the menu areas and the second level.  The controls are overall really good and respond very well (aside from my issues with the circles on level 1).  Overall, I feel that this is a great game that deserves your money, particularly if you’re into rhythm games.

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure is set for a North American release on July 10th for the 3DS at a price of $29.99.

To see more of the game, click here.

About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.