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4.3 out of 5 stars49
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 24 August 2012
I got this game as a late birthday present and, thanks to amazon, it arrived much earlier than expected.

My summary of this game is, well nothing more than spectacular! The graphics in the gameplay are unique and creative (although some might find them too unique and a somewhat "fuzzy" style), the little animated cutscenes that come up once in a while are cute and corny and also help you understand more about the storyline itself. Finaly the plot and characters in the game are what really moulds the thing together. (eventhough its very japanese!) The story is set in the beatiful city of paris (im not being too positive)and in a small apartment ,near the town, lives you, Raphael, an eightien year old boy who's father strangely disapered 3 years ago. You seem to be a very naive boy but you have a secret, you are also the infamous thief, Phanton R. The idea is that you have to try and find your father while dancing with the rhythem to escape a bunch "cops" unitill you meet a girl named Marie who (oh yeah, you have a dog) plays the voilin...yeah. Next thing you know, your in search of HER MOTHER too and going through amazing missions(including tilting the 3ds system all over the place) playing the violin and batteling an evil dude (who I will not tell you about because you can find him out yourself!) While your doing all this, you may discover that the game is really short! Belive me! I even felt a little sad and miserable because I had copleted the game on my 2nd day of getting it! But you will still enjoy the fun adventure you will go through! The game is quite easy too, it's the first time I've completed a game without my brother helping out in nearly every level! :D Plese comment to me! Bye! Sega make a sequel!
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on 6 April 2012
Having bought this on the strength of the demo (see Nintendo, they do work!) I haven't been disappointed. It's a sort of Professor Layton meets Elite Beat Agents mash up. You play "Phantom R", a young art thief searching for his missing father. The action is set in Paris, which is charmingly rendered and the meat of the action is in the rhythm games which have a good variety to them. Like the best games in the genre, when it all comes together it makes you feel like you really do have some great musical talent which I can assure you I do not. The situations are amusing ("no-one can escape the police rollerskating division!"). I defy anyone not to smile at this game!

There are some puzzles too, but these are fairly simplistic, which is ok for me as I don't really want distracted too much from the core musical elements.

Downsides are few - it is fairly easy (you won't fail many games even on your first try), so the challenge will be to get 'A' ranks which makes the rather loose scoring scheme a bit of a disappointment. It also doesn't autosave which is rather a throwback in the world of video games, so an absent minding exiting could cost you quite a bit of progress! (On the plus side, it has 3 save slots).

The 3D is good, though cross-talk is an issue with the art style, and it is hard to keep from jiggling about to the music, which plays havoc with the stereoscopic effect. Arguably those are system problems (although the latest Nintendo first party offerings have made good progress in mitigating these 3D issues).

In summary, a fine and charming little game.

EDIT: I have now completed this game, and feel it only fair to update my review. I complained above it was fairly easy, but the challenge level REALLY ramps up towards the end. Luckily you can buy "items" with in game currency to help you get through. So, if you are holding of as you are afraid it is not challenging, don't be!
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on 21 October 2014
Rhythm Thief is a very well-designed rhythm game with a fantastic art style and pretty good story that is fun to play through but isn't always a hit.

Let's get straight to the rhythm games - they're pretty fun across the board. They carry a strong vibe of something you'd see in Rhythm Paradise when it comes to controls but they are more complex in many ways. The difficulty of these games is inconsistent, however: some of the tilting games will cause you to rip your hair out in anger while others that have high difficulty ratings are breezed through on the first try. The best games are ones that you will come back to again and again, however, as they are very memorable and fun to play through.

Between games the design isn't as good. Maybe it's because I don't like the Layton formula of "tap repeatedly on the touch screen to find medals" but you'll be doing it. A lot. If you don't like that kind of stuff, you may find it a bit monotonous. There are also puzzles where you need to go back and tap on items that make sounds to store the sound and then play the sound back to complete certain objectives - these are interesting, but most of the time the game does like to really give away the answer if you read all the text which slightly detracts from their value in the first place.

The game's story scenes and the anime-style cutscenes, while not animated with the biggest budget around are still really great to watch. Characters are interesting and entertaining, scenes are well-designed and the story is very good, which will keep you interested and attached throughout.

Rhythm Thief is a fun game if you want the RPG style of Layton and some very fun rhythm games combined, and for the price that it's being sold at it's worth a look if you want a good rhythm game.
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on 11 May 2014
Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure is the third game I purchased since I got my Nintendo 3DS a month ago. I was pretty psyched about it after playing the demo on the 3DS e-shop which reminded me of the fun I had with other rhythm games such as Elite Beat Agents on the previous generation’s Nintendo DS. While Rhythm Thief is savagely satisfying when you get the beat right, it can also be massively frustrating due to several poor design choices particularly when playing the side-levels not associated with the main story thread.

Rhythm Thief is a rhythm game that involves you moving around France in a grid map akin to the world map found in Mario games and interacting with people and the environment found in each node on the map. You find anything from rhythm game challenges to coins used to purchase game cutscenes or bonus power-up items that make a level easier. You will also find a couple of different collectibles scattered across the environments as you make your way through the game. While the hunt for collectibles is completely optional and can be a little bit of a pixel-hunt at times, the items are relatively easy to find and there is a satisfying feel associated with it.

The main cast of characters is likeable, if a little fantastical although they do a good job of keeping you invested in the game’s plot. The story itself is rather light but is genuinely interesting and does a really good job of connecting each of the gameplay moments together and as a result provides the campaign with a good flow. The pacing of this game can be a bit slow at times favouring exposition rather than actual rhythm gameplay: think Professor Layton but with rhythm games rather than puzzles (although the occasional rhythm puzzles do come up every now and again). In fact the game also sports a charming character art-style very reminiscent of Professor Layton characters. The game cutscenes are of high-quality and the 3D is great.

The gameplay itself is challenging but fair. It takes a bit of time to get used to each of the different game type’s button input mechanics but once you understand how it works the game becomes really satisfying. The rhythm and the beats feel great and the tune is represented accurately when you are performing well. Completing levels in the game unlocks those levels for casual play (with your score included). While there are extra secrets to unlock once you have completed the main story, the main replayability of Rhythm Thief comes in the form of trying to beat your high-score. While this is fun to do, the scoring system can be a bit harsh.

The scoring system puts emphasis on not screwing up button/stylus-inputs during the later parts of the tune so ultimately you get penalized more if you make more mistakes towards the end of a tune rather than at the start. This would have been a minor detail if it were not for the severity of the penalties towards the end of a tune. Getting 49/50 inputs correct can result in a B rank (next highest rank after A which is the top) if the mistake happened on the 50th input (this also depends on the difficulty of the level you are in). This becomes more of an evident problem if you make several mistakes in the later part of a tune; say for example a score of 45/50 being declared a D rank. It’s not a major problem but it can suck out much of the satisfaction to be had from the game. Unfortunately there is also a scoring bug in the game that makes it possible to override an A rank score with one of a lower rank that has a higher numerical score associated to it. For instance you may have previously gotten a high score of 40/50 which gave you an A rank since you only made mistakes at the earlier parts of a level. Say you replayed the level and achieved 49/50 and messed up the 50th input. You may end up getting a B with a higher numerical score. The game would then override your previous A rank with a B. This isn’t much of a game breaker but it can get really annoying if you are trying to get a full A record.

Unfortunately the difficulty of the game can be a little unreasonable towards the end of the game’s main story. The compulsory levels to advance the story themselves are not overly hard but rather the bulk of the side-levels are massively hard. Not only does the window of success for each button-input become tighter, the amount of attention the game demands from you also increases to a point where it just seems cluttered. Of course this alone wouldn’t be reason enough to dismiss this game. The true shame comes from the fact that the tunes in these side-levels often seem to not mesh as well with the button-inputs as the tunes in the main story levels. Most (there are exceptions) of the levels from the main campaign boasts a great blend between the mechanics, button-prompts and tune providing players with a fun experience and allowing them to rely completely on the beat if they wanted to. Quite a few of the side-levels on the other hand feels like it is trying to incorporate gameplay mechanics that don’t necessarily work well with the chosen tunes. This made the extra levels in the game less fun and more often than not quite frustrating. Pairing this with the fact that the game often explains the mechanics of each level minimally, it can be unreasonably hard to understand what you are doing wrong in a particular level. Fortunately these levels make up only a small part of the game and are completely optional.

In summary I think this game has an interesting plot and a great cast of characters, and while the main levels of the game are really fun and satisfying, a considerable number of the side-levels are more frustrating than fun. I would recommend this game to players who are big rhythm game fans and to those who are patient. Much time will be spent retrying levels to get the feel of the controls and mostly it is fun but occasionally there are a few annoying ones that players will just have to move on from and live with.

Rating: 4/5
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 December 2013
Rhythm games are not my sort of thing. That's why I found myself surprised to be enjoying this game so much. The main advantage that this game has over its competitors is a good story, with gameplay features borrowed from Professor Layton, and extremely catchy beats. I found myself humming the tunes from this fairly shortly after playing it for the first time.

The plot of the game is focused around a young Frenchman called Raphael, who goes around by night disguised as the notorious Phantom R, an art thief of great style and sophistication. The police are baffled at the ability of this young redheaded thief in a fashionable suit and fedora to disappear. Undoubtedly they asked the random redheaded civilian with glasses and no hat for information, but he didn't see anything. It's that kind of game. Raphael is searching for his father, who went missing years before. During his pursuit he finds himself entwined in the risen Emperor Napoleon's dastardly plans to take over the world. Fortunately his men are susceptible to timed dance moves.

Sound ridiculous? Good, it's meant to. The plot is one of the most entertaining things about this game. Amusing and insane it takes our heroes on a tour of Paris and its environs. And Paris is very much on display here. The city looks gorgeous, even in the 2D that dominates the gameplay. When you do get to see a cinematic cutscene (in glorious 3D no less) it really sours.

The rhythm games are cleverly based around this plot. For example, when sneaking into the Louvre you have to follow a beat to hide behind convenient statues and avoid the guards. When fighting Napoleon's men you have to punch them as they bounce at you in synchronized fashion. When eluding policemen on roller skates you have to jump or duck to avoid capture. And my personal favorite: you get to defend yourself against your archrival's PI child Charlie who attempts to apprehend you by kicking a flaming football at your face. They're all fun, not a little bit silly, and have a catchy beat.

The parts of the game not revolving around playing rhythm games owe a very large debt to Professor Layton. Not so much the puzzle aspect, but the way that you move your character along a map and use the touchscreen to interact with the characters and scenery on it. They even have playcoins you can collect by tapping random areas of the screen. The character and street designs are very nice. These are seen at their full effect when the cutscenes start. These cutscenes are beautifully animated and really capture a spirit of adventure. I wish they would make this into an Anime so we could see it all animated. The 3D is used to good effect in these, especially the first cutscene which has Raphael dancing around a room filled with chandeliers. The rest of the game doesn't use it much, and it's often easier to just turn it off.

Most of this game takes place on the bottom screen. The top screen has a map and is used for all the wonderful 3D cutscenes, but when traveling you pay attention to the touchscreen. In battles the top screen becomes important. These battles alternate between having you tap buttons on the bottom screen with your stylus and hitting buttons. No, you don't have to do both at the same time. That would be horrifyingly difficult.

The downsides to the game are fairly minor but annoying. The rating system is messed up. The game doesn't record your best scores, only an average of all your scores. This means that if you want the game to save you getting an A-Rank score you have to get it right on your first time. Which is almost impossible. Another flaw is the grading system for these ranks. It is too heavily focused on what your last move was. You can get a perfect score right up until the end and then flub only the last note, dropping you down to a C-Rank. It's very irritating.

If any of this sounds compelling try the demo. It's available for free on the Nintendo store. This is one fun game even for non rhythm game fans. While the game doesn't always add up to the sum of its parts, nevertheless it provides a fun ride.
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on 13 April 2013
I really enjoyed this game, the story line was good and the rhythm games were amazing, if a little fast. Once you start you do not want to stop. I enjoyed this way more then professor layton.
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on 12 August 2014
First of all I love rhythm games and it has been a while since I have played one that has an actual fleshed out story and this one is very gripping. All of the gameplay elements are through small rhythm levels (not minigames) that are actually very varied and provide a good challenge. I absolutely love the excitement of getting in to the rhythm and racking up large combos of perfect steps and in this game that feeling is achieved perfectly. Also the game is set in France and uses this to its advantages in its visuals ands it music score.

I will be completely honest and say this game has flaws. For example there is one game in particular that is fairly broken and getting an A rank is virtually impossible. But apart from one or two of the 50plus levels being questionable I really have nothing bad to say about this game and regularly go back to it for short half hours sessions purely for enjoyment. A must for rhythm gamers!
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on 28 October 2012
In short this is a game where you dash around Paris fighting evil and saving a young girl through the medium of tapping the screen or pressing buttons to the beat of music.

And now that you know what to expect, on to the review!

If you ignore the plot, this is a great game. Vibrant, varied characters populate Paris and there is some great dialogue. The rhythm games, the core of the game really, are lots of fun and have a very nice difficulty curve. While there are side quests to keep you occupied they tend to involve randomly poking the screen until you find whatever it is you're looking for and as I mentioned at the beginning, the plot strains the belief of even the most tolerant players. But that's actually perfectly OK.
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on 14 December 2014
Game is great and has replay value. Story and characters are pretty cheesy but I really don't mind that. Cutscenes are pretty and well animated and the game overall shares a resemblance to the professor layton series.

Also, the people complaining about the rythm games being hard are right and wrong. The hard ones are great because they add replay value, I found myself repeating the minigames over and over to get that A grade.

Only annoying part about this is that if you miss a single point you get put down a whole sublevel or two.
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on 8 July 2014
To say that this is a 12 plus game I honestly found some of the mini game levels quite hard towards the end however this game got very addict trying to completed them so you can go onto the next step. I think the characters and story line is well thought out and would love to see a sequel to the game and for the price it is definitely worth it for the game as a whole.
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