An adorable rhythm game with a focus on story-telling.

User Rating: 8 | Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure 3DS

There are certainly plenty of excellent rhythm games but not many of them are so focused on narrative as in the case of Rhythm Thief. This is an rather fun rhythm game that will test your skill, making you utilize almost every feature of the 3DS. When you aren't playing games or solving little puzzles you'll being exploring Paris and interacting with the locals. In many regards this is a fairly easy game but a couple of times it stumbles and the difficulty spikes up a bit too high. Other then that I had wonderful time with this game and all its various parts.

Rhythm thief follows the story of one of Paris's most wanted thieves, Phantom R, along with his dog/sidekick Fondue. Your real name is Raphael, your father left you a couple years back and you've recently discovered a lead you're hoping might lead you back to him. On your quest you save a young girl named Marie which leads you to discover a plot to restore a recently resurrected Napoleon Bonaparte to power. Along your journey to stop these madman you'll get to know a quite a few characters like inspector Paul Vergier and the young detective Charlie. Its both a fun and ridiculous story told through a lot of written dialogue and a handful of gorgeous cut-scenes.

The gameplay is fairly diverse ranging from rhythm games, to a couple of simple puzzles, and exploration of the streets of Paris. The rhythm games are the heart of this experience. They divided up into three progressively hard stages relying on various sounds and visual ques. There are ten or so different games each with three to five variations of increasing difficulty. Some games will have you use the touch screen while others will require use of the face buttons or even the 3DS's gyroscope. On your journey you can collect sounds you hear to solve a few easy puzzles and make a master instrument. I really enjoyed exploring the streets of Paris, talking to a lot of the same people you find meandering about each chapter and seeing what new things they had to say.

This is really quite an adorable game and despite a couple frustrating moments it was really fun. The game overall is quite easy with the exception of a couple of the rhythm games. Most of the rhythm you have to play a couple times just to get the hang of it and/or make attempts to achieve a high-score. Some of the rhythm games, especially the ones later in the later part of your journey, you are lucky just to be able to beat them. The characters are all really charming and have fun personalities. The music isn't particularly memorable but it is pleasant and enjoyable to interact with. I really love the blatant references to some of my favorite rhythm games, like those found on the Dreamcast.

Overall, this has been a wonderful break from a lot of the triple A action games and RPGs I've been playing of late. It is a beautiful game and the story is a lot of fun. Each chapter is roughly 45 minutes if you're thorough, I feel like this is a perfect length for a game session. Also every time you load the game up you get a recap so you don't have to worry about forgetting where you left off. You could easy speed through this title but there is a ton of extra content to find from the sound recordings, to the music discs, as well as phantom notes. Really hardcore players might even try to ace all the rhythm games. In-spite of a couple of bumps in the road I did really enjoy this game while it last lasted.