Trying to determine which current system is most musical is actually a fairly difficult feat. Instinct says to think of a console, but it’s been a while since the days when Guitar Hero and its ilk reigned. While the PSP had a fairly nice assortment, it’s day is done. Surprising as it may sound, it’s actually the 3DS bringing in both the noise and the funk.
Shocking, I know. I wouldn’t have thought so either, until I imported a Japanese 3DS. As I was going over my list of games that I would have to eventually, one day, perhaps import, I noticed a trend. Every other game was a rhythm or music-based game. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2 was my first import game, and Daigasso! Band Brothers P my second. It wasn’t because I knew they’d be especially forgiving on a non-native speaker. It was because I knew they were really great games I had to play.
As my list went on, I began to realize just how pervasive the music trend was on the 3DS. AKB48+Me, Taiko no Tatsujin: The Little Dragon and the Mysterious Orbs, Nazo Waku Mansion, Hello Kitty’s Magical Apron: Rhythm Cooking, and others all showed that developers were using the system to bring music games to life. Even SoniPro is the next game, waiting in the wings.
Though, it isn’t just the Japanese 3DS library that’s inundated with groovitude. We don’t realize it, but the rhythmic sensation is taking hold here as well. It’s just that the music-based releases don’t happen as often. Most of our musical games are more niche. Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure, Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove, and Michael Jackson: The Experience come to mind as the lesser known offerings. They’re there, but we don’t put it together and see it.
That isn’t to say larger music games haven’t made it outside of Japan. I get the feeling almost every 3DS owners has known and loved Theatrhythm Final Fantasy . After all, it was the perfect blend of nostalgia and solid gameplay. And, while not as famous, the BIT.TRIP Saga and Harmoknight have developed pretty devoted followings as well.
The thing is, the flocking of music games makes sense. The 3DS’ touch screen is a fantastic fit for such titles. Sure, it’s speakers aren’t the best, but developers who choose to bring songs to life on this system have a lot of freedom with what they can do. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva 2 is a perfect example. It offers two control schemes, one that uses the buttons and another that only relies on the touch screen.
There’s a sense of versatility there that other systems don’t offer. The only one that comes close is the Vita, and while it is building a music game library with Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F, DJMAX Technika Tune, and Orgarhythm as its cornerstones, it can’t compare with what the 3DS has to offer.
Truly, the 3DS is alive with the sound of music. The flow of musically inclined games won’t rest, which means we’ll get to look forward to games like Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call . And maybe, just maybe, Sega will consider us eventually worthy of the 3DS Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai games.