Rhythm games were once all the rage. They would rise high above other party games and were a staple at game nights. At one point Guitar Hero and Rock Band were releasing multiple versions a year. Different bands would sign on with exclusive deals. It was pretty great. But then suddenly, we stopped seeing rhythm games coming out. They just sort of disappeared. It might be because they began to release so many and were charging per song, but I’m not sure. All I know is that I miss them. You can still play some of the greats though, they haven’t disappeared. Some of them will even work on current-gen systems. Here are five rhythm games that you need to try out.
Rock Band 4
Oh, how I miss Rock Band. When it was first introduced on the scene Rock Band took the video gaming world by storm. Guitar Hero was already huge, but Rock Band introduced vocals, drums, and bass to the mix. It made it so that you could now play Rock Band with three of your friends. The feeling of being able to be on the drums while your best friend is singing their heart out is second to none. It made it feel like you were an actual Rock Band. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some popular bands out there right now that got their start with Rock Band.
Synopsis: “The full Rock Band™ 4 experience this bundle includes Rock Band 4 and the Rivals Expansion, giving you access to the full feature set of the best music game on the market. The Rivals Bundle includes over 100 songs and more. Online play: move the party online with matchmaking, public or private sessions, and more! Rivals mode: Band together with friends across the globe to compete in this online multiplayer stats battle. Rockudrama: Tell the story of YOUR band’s triumph over adversity in this playable music documentary. Access to future updates and exclusive songs.”
Guitar Hero Live
Guitar Hero is the father of peripheral-based rhythm games. They come onto the scene and showed us that playing guitar in a video game to the beat of your favorite songs was a pretty fun thing to do. Guitar Hero Live builds on what the originals did and introduces a whole new button configuration and even introduces a new mode where you can subscribe and get new songs weekly. This honestly was a step in the right direction for the series but at this point, the fans had already been burnt out so, unfortunately. Still, if you can get your hands on Guitar Hero then it’s a game you need to play.
Synopsis: “Guitar Hero Live follows similar gameplay to previous installments in the series, requiring players to use a guitar-shaped controller with buttons and a strum bar to match notes on a scrolling “highway” corresponding to notes played in a song. In contrast to the previous five-button design, the Guitar Hero Live controller features six buttons arranged into two rows of three. The frets are represented by a “note highway”, three scrolling lanes on-screen, containing either black or white notes representing the two rows. Lower difficulty levels use one row of buttons, while higher difficulties may include “chords” that use a combination of buttons from both rows. The game typically maps out power chords to use the top row of buttons, while modifications of those chords include others from the bottom row. Notes may be held and sustained, indicated by trailing lines after the note markers, during which the player can use the guitar’s whammy bar to alter the held note’s pitch for effect.”
Just Dance 2022
Just Dance has proven that if you have a good system and fun gameplay, any rhythm game can stand the test of time. They probably took notes from Rock Band and Guitar Hero and learned that what the people want is to play their favorite songs and a system that gives them a ton of those songs without having to pay too much from their pocket. Just Dance does just that. It gives you a ton of songs to choose from and it features some fun gameplay that can get you quickly addicted. It also makes you get up and out of your set which is pretty cool for a video game.
Synopsis: “Just Dance 2022 is the ultimate dance game available on the Nintendo Switch™ system, the PlayStation®4 Pro, PlayStation®4, PlayStation 5 computer entertainment systems, the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X and Google Stadia.”
Beat Saber is probably my favorite rhythm game in the current market. It combines rhythm with wielding a lightsaber. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. Beat Saber lets you wield two sabers while slicing at blocks to the beat of some pretty high-intensity songs. You could probably play Beat Saber and count it as a workout because of how much goes on and how fast you would need to move.
Synopsis: “‘Dive into an immersive rhythm experience you have never seen before! Enjoy precisely handcrafted levels and exclusively created electronic dance music, all embedded in an appealing futuristic world. Swing your sabers, match the color and the right direction to slash the cubes, and keep up with the adrenaline-pumping music… This game is gonna make you dance!”
Dj Hero 2
I miss DJ Hero. The chances that we get another one aren’t too great. Dj Hero 2 uses a unique turntable controller that makes you spin, scratch, and twist your way through some songs. It also makes you feel like an actual DJ because you combine songs to pass through the levels and as you ramp up the difficulty you need to perform more scratches and switches to the beat of the songs which can make you feel like you’re a DJ at a late night club.
Synopsis: “DJ Hero 2 is a rhythm video game and a sequel to DJ Hero, a spinoff of the Guitar Hero series. DJ Hero 2 uses a special turntable controller, the same as introduced in DJ Hero, to simulate turntablism, the act of creating new musical work from one or more previously recorded songs using record players and sound effect generators. The game is developed by FreeStyleGames and is published by Activision, and was released worldwide in October 2010.”