I will gladly admit that rhythm games are one of my favorite genres of games. PaRappa the Rapper, Elite Beat Agents, and Taiko Drum Master are permanent parts of my collection, and I just played through the entirety of Gitaroo Man last night. The only way rhythm games can be made even better in my book is by combining them with another genre to create a hybrid of epic proportions like the Bit.Trip series on WiiWare.
That is precisely what Tzai Entertainment has done with their new game SHMUSICUP (Shoot Music Up) by combining rhythm games with bullet hell shmups. SHMUSICUP allows you to play an intense shoot ’em up along with your favorite songs straight from your hard drive, and creates a unique bullet pattern based on the tune. This essentially means that SHMUSICUP, much like Audiosurf before it (a pseudo-racing game with a similar concept), is given unlimited replayability. Just by loading up a new song, a level can be made entirely different.
While I can talk about the game all day, it’s probably best if you experience it for yourself. There is a trailer below for you to behold, but I would recommend heading over to Tzai’s website to play the game for yourself. They currently have a beta version available which you can try out, and if you like it they are offering a limited time price of $9.99 for those who pre-order now. While the techno-inspired tunes they offer for you to use all sound excellent, I found I had the most fun when playing along to “Donuts, Go Nuts” from the Splosion Man soundtrack. How can you not enjoy that ukulele?