The Pressure to be Perfect

Casual Game: Rhythm Heaven

The Pressure to be Perfect

Three strikes and you’re out!

Rhythm Heaven has a series of mini games where the player must match the movement of the character to whatever rhythm is in the background. Every so often, the player has a chance to go for a “Perfect” and win a medal. Winning these medals allows the player to unlock special levels and features within the game.

The little pink “P” with “Go for a Perfect!” hanging on the top left of the screen is as stressful as it is exciting. If you mess up once, then you automatically lose the session. If you mess up three times, then you lose the chance to win a perfect for that level. One you lose the chance to win a perfect for a level, you must wait until the next opportunity comes up, however, waiting feels like an eternity!

When playing for a perfect, you must put your undivided attention to the game. One little slip up, even the tiniest variation in the flick of the DS control stick, could cost you the perfect. Honestly, it’s more about pride than anything else.

I’ve never been so intensely focused on a game. It’s strange, because there is no tangible real-life outcome, there are no real-life prizes, there is only me and my pride. Still, as a perfectionist, these opportunities would simultaneously thrill me and fill me with dread! I had to get a perfect and I tried ever cheat I could just to get one, but it never worked out. You can’t turn off the game and restart a level to save up on chances, because the game automatically saves when you start a level. Trust me, I tried.

I ended up completing a bunch of perfects, but it cost a ton of time and energy. In my opinion, it was totally worth it. Seeing the “Superb!” at the end made me feel like a beast.

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