Following in the footsteps of the many other 3DS demos, Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure now has its own demo to try. Like with all 3DS demos, it is a mini taster as to what to expect in the main game. In this demo, there are three of the rhythm mini-games to test out – a music/dancing one, a reaction one and a sample of the battles (of sorts) in the game.
The first one (entitled “Showtime”) is very similar to the game play in Space Channel 5, only with you needing to draw the direction indicated rather than pressing it on the d-pad. So, if the screen shows a left arrow, you draw left on the touch screen. The timing is a little tricky though, as you have to match the action with the computer dancers, and there’s little room for error. It takes a while to get to grips with the control scheme and where and when to do the action. But once you get used to it, it does get a lot better.
The second one (entitled “Looting the Louvre”) is a reaction game, requiring you to tap one of 4 colours to hide yourself away as you sneak through the Louvre. As colours appear on screen, you need to tap the right colour before guards spot you. It’s no Metal Gear Solid, but it’s still a good mini-game. It’s also more forgiving than the first game, meaning it’s easier to get through it.
The last mini-game (entitled “Battle Diabolique”) is a sample of the combat in the game against some of Napoleon’s guards. Whenever a foe appears on screen, you need to press the corresponding buttons – A for a foe on the right, the d-pad for one on the left. It works much like a reaction game, so you best make sure you get the timings right. Larger foes can also appear, requiring rapid pressing of the d-pad and A to defeat it.
Each mini-game can be played any number of times, letting you try to get the A ranking (the best one) in each game. As with all demos, these ratings are not saved on the system. But as a demo, it’s a great little introduction to the main game. The animation is smooth and the little voice acting is done well. The use of 3D isn’t outstanding, but the views of Paris in “Showtime” do work well with the 3D. The melding of the actions to the background music is great, and it is ideal if you love the rhythm genre. Although there’s no story and puzzle sections in the demo, the three mini-games offer enough to see if you want to buy it or not.
The Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure demo is available through the 3DS shop for free, and requires 800 blocks. It is available for 20 goes before it deletes itself.