As a fan of the manga and rhythm games like Ouendan I’ve been excited ever since I heard Nodame Cantabile was being made into a game (PS2/DS), Instead of pop songs and frantic images, you tap along classical music by Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms. A total of over 40 pieces are featured in here. Since the game’s Japanese release is two days away, I did a little poking around on the official site and was pleasantly surprised by the variety of gameplay.
There are essentially two game modes concert and minigames. In the main concert mode you tab along the rhythm as the conductor waves his baton. When both of your notes intersect you create a tune. If you mess up the conductor gets upset and his satisfaction gauge drops. I tried a slow demo, but it was hard to catch up to the tunes by clicking the mouse. Imagine how challenging it would be to tap along fast ones such as Gershin’s Rhapsody in Blue. There are 4 mini-games in Nodame Cantabile DS: a Taiko no Tatsujin drum-hitting game, a side scroller with the Purigorota cartoon characters within the Nodame universe, a cooking game where you prepare the customers’ orders by mixing the correct recipe, and the last game has you help Nodame the slob tidy up her room.
There is also a musical dictionary with information about historical composers, instruments, and the relevance of the musical pieces to the story complemented by scenes from the manga. Character summaries and manga illustrations are found under the gallery/collection mode. You earn both as you progress further into the game. For fans a "Nodame Piano bag" is thrown in as a special pre-order bonus. Even if you are not a fan of the series, this might turn out to be another excellent rhythm game for the DS.