Rhythm Heaven as iTunes Visualizer

For all the things they get right – mass market appeal, price points, easy to understand interfaces – Nintendo occasionally gets things terribly wrong. Among their transgressions against the gaming world: failing to localize (translating + releasing in the US) great games that have appeared in Japan.

But sometimes, the good games make it through. Earlier this year, Nintendo of America came to their senses and released Rhythm Heaven. A localization of Rhythm Tengoku Gold, Rhythm Heaven is a collection of over 50 rhythm-based mini-games for the Nintendo DS. A typical game will see you rocking out with a ghost band, filling robots, playing ping pong, picking turnips, and joining a monkey dance party.

It’s extremely weird, but also extremely fun. Even BeyoncĂ© likes it.

Today, I discovered that by not actually looking at the official Rhythm Heaven site, I missed something fantastic: a free iTunes visualizer, using artwork from the game.

Installers are available for OS X, Vista, and XP. (In case these links break, you can find the downloads through the official site on the left hand side.)

A quick install and iTunes restart later, and even an average song can be made amazing through the addition of trippy visuals from the game.

The visualizer isn’t perfect – I’m not really feeling a lot of “sync” with the music I tried it with, and sometimes the artwork clips oddly – but watching the assembled mass of ghost drummers, duck drill sargents, and lab assistants rocking out to anything you throw at it is a thing of beauty.

Download this, before Nintendo shuts down the site and we’ve lost the archive for this glorious piece of software forever.

(Many thanks to Offworld for tipping me off. If they’re not on your feed reader, they should be.)