Rhythm Thief & the Emperorís Treasure

Key events

Poor old George Lucas. It's easy to forget that in 1997 he used computer technology in a way that arguably enhanced the original Star Wars trilogy (leaving Greedo and that dodgy bit with Han Solo walking on Jabba's tail aside). I watched those films at the legendary THX-equipped "Wycombe Six" cinema in the town of my birth, and remember loving every cleaned up frame, fade and transition.

Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure Review

Air on the G String, eh? To bring Bach down to my level, it's Morgan Freeman walking through the LA Library in Seven. It's Jamie Foxx seeking a little baroque refuge from the rest of the ungrateful world in Collateral. And now, it's Marie, trying out for an orchestra gig in Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure. Air on the G String's a truly great piece of music regardless of what you associate it with, of course, but the thought that a lot of kids are going to get their introduction to it by means Sega's exquisite and wonderfully quirky rhythm-action game is still a lovely thing to consider.

And Air on the G String is only one of The Emperor's Treasure's many fine elements. Sega's latest will teach you the French for "woof" - it's "woeuf", apparently, although that may be wishful thinking on the developers' part - and it will give you a decent working knowledge of downtown Paris, albeit one that largely focuses on the major landmarks. More importantly, however, it will make you stupidly happy for almost the entire length of its campaign. This isn't a long game by any means, but I've been playing it on and off over the course of the last week or so, and every time I go to pick the 3DS up I find myself smiling a smile that I normally only reserve for pudding or the arrival of cheques.

At the heart of the game is Raphael. By day, he's a slightly Harry Potterish student, by the looks of it, who lives in an apartment in Paris with his dog Fondue and a mysterious basement filled with - well, you'll find all of that out for yourself at some point. By night, however, he transforms into Phantom R, a sharp-suited superhero cat burglar with a thing for musical crimes.

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Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure release date announced

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure launches across Europe on Thursday, 5th April, Nintendo has announced.

The 3DS game is developed by Xeen and published by Sega, with a little help from Nintendo on these shores. A demo is available to download from the Nintendo eShop right now.

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure is a music game that includes over 50 rhythm-based challenges set against the background of a 3D anime style Paris. It stars Raphael, a young Parisian boy who works as a thief, stealing art from museums.

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PlayStation Vita Japan sales slowest yet

PlayStation Vita Japan sales slowest yet

3DS outsells all other hardware again.

PlayStation Vita sold another 15,219 units in Japan last week, but that figure marks the handheld's lowest ever weekly total.

Sales fell from 22,538 the week before, according to Japanese chart company Media Create (via NeoGAF, although hardware numbers were largely down across the chart.

3DS sales shrank to 80,960, down almost 20,000 but still enough to outsell the rest of the hardware chart combined.

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The 3DS games of TGS

Hands-on with Rhythm Thief, Bravely Default, Kingdom Hearts, Rocket Slime 3 and more.

Given the number of delightful oddities that came out of Japan when the DS first launched, it's been rather sad to see such a conservative first wave of 3DS software. With that in mind, not to mention the relative paucity of announcements at E3 a few months back, this year's Tokyo Games Show was an important week for the handheld. Would developers finally step up with some serious support for the system, or would the industry place all its chips on Vita?

Sega confirms Rhythm Thief for 3DS

Sega confirms Rhythm Thief for 3DS

Quirky music adventure heading West.

Sega has confirmed an early 2012 European release for Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure.

First sighted in Japan last week as Rhythm Phantom Thief R: Inheritance of the Emperor Napoleon, it's a "mysterious rhythmic adventure" set in Paris.

You'll play as art thief Raphael - infamous for pinching famous paintings, only to return them days later - as he attempts to track down his missing father.

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Sega announces new 3DS music title

Sega announces new 3DS music title

UPDATE: Localisation news "soon".

UPDATE: A US/Europe release is looking likely - when asked about localisation plans, a Sega spokesperson told Eurogamer, "We should have some news for you soon".

ORIGINAL STORY: Sega Japan has announced a new rhythm action IP for the 3DS titled Rhythm Phantom Thief R: Inheritance of the Emperor Napoleon.

As reported by Andriasang, it's a music/adventure hybrid with an anime feel that sees you assuming control of the titular crook as he attempts to loot Paris' galleries and museums with help from his dog Fondue.

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