Konami released three Mermaid Melody games, all for the GBA. Two of them are rhythm games, and one is a Mario Party-style game. The first game, just called Mermaid Melody: Pichi Pichi Pitch, is a rhythm game.
The game has several modes:
- You have the basic rhythm game mode where you pick a song and a difficulty level. The game scores you out of 100 for each difficulty. For some songs, you can pick the singer between Lucia/Luchia, Hanon, and Rina. Before you pick a song, alongside the difficulty, there are two options to pick between and I never figured out what the heck the difference was even though I tried both.
- There is a mode where you play all of the songs in one go (this is considered the “end game” and the credits play after it).
- There’s three modes where you can connect with other players via those GBA connector cables. I don’t know anybody else with the game, so I have no idea what they do, and I couldn’t find much about them online. I think some are mini-games though.
- There’s a mode where you can make a song from JP characters and Hippo will sing it, though there’s a default song he can sing. The song will ALWAYS be to the rhythm of Yankee Doodle. What’s up with JP rhythm games and this song? The Project Diva games have it, too.
- There’s a mode where you can watch music videos, but only of songs you’ve completed and saved the video. I wound up never doing this.
- There’s a settings menu as well.
Here are the songs that are included:
- Taiyou no Rakuen ~Promised Land~ (you can pick who sings this one)
- Legend of Mermaid (you can pick who sings this one)
- Super Love Songs! (you can pick who sings this one)
- Daiji na Takarabako (Lucia/Luchia sings)
- Koi wa Nandarou (Lucia/Luchia sings)
- Splash Dream (Lucia/Luchia sings)
- Ever Blue (Hanon sings)
- Star Jewel (Rina sings)
For a better explanation, I’d recommend this gamefaqs guide. It was super useful in figuring out why some modes didn’t work for me (the ones where you connect to others lol).
The game is pretty easy. I got scores in the 90’s for all songs on my first try except one on the highest difficulty. I have played a bit of the second rhythm game and can say it’s significantly harder. My biggest complaint with the rhythm game aspect is that you have the directional buttons and the A and B button, but once you press them, they don’t disappear on the screen so you can’t tell if you actually hit them on time. The second rhythm game fixes this issue.
The sound quality is pretty good considering it’s a GBA rhythm game. My GBA is well used though, so sometimes I’m confident I hit the notes but my buttons say otherwise.
The game saves automatically, which took me a bit to find out. I could not find anyway to delete the save data for any of the Mermaid melody games. Luckily, this one didn’t have any data (or the seller erased it), but the second rhythm game everything is unlocked, so I’m saving playing it until I can find a way to erase it. So since you have to buy these second-hand now, know that you might not be able to erase the data, at least not without the manual. I asked about it on reddit, so hopefully somebody responds some day XD.
Should you play?:
If you like the music in the game, it’s really fun. It’s not very hard, and the sequel rhythm game is significantly better, but there’s nothing wrong with this one. Go ahead and get it if you like rhythm games, just know it isn’t very hard.