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Ah! Heaven Review

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On 02/18/2013 at 12:00 PM by Travis Hawks

The debate about the existence of Purgatory has been resolved! You can experience it yourself for an affordable 200 DSi Shop Points.


Boy, since jumping in video games is a lot of fun, it’s gotta be really great to play a whole game that lets you just jump, jump, jump all the way to Heaven!  Ducking? Pshhhhh.  Shooting?  Lame.  Variety?  Pass.  All we want is that sweet, sweet jumping!  These and other idiotic statements must have been scrawled down during some malformed focus group of imbeciles when the developers of Ah! Heaven were doing preliminary planning for their amazingly boring platformer.

The concept of Ah! Heaven is simple, and might have turned out OK with enough polish, enough care, and enough of many other things that aren’t in there.  You’re tasked with jumping up a vertically scrolling series of levels to reach the doors into the titular Heaven at the top.  The thing is, amongst the twenty four levels in the game, there’s hardly anything that differentiates a single one from the rest.  The same four or five gray platform types are laid atop ink-painted backgrounds and you just jump to the top.

Almost every moment feels like a repetitive exercise, with the main challenges coming from either the lack of contrast between the gray platforms and the drab backgrounds or from the weirdly slow auto-scrolling.  Normally, you’ll quickly outpace this slow crawl and have nothing to worry about until you fall a long way down and that bottom imaginary line gets you.  This becomes frustrating when some extremely lengthy drops do you no harm and others end your life.  The difference between life and death is dependent on how much distance you put between you and that slowly scrolling line – something that is pretty tough to judge when everything looks identical.

The layout of the same few gray platforms changes a bit from level to level, but rarely in interesting ways.  Only the last few levels are laid out in such a way to provide some difficulty and a sense of achievement upon reaching the top.  You have to revel in those little moments of personal satisfaction because when you complete the entire game there is not a single celebratory note directed your way; not even a “CONGRATURATIONS” across a black screen. You’re simply dumped back to the start menu.  It’s as if they really didn’t care if anyone finished or enjoyed this game in the least. 

You’ll also wonder if the developer doesn’t like its paying customers when you hear the “music” that plays throughout.  I think I finally noticed that the screeching rhythms changed into a different set of screeching rhythms about half way through the game, but outside of that “variety” every note played as part of the soundtrack is cyclical pain and torture.  Ah! Heaven easily has the worst soundtrack I’ve ever heard in a game.  To emphasize the severity of this statement, please recall that Dragula has been included in several game soundtracks.

Since you can’t do anything else but jump, there’s also nothing else to talk about concerning Ah! Heaven.  I really can’t think of a reason why anyone should buy this thing.  Sure, the buttons do what they’re supposed to and there are almost no spelling errors in the manual at all, but other than that everything is fairly awful.  If you, like me, have some weird denomination of DSi Shop cash just sitting around, you really should leave it nice and stagnant instead of spending it on Ah! Heaven.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.




03/14/2013 at 09:39 PM

Ha ha! Great review of what sounds like a really awful game. Worst soundtrack ever? That actually makes me wanna hear it XD

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

03/14/2013 at 10:37 PM

This is what it is SUPPOSED to sound like.  I assure you, those rhythms are there but it sounds nothing like this.  A large part of it is probably the crummy DSi speakers, but I tried headphones too and it sounds much worse than the version in their trailer.  You'll just have to experience it youself someday!

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