Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy is the first Final Fantasy music rhythm game in the franchise and was developed by rhythm game veteran indieszero. The music covers from Final Fantasy I to Final Fantasy XIII (13) with five core tracks from each installment plus additional songs and an immense cache of downloadable content.
Final Fantasy fans will understand more references, which might create a deeper experience, but any aged gamer can enjoy this deep, highly replayable experience – an exclusive and essential Nintendo 3DS experience.
Players are tasked with restoring a music crystal as they encounter familiar role-playing game elements (HP health, etc.) and an amazing musical experience.
The characters all have the same design style and are defined by their hairstyle and colors. The solid colored character eye design is a wise choice due to the smaller handheld graphics while the background videos show character in full animation design. Character appearances have nice detail and color.
Developers also include special banners beneath each character in the choice menus so players can associate them with the corresponding Final Fantasy game though some characters appear in multiple Final Fantasy games throughout the series. Players build their own party then equip them with costumes, items, and skills.
More than 70 musical scores, featuring composer Nobuo Uematsu, blend well into the role-playing action gameplay very well. Using the stylus, players perform swipes, taps, holds, and other actions in collaboration with the musical scores to complete levels and defeat villain characters. Enemy battles can get very complex and challenging as players gain experience and level up. Players can also find many collectibles and unlockable content.
The three game areas are series (battle, field, and event – the main gameplay modes), challenge, and chaos shrine. The 3D effect enhances the appealing visuals nicely, but the music is the real necessity here so pump up the volume.
The StreetPass features lets players share items and rewards while organizing their items. The local co-operative play for two to four players also expands the experience.
The amazingly sharp background visuals on the top screen during music sequences are so fun to watch they can even distract players from completing tasks on the bottom touch screen. Developers pack a lot on the screen including immense statistics and player status numbers.
Special note: The accompanying videos might spoil the actual game events for new players.
The Limited Edition Bonus Edition of this game includes a special stylus and decorative stickers. The game does not feature any online play, but has a large downloadable content list (launched through the game not Nintendo eShop) where players can always hope and search for their favorite songs. Currently available downloadable content includes additional musical tracks (99 cents each) including the following songs:
- Somnus (Final Fantasy Versus XIII)
- Desperate Struggle (Final Fantasy XIII)
- Sarutabaruta (Final Fantasy XI)
- Battle (Final Fantasy VI)
- Fight On! (Final Fantasy VII)
- Etro’s Champion (Final Fantasy XIII-2)
- Battle Theme (Final Fantasy XI)
- Battle 1 (Final Fantasy III)
- A contest of Aeons (Final Fantasy X)
- The Archylte Steppe (Final Fantasy XIII)
- The Sanctuary of Zi’Tah (Final Fantasy XI)
- Crystal Cave (Final Fantasy III)
A highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy game series and essential addition to the Nintendo 3DS game library.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler