“Theatrhythm Final Fantasy” review

Gather, humans, moogles, & chocobos alike, for I have a review for you! It’s been 25 years since “Final Fantasy” was introduced to the gaming masses, and what a glorious 25 years it’s been. The “Final Fantasy” series has so much to love from the characters to the story – and even the music. That music is what Square Enix has based their newest 3DS game on.

“Theatrhythm Final Fantasy” is a rhythm-based game using the wonderful music tracks from the past 13 main “Final Fantasy” games. Each game is represented with five songs each adding up to a total of 65 tracks, not including the available downloadable content.

The visuals are very cutesy. The characters and monsters themselves look like little plush dolls with colored dots for eyes and blushing cheeks. It all looks very reminiscent of a mannequin or puppet show.

You can clearly tell that it was intended for a Nintendo audience, which is not a bad thing because its visual style alone lets the game stand out on its own from the franchise.

The game does a great job of making you feel like an orchestra conductor. You pick a party of four characters from the different iterations of the franchise, and then can pick a game in the “Final Fantasy” series (I-XIII) one by one and play it’s music.
Playing is as easy as tapping, swiping or dragging your stylus across the screen.

The actual gameplay is simple: follow the command prompt, then scroll and tap,swipe or drag when it gets into the appropriate area. Its very simplistic, but can be very challenging when you up the difficulty.

The songs are split up into three different stages.

Field music stages, which pull their songs from instances in the series in which the characters are traveling in an open-world map, have the challenge of keeping the character running to the rhythm of the song while trying progress on the map. There are sections of the songs devoted to summoning a chocobo to help speed players along the map which add for a fun challenge.

Battle music stages are set to the battle music of the franchise (such as “One Winged Angel”) and pit your party against monsters and bosses while trying to keep the party’s health points up and attempting to perform a summon.

Event music stages treat players to cutscenes from a particular game in the “Final Fantasy” series spliced together to songs from that game. These do great justice in showing the series’ growth from 8-bit to the high-definition games we have today. The only letdowns here are that the text in the cutscenes are not in English, and unlocking songs along with new characters takes a small eternity. Overall the gameplay is fun enough to keep people playing it.

“Theatrythm Final Fantasy” is great as fan service and as a piece of nostalgia for the “FF” veterans, but is also a great invitation to the series for newcomers.

I give “Theatrythm Final Fantasy” a 9.5/10.