Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is finally here for the Nintendo 3DS. How does it play? Is this rhythm game all that it is cracked up to be? With over 70 songs to choose from, this is quite a fun rhythm game to play.
The main concept of this rhythm game is using your stylus to match certain trigger notes as they appear on screen. There are three main types of notes you will see. The first is a simple touch note that all that is required of you is to touch the screen when the time is right. The second is the slide note that requires you to slide your stylus in one of the eight directions that it happens to suggest. Lastly is the hold note that you must hold your stylus down on the touch screen until it is required to let up. All of these are pretty simple actions that you will get the hang of easily. By actually performing the notes, you will score points. These points determine how well you do with the song as well as taking damage or scoring hits against the enemy. You will need to hit the notes at the right time to get the best results, as being a little bit off will result in less points scored.
There are three main modes to playing songs in this game. There is the Series, Challenge and lastly Chaos Shrine. The series mode as you can imagine features three songs per Final Fantasy for you to play in a row. These also contain one song per song type. Like the three different modes, there are also three different song types. There is the Battle Music Stage (BMS), Field Music Stage (FMS) and the Event Music Stage (EMS). As you can imagine, each type deals with the corresponding song from the game that best fits the description. After you have completed a Final Fantasy title within the Series mode, you will be able to play those songs again at any time in Challenge mode. Challenge mode allows you to rank up the difficulty to Expert and Ultimate difficulties. These notes tend to come a lot quicker, so be prepared for some challenging songs. Lastly is the Chaos Shrine mode which features a number of challenging songs for you to master to beat.
As this is based off Final Fantasy songs, this game also features some RPG elements to it. Each of your four party members will receive experience based upon how well you have done for each song. As your characters start to level up, they become more effective in battle and field songs. They will also last longer if a note is missed as well as go farther in event songs and clear through more enemies with ease with better skills that become available to select – This all results in a better experience for better rewards to potentially receive. Some items, like potion, will help you out on those harder song difficulties if you are low on health as well.
As you might have expected, the game features quite a rich library to choose from. All the way back to the original Final Fantasy and up to the recent Final Fantasy XIII will have you playing a good portion of songs from each of the 13 main series. There is a good pick of great songs to choose from and it feels like they did a great job incorporating them into the game.
The look of the game is very clean. The chibi approach to the character and monster design does help with the game’s atmosphere. I believe if they tried to go with a realistic approach or even just tried to match the original designs of each series, it wouldn’t have had such a nice atmospheric feel to it. With that, the look really does bring everything together along with all the nice animations. The 3D effect is moderately used here. The musical notes are on the top level of the 3D with the action behind it. You don’t need to worry about the 3D getting in the way of the gameplay, as it doesn’t interfere at all. I ended up playing the entire game without getting any ghosting issues or other issues while trying to correctly match the notes in 3D.
Like most music and rhythm games, this game supports DLC for extra songs. While the game does come with over 70 songs already, if you feel like getting more, you can download some extra at any time after you play the game for a tiny bit. Once you unlock the DLC option, you can select it from the main menu at any time. As of this review, there are only eight songs available to purchase, but Square Enix is planning up to 50 songs to be added for the next few months. The added songs will only be of BMS and FMS types, so you won’t see any EMS type songs here.
The purchasing and downloading of new songs works out well for the most part. It will connect you to their server to see a list of songs to be downloaded. If you are concerned that the songs might be over priced, you don’t need to worry as all songs will be $0.99 each. Because it uses the full resources of the eShop, even though you are not in the eShop app, you will be able to add money to your balance if your current balance is low. Like the eShop, you can even just purchase the required amount instead of the $5 increments. Unfortunately, there are some downsides to the DLC area. This includes no was to preview the song and only able to download one at a time instead of queuing them up. As you could imagine, not being able to preview the songs is quite a disappointment.
Along with the three main music modes to the game, there are a bunch of extra things to unlock such as new characters, music player and even a theater to replay all the movies you have watched during the EMS events. All of these are eventually unlocked by continually collecting Rhythmia notes throughout the game. Every time you pass the 500 mark, you will unlock something new. This can be a new song to be viewed in the music player or progress for unlocking a new character. There is plenty to unlock, even new songs and a triggered game boss battle once you reach 10,000.
If you’re a fan of musical and rhythm based gaming, you should check out Theatrhythm Final Fantasy on the Nintendo 3DS. Even if you are not such a big fan of Final Fantasy or even never even played the series before, there is plenty to enjoy here. The music choose is fantastic and will leave you coming back to play your favorite songs over and over in Challenge mode. The game comes packed with over 70 songs, so this is the full package to be had here.