Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
The Final Fantasy series has been around for quite some time, since the late 1980s. It’s safe to say that the series is most well known for its music. Enter Theatrhythm Final Fantasy; a music/rhythm-based game that plays homage to the fantastic music selection of Final Fantasy. Be warned, if you’re one to have never played a Final Fantasy game; absence of nostalgia will lessen the enjoyment. Personally, I’m a latecomer to the franchise, only having played Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the experience I had with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.
The core gameplay experience in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is something that very much resembles past rhythm games, on a handheld system. One in particular: Elite Beat Agents. In Elite Beat Agents you were required to tap and hold your way to victory, following on-screen notifications with precision. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy offers variety in gameplay, dependent of song choice selected. Music in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ranges from the very first Final Fantasy up to Final Fantasy XIII. Interestingly post-launch in Japan, DLC was distributed to which included XIII-2 content. Likely to be the case that Europe, UK and American will at some point receive extra content regarding XIII-2 music.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy consists of three modes. The Series game will have you revisit songs of past and present iterations. There five songs to be played in each of the series. You will start off by an opening theme or DMS (Demo Music Stage), which has you simply tap in time to musical notes once overlaid with centred crystal. It’s all rather on the repetitive side of things, thankfully there’s an option to skip this type of stage. The only real motivate to keep playing these stages is to gather Rhythmia. Over time, accumulated Rhythmia rewards you with in-game content.
After the opening theme of any Final Fantasy series selected, stages with alternate between Field Music, Battle Music or an Event Music Stage. Field music involves you tapping, sliding and holding triggers on a single line with pin-point accuracy. To aim at a consistent gain in points, immaculate timing is required regarding touching and sliding triggers. Scoring is purely based upon how well you can hit these notes, in all music stages excluding Demo Music Stages.
In Battle Music Stages there are slight differences. Yes, you’ll still be tapping and holding triggers only this time around triggers will appear on four lanes rather than on one single lane. Charmingly, iconic Final Fantasy characters will battle it out with monsters in the background; each successful note hit will act as an attack on the enemy monster. A nice touch if I may say. Event Music Stages are basically those of stages found in Elite Beat Agents; your mark will move along the guide line, you react to triggers as the mark moves over them. Amusingly a montage of Final Fantasy footage plays in the backdrop, though, not that you have time to watch any of it due to sheer concentration needed, especially on harder difficulty options. Fortunately you can in fact view montages via the Museum option from the main menu screen. The Museum is a place for you to view personal records and to enjoy song and video content unlocked while playing the game.
Besides Series mode, if you’re only interested in playing one music stage rather than four or so in one go, Challenge mode is for you. Unfortunately you must first clear songs from the Series mode in order for content to appear in Challenge.
What’s a Final Fantasy game without some sort of RPG mechanic? Theatrhythm Final Fantasy has an RPG element to it, which basically consists of constructing a party prior to music stages. Party members all unsurprising characters from the Final Fantasy franchise; Cloud, Tidus, Lightening and more all make an appearance. Each character supports unique abilities to aid in the core gameplay experience. Individual characters also bear parameters that rise in value.
Party members can level-up after successfully finishing a music stage; a gain in experience will occur. The party leader will have a slight advantage – additional experience points. Natural improvement of character parameters will lead to learning new abilities.
The third and final mode; Chaos Shrine is a place where you defeat Dark Notes involving a mixture of Field Music and Battle Music Stages. Each Dark Note is randomly generated in terms of song combination and difficulty. Tied in to StreetPass connectivity, you can attach a Dark Note to your ProfiCard. A ProfiCard essentially contains all user records i.e. total accumulated Rhythmia in addition to total game playtime. Using StreetPass in conjunction with attached Dark Notes is great way to discover Dark Notes not currently obtained. Though, you can only store up to ninety nine Dark Notes at a time.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a great rhythm experience with a huge library of song content from the Final Fantasy realm. If you’re familiar with the music or rhythm genres, from the get go you may find it all a tad too easy. As you progress through Series and Challenge modes you unlock harder difficulties, for those eager for challenge.
A fan of rhythm games, great! Do you also like Final Fantasy games and appreciate the fantastic musical scores of the series? This game is for you. If you’re naturally a fan of music games, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is to some extent recommendable, even if you are not familiar with any of the music scores in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 23:01|