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Final Fantasy Theatrhythm | Available Now
Nintendo 3DS | Publisher: Square Enix | Developer: Square Enix
And so here it is. Finally. I am sorry for the delay in this review, but I am finally getting around to writing it. Final Fantasy! It’s the franchise’s 25th anniversary this year, that’s almost as old as me. No, I’m not going to tell you my age. But anyway, in a fantastic flourish by the Japanese gaming giant- Theathrhythm has been released to the US and European markets. It’s originally a Japan-only game, as rhythm-based games are more common over there. That is of course where the whole Dance Dance Revolution craze came from, hit the notes in accordance to the music playing.
And that is the basic basis of this game. But there’s no moving, other than the stylus of the 3DS. Starting the game, you’re asked to pick a leader for your merry band of friends and name him. I picked Zidane from FF IX and of course, I named him Nic. From there, you pick the other three members of the gang. I went with Lightning from FF XIII, Terra from FF VI and Squall also from FF XIII. There was no rhyme or reason for choosing these characters, just that they were some of my favourites from the various Final Fantasy games that I had played. The only option available to you in the beginning is ‘Series Mode’, which means that you play through the Final Fantasy game series from I to XIII. Each having three pieces of music to play along to. When you complete each game, you are awarded a grade on how well the game thinks you completed the game. The game is then opened to ‘Challenge Mode’ which makes them a bit tougher. And then after you finish those, you collect ‘Dark Notes’ along the way. What these represent are big bosses within the game, a dark evil if you will. I currently have two on my game. I’ve completed one of them so far. They are really hard, and you pretty much have to have the reaction time of a finely-tuned robot.
When first playing the game, I felt like that there wasn’t much to it at all. I was disappointed in the premise of the game and started to feel like I had wasted my money. As I was playing through the game, I found that playing it on the basic game mode was a little easy, and Challenge Mode was a little harder so to test myself I played a lot of my finished games on that mode- always trying to best my previous grade given to me by the game. And after a while when you’ve played through all the pieces of music, you find yourself wanting more. Yeah there are the collectable things like the trading cards you collect along the way and that you can unlock certain stuff depending on the amount of Rhythmia you earn through each game.
The idea of the little fighting gang that plays through each game still puzzles me somewhat. I know that’s the usual idea behind a Final Fantasy game, but I don’t really think that there’s much of a tactical reason behind what characters you pick for yourself. As each one levels up, it means that they will have more HP and you’ll last longer against the ‘Dark Note’ sections of the game. But there doesn’t appear to be any Phoenix Down or Potion. Which I found a little dissapointing really. I also have Final Fantasy Tactics on my 3DS and with that, it was always a case that you picked the members of your team for the correct job. So maybe you would need a healer or a ranged fighter. This takes that all away really as you don’t really have access to their abilities when fighting. You just need to make sure you hit all those notes as a ‘critical’ to ensure that the boss you’re fighting goes down fast.
As usual with a 3DS game, there is the WiFi and StreetPass functions to be able to play against others. I’ve not explored this area as of this time, and I sadly don’t know anyone else with a 3DS to play against either. But I’m sure that as with all games that have this option, it makes it all really fun.