We’re back! After over a year, for one night only (maybe), Shal, Tor, Ali, and Stealthy get together to discuss all of the happenings of E3! From Kingdom Hearts to Final Fantasy to Shenmue to The Last Guardian to Fallout 4!
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.
As of today, the demo for Final Fantasy Theathrhythm was released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. I was one of the fortunate people to be able to download it today and I’ve already played it through a couple of times.
The controls are simplistic in nature, and take a little getting used to but after the second try I was well on the way to understanding how the game worked. In the demo, you get the choice of two games to play from- Final Fantasy VIII or Final Fantasy XIII. The first is a boss battle and the latter is a casual strolling exercise. I enjoyed both and I also enjoyed how the fluidity between the two was so enjoyable. It’s like two different scenarios yet the same game, and this is exactly how Final Fantasy should work, rhythm-based game or not.
Obviously, in the full version of the game there’s a lot more choice of games and music but as a taster of the game- I really enjoyed the options and levels that were available to me. Of course, as what usually happens with a demo- I want a lot more and I wish that July would hurry up and get here so I could buy the same version. When I was playing the game, I still felt like I got the same intensity with the demo as I would with the full game. I was sitting there, fully concentrating on the game and swiping away with my stylus. I was utterly useless at Dance Dance Revolution back in the day, I was the type of person that would try to get the moves but fall flat on my face. And with FFT, I have nothing to worry about. Get the moves wrong? Oh well, no one can see you. It’s cool.
Get the moves wrong too many times though, and you lose HP in the game. Lose too much HP and it’s game over. Are there items like Phoenix Down and Potions? I couldn’t see from the demo but with it being a Final Fantasy game, I would highly imagine so.
The demo is available as of now from the eShop on the Nintendo 3DS.
GAME: THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY PLATFORM: NINTENDO 3DS RELEASE DATE: JULY 6TH, 2012
I know this will turn me into a utter chick, but I’m seriously looking forward to all the Final Fantasy games next year. (You’ve got to finish FF XIII first…) The one I’m looking forward to the most is one that is something I would have never expected out of the Square Enix camp, but I guess it works.
If you think about the Japanese love for all things Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero, then combine it with all the pieces of music wrote for the Final Fantasy franchise over the years- you’ll be greeted by the happiness that is Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. It’s not what you would expect though, it works like a normal game of Final Fantasy with the picking of your team and the boss fights, but then to clear the end of each level and to defeat the bosses, you must hit the right buttons to get the piece of music correct. Get it wrong, and you fail- so keep practicing.
I watched the trailer on You Tube and I actually think that the boss fights look really bloody hard! But they’re so cool, every musical note set you get right- you deal a hit to the boss. And all the bosses are from the actual Final Fantasy games! What the game is based around is that you choose the Final Fantasy game (FFI, right up to the current game!) and then that will choose the pieces of music you go up against and the bosses at the end of each stage. Yourself and your team also level up as you complete each stage, just as you usually would in a battle.
With it being a 3DS title, it also means that the Street Pass function is activated- if you get the urge to hunt down people to play against while you’re sitting on the bus on the train. Or maybe you don’t want people knowing you’re playing that, because if you’re a big burly guy it’s not exactly adding to your street cred- heh. Other than you can play against others, could it possibly be played in 3D? I can’t exactly tell from the trailer but FF in 3D? The teenager in me just jumped up and down like a crazed lunatic. Oh just take my money already! I do hate you sometimes, Square Enix…(I don’t really. Please keep sending us stuff, thanks!)
See if you like the look of this as much as I do. Enjoy the trailer 😉
If I mention the words of ‘chocobo’, ‘gil’ and ‘phoenix down’ to you…what do you automatically think of? No, I swear I’m not talking in some kind of secret code. I’m here to report the 25th birthday of the Final Fantasy franchise. Yes, don’t worry I’m starting to feel a bit old too with all these long-time video game empires reaching their quarter-of-a-century birthdays.
I can remember first playing Final Fantasy when I was about 17, so that’s about 13 years ago for me. I never played any of the early games the first time round and I think I first approached the series with FF 7 (which still to this day- will always be one of my favourite games). If I could have kept every Final Fantasy game I’ve ever owned, I would have every single one from 7 onwards. I also have Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics 2, which were released for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. When there’s nothing else for me to play, I still grab my 3DS and click in the Tactics 2 cart. It’s like a comfort blanket for me, Final Fantasy has always been there for me in good times as well as bad. I can remember one of the lowest parts of my life where I played FF9 for days on end without bothering to eat or shower. It’s certainly not my finest moment in time, but sadly depression had a grip on me and I was happy to press the POWER button on my Playstation 1 to be willingly sucked into the fantasy world for utter hours at a time. I didn’t care anymore.
These days, I just look back at the franchise with fond happy memories and not try to fret over the bad times. Just like Square Enix, things change and move forward. The company in the 25 years have seen themselves move forward from being just a Playstation-only entity to a multi platform giant. I can throw Final Fantasy XIII into my XBox 360 and play until my need to kill things with sharp, magical swords is quenched.
And for the anniversary, Square Enix has released a 25th Anniversary micro-site. It’s beautiful, with everything from special piano pieces of music to a discography of every FF game ever released. And to fulfill all your chocobo-plushie needs, there’s also an online store to purchase from. The downfall is that the whole website is in Japanese and kanji, but it’s a real treat to have a browse around. Definetely worth your time