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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Member Review for the 3DS

Ivory_Soul By:
Ivory_Soul
01/26/14
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Music Action 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER Square Enix 
DEVELOPER Indies Zero 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E10+ Contains Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco

What do these ratings mean?

The Good: Dozens of amazing songs, simple yet fun rhythm mechanic, RPG elements are nicely implemented, lots of content, various modes that extend gameplay

The Bad: Opening and ending themes are boring to play, gameplay consists of only 3 different tap types, gears towards mainly Final Fantasy fans, later Final Fantasy songs aren't as great as older ones

Final Fantasy has had some strange off shoots like Chocobo RacingKingdom Hearts, and the TBS Tactics. A rhythm game is probably the only genre Final Fatnasy hasn't touched and it's one that the game belongs in. Final Fantasy is full of some of the best video game music ever created. While later titles aren't exactly up to par, there are plenty of songs here that fans will love across all 13 core titles.

The basic gameplay is broken up into 3 stages that are randomized. BMS is Battle Music Stage. Usually one song from each game is picked that was used in a battle, usually a major boss fight. Your four characters stand in front of bars similar to a horizontal Guitar Hero. The entire game consists of only 3 tap types. Hold, tap, and slides. The speed and combination of these 3 can make things really difficult on the Ultra mode but the standard mode is just way too easy even for beginners. EMS or Event Music Stage is a song picked during some sort of popular or well known cut scene and the said scene plays in the background to the music. It's great seeing Rinoa and Squall waltz in Final Fantasy VIII or watching Aerith's death scene in Final Fantasy VII. The game is mixed up a bit where the ring you tap flies around the screen as you follow it to complete the required taps. The final stage, FMS or Field Music Stage, has your leader character walking down a re-rendered field from each game collecting chests and the field music from each game accompanies it. This stage consists of one bar that you can move up and down to follow waves. There's a third boring stage where you tap a crystal in the center of the screen as bubbles fly into it, these are for the opening and ending themes in the main mode which are as boring as ever.

This may sound simple, but the other half is leveling up your cute chibi FF characters and equipping items and weapons to last through the harder difficulties. Characters with higher HP won't die as easy (meaning you can mess up more) and this includes their armor (they won't take as much damage when you do mess up). Characters with higher luck in field stages will find more items. This is a unique twist on the rhythm genre and helps push it forward in a way that's never really been done. Thanks to the many extras such as fully rendered trading cards and DLC there's a lot to be had in this package. If you like the lesser known songs in these games the Dark Notes mode will help you here. You can acquire new songs vita StreetPass or battling friends in multiplayer for the highest score. These are all set to the hardest difficulty so practice is needed. 

With such a content heavy rhythm game is begs the question as to who this title is for. Rhythm game fans will appreciate the mechanics and use of the touch screen, but may not care for the orchestra and chiptune heavy music. Final Fantasy nuts may love this game but not really like the fast paced rhythm action. It's something that can appeal to anyone who even hates RPGs, but the Final Fantasy only music may turn Rock Band and Guitar Hero fans away. Despite who this game is made for, whoever picks it up will enjoy a simple yet rich game full of detail, content, and attention to detail that hasn't been seen since the earlier days of Final Fantasy.


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