I would adore to trust that a opening 30 to 45 mins of gameplay in Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy was a delicately orchestrated plot, one recognised in some hazed Japanese bar one night when staff from both Square Enix and indieszero went out celebration together. The idea would be a sardonic reason on Japan’s RPG industry, and how—inexplicably—so many of a charity force players to lay by 5 to 10 hours of dullness in sequence to get to a “good stuff.”
“If this is truly to be an loyalty to Final Fantasy,” one of a game-development salarymen would contend between holding drags from a soon-to-be-expended cigarette, “then it has to be a true loyalty to a concepts of Final Fantasy. Even a bad parts.”
I would adore to trust that—but I’m not certain we can. Instead, we find it some-more picturesque to trust that Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy’s early moments were simply an try during creation initial impressions that somewhere went horribly wrong.
I can know a problem in perplexing to figure out how to palliate players into a diversion like this, since for many, Theatrhythm will be something of a weird judgment for a franchise. In an epoch when Final Fantasy has come to be represented by epic drama, finely rendered CG, sprawling cities filled with technology, and—how could we forget?—guns, a graphics and characters here roar Final Fantasy Babies. Aww, demeanour during a darling small faces on Terra, Cloud, and Lightning, with their splendid eyes and flushed cheeks! They’re usually so darned precious!
And afterwards there’s Theatrhythm’s gameplay. Forget a arguments over real-time quarrel contra turn-based conflict systems—here, victories are won with soul, not swords. The core automechanic is flattering customary rhythm-game fare: Note icons uncover adult on pivotal beats to a music, and you—as a player—must do something to transparent that note with a correct timing.
For anybody good capable in stroke games, Theatrhythm’s mechanics will substantially take we all of about 15 seconds to grasp. Tap notes, daub and reason on notes, appropriate on other notes—basic concepts we’ve schooled copiousness of times before. For those not so informed with a genre, we competence contend that it’s something like Guitar Hero, though I’d hatred observant that, since a genre existed prolonged before Guitar Hero, and I’d usually be regulating it as a anxiety indicate due to a fact that it’s a genre instance you’re many expected to be informed with.
More critical than a minute reason of how to play Theatrhythm is what a diversion does with those concepts. Playstyle is damaged adult into one of 3 types: Battle, Field, and Event. In Battle, 4 informed Final Fantasy faces (of your choosing) group adult to quarrel a array of monsters, where scrupulously timed actions on your partial means repairs to foes—while missed records outcome in your group instead being on a receiving finish of attacks. For Field tracks, your group celebrity takes to a overworlds of a Final Fantasy games, where personification improved means some-more belligerent covered, and some-more belligerent lonesome means collecting some-more loot.
Finally, we have Events, that are a cinema scenes of Theatrhythm. Here, a game’s graphic art and visible character is pushed aside for gameplay laid over a tip of full- suit video clips taken directly from any of a 12 vital Final Fantasy chapters. (Thankfully, Event marks don’t make adult a infancy of what you’ll be personification through—they come off a small ostentatious and feel out of place when compared to a atmosphere of a rest of a game.)
Now, we know what you’re thinking—I totally forgot that partial where we was going to tell we about how Theatrhythm’s early going is terrible. Ah, though we didn’t!
Just as I’ve introduced we to a elementary concepts behind this project, so, too, does a game. This is achieved around a Series mode, where we’re taken by any mainline Final Fantasy recover by approach of an Opening, Battle, Field, Event, and Ending thesis for each. In theory, it’s a sentimental outing behind by a authorization that should offer as a ideal introduction to a game.
Except, it doesn’t. The Series choice feels usually like a commencement hours of a RPGs it honors: It’s delayed to get through, it offers distant too small challenge, and we can’t stop wishing that a diversion would precipitate adult and turn fun already. we also found a initial strain preference in this mode rather peculiar. Some tunes make ideal clarity for inclusion in a diversion such as Theatrhythm—but many others simply feel like they’re some-more along for a float due to fan use and reduction since they’d indeed work good in a stroke game.
So low was my turn of delight with Theatrhythm’s opening that, during times, we had to force myself to keep personification it. And then, we finished a final strain in Series mode—and suddenly, we felt like we was during that impulse in RPGs when we take your initial stairs out of a game’s initial city and out into freedom.
The disproportion between Theatrhythm’s commencement apportionment and a vital cube of a diversion you’ll find after it is so drastically opposite that it’s rather shocking. Freed from a proportions of title-specific courses, Challenge mode lets we go loyal to whichever sold marks you’d like—and now that we can holder adult a difficulty, removing by any successfully is not usually some-more daunting, though also many some-more enjoyable.
The loyal star of Theatrhythm, however, is a Chaos Shrine. Coming off as something of a bizarre reward mode during first, a Chaos Shrine could best be described as a pointless cave for Theatrhythm’s RPG elements. Here you’re presented with Dark Notes: singly generated courses that include of one Field lane and one Battle lane interconnected together in pointless combinations and problem levels. Each Dark Note has 3 reserved bosses—reached by gratifying opposite conditions when personification a course—and any can dump one of 3 items. Every square of a equation is a tip a initial time we play a Dark Note, and after your initial outing through, you’ll still usually know whatever sum we suggested during that initial journey.
The Chaos Shrine is a rather elementary concept, though one that becomes terribly addictive. This is, in part, due to those RPG elements that we mentioned above, elements that don’t unequivocally turn applicable until we get to Theatrhythm’s some-more severe levels. Each of a Final Fantasy protagonists we can select from have their possess strengths and weaknesses, and as we play by songs, you’ll acquire XP in sequence to beef adult your squad. As a Onion Knight’s strength rises, he can do some-more repairs with any strike on Battle tracks; as Shantotto levels her agility, she can transport over in Field tracks. Becoming stronger and faster, unlocking some-more absolute spells, equipping support items—all of these things are so unfamiliar to a judgment of stroke games, though they’re partial of what creates Theatrhythm a utterly-peculiar-yet-completely-compelling knowledge that it is.
They’re also tied to a one genuine beating that we walked divided with—the wish that Square Enix and indieszero had been even more adventurous with Theatrhythm. What if it were some crazy RPG, where a several Final Fantasy heroes and heroines were brought together to tour by any game, defeating a far-reaching register of foes that had unexpected come together to bluster a predestine of a franchise? Here, traveling, fighting, conversing, and all else would be finished around these strain scenes—think of all of a possibilities a growth group could come adult with!
The genuine question, however, is what Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy is—not what it could be. That answer is clear: a diversion that primarily might seem like small some-more than a complicated sip of nostalgia, though one that afterwards grows into a plan full of creativity, charm, and cleverness. With over 70 marks to clear and play through, additional characters to discover, a combined component of a game’s RPG aspects, and an unconstrained supply of Chaos Shrine hurdles (which can be played possibly in single-player or internal multiplayer), Theatrhythm contains a whole lot to adore in a small 3DS cartridge–provided we can tarry a terrifying Boredom spell a commencement loves to expel on fresh adventurers, and that we have some affinity for a Final Fantasy array in a initial place.
SUMMARY: Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy is a sentimental outing behind by a story of one of Japan’s many dear RPG franchises—and while that outing isn’t accurately a dream vacation it could have been, it’s positively a tour value holding for all Final Fantasy fans.
- THE GOOD: A crazy rhythm/RPG hybrid superfluous with party and personality.
- THE BAD: Getting to a good partial takes a bit of patience.
- THE UGLY: Square Enix’s outspoken trolling by charity a Final Fantasy Versus XIII lane as DLC.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is disdainful to a Nintendo 3DS.