Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series has long boasted some of gaming’s deepest and most engaging music, so it’s a little surprising that it’s taken so long for a game like Theatrhythm to come around. It’s a fresh idea that takes full advantage of Final Fantasy’s musical catalog to deliver an experience that’s easy on the ears and loaded with nostalgia.
While just about anybody could pick up Theatrhythm and have a good time, it’s immediately obvious this game was intended for those longtime Final Fantasy fans who found themselves humming battle themes and other Final Fantasy overtures throughout their yesteryear. For those people, the kind whose brows reflexively perk up at any mention of Nobuo Uematsu, this game is pure gold.
Theatrhythm features a select handful of songs from every game in the numbered series; you tap, hold, and swipe your stylus to the melodies of various Final Fantasy songs and, you know what, it just works. Really well. It’s intuitive and fun; the game’s rhythmic commands are cleverly architected and the music selection is top notch, lending Theatrhythm that “one more song” quality that’ll keep you coming back. Throw in a ton of unlockables, like extra songs and hidden characters for your party, and you’ve got yourself something you could play for a long, long while.
My complaints about Theatrhythm are largely the complaints of a spoiled gamer. There are a lot of RPG elements at play in the game, like party selection, skills, and equipment, but their effects are mostly negligible and forgettable, making management feel downright unimportant. Hell, the game doles out a massive score bonus if you opt out of equipping abilities. It’s clear the RPG half of Theatrhythm is a total afterthought, acting more like a handicap system than anything else.
As a rhythm game, Theatrhythm is solid in all the right places, but I was really hoping for more Final Fantasy representation; a story, a campaign, something to tie it all together, anything really. There’s nothing of the sort to be found. Theatrhythm doesn’t suffer from it’s lack of RPG finesse, though, it just feels like a missed opportunity for something exceedingly special. Also, the aesthetic, while cute, can feel a little soulless at times. The characters resemble button-eyed marionettes, and behave as such. I’m nitpicking here, of course. This is about the best I can do in the complaints department.
Theatrhythm is a vibrant addition to the 3DS lineup; no Final Fantasy fan should be without it. If you’ve ever caught yourself whistling Final Fantasy music out loud, then this game was crafted, lovingly, just for you. Pick it up, throw on some headphones, and let the sounds take you away on a journey to that place when you were just twelve years old, falling madly and deeply in love with Final Fantasy for the very first time.
Available for the Nintendo 3DS.Tweet
About the Author
|Mark A. Brooks uses the A. initial in his name so as to seperate himself from the teeming legions of other Mark Brookses (there are at least 65,000 in the state of Michigan alone).
Keep up with him on twitter, because why not. @unoriginalG
Mark A. Brooks has written 574 posts on Delta Attack.