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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

An Impressive Symphony Starring The Best Final Fantasy Tunes
by Tim Turi on Sep 18, 2011 at 08:52 AM
Platform 3DS
Publisher Square Enix
Developer indies zero
Rating Everyone 10+

I got to play some very cool games at TGS 2011, but one 3DS title by Square-Enix caught me by surprise. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy combines the musical fun of games like Rhythm Heaven with the nostalgic bliss of memorable Final Fantasy tunes. I’ve tapped and flicked my way through several of the songs, and I’m really hoping this title comes to the West.

To start off with, I selected a game with one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard, Final Fantasy VII. After choosing to play the battle music, I was thrust into a cutesy version of a Final Fantasy battle with several iconic characters like Tidus and Lightning standing on the right side of the screen facing a monster on the left. When the music begins to kick in, notes stream from the left of the top screen to the right. It’s up to the player to tap, flick, and hold the notes as they pass the heroic fighters. Sephiroth’s rousing anthem, “One Winged Angel,” began playing in all its orchestral beauty as I tapped away on the 3DS’s touchscreen. The game gauges each tap with a ranking of bad to critical, and nailing the notes makes your party beat back the approaching cactuar, flans, etc. In the battle songs I played my party eventually summoned Odin, who appeared to wipe out the opposition as the notes resounded with a bass-heavy thud. My time with “One Winged Angel” was incredible. I also enjoyed  tapping my way through the original 8-bit battle music from Final Fantasy I.

The battle songs are easily my favorite among the Final Fantasy series’ tunes, but I also had a great time with the field theme from Final Fantasy III. Field songs play out differently than battle songs, with a character strolling from the right of the screen to the left. The player must keep the stylus pressed to the touchscreen and move it up and down in time with a guideline on the upper screen. Keeping up with this adventurous tune reminded me of the tracking-based rhythm gameplay of Gitaroo Man, and that’s a good thing.

The other type of song featured in Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy is event music. I played the song from Final Fantasy X which plays when Yuna and Tidus finally kiss in the pond. This mode is all about keeping track of a guideline as it snakes around the upper screen and reveals cues to tap, flick, and hold the notes. This Final Fantasy X song wasn’t my favorite, but I have a feeling event songs from Final Fantasy IV, VI, and XII will be great.

I went into my demo of Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy with absolutely no expectations, and came away impressed. My passion for well done rhythm games and Final Fantasy music coalesced in a beautiful portable symphony. I have a hard time believing this unique 3DS title will make it stateside, but I’m going to hold out hope anyway.

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

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