Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ReviewJenny Wagner
Let's make music together!
Many people have enjoyed the music from Final Fantasy games over the years, so it was no shock when SquareEnix announced a Final Fantasy rhythm game. I admit, I was very excited about the titles and to express my love for Nobuo Uematsu once again. The music is the best part of this game, so let's save that for last, and look at what else this game has going for it.
The game does have a small story to it, which is unimportant to be honest. The gods Chaos and Cosmos (whom we have met before in the Dissidia games) have a space between them called "Rhythm" which has a crystal that controls music. Chaos disrupts the crystal, so Cosmos brings heroes from the main Final Fantasy games to collect "Rhythmia" to restore it. I honestly had forgotten about this while I was playing until I collected enough and a small cut scene happened. I have to say though; I consider this as a strength. I'm glad they did not make me sit through cut scenes after songs, or anything like that. There were two and they were able to be skipped.
The visuals in the games are very cute and whimsical. The character and monster designs come from Monster Octopus who also did the designs for Kingdom Heart Mobile. The adorable "chibi" versions of each game's cast make everything feel very uniform and fun. It fits well with the colorful backgrounds.
The controls of the game are very simple. Everything is done with the touch screen and stylist. Very little instruction is needed. After one song you become pretty confidant of the control scheme. It's one of those games the younger or older members of your family could enjoy as well.
There are three "types" of songs. Battle sequences are to be up-tempo and the player can control up to four characters. Enemies are damaged and defeated by successfully hitting notes. Event sequences feature video montages from scenes of previous Final Fantasy games where the player has to tap the notes in rhythm with the music being featured in the scene. Field sequences have a chosen playable character strolling through a background scene. The controls are the same for all three song types.
There is multiplayer in this game, but I don't currently know anyone else with the game, so I cannot review it first-hand. It presents via the "Chaos Shrine". Chaos Shrines are a combination of one field music then one battle song. Players can each control one of the four member team in the battle music phase to gain rewards by facing the bosses.
Now the music! Nobuo Uemastu is a well-known name in the gaming community. He did most all the music for the Final Fantasy games until he left the company in 2004 and formed his own company, "Smile Please". He still does freelance work for Square Enix however. For example, he wrote the score for Final Fantasy XIV. While XIV was a commercial failure, critics did note the music as "one of the only good parts of the game."
Theathrythm brings back the memories of both the not so distant past and the very old days of playing beloved Final Fantasy games. Some veterans will remember where the song belonged in its original game. Classics likes "Dancing Mad," "One-Winged Angel" and "Waltz for Moon" still stir up those feelings they did years ago.
Overall, the game is great for nostalgia. It reminds us of the games we loved. Yet, that brings up the question of how long can Square Enix profit off of our memories. Many point to this title as "fan service". I've enjoyed the Dissidia games and this as well, but how many games like these will Square Enix release? With the announcement of yet another Final Fantasy XIII game, we wonder "when and what will Final Fantasy 15 be?" Time will tell, but in the meantime Final Fantasy Theatrhythm is a great game to pick up and enjoy some classic gaming music.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.