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Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Review

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Review

When Square Enix announced that they would be releasing a Final Fantasy themed rhythm game, it was met with a mixed response. There were those who were thinking it was about time such a game was made, but others who were only thinking about other releases such as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Either way, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy is a fitting tribute to the series that brought such success to Square and consequently Square Enix, but also to Nobuo Uematsu, the legendary composer.

Following on from the Dissidia games, Theatrhythm features a similarly themed story - it's just focussed around music instead. The almighty crystal has once again grown dark from the evil Chaos that has plagued the world and it is up to our Final Fantasy heroes to bring light to the crystal once more. However, while Dissidia had the Final Fantasy heroes interacting with one another, Theatrhythm does away with this entirely. In fact, the story is so non-existent that when it does appear, it's rather unexpected. Fortunately, it doesn't detract from the game itself as the story isn't what drives Theatrhythm - it's the gameplay

There are three different music play modes in Theatrhythm; the basic Series mode, Challenge mode, and Chaos Shrine. Series mode is where you can go through each game in the franchise, playing sets of three songs. Each set features three different types of gameplay experience.

The Battle Music Stage (BMS) is a lot like a traditional rhythm game; hit the correct buttons at the correct time and you win. What's nice about Theatrhythm though, is that it adds a bit more difficulty by including diagonal commands. With these, you have to drag your pen in the correct direction. These get extremely dicey in fast areas where you have to quickly decipher what direction your supposed to go. With every note you get right, that's another attack to the enemy that your fighting against. For every note you get wrong, your health bar goes down and once your health is completely depleted you'd better hope you have a phoenix down equipped other wise it's game over. It's also nice that your equipment and spells come into play when you play the harder tunes. The whole levelling up once you complete a song starts to mean something.

The same sort of concept is carried through the Field (FMS) and Event (EMS) categories, however, the style of gameplay is a tad different. For example, with Field songs, your character is literally walking through the field and when you mess up a note, your character either falls on his/her face or is switched out. Gameplay mechanics change a bit with this mode since the notes scroll past in one central area. So unlike Battle Mode, where it's separated amongst the four heroes, holding notes is a lot different. Now you have to worry about moving the stylus around the screen to follow a zig zag pattern, hitting sub-notes when they come. Think of it like those carnival games you see where you have carry a key-ring through a maze of wire and if you touch the wire it's game over. It makes the field sections very interesting and pretty difficult especially with fast sections.

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