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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (Video Game Review)

For the 25th Anniversary of Final Fantasy, Square Enix went all out with special events, giveaways and more, but the biggest surprise of the year came with the release of a new music and rhythm title called Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. The new game incorporates 25 years of Final Fantasy characters and music that we've all spent so much time with during our lifetimes. The series is one of the most well known video game series around the world despite rarely sharing a same protagonist in any of the main entries to the series. This is due in large part to the few recognizable characters such as chocobos and moogles seem to appear in every game and the addictive theme songs that will stay in your head for days after you've stopped playing the game. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a celebration of that music, and fans were happy to learn the game was brought over from Nintendo 3DS to iOS recently to make the game more accessible than ever before.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy offers up a story that plays on the Chaos versus the goddess, Cosmos, theme that has become a go to for the most bizarre titles in the franchise over the years. The battle of light against the darkness begins when a beautiful crystal appears from the Rhythm that controls the music of the world. Apparently, Chaos isn't a fan of the amazing library of music from the Final Fantasy series, so the dark god curses the crystal in an attempt to destroy it and unbalance the universe. As warriors of the light, it will be your job to assemble a party of characters who will repair the crystal and restore balance by performing in rhythmic battles that follow along with the music of the chosen song. The game's storyline isn't nearly as complex or immersive as the storylines from the best Final Fantasy games, but the atmosphere and dialogue are lighthearted and fun to experience for any fan of the series.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy features a unique art style unlike any the series has seen. Cute, chibi inspired sprites of the best characters in the history of the Final Fantasy series are featured as playable characters in the game, but you'll only take four of these into battle. Characters can earn experience points and level to unlock new items and abilities, and the party begins a song with a HP meter that depletes when notes are missed or inputted incorrectly to give the game some familiar RPG aspects. It all works fine, but strengthening your characters means very little in the end, and the iOS version does away with item use in-game. There are three ways to play Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. Series mode allows you to play through each of the various games from the history of the franchise, while Challenge mode allows you to choose a single song to attempt to hit all the trigger and marks for the highest score possible. There is also a Chaos Shrine mode that allows you to play with friends and create your own Final Fantasy mixes. It's also worth noting that the iOS version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy doesn't support Event Music Stages that challenge you to play along with some of the most memorable cutscenes from the series. Instead, iOS gamers gain access to a Quest Medley mode that randomly selects songs from your downloaded library of songs for you to play.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a great game no matter what system you're playing on, but if we had to go for one over the other, we'd choose the Nintendo 3DS version. The game is a better deal on Nintendo's handheld that will typically cost you only $30 for a large library of songs compared to the free version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy on iOS that only comes with a couple of songs and a handful of characters to play with. Additional songs for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy cost $0.99 and characters are $1.99 a piece, meaning you could spend a lot more money for the same content when playing the game on iOS if you intend on playing with a lot of characters or purchasing song from the entire series. It's also disappointing for Event stages to be left out of the iOS version, although it is completely understandable why. However, the game possibly controls better on iOS with only the use of your fingers required, and the iPad offers the biggest screen around for enjoying the game. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy isn't for everyone, but the legions of Final Fantasy fans from over the last 25 years are sure to greatly enjoy this new title, and now, you have no reason not to own the game with its arrival on iOS. Check it out today!

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is now available from all major retailers and can be purchased for Nintendo 3DS and iOS. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is rated E by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes & Use of Tobacco. For more information on the game, check out the official Theatrhythm Final Fantasy website.

Game Features:
  • Multiplayer 1-4
  • 25 Years of Final Fantasy Characters and Music
  • Several Game Modes
  • Multiple Difficult Settings
  • DLC Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer: Indies Zero
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Platforms: Nintendo 3DS & iOS (reviewed)
    Release Date: July 3, 2012 for Nintendo 3DS & December 13, 2012 for iOS

    Score: 7 out of 10
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