Actual Review of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by nikkuchan, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. nikkuchan

    nikkuchan GBAtemp Regular

    Jul 6, 2011

    I posted some thoughts on this game a while ago, but I didn't really know enough to give an actual review. After playing through this game much more, I now have enough info to give a more comprehensive review, so here it is for all those people who are interested.


    At it's core, it's a rhythm game not unlike other DS rhythm games, though it is a bit unique in its own way. Anyone who's played the Ouendan or EBA games should get the hang of this with no explanations. You tap the screen to the beat, and there are also hold notes and swipe notes which require you to swipe the screen in a particular direction. The bottom screen is entirely for input; the notes appear on the top screen, so it doesn't matter where on the touch screen you tap.

    There are three different types of stages with slightly different rules and variety, but the actual gameplay is nearly identical. There are battle stages, which look like old-school Final Fantasy battles. Notes appear in each characters row, and a successful not hit makes them attack. There are also skills and spells that are triggered by certain events. There is also an opportunity to perform a summon attack. The more enemies you kill during the stage, the more experience and items you get.

    Field stages are the next type of stage. In these stage, your lead character moves along an overworld or a dungeon from one of the games. Doing well speeds your character up, while making mistakes slows them down or makes them fall over (in which case the next party member takes their place). There is also a chance to ride a chocobo in each stage. The farther you go, the more items you come across.

    The last stage is the Event stage. These stages just play a video of highlights from one of the FF games. There are no extra items to be had in these stages; you simply need to get to the end of the song.

    As you take a closer look at the game, you will notice how the RPG elements change the game. You pick a party of 4 of the heroes from the main 13 games (just like Dissidia). Each one has their own stats and abilities: HP, Strength, Magic, Agility, and Luck. HP replaces the meter that is in every rhythm game. If it goes to zero, game over. Simple. Strength is how much damage the character does to enemies during battle stages. Magic is how effective the spells are. Agility is how fast they progress during the Field stages, and Luck effects how many items you find and how rare they are. There are abilities of all kinds. There are passive ones that raise stats, and there are triggered ones, like Fire, which is cast for every 13 (I think) notes that you hit, or Cure, which heals you when you are at 70% health. These are important if you want to defeat the boss monsters to get rare items such as the crystals needed to unlock secret characters (a supporting character from each game, like Rydia, Vivi, or Aeris).

    There are 3 difficulties for the basic games. You only have the easy mode to start with, and unlock the others as you progress. The hardest mode is fast and hectic, so you will probably need high level characters to get through them. Fortunately, if you need to level up, there is a Chaos mode where your party goes through a field stage and then a battle stage, where you face one of 3 bosses at the end based on your performance. Each pairing of songs is different (there are 100s of different possibilities), and even if a song is the same, the notes are unique for each one (this mode also contains songs that the other modes don't have). Passing one unlocks a new one (you can have up to 99, but you can delete the ones you don't like), with difficulty and rarity of items and bosses determined by your level when you unlock it. This is where the most looting and crystal finding will happen, and is good to prepare you for the highest difficulties. This mode can also be played multiplayer, but I have yet to try that, so I can't say anything about it.

    Unfortunately, there is no story or dialogue to speak of. I know it's just a rhythm game, but I would have like at least some goofy scenes or story or something.


    Simple, colorful, and cute. All the characters and monsters are made to look silly and cute. It looks cute enough, but they all suffer from Hello Kitty syndrome, in which they have a blank, featureless, unchanging face. The monsters look like they are supposed to (though Sephiroth looks ridiculous), and it is kinda fun to see the enemies looking so goofy. The stages are all true to the games; you fight in the sky during One-Winged-Angel, and you can see landmarks like Figaro Castle during Terra's theme. It all is smooth and nice, but graphics are not this game. The 3D is, as one may expect, unnecessary and practically nonexistent. It makes some things stand out in front of others, but that's about it. Overall, the graphics are fine, but this game could have been pulled off on the DS.


    The sound is also what you would expect: Final Fantasy music. The game boasts 77 songs from the get-go, and at the moment there are 8 downloadable songs. Even the menus all use music from the games (i.e. FFVI's airship music during party set-up). Almost all of the songs are in their original, unchanged form, which means 8-bit NES music and crappy midi PS music instead of orchestrated renditions. For better or worse, it's consistent and nostalgic, but it's a bit disappointing (and it really reminds how BAD the midi music was in FFVII). There are a couple of redone music, but unfortunately, they are few. Also, while the downloadable songs are nice, those songs can only be played individually and do not appear in Chaos mode, which is kind of sad.

    Lasting Replay:

    There is lots of stuff to replay in this game. With all the secret characters that take a lot of time to unlock, an immensely varied Chaos Mode that changes things up even on the same song, and a really challenging hard mode, I could see someone spending many many hours on this and having fun. Every time I start to wonder “is this all there is?” I discover something new. They give you things in very small increments in this game, causing you to grind like an actual RPG, which isn't so bad considering the game is actually fun. Plus the possibility of more DLC in the future would keep people coming back.


    It's fun, it's tough, and it's surprisingly deep. However, there literally is nothing but the music here. No story, no fun little events. Having spent lots of time on Ouendan and EBA where crazy stuff is always happening, or the Rhythm Heaven games where every stage is completely different, and after seeing how they used the characters and their interactions in Dissidia, I had some higher expectations in the variety department.


    2 people like this.
  2. Densetsu

    Densetsu Pubic Ninja

    Former Staff
    Feb 2, 2008
    United States
    Wouldn't YOU like to know?
    Thank you for the review, nikkuchan!

    I made some minor formatting changes to it for you to give it a more "official" look. If you want to insert headers in future reviews, use the following code:

    [h]Insert your text here.[/h]
    Insert your text here.

    You're in a unique position to provide awesome reviews of Japanese games/movies/etc., so we appreciate your contributions :grog:

    1 person likes this.
  3. nikkuchan

    nikkuchan GBAtemp Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    Cool. Thank you. I'll use that format if I ever decide to do more reviews.