Review Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

nikkuchan

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This game just came out yesterday, and I bought it. I'm liking it, but I was a bit surprised in the bad way.

From the demo that was around before the games' release, I learned that there are difficulty levels, but as far as I've seen, you are forced to complete all the songs in one difficulty to unlock the next (a la Ouendan or EBA).



The game is, at least by definition, a rhythm game-RPG hybrid, but so far I have seen nothing that the RPG elements change. Like Dissidia, you have the heroes of each FF game at your command, and you choose a party of 4, and you can choose their abilities and give the group an item. The abilities are all automatic. They are either passive bonuses, or they are activated at certain times (kill an enemy, regain health, speed up/slow down, whatever). Items are basically just one-time-use skills. Your party levels up, gains hit points and their stats raise, but besides hit points, I haven't quite figured out how the other stats make much of a difference. Agility changes the speed that the notes come to you (imagine 2x or 3x mode on DDR). You have magic and attack stats, which of course make you more powerful when fighting monsters, but they never show you how much damage you're doing, and killing monsters or not has no effect on the song or your score (though I did notice that I was getting more xp, so I'm guessing more power = more monsters killed during the duration of the song = more xp).

The main part of the game is called “Series Mode” which puts you through a set of songs from each game (you can choose which games you play). This is where I was first surprised. Each game gives you only 3 stages (if you don't count the skippable opening and ending themes): an Overworld stage, a battle stage, and an event stage. Each stage plays the appropriate tune for the current came, and they are verbatim from the games they come from (so you get the original 8-bit versions of the FFI-III music, and the crappy midi versions of the FF7 songs. I like the Aeris song and One-winged Angel, but why the midi versions??). The stages vary cosmetically, but the gameplay is almost identical between them, which is more-or-less a tap/hold/swipe to the beat thing that most anyone who played any rhythm games will get down without explanation. I haven't encountered any "boss fights," story, or dialogue to speak of, but then again, it's a rhythm game. The points you get from doing the stages unlock songs in a music player and even extra characters if you collect enough special crystals. I haven't gotten any extra characters yet, so maybe we'll get to see some of our favorites besides just the heroes.

So, that's what I got so far. 3 songs from each game, exactly as they were originally. None of the cool orchestral versions or remixes (Dissidia had amazing versions of the music, so what's up here?). I seriously hope that's not it. With the increased difficulty that will be unlocked, there will be good replay value, but if that's all it is, it's not enough. The game boasted over 77 songs, so I'm assuming the series mode I'm playing is only one section of the game, and there will be much more after I finish.
 

Cyan

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Thank you for this review :)

I hope the game will feature some orchestrated versions too (maybe unlockable or in harder mode).
But if not, as long as the game is fun to play I guess it's fine.
The game features items and skills which already make it different than other rhythm games.
 

nikkuchan

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OK, after playing through the game more and actually reading the manual, I have found more where the depth lies in this game.

There are unlockable songs, but I still have yet to find a playable orchestrated version (though the orchestrated versions play during the menus).

the RPG elements of this game rely on managing your characters, stats, and skills to get the most out of each level. For example, the field levels have the characters moving through some seemingly endless zone, but there is an end. You progress by not missing notes, and your characters will pick up pace as you go. The agility stat is for how fast they advance through (has nothing to do with notes as I previously mentioned). You can also get Chocobos to speed you up and have some skills (like dash) to also help. The point of going fast is that if you get through, you meet characters from the various games who give you items (I originally thought it was random how I was sometimes running into people and sometimes not). The battle skills of course help you in battle. Each battle level has a "boss" that appears after you've killed a certain number of enemies (except for the four fiends fight, because it's all of them and then Golbez). Of course getting to the boss, and killing him/her by the time the song is over does net you lots of good stuff.

Aside from the series mode and the Challenge mode (where you can just choose a song and play it, which is also required to unlock higher difficulties in series mode), there is Chaos mode (or something, I didn't bother reading the full title), where you have about 100 gauntlet levels. These levels consist of a field and a battle level. The songs for each of these remain a mystery until you play them once (and I have run into songs that don't appear in the series or challenge mode). The difficulty changes throughout the songs (it may be super difficult for the first part, then go down to medium difficult, and then back up). You can play this mode multiplayer, but I don't know how that works since I've never done it. Each level has 3 bosses (all of which remain a mystery until you find them). The field part of the level has 2 bosses (apparently you can find one or the other, but not both). Of course I've never gotten that far; this mode seems to be for higher level characters. I have progressed to the point where I reach a sign that points to "boss 1 or boss 2" with branching paths, but I've only ever just made it that far before the music was over. The battle part of the level is the same as the other modes, just harder. Killing a boss in these modes gets you particularly good items, such as the crystals needed to unlock secret characters (I have yet to unlock one). You need 8 crystals of a single color to unlock a character, and right now, I have about 4 different colors, 3 each. Not even halfway there.

There is downloadable content, which is just extra songs for now, and they cost money! 100 yen per song, so yeah. I like that the game has the possibility of constantly expanding, but I don't like the idea of plunking money down for each song (it'll add up I'm sure).

All in all, I have realized that it would take a pretty damn long time to complete everything this game has to offer.
 

shadowdorothy

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I love playing this game. But it's more like a musical version of Dissida that stays true to RPG party basics. I would have liked more characters then just the main characters however. Other party members would have been nice, like Rydia or Kain or even Snow. I wonder if the next version of Threatrythm will include them.
 

Arras

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I love playing this game. But it's more like a musical version of Dissida that stays true to RPG party basics. I would have liked more characters then just the main characters however. Other party members would have been nice, like Rydia or Kain or even Snow. I wonder if the next version of Threatrythm will include them.
Unlockables. I THINK Kain is unlockable, don't know about Rydia but Snow is unlockable for sure (he's also completely useless as his max stats are extremely low except for HP) Hell, even Sephiroth and Cosmos are unlockable characters :P
 

shadowdorothy

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I love playing this game. But it's more like a musical version of Dissida that stays true to RPG party basics. I would have liked more characters then just the main characters however. Other party members would have been nice, like Rydia or Kain or even Snow. I wonder if the next version of Threatrythm will include them.
Unlockables. I THINK Kain is unlockable, don't know about Rydia but Snow is unlockable for sure (he's also completely useless as his max stats are extremely low except for HP) Hell, even Sephiroth and Cosmos are unlockable characters :P
Really? I only just picked it up last week and haven't been able to play it much, but yay! Can you unlock Chaos? That would just be awesome.
 

Arras

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I love playing this game. But it's more like a musical version of Dissida that stays true to RPG party basics. I would have liked more characters then just the main characters however. Other party members would have been nice, like Rydia or Kain or even Snow. I wonder if the next version of Threatrythm will include them.
Unlockables. I THINK Kain is unlockable, don't know about Rydia but Snow is unlockable for sure (he's also completely useless as his max stats are extremely low except for HP) Hell, even Sephiroth and Cosmos are unlockable characters :P
Really? I only just picked it up last week and haven't been able to play it much, but yay! Can you unlock Chaos? That would just be awesome.
Nope. He's available as a boss when you get 10000rm and in Chaos Shrine on 90+ notes. I think there's about 15 unlockable characters in there. You can also unlock more songs starting from about 15000rm or something. It has 8 unlockable songs, I think. Could be a few more.
 

loco365

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I love playing this game. But it's more like a musical version of Dissida that stays true to RPG party basics. I would have liked more characters then just the main characters however. Other party members would have been nice, like Rydia or Kain or even Snow. I wonder if the next version of Threatrythm will include them.
Unlockables. I THINK Kain is unlockable, don't know about Rydia but Snow is unlockable for sure (he's also completely useless as his max stats are extremely low except for HP) Hell, even Sephiroth and Cosmos are unlockable characters :P
Really? I only just picked it up last week and haven't been able to play it much, but yay! Can you unlock Chaos? That would just be awesome.
Nope. He's available as a boss when you get 10000rm and in Chaos Shrine on 90+ notes. I think there's about 15 unlockable characters in there. You can also unlock more songs starting from about 15000rm or something. It has 8 unlockable songs, I think. Could be a few more.
The first song you unlock is at 10000rm. There's a list of all the unlocks here.
 

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