THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY Review
- Diverse selection of songs from the Final Fantasy series. Fresh vector-art visual style; unifies all generations of the series while remaining distinct.
- Fun rhythm mechanics broken up in to two flavors.
- Limited initial content further restricted by constant pay walls; from individual songs, to packages from each game, and characters to use.
- Cut back from the original 3DS release; while not as pricy, it also lacks comparable features.
For those without easy access to a 3DS copy of Theatrhythm, the iOS version makes for a decent, if less featured replacement; in the least you can 'pay what you like' by sticking to songs you enjoy, so it's a treat for anyone who has enjoyed one or more Final Fantasy titles.
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Square Enix certainly have rhythm game’s on their mind of late, but for a company that boasts so many classic songs, very few (if any) were exploited to drive droves of gamers to their welcoming bosom. Other titles may have featured composers that are now famous amongst the gaming community, but Theatrhythm features the songs that brought them to our attention - notably the large anthology of songs they’ve written for the Final Fantasy series.
The core premise and execution is simple - you’ll play songs either of a ‘Field’ or ‘Battle’ type, tapping, swiping and holding down on the screen to match the patterns thrown at you in time with the music. Field songs only utilize one track, though holds can swing up and down in a wavy line to catch you off guard. Alternatively, Battle songs pit your crew of four heroes up against multiple enemies, with each character getting its own track that needs to be managed ‘less you take damage and possibly end your run.
The heroes you use are drawn from the entire gamut of mainline Final Fantasy titles, and the same can be said of the list of songs available.
If you can afford them.
This is where I derail the fun-train and note that Square Enix has fallen in love with In-App Purchasing to an almost unhealthy degree. Everything from individual songs, packages of songs separate to those in the first lot, and characters from said Final Fantasy games are all locked behind a pay wall. Most will only cost you a measly $0.99 a pop, but that quickly adds up considering the amount of content on offer.
That said, no one is holding you up at gunpoint to buy everything - indeed you could buy content from your favorite game (or at least the score you enjoy the most) and be content.
Spend enough time in the game and you’ll level up characters, gaining new abilities and more health to make it easier to barrel through the ‘quest’ mode, potentially unlocking collectable cards and alternate ‘scores’ to songs you already own.
If there’s any real downside it’s that the iOS version feels woefully thin in gameplay options compared to the 3DS version - limited initial content is further limited by IAP, which in turn serves a game that lacks all the modes and interactive options of its bigger brother. Custom scoring may make for a fun distraction, but that’s all it really is.
If you absolutely, positively can’t get enough of the Final Fantasy series and its beautiful music, you may love the ability to play out the scores in a stylish way. For everyone else you’ll be hard pressed to know where to spend your money, making it all but a minor distraction from other rhythm games you may own.