Monday, July 16, 2012

Acquisition #137: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Drat. And I was just getting into Kirby Mass Attack and Professor Layton and the Last Specter.

I say that because both of these lovely (so far) DS games are sure to be placed on the proverbial back burner for a bit now that I've got my grubby hands on a copy of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.

Don't worry, I'll go back to them sooner rather than later. For now, though, my attention is turned squarely toward Square Enix's odd, nostalgia-laden addition to the rhythm-game genre.

I very nearly didn't pick up Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, by the way. Oh, it was on my "wish list" and I was planning to buy it at some point, but I really didn't expect to do so on day one. So, what prompted me to change my mind? Well, I discovered that toysrus.com was selling it for $29.99 (as opposed to $39.99) and decided on the spot that I couldn't pass up such a sweet deal.

Before I get to my early impressions of the game, I have to give props to the folks at Square Enix's North American arm for putting so much into this release. For starters, my copy came with a special, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy-branded stylus as well as a small sheet of completely adorable stickers. Also, the cover slip is double-sided, with the inside art being designed in such a way that the heads of the game's main characters show through the holes that line the interior of the case.



Neither of those things could or should be considered mind-blowing surprises, of course, but I think they're nice touches nonetheless.

As for the game itself: I've only played it for a few hours thus far, but I can say without hesitation that those few hours have been pretty darn enjoyable. I like that there are a number of different styles of gameplay--they're more like variations on a theme, really, but they're distinct enough that it rarely feels like you're playing the same thing over and over again--and I also like that all of the tracks included here are the originals and not watered-down remixes.

My only complaints thus far: I'm often so focused on tapping, sliding and holding my stylus just so that I'm unable to properly take in the game's adorable graphics. Also, I'm currently feeling more than a little overwhelmed by all of the options that are constantly being thrown my way.

Are any of you also playing through Theatrhythm Final Fantasy at the moment? If so, do you think about it so far?

See also: Previous 'Acquisition #123' posts

20 comments:

diaglyph said...

I got it day early cos EB did a sneaky and sold imported copies hehe
Anyways it's certainly a fun game. Brings back memories for some games :) tho other games Ive never played as that was during the "golden" age where the US got most games but PAL regions would miss out.
I've been able to play at basic difficulty which is fine, but I am finding expert very hard LOL
And what about the dark notes!! OMG super hard!!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Igor! Why doesn't it surprise me that you picked this up, too? Anyway, glad to hear you're enjoying it! And, yes, although the basic difficulty is OK, the harder difficulties mean business. It'll be interesting to see just how well I'm able to do at this game in the long run...

Matt Sainsbury said...

Welcome to the party!!!

This is one of my favourite games ever.

After a while you'll be able to play the game on the easy setting and enjoy the graphics etc, because the easy mode becomes utterly effortless.

Bryan Ochalla said...

One of your favorite games ever, Matt? Wow! I ... I can't imagine feeling that way about it at the moment, although I've obviously only scratched the surface of what it has to offer.

I'll keep on it, though, don't you worry. And thanks for letting me know that I'll eventually be able to enjoy the graphics, etc. I thought that would be the case, but it's always good to have such hopes reinforced :)

diaglyph said...

What would be really cool is if this type of game is applied to a Nintendo theme music rhythm game! I think that would just be brilliant :)
Using all the various Nintendo series. I hope Nintendo considers doing something like that!!

apricotsushi said...

I had my copy express shipped over so I could churn out a review... I played it like a manic for 2 days straight, haha. Now Shaun's commandeered it as I'm reviewing other things and all I hear all day long are Final Fantasy songs! I guess that's not too much of a bad thing...

I'm really jealous that you got the stylus and stickers, by the way! I didn't get either of those things! No far D:

How are you finding the song selection so far?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, I'd like that, too, Igor. I'd also like it if Square Enix made Theatrhythm into a series and made more games that revolve around, say, Dragon Quest, or Seiken Densetsu, or even SaGa.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Anne: Oh, that's too bad -- that you didn't get the stylus and stickers, I mean. I would've thought they'd be included with all of the early copies of the game :(

As for the song selection: You know, I haven't really thought about it very much yet! I definitely liked all of the songs I've heard so far, but that's about as far as I've taken things :)

Granted, it's been a good while since I've played any mainline FF game, so I probably don't remember all of each game's songs, you know? And then there's the fact that I haven't even played a few of the recent FFs, such as VIII, IX, X, XI and XIII.

Has your review been published yet, by the way?

diaglyph said...

One thing I forgot to add. The negative point I see is that it doesn't seem to include the "sequels" like X-2 and related games like FF Tactics, tho strangely it will be getting a track from the new upcoming FF game.
I'm hoping the missed games will get DLC, e.g. Real Emotion from X-2 (it could go under the umbrella of X) or some FF Tactics tracks (could go under FF XII since it relates to Ivalice).
I'm hoping they do this.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yeah, I've definitely heard people complain about the lack of tracks from games like X-2, Igor. I can understand leaving Tactics out, in a way, although obviously I would've welcomed their inclusion (as I love FF Tactics). I think it's possible we'll see FF Tactics songs released via DLC, but I wouldn't bet on it...

diaglyph said...

Also gonna add I wish dlc tracks had preview option, since they cost a stupid $1.50 here (don't understand $1USD, $1EUR but $1.50AUD even our dollar is just above USD)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Check out YouTube, Igor. I believe previews of most/all of the DLC tracks can be found there. Also, I believe there's a site out there that features previews of each of the DLC tracks, although I can't remember the name of it or the URL at the moment.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I'm sold on the EBA like gameplay, for sure. I'm not the HUGEST Final Fantasy fan, though...meaning that I played and loved FF6, but I have never finished another. That being revealed, I would like to get this when it's cheaper. But I did check out the demo of Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure, which I LOVED! So I'll be getting that first, I think. Check it out on the eShop, Bryan. I think you'll be thrilled.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hmm, if you *do* get this someday, Justin, I'd love to hear what you think of it -- given your lack of experience with the FF series.

I think you'd probably like it even though you've only played a few FF games, but I'm not completely sure of that because this game is clearly aimed at nostalgia junkies.

As for Rhythm Thief: Oh, I've already tried the demo (and played it many, many times), and I loved it, too! In fact, I wrote about it in a post that'll be published tomorrow or Thursday :)

videogamesarerad.com said...

I just finished the game (well, I beat Chaos, anyway) and I must say that it was a pretty fantastic experience. i have now added a few Final Fantasy games to my backlog, and recently popped in muy FF3 cart for SNES and am blasting through it.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hi videogamesarerad!

I should have know you'd get this game -- as I remember reading a number of FF-focused posts on your site in recent months.

It's funny how this game prompts people to try FF games they've never played before. Personally, I'm hoping it will get me to finally play FF IX (I got it a few years ago but have yet to even open the darn thing).

apricotsushi said...

My review has been published! You can check it out here if you like: http://videogamewriters.com/review-theatrhythm-final-fantasy-50394

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Good deal! And I wouldn't say I have limited experience with Final Fantasy. I've played I, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and XII, some of them for many hours...but finishing most of them seems to be beyond me.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Anne: Thanks for letting me know! I'll go read it right now :)

The more I play this game, by the way, the more I love it. That said, I definitely prefer playing the segments that are related to FF games I've spent the most time with -- which I guess makes sense.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Justin: Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to suggest you hadn't played many FF games. Actually, I didn't know how many you'd played! I can understand not being able to finish all of them, BTW -- that's what happens with these longer games!