Geek Revolt

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Review

Final Fantasy is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. This is a huge milestone and a time for reflection, can you believe it’s been 25 years? Sure you can — especially if you’re a gamer under the age of 25. Theatrhythm is a celebration of the Final Fantasy series in the guise of a rhythm game. Now here’s the million gil question — is this just a shameless cash grab, or something worth owning?

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Title: Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy
Genre: Music/RPG
Developer: Square-Enix
Platform: 3DS
Price: $39.99
ESRB: E-10+
Release Date: 7/3/12[/toggle_box]


  • A Love Letter to Final Fantasy – Theatrhythm is a love letter to the Final Fantasy series, a glorious celebration of one of the greatest RPG franchises of all time.
  • Aww, You’re Adorable! – You will fall in love with your favorite FF characters all over again. Lightning is absolutely adorable.
  • RPG Elements – You can level up your characters, equip items, learn abilities, and more. At times Theatrhythm felt like a full-blown RPG.
  • Gameplay – There are three different modes, Series, Challenge, and Chaos Shrine. In Series you can play through FF1-13, and in Challenge you can tackle your high score for each song. Chaos Shrine is all about defeating dark notes; basically it’s for people who want a real challenge. Each mode has different gameplay events (FMS, BMS, and EMS). I’ve outlined them in the bullet points below.
  • FMS (Field Music Stage) – This is my favorite gameplay type. Here you hit notes while your character travels across a field. There’s something relaxing about these stages.
  • BMS (Battle Music Stage) – Here you battle monsters by hitting the correct notes. If you miss a beat the monster attacks you and you lose HP. Miss enough notes and you’ll lose all your HP and die. If you’ve played Guitar Hero (and let’s face it, everybody has) this mode instantly felt familiar.
  • EMS (Event Music Stage) – Here you tap and swipe the 3DS’ touchscreen while watching cutscenes.
  • Collectables – There are tons of stuff to collect, items, cards, crystals, street pass cards, music, and videos.
  • Soundtrack, Obviously – The music is amazing, Final Fantasy fans will be filled with nostalgia while playing through the game’s excellent soundtrack. After playing this you may want to dust off that old copy of FFVII.
  • Challenging > Cheap – The series mode is a cakewalk, but gamers looking for a challenge don’t have to look too far. Challenge Mode and Chaos Shrine is challenging without being crazy frustrating.
  • One Liners – You’re characters are constantly blurting out phrases and one-liners. Little things like this always make me smile.


  • Give Me More! – There’s a lot of content for you to gobble up, but I wanted more. More songs, more characters, and more stages. Sigh, maybe I’m just greedy, or maybe this game is so good I never wanted to see it end. Meh, 50/50…
  • BMS = EMS = FMS – When you really think about it – every game mode is the same. All of them make you tap, slide, and swipe the 3DS’ touchscreen. They just change the background and how the notes are presented. It would have been nice to see more gameplay variety. There should have been a mode that used the face buttons.


  • Older Tracks Don’t Hold Up – I know this will piss off some old-school FF fans, but I wasn’t really feeling the older tracks (SNES era). They just don’t compare to the newer ones, murder me.
  • Post-Converted 3D – The 3D looks poor during the event scenes (EMS). You can tell that the cutscenes weren’t made with 3D in mind.


Theatrhythm is a must buy for hardcore Final Fantasy fans. This is pure fanservice and a damn good game too. I’ve played plenty of rhythm games over the years and I can honestly say this is one of my favorites. And Lightning is so cute; ugh those beady little eyes will pierce your soul.

[box_light]We believe that the score is the least important part of a review. It’s tough trying to assign a numerical value to an experience. Furthermore, is there really a difference between a 7.5 and an 8? Gamers place too much importance on arbitrary numbers. This is why our scores are hidden by default. Only look at them if you absolutely need a number between 1-10 to see if a game is worth your time. You can read our review guidelines here.[/box_light]

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Gameplay: 9
Graphics: 9
Story: N/A
Sound: 9
Replay Value: 9
Overall: 9

Amazing – This is a must have, you’ll see this game on top ten lists at the end of the year.[/toggle_box]

I'm DeShaun Zollicoffer, and I approve this message/bio. "28-years-old, Proud Northeast Ohioan, a Gamer Without Loyalties, an Equal Opportunity Offender, Apple Evangelist, Apple Hater, Music Lover, Anime Junkie, Little Monster, Frequent Flyer, Dexter Fanatic, Title Case Addict, and Geek Revolt's Founder and Editorial Director."