Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Review
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Square Enix
Pub: Square Enix
Release: July 3, 2012
Players: 1 + 1-4 player multiplayer mode
Screen Resolution: N/A Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco

Being based so heavily on music, Theatrhythm absolutely must be played with headphones. The music quality is terrific, particularly for the later games that featured high-quality sound. Early Final Fantasy games feature the tracks as they originally sounded on their Japanese release, even if there have been orchestral recordings or more interesting remixes made of the songs since then. This certainly creates the desired feeling of nostalgia, especially for fans who played the original versions of the games back in the '80s and early '90s. Still, it would have been nice to have the option to choose alternative recordings of the music, or at least to have had some of those recordings available as bonus or DLC tracks. Perhaps if Theatrhythm does well, we'll see a sequel featuring those types of tracks.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Screenshot

Theatrhythm's visuals are rather unique, featuring an East-meets-West chibi doll art style that underlines the fact that the game doesn't take itself too seriously. Even the most fearsome bosses from the Final Fantasy games look mostly harmless in this style, but that's alright. The graphics are colorful and sharp, and the rhythm prompts are very clear and easy to follow. The event scenes from Final Fantasy VII onward look great on the 3DS, as the device's native resolution keeps the jaggies at bay.


Theatrhythm won't be for everyone, obviously. Not everyone has an affection for video game music, and the game is strongly aimed at people with at least some familiarity with the Final Fantasy series. For series fans or rhythm game fans, it's a great choice. Heck, Theatrhythm's potent cocktail of an easy-to-learn rhythm gameplay and RPG mechanics even pulled in a doubter like me. If you're looking for something a little different on the 3DS, give this game a try. You just might find yourself sliding and tapping away with a smile on your face.

Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: July 9, 2012

The cute sprites are crisp and colorful, and the FMV scenes from later games look great on the 3DS.
The rhythm controls are simple to learn, but the advanced tracks are appropriately challenging.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Obviously the centerpiece of the game, tons of excellent tracks from Final Fantasy's past grace Theatrhythm.
Play Value
Though the basic tracks can be played through quickly, the game does a great job bringing players back for more via challenge tracks and Dark Notes.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • The first and only rhythm-RPG game, featuring over 70 memorable tracks from the Final Fantasy series.
  • Iconic series characters, villains, and monsters showcased in a unique, colorful, and undeniably cute art style.
  • Three varied gameplay modes providing rhythmic challenges: Field Music Stage, Battle Music Stage, and Event Music Stage.
  • Deep RPG elements such as character leveling, customization, abilities, items, and summons.
  • Enhanced replay through the increasingly difficult Challenge Mode and planned DLC tracks.
  • Enter the Chaos Shrine to unlock, conquer, and share Dark Notes, which test the skills of even the most seasoned competitors and grant access to additional characters.
  • Local multiplayer with up to three friends and the ability to share player data through StreetPass.

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