|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'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.
Date: July 9, 2012