Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Review on Nintendo 3DS

The Hype

This year marks the 25th anniversary of FINAL FANTASY, and THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY is the first music rhythm game in the history of the world famous franchise.

Developed by rhythm game veteran indieszero, SQUARE ENIX brings more than 70 musical scores spanning 25 years to THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY.   The title features music from key events, lush field themes and decisive battle arrangements.

THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY features a hybrid of music rhythm gameplay with RPG elements. Adorably re-designed heroes from the catalogue of FINAL FANTASY titles will set out on an adventure to combat memorable villains with the rhythmic taps of the player’s stylus. Players can:

Revisit their most cherished memories from each FINAL FANTASY titleStrive to achieve the highest ranks in the challenge modeCollect and share “dark notes,” a random music sheet that is riddled with hidden loot within the Chaos ShrineSeek out crystal shards to unlock hidden characters.

The Reality

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy is the first Final Fantasy music rhythm game in the franchise and was developed by rhythm game veteran indieszero. The music covers from Final Fantasy I to Final Fantasy XIII (13) with five core tracks from each installment plus additional songs and an immense cache of downloadable content.

Final Fantasy fans will understand more references, which might create a deeper experience, but any aged gamer can enjoy this deep, highly replayable experience – an exclusive and essential Nintendo 3DS experience.

Players are tasked with restoring a music crystal as they encounter familiar role playing game elements (HP health, etc.) and an amazing musical experience.

The characters all have the same design style and are defined by their hairstyle and colors. The solid colored character eye design is a wise choice due to the smaller handheld graphics while the background videos show character in full animation design. Character appearances have nice detail and color.

Developers also include special banners beneath each character in the choice menus so players can associate them with the corresponding Final Fantasy game though some characters appear in multiple Final Fantasy games throughout the series. Players build their own party then equip them with costumes, items, and skills.

More than 70 musical scores, featuring composer Nobuo Uematsu, blend well into the role playing action gameplay very well. Using the stylus, players perform swipes, taps, holds, and other actions in collaboration with the musical scores to complete levels and defeat villain characters. Enemy battles can get very complex and challenging as players gain experience and level up. Players can also find many collectibles and unlockable content.

The three game areas are series (battle, field, and event – the main gameplay modes), challenge, and chaos shrine. The 3D effect enhances the appealing visuals nicely, but the music is the real necessity here so pump up the volume.

The StreetPass features lets players share items and rewards while organizing their items. The local co-operative play for two to four players also expands the experience.

The amazingly sharp background visuals on the top screen during music sequences are so fun to watch they can even distract players from completing tasks on the bottom touch screen. Developers pack a lot on the screen including immense statistics and player status numbers.

Special note: The accompanying videos might spoil the actual game events for new players.

The Limited Edition Bonus Edition of this game includes a special stylus and decorative stickers. The game does not feature any online play, but has a large downloadable content list (launched through the game not Nintendo eShop) where players can always hope and search for their favorite songs.  Currently available downloadable content includes additional musical tracks (99 cents each) including the following songs:

  • Somnus (Final Fantasy Versus XIII)
  • Desperate Struggle (Final Fantasy XIII)
  • Sarutabaruta (Final Fantasy XI)
  •  Battle (Final Fantasy VI)
  • Fight On! (Final Fantasy VII)
  • Etro’s Champion (Final Fantasy XIII-2)
  • Battle Theme (Final Fantasy XI)
  •  Battle 1 (Final Fantasy III)
  • A contest of Aeons (Final Fantasy X)
  •  The Archylte Steppe (Final Fantasy XIII)
  •  The Sanctuary of Zi’Tah (Final Fantasy XI)
  • Crystal Cave (Final Fantasy III)

A great tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy game series and essential addition to the Nintendo 3DS game library.

Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Where to Buy: and other stores

Price: $39.99 and higher

What I Like:  music composition, incorporation of music and role playing gameplay, appealing color schemes, immense additional content/collectibles, high replay value, nostalgic factors, great representation of the game series, online items sharing, intuitive visuals for touch controls, huge downloadable content cache

What Needs Improvement: background videos can be distracting during gameplay, online gameplay options

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Categories: Gaming, Reviews


1 reply


  1. Theatrhythm Curtain Call Contest Celebrates Final Fantasy Music