Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

UP59- And She Leaves Pennies On The Ground For You

Destiny kind of a jerk. No real surprise that she's a good planner though. You don't get to be a Fate without being able to think of the long game. I guess no real surprise Destiny can be a jerk either then... You just don't mess with Lust like that. What has SHE ever done to anybody outside of toying with humans, corrupting kids, stealing, inciting war, and destroying a world?
Remember some of the things said here. They'll come back into play soon...


Quick Review: Final Fantasy Theatrhythm- What you get out of this game probably depends on how much you care about Final Fantasy. My thoughts: FF1, 6 and 7 are ludicrously overrated but the best games in the franchise. Everything else has been uninteresting at best or actively garbage. BUT, despite those thoughts, this still kind of a fun game. Actually, it's way better than an “RPG Rhythm game” has any right to be and it's fairly addictive thanks to how well-designed it is. It's probably one of the best designed rhythm games that I've ever played. They wisely limit the kinds of actions you can do (you can only tap, hold, or do a directional swipe) and the onus is on them to do what they can with those simple actions. The game is very forgiving on how little you have to do to pass a stage and I'm normally lousy at rhythm games, but even I could get all A and S ranks on the standard and medium modes (out of an F-SSS scale). And even if you have worse rhythm than me, proper party and skill management can cover for your bad spots and keep you in the game. They nicely tie your characters' stats to unlocking items or bonuses and how far you get in fights. Micromanaging your party to raise your Agility and Luck enough to find items while keeping your Magic and Attack high enough to beat bosses is oddly fun. They even work in Chocobos for events on the world maps and Summons in battles.
There's a lot of content too and it unlocks at a nice pace. You start with thirteen three-song runs that each comprise a FF "game" and upon beating those, you unlock those songs for free play and higher difficulties, you might unlock an extra mode for collectibles and customization, and you're always gaining resources to unlock more songs, features, or characters. So even if you do blow it on a song, you still probably earned some resources, some experience, and maybe even an item. Once you finish all the games, there's still a lot to do with a bonus mode that unlocks 99 semi-random missions that rapidly push your skills in the rhythm game and how well you can plan the RPG elements.
I don't understand the art style and think it's kind of ugly. A regular chibi or cartoony style would have suited the games and actually have been cute or enjoyable, but the game has this ugly “doll” look to the characters. It grows on you but it could have been much, much better. And Aeris is in the game but Tifa isn't? Laaame, Theatrhythm, lame. Unlocking characters is oddly poorly done. You have to find 8 crystal shards of a specific color to get a character, but finding them seems mostly random. If you're trying to get a specific character, your party could be at level 99 by the time you get the 8th shard, so a level 1 character will be kind of useless. I would have much rather the character unlock if you can S-rank that series's music on the medium difficulty or something along those lines. That way you can go after the characters you want and it rewards skill rather than grinding. The music can be kind of a let-down unless you're a rabid FF fan. They left out a lot of the battle themes (FF6 and 7's are DLC, of course) and those are the best music. Actually, that's probably the best thing about most FF games: the fight music is really good. Especially for an American audience that never saw most of these games when they first came out, the package would have been a lot stronger as Square Theatrhythm rather than just Final Fantasy. You'd have FF1, 4, 6, 7, and then other Square properties that had great music like Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger. As it is, there's a lot of music I'm hearing for the first time and without the nostalgia factor, it's more "Yep, that's generic RPG music".
Theatrhythm is flawed, no doubt about it, but it's also so much better than I had expected. The rhythm game is good, the RPG elements are great, there's a fantastic sense of progression, and it's addictive. I just really want a Zelda, Castlevania, or Mega Man music game. How game companies never cashed in on their soundtracks during the Rock Band craze astounds me.
Sins Committed: Bad art style, Grinding, Not enough good music
Virtues Acted: Well designed, Great blending of genres, Great sense of progression, Rhythmically punching Tonberries in the face to the sounds of the FF7 boss music