When it comes to video games most people can agree on one thing... Roleplaying games tend to have really good music.
It makes sense... in any given RPG you are repeating the same task over and over but we don't mind because we get to hear some amazing music.
To this day when i hear the Tales of Phantasia battle music or Innocent Primeval breaker from Ys 7 i get right in the mood to kick some monster ass.
However one of the most well known Video game composers in the world is Nobuo Uemastu for his work with the Final fantasy games. He composed the music for most of the games that fall under the final fantasy umbrella and to this day some of his music is taught in Japanese school as part of the curriculum... Needless to say his music is pretty amazing.
So i was pretty excited when i heard a Rythem game that was essentially only Final Fantasy music was slated to come out here. Now i should clarify... I love final fantasy music but i'm not a huge fan girl over the games... they are good games and no one can question that it's just that
a) i didn't grow up with them... yes they were released when i was the right age but my parents didn't buy them from me so i didn't play my first FF till X came out.
b) I technically haven't beaten any of them despite having played a little of most of them... i say technically cause i did beat X but then my disk froze and i didn't get to see the ending... but yeah i'm at the last boss of 7 (will never beat this game thanks to Supernova praying on my irrational fear of space).. about halfway through 4 (too many games to play on my DS) stuck on a stupid rubber banding boss on XII (which i will never beat cause of the awful placement of save points) Anyways my point is i have a lot of these close to finished but the chances of me sittign down and beating them are slim to none.
c) I feel that it's overrated... yes it's really good but it is not the only JRPG game out there and so when i hear "JRPGs are dying cause they are all the same" i want to scream out no they are not... there are lots of fun different IPs with different syles of gameplay like Disgaea or Ys or Legend of Heroes but since those aren't as well known in North America the entire genre gets called a stagnating pool of teenage silent heroes traveling the land collecting the McGuffins and saving the world from the big bad. AND YES a lot of JRPGs follow those tropes to a T but not all of them.
SO with all that in mind here is my opinion on Theatrythm... i'm sorry it took so long to get here... perhaps i should call this Rai's Mini rant on JRPGs and how they are seen...
The good -
This should be obvious.... the music is really really really good, all the different menus have different and recognizable songs. The way the songs are split up (at least in the first mode you open which currently is all i've played... like i said first impression) is pretty fun. You have an opening where you have to time the notes touching a crystal, a Battle song, a walking song and an event song which all have the same button commands with slight variations, and an eding song which is a lot like the opening song.
After each song your party (which is comprised of any 4 main characters from the games as you want) will gain experience and potentially levels. they can also gain abilities which i have yet to use but it seems like an interesting mechanic so far. there are also apparently items but i havent played long enough to try this out either.
The visual style is also really cute and if you's seen the FF or KH cell phone charms thast what all the sprites look like.
The not so good -
the story... i don't even know why they bothered to add one... rhythm games almost never have good stories so really? just leave them out.
SO FAR the game is really easy... i'm sure this will change over time it's just they force you to play the painfully easy stuff to get to the harder stuff... i guess it's a good way to slowly raise the challenge but i like to jump in on hardest difficulty with rhythm games just to see how long i last.
The bad -
or in this case... the shit that pisses me off.
DLC.... ok let me explain... this game is 40 bucks in canada... which is expensive for a 3ds game let alone a Rhythm game... then to add insult to injury there are more songs you have to buy if you want them (and probably down the road more characters) and these are .99 a pop.... I wouldn't mind if it was ingame currency but when you're asking me on the first day of release to purchase more songs if makes me feel like you've released an incomplete game OR EVEN WORSE you've held back on some of the more popular songs to make an extra buck.
It feels like you are using off your fans cause you know they will spend the extra money. If they came in packs it wouldn't be so bad but for me... a buck is just too much when i already spent 40 to have the privileged to play your game. Maybe I just hate the idea of DLC but i understand it can extend the life of a game... and the longer they wait to release it the less likely they are to sell it... i understand that... and it's especially true for Rhythm games which can get boring the second you've played all the songs. But still... it just feels like they are trying to take you for every dime that you have.
So do i reccomend it?
Yes, if you like final fantasy at all or rhythm games then you will like this game. It is a bit pricy at 40 bucks (CND) but if you are looking to play something on your 3ds may as well be this. I'm not sure if all the copies come with a stylus but mine did and it's a bit nicer to have such a large stylus to play a game like this... but it's not necessary.
Just remember that you may miss out on some songs if you are unwilling to pay for DLC.
sorry that this ended up being more of a rant then a review and i will do a full review of this once i finish it but yeah i had a lot to say on a lot of different topics and of course this is all just my personal opinion. Please feel free to leave a comment about how you feel about anything i wrote here.