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Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Is Game Music Nostalgia At Its Best

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Nintendo 69

Jon Brodkin writes "Few game series other than Final Fantasy have consistently provided epic adventures for 25 years—and perhaps no company outside of Nintendo capitalizes on its history like Square Enix. In its latest attempt to merge the best of past and present into one experience, Square Enix has produced the music game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for the Nintendo 3DS. Joining Guitar Hero-style mechanics, 3D perspective, RPG-like character building and battling, and the rich music catalog of the Final Fantasy franchise, Theatrhythm is impressive, enjoyable, and one of the best examples of why it's worth owning a 3DS and that wacky stylus." Read below for the rest of Jon's review.Theatrhythm is far from being the most exciting Final Fantasy game. But it's nonetheless addictive to uncover one great song after another, getting used to the quick taps, holds, and slashes the required by the stylus-driven gameplay. I bought the game on its North American release date of July 3, and became captivated after a few initial doubts.

Gameplay

Gameplay is controlled entirely by the stylus, and benefits from being comfortable to play. That may not seem like much, but 3DS owners who played the blockbuster remake of Kid Icarus know that an uncomfortable control scheme can ruin an otherwise perfectly good game. I found myself grateful to Square Enix for not creating a game that induces carpal tunnel syndrome.

I found the game's explanation of its mechanics confusing at first, but once you play for a few minutes it all seems self-evident. A circle moves over notes on the 3DS's top screen while you tap the bottom screen with the stylus. If the note has an arrow, swipe in the direction indicated. If two notes are connected with a solid line, just keep the stylus down on the screen until the second note passes.

In most cases, you don't have to worry about the location of your tap; you just need to get the rhythm down. Some long strings of notes require keeping the stylus on the screen and moving it up and down to hit each note, but the location of the initial tap doesn't matter.

Theatrhythm's songs come in three types: field music stages in which a Final Fantasy character walks around; event music stages in which scenes from the major Final Fantasy games play in the background; and battle music stages in which four party members fight a monster or series of monsters. In the lattermost, successful notes keep the monster at bay, while misses allow the monster to advance and lower your hit points.

Hitting a series of featured notes (similar to Star Power in Guitar Hero) can turn your character into a super-fast chocobo or unearth a summons that deals gobs of damage to the enemy.

A Noble Attempt at Story

As the game begins, a group of songs from each of Final Fantasy's first 13 main series titles are available for play. (The disastrous MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is conspicuously absent.) As you clear songs, they become available in a challenge mode with two additional difficulty levels, and a separate section brings "dark notes," which offer the same type of gameplay but a different song list and often a greater challenge.

Standard role-playing elements such as leveling up, boosting hit points, choosing attributes, and equipping items (including a potion that will automatically save you from death) make the gameplay a little more interesting. A noble attempt is made to provide a shell of a story—something about the world being controlled by the gods Cosmos and Chaos, and a space between the gods called "Rhythm." A music crystal (every self-respecting Final Fantasy game needs a crystal) fills the world with harmony, but that harmony is disrupted by chaotic forces. The heroes (which the player chooses from a roster of characters pulled from the 13 main Final Fantasy games) can restore the crystal's radiance by collecting Rhythmia—which is conveniently made available each time a song is cleared. Extra characters can be unlocked by collecting crystal fragments.

Once you hit a certain amount of Rhythmia, a relatively easy final boss battle against Chaos ensues, and then the epilogue and credits roll. The ending seems abrupt, but there's little incentive to stop playing. I "finished" the game in eight hours, but still had some 80 or so dark notes left to collect and play through, not to mention the expert and ultimate difficulty modes for most of the main songs.

The Final Fantasy series and this game are astounding for their catalog of incredible music. Final Fantasy has produced classic tunes stretching from the 8-bit era to modern gaming. In Theatrhythm, you sometimes get the original version of a classic song, and in other cases you'll get a modernized version from one of the various remakes of early games.

If you're disappointed by the lack of a song in the series mode, just keep plugging away; it'll most likely appear among the dark notes. I was surprised that two of my favorites—Mt. Gulg's theme from the original Final Fantasy and the battle theme Blinded by Light from Final Fantasy XIII—didn't make the main series of songs. But both appear in the dark notes. The game has about 80 songs, and more that can be purchased and downloaded for a dollar apiece.

I doubt Theatrhythm will attract hordes of people who have never played Final Fantasy. But if you're a Final Fantasy fan, appreciate the series' music, and have even the slightest interest in music game mechanics, Theatrhythm is well worth the $40. Millions of gamers play the titles from their youth on emulators for nostalgia purposes. Theatrhythm provides just as much nostalgia, but also something completely new.

Final Fantasy Thrives in Many Styles

Square Enix seems to get more than its share of criticism from gamers and video game journalists, who claim the Final Fantasy series is somehow broken and needs to be fixed.

Among the most controversial games was Final Fantasy XIII, and undeservedly so. I believe XIII is great precisely because it overhauled the battle system into something faster and more dynamic, while de-emphasizing a lot of the tedious portions of previous games. I did not mourn the loss of towns in which the player must talk to every last person just to advance the plot. But lots of Final Fantasy diehards said XIII was too linear, didn't include enough traditional elements, ruined the whole series, killed their dog, stole their spouse, etc.

Square Enix can't be doing that badly—the company was profitable in fiscal 2012, something Nintendo can't claim. Granted, Nintendo's situation is a lot trickier, as it sells both hardware and software and faces the end of the Wii's lifecycle. But I don't think Square Enix's longevity and success are any accident.

Mario and Zelda are my two all-time favorite game series. But Final Fantasy, I think, is the best example of a series with roots in the 1980s remaining innovative while honoring its past. And because Square Enix isn't duty-bound to any one brand of hardware, it makes Final Fantasy titles for every gaming platform, and makes each one unique.

3DS and PSP Final Fantasy games aren't just ports from the PS3. Each game takes advantage of its target system's unique characteristics. Moreover, Final Fantasy extends to an impressive range of genres: Beyond traditional RPGs there are action-adventure games, hack-and-slash, tactical RPG, dungeon crawling, tower defense, city-building, real-time strategy, and even massively multiplayer online games.

In addition to completely new titles, remakes of the early Final Fantasy games for the iPhone, iPad, and Android offer some of the best touch-screen gaming around. While most Nintendo games from the 80s or early 90s would be clunky on a phone or tablet because of their precise control requirements, the command systems of early RPGs turn out to be perfect for touch screens.

All of this is to say that Square Enix manages to transform gameplay even while going back to the well of its early successes. Games like Theatrhythm, and the recent Dissidia series (which joined the most famous Final Fantasy characters in an RPG/fighting game) provide excellent ways to indulge in the past without actually replaying 20-year-old games.

In an interview with Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, Theatrhythm creator Ichiro Hazama said he came up with the game's idea for the Nintendo DS, but couldn't execute it on that platform because "so many compromises needed to be made in terms of storage capacity and what we could do in terms of presentation. When I saw Nintendo 3DS, my first thought was, 'Yes! Now we can do it!'"

The device's 3D perspective doesn't add much to this game, but the system's upgraded graphic capabilities are put to great use, and the sound is excellent. The Final Fantasy characters are all recognizable, but cuter and more cartoonish than in their original incarnations.

I would change a couple things about Theatrhythm if I could. In the series mode where you play a set of five songs from each game, the opening and ending tunes require no skill—you just tap mindlessly as notes pass into a crystal. Only the three middle songs offer real gameplay. You can skip the ending and opening songs, but you lose points.

The battle animations are also pretty tame, and a bit too similar to the early Nintendo games in which a sword is swung but no contact between the character and monster is made. The summonses help out by throwing huge fireballs and such at the enemies, but that happens just about once per song.

It would also be great to have a proper series of boss fights at key moments, instead of just one at the end of the game. Alternatively, the final boss could have been more exciting and memorable if it had multiple stages or harder difficulty.

But all in all, this is a great game that I plan to continue playing. In fact, I'd love to see the Theatrhythm treatment given to the Zelda series, my favorite in terms of music.

Nintendo is still the master of nostalgia gaming, but Square Enix is right on its heels.

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Whats wrong with the Final Fantasy? (0)

Aphonia (1315785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40591993)

Well, we have the zero punctuation take: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/1569-Final-Fantasy-XIII [escapistmagazine.com]

FF13 was too linear and the battle system runs itself (auto battle everything)

Re:Whats wrong with the Final Fantasy? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592145)

Even Real Life Comics [reallifecomics.com] chimed in on the topic in their last two strips after it was announced that Square-Enix would be re-releasing Final Fantasy VII for the PC.

Re:Whats wrong with the Final Fantasy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40592469)

That is probably the least funny video I have ever seen. (Disclaimer: I don't give a shit about video games.)

Re:Whats wrong with the Final Fantasy? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593925)

I actually enjoyed the battle system. The mechanic of Paradigm Shifting party members into different roles on the fly took a little getting used to after being so used to just selecting from a list of commands one by one, and it definitely didn't get nearly as much use in the vanilla battles as you were traversing the different zones from point A to point B (where you typically just stuck to a RAV+RAV+COM paradigm or some variation since it was most efficient at dispatching regular mobs) but when you did the extended story stuff, with the different hunts and the long boss battles, it was a lot more action packed then it would have been if it was the standard turn-based controls of other FF games. Some of the fights required use of your entire Paradigm deck with specific combinations or else you were just fucked, and you had to be on top of shifting from an offensive paradigm to a defensive one at the drop of a hat otherwise you would just wipe. It was so frustrating losing battles 45 minutes in to have to redo them completely, but on the other hand, it obviously made eventually winning the fight that much better.

Just, like, my opinion man.

As for linearity, I didn't mind that much, either. As someone that played FFXI for six years, with the most random quests and no linearity at all, I was actually glad to play something a little more linear where I could focus on the story as opposed to figuring out where the fuck I was, where I was supposed to go, and what the hell I was supposed to do when I got there.

Re:Whats wrong with the Final Fantasy? (1)

Trilkin (2042026) | more than 2 years ago | (#40598877)

People who complain about new Final Fantasy games being too linear and having no strategy involved in battles apparently have never played any other one besides maybe 12 or the old NES ones.

The old NES ones didn't exactly have a huge amount of strategy either other than 'manage your resources because inns are few and far in between... or just overlevel everything. whichever.'

Let's be honest here: Most people just confirm-spammed most random battles. Either that or Magic -> Most powerful spell -> Enemy. FF13 did the same thing, but on a macro level. You weren't controlling individual actions (although you COULD of whoever was the party leader,) but rather, controlling the toolset your characters actually had access to at any given point. It was no less dynamic in random encounters and no more dynamic in bosses which basically boiled down to 'buff self, debuff mob, stagger mob, kill mob, heal as appropriate.'

It's the same game everyone's been playing since 1987. It just gets ever higher production values.

$40 for a portable app? (0, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592173)

>> If you're a Final Fantasy fan, appreciate the series' music, and have even the slightest interest in music game mechanics, Theatrhythm is well worth the $40.

I didn't know games for portable devices were still sold somewhere $40 - seems like a lot in the era of $4.99 premium editions from app stores and all that.

Re:$40 for a portable app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40592255)

Three words, or one file name:
Amount_Of_Content.txt

Re:$40 for a portable app? (-1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592291)

I didn't know games for portable devices were still sold somewhere $40 - seems like a lot in the era of $4.99 premium editions from app stores and all that.

To quote the review

a group of songs from each of Final Fantasy's first 13 main series titles are available for play

13 songs is like two animated formulaic disney movies worth of music... How much would you pay for 2 DVDs and 2 soundtrack CDs? Probably end up over $40.

(Note that just shows two industries are sick and twisted, not that one industry is normal)

I have to admit, I've got great income, fat stacks of cash burning a whole in my pocket, and the DS3 looks like a cool control scheme, but.... I've got a phone, admittedly the controls on my phone are awful, but the description of the game shows its s "touch screen tapper" anyway.

Re:$40 for a portable app? (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592759)

a group of songs from each of Final Fantasy's first 13 main series titles are available for play

13 songs is like two animated formulaic disney movies worth of music... How much would you pay for 2 DVDs and 2 soundtrack CDs? Probably end up over $40.

There are 5 songs each from FF1-FF13. Or a minimum of 65 separate songs. Not 13.

You have the opening and finale themes from each game (granted a few are similar), a signature battle theme, a signature character theme, and a signature theme from the game itself (usually the one with vocals in the later games). That's at a minimum, too - there are other unlockable songs and DLC.

The 3D is useless and best played while it's off.

The 3DS does have a pretty good set of speakers for a portable device - more than well worth it compared to the generally crap speakers on most phones (the Dolby Surround is surprisingly good inside the sweet spot (which is larger than the 3D sweet spot)).

It's surprising it's not a phone app, but then again, Squeenix's releases on phones tend to be generally pricey ($15+). But at least Android shines here in not having to jailbreak and install hacked patches to get the game much cheaper.

Re:$40 for a portable app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40595867)

You have the opening and finale themes from each game (granted a few are similar)

Clearly you've never played the game, or you'd know why those don't count. (Hint: they're not actual gameplay, although there is a "minigame" you can play during them that doesn't count for anything.)

It's surprising it's not a phone app, but then again, Squeenix's releases on phones tend to be generally pricey ($15+).

They also tend to be complete pieces of shit. My favorite were the Final Fantasy releases, where they managed to both not use the built-in keyboard software for entering names AND they couldn't figure out how to use the built-in OS text rendering and ran with their own. Their own that apparently never heard of a "baseline" or "kerning."

And that's ignoring things like bugs and the complete lack of updates since they've launched the games.

Don't buy Square Enix ports on cellphones. Just - don't. You'll regret it. This may not apply to games targeted at iOS and Android, but I'm not willing to burn money on finding out.

Re:$40 for a portable app? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592991)

>> How much would you pay for 2 DVDs and 2 soundtrack CDs?

Whatever the cost of two DVD-Rs and 2 CD-Rs is these days. Maybe...$1.30?

Re:$40 for a portable app? (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592303)

Fun fact: the portable gaming market has been served by dedicated electronics devices for over two decades!

Re:$40 for a portable app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40592375)

how quaint, a music rhythm game! Yeah we're totally not bored of all the guitar heros, rock bands, and playing instrument toys with buttons instead of the playing the real thing games!

Re:$40 for a portable app? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593627)

A Square game is like an app in the same way a hardcover novel is like a free weekly.

Re:$40 for a portable app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40594009)

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Square-Enix.

Re:$40 for a portable app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593717)

>> If you're a Final Fantasy fan, appreciate the series' music, and have even the slightest interest in music game mechanics, Theatrhythm is well worth the $40.

I didn't know games for portable devices were still sold somewhere $40 - seems like a lot in the era of $4.99 premium editions from app stores and all that.

It's not an indie game to sell on an app store. It's a game produced by a large studio with a development team of probably more than 100 people based on a massive franchise.

This devaluation is harmful to the video game industry, far more so than piracy.

Re:$40 for a portable app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40596307)

No.

Its hard to be a gamer for a long time (0)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592237)

There's nothing wrong with casual gaming, other than where is hard core gaming or has is been pushed away?

Decade(s) ago when I was playing Civilization, sim city, F-19/F-117, later F-18, Ultima series especially VI, Myst and clones, Zork and all that was Infocom, Wolf3d, doom, quake, Harpoon, the Steel Panthers series, I always wondered with anticipation what the future would bring to gaming. Amazing technological advances, huge storage, fast 3d graphics, fancy sound systems, strange and amazing UI devices, ubiquitous networking. Oddly my technology fevered imagination never strayed to "In 2012 I have a dream of being able to tap my pen along with the music".

Re:Its hard to be a gamer for a long time (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592415)

Hey dude, I'm playing Mass Effect 2 for ps3 at the moment. It was about 15$ in the budget game rack. It's fvcking awesome: first person shooting (well actually third person but okay), lots of role playing influences, a huge galaxy to explore. creepy sound and atmosphere in some of the missions, New missions and sub/side missions popping up all the time, etc... I'm at >40 hrs of playtime and have the feeling I'm not even half way in the game. The good immersive hardcore games are out there (and don't have to cost 60$ each), but you have to give them a shot.

Re:Its hard to be a gamer for a long time (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40595675)

Hard Core Gaming hasn't been pushed away... However they got kinda boring. Civilization - War Craft - Star Craft... Build a city and kill the bad guys who make a city, after a while they get kinda blended together. The slew of 3d shoot them ups. They tried to improve on it by adding some people who you shouldn't try to shoot. Adventure Games - Hours of getting lost...

Casual Games - easy to learn, easy to play, you can quit any time you like.

Re:Its hard to be a gamer for a long time (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#40603425)

There's nothing wrong with casual gaming, other than where is hard core gaming or has is been pushed away?

Well, there's Europe Universalis and Victoria 2, which are basically world simulations. There's the Tropico series, which while not exactly hardcore is a pretty decent banana republic simulation. There's been an announcement of a new SimCity, which looks a bit like it'll be more like SimCity and less like Societies. And of course there's Super Meat Boy, Spacechem and other indie games Steam and other online retailers have given a publication channel to.

Profitable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40592259)

Square Enix can't be doing that badly—the company was profitable in fiscal 2012, something Nintendo can't claim.

Are you telling me Nintendo LOST MONEY in 2012?

$40!?!?!? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592309)

I expected $15 - $20 based on the platform, description, and the estimated 8 hours of gameplay. I've gotten hundreds of hours out of $20 Indie games recently.

Re:$40!?!?!? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592421)

Wait, this game was $40? I preordered it a while ago, and after playing it I'd say it's well worth $20 if you're a huge Final Fantasy fan. If you're not, then just don't bother. The music isn't good enough if you don't get a nostalgia kick, and the gameplay is honestly pretty boring.

If you are, wait for it to hit the bargain bin. Even better, wait for Theatrhythm Deluxe Edition in a year or so where they include the entire game rather than parceling it out via DLC. (Oh yes, they're doing that.)

Re:$40!?!?!? (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40596391)

So? It's not an indie game.

The REAL problem with Square (3, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592327)

Square's problem is management.

The early games were great. But, as inevitably happens, the best people, the ones making the games great, left, one by one. That's why the series peaked at either VI or VII - they would have continued to get better and better had all the original people stayed, or been replaced with equally-talented people. But that didn't happen.

After that, the series stagnated. They had a good design, but nobody really knew how or why it worked (Japanese developers in general seem to have difficulty with the concept of a "game designer", as opposed to "game director" or "producer"). So they didn't change much for VIII, IX, X, X-2... Yes, there were changes, but not significant ones.

But eventually the pressure from fans to "innovate" and their own false confidence led them to change things. And that led to a decline in the actual gameplay.

But Square doesn't get that. Mr. Miyamoto (of Nintendo) has a well-known personal mantra: "find the fun". Square doesn't get that. They don't seem to see games as games, but as interactive stories. That just does not work. That's not just Square - it seems symptomatic of the entire Japanese game industry - but Square has it worst.

What makes it worse is that they "innovate" on the wrong features. The combat system was decent. Not perfect, but pretty good. So it got thrown out and replaced with something terrible. But things that aren't good or don't fit (Chocobos, for example) keep being thrown in, just because the fans buy a lot of merchandise based on them.

Personally, I blame Nomura. The latest Square games are about what you would expect from putting a character designer in charge of the game. It's like putting a costume designer in charge of a movie - it doesn't work. You get crazy costumes, but static, "archetypal" characters and a boring plot.

They also just have massive mismanagement. Reportedly *half* the content made for FFXIII was cut. Now, that figure itself isn't bad - most games cut 90% of their *planned* content. But they cut half the stuff they had already made (and later recycled much of it into XIII-2). That's just terrible management. FFXIV is a train wreck.

They also seem to pick the wrong staff. Their portable division does much better - remember Crisis Core? Even Dissidia was pretty good. Even on a single-person level, Takeharu Ishimoto's a far better composer than Masashi Hamauzu; he's the one who should be writing the music for their big-box console games. (Yes, I'm a FF music nerd who pays attention to all that stuff and can recite both versions of "One Winged Angel" in two languages from memory)

In short, yes, Square may still be profitable. Even many of their other franchises are doing well, not even getting into their Eidos side. But the Final Fantasy series is coasting on it's brand identity. They have two or three more chances to get it *right*, or that brand identity is gone.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (2)

tuffy (10202) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592599)

They also seem to pick the wrong staff. Their portable division does much better - remember Crisis Core? Even Dissidia was pretty good. Even on a single-person level, Takeharu Ishimoto's a far better composer than Masashi Hamauzu

Search around for "Bravely Default", another 3DS RPG from Square that has yet to have a western release announced. It's classic style and gameplay without the "corridors and cutscenes" that have plagued recent Final Fantasy titles. More evidence that their portable division is where they're strongest.

And Dragon Quest XI will wind up on the 3DS also on the Enix side of things if the portable's Japanese sales rate continues.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593113)

Something I forgot to put into the above rant:

They quite likely *are* hiring good developers, good game designers, to replace their original staff. But they quite likely don't give them the freedom to actually do their jobs properly (especially regarding gameplay/story integration). Even in a Western culture, you would have difficulty going against a senior guy with several million-selling titles under his belt. In a very authoritarian Japanese environment, it would be nigh impossible.

I'm not trying to criticize the Japanese culture itself here. It's just different, and in this case, some of those differences are the cause of some of their problems. Western-culture developers have their own problems that stem from their own culture, but that's just not relevant to this particular post.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593229)

Square's problem is management.

The early games were great. But, as inevitably happens, the best people, the ones making the games great, left, one by one. That's why the series peaked at either VI or VII - they would have continued to get better and better had all the original people stayed, or been replaced with equally-talented people. But that didn't happen.

After that, the series stagnated. They had a good design, but nobody really knew how or why it worked (Japanese developers in general seem to have difficulty with the concept of a "game designer", as opposed to "game director" or "producer"). So they didn't change much for VIII, IX, X, X-2... Yes, there were changes, but not significant ones.

I disagree with your assumptions here.
The series did peak around 6-7, but if Square had actually listened to the fans and expanded on 7 with a sequel (at the time, since then they've released junk with the characters from 7, I refuse to call them sequels though) and stuck to a working formula things wouldn't have slipped as far as they have.

Instead we asked for a 7 sequel and received 8, a half cooked emo love story.
The changes between the games were huge, so much so that it alienated a lot of long time fans of the series. (magic draw system, junctions, leveling up meaning virtually nothing as long as you had good magic stocked...which you could never use btw because if the magic was linked to one of your stats then casting made your character weaker.)

Then came 9, it seemed like they were trying to get back in touch with their roots and were marginally successful. Everything from 8 was discarded(thankfully) and instead you learned all abilities from your gear.
This game wasn't all that bad really, I mean it's no 6 or 7 but it had depth. There were a few gripes like a random last boss who had nothing to do with the game and spending hours trying to steal from a different boss who ends the fight in 3 turns(fun fun).

So now we come to 10, Squares move to PS2, a somewhat confusing leveling system that was needlessly complicated(I can warp around the grid with certain items but areas are locked without other items and I can go to someone elses grid for some reason or another...awesome.) A story that was needlessly complicated and confusing(I'm the dream of a long dead civilization who ended up in the future playing blitzball right? riiiight.)
10-2 was nothing but fan service built around the old job class system, there was really no innovation there and it turned into a girl power movie(where clothing is a suggestion not the rule.)

To say they stuck with the same formula used in 6-7 for those 4 games is exactly the opposite of what happened and their biggest problem. If they had stuck to what was working instead of rebuilding the wheel every single game I feel those 4 titles could have been vastly improved.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593899)

Not the same AC, but I'll add this in, the part about the best people eventually leaving isn't really correct, as the guy who created the series [wikipedia.org] was involved right up to X-2

And looking at all the games under his belt, it's hard to say he doesn't know how to make a fun/good game.

I would credit the 8 to X-2 years being him trying to practice his personal philosophy: merging games and film. He was doing it "for the art", including his foray into film with FF: Spirits Within

Re:The REAL problem with Square (1)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594405)

THIS! Like a million times.

The one thing that I do have to disagree with you on is that just because fans wanted a FF7 sequel doesn't mean they should have made one. It was a really good story, and if they didn't have a place to take it then I think they could have let down a huge amount of the fans by continuing it just for the sake of continuing and not because they had a great idea.

Overall, each of the games after 7 had some really fun and unique aspects to them (I liked the SeeD tests and ranking system in 8 and the weapon upgrading model instead of just buying a more powerful one each time you hit a city) and had some awful aspects to them (as mentioned 8 made it slightly difficult to get magic, and once you linked it to a stat it was more harmful to actually use it than stockpile it). It can't be said enough, each game seems to be trying to reinvent the wheel. And I think that's the real problem, you have no idea what you are going to get with each game.

The games would be much better if they had just spend more time listening to fan feedback than changing around the entire combat/leveling/saving/weapon upgrading/etc system every game. The magic system in FF7 was fantastic, why not keep it? I think starting with FF10 they started letting you swap out characters mid combat and that was a cool new feature, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't there in 13. And you have to wonder why not, it was a great addition. And I'll never know why 13 had so little side content (really only on those monster hunts). I don't know if they went over on budget, time, or both because I can't imagine that they didn't realize that fans loved the chocobo breeding and hidden places earlier in the series.

For the Final Fantasy series to really restore itself to what people remember it as, they need to go back to the basics from the older games. Think about which aspects of the games fans loved the most and KEEP THEM, and then try and tweak the parts that fans didn't like.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40595051)

They have two or three more chances to get it *right*, or that brand identity is gone.

I don't know if they do. I certainly don't trust them.

I-VI - Awesome games.
VII - I think it's a good game and I like the materia system, but this is when things started transitioning to "movie you play" rather than "game you explore." I think this is why so many fans retroactively hate it, even though it's a good game.
VIII - So boring I couldn't finish it.
IX - Interesting and better than VIII - closer to it's roots - but also lost my interest. The "intro" part of the gameplay is so long, it's a chore to start the game from scratch.
X - A decent, but awkward story. Blitzball got boring fast. A little more open than VII, VIII, and IX - not as linear. Okay game, not a masterpiece.
X-2 - Just more X. "Nice, nice. Not thrilling, but nice."
XI - MMO - This should have been spun off into it's own thing. An MMO is a whole different animal. Including it here would be like including Dissidia in the main series.
XII - I loved this one. This is my favorite modern one. The combat system where you aren't constantly interrupted by random encounters was awesome. I'm sure there are lots of folks who don't like it, but I did. This one was the most open game since VI.
XIII - Absolute garbage. It's pretty, but it's not even a game. It's a story, and a pretty boring story at that.
XIII-2 - Won't play it. Maybe the series has lost me already. I've heard terrible things, like "Worse than XIII." That should not be possible.
XIV - Another MMO. Again, these need their own series.

I don't have any real interest in XV. Unless I hear from people "It's totally different and it's awesome" or "It's like the old FF" I just won't care. I certainly won't be buying any collector's editions or pre-ordering it. They've taken a great series and butchered it.

You say they have a couple more chances to get it right. Maybe they do from the really diehard fans. But I always considered myself a diehard fan in the old days. Well, they've worked pretty hard to beat that out of me. I don't even have that "maybe they'll realize it and fix it" hope anymore.

So, maybe they're just out of chances. Or maybe they have one more. But I don't know about "two or three".

Re:The REAL problem with Square (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40595607)

My experience jibes with yours, except that I didn't play anything after VIII except XII. And while I like XII, it has occasionally been horribly rude to me in a way that I haven't experienced since VIII, in an apparent attempt to sell strategy guides. For example, super-hard enemies that no one warns you about in-game that can smash you without even trying, and then smash your backup party too. What the hell is that doing there? Gear restrictions where even if you've been powerleveling you can't buy that spell yet, and so on. XII has made me grumpy repeatedly, and even without reading your comment I don't think I'd have been encouraged to try another final fantasy title again. After the shitfest that was VIII, I wouldn't have bought XII either except I got it for a dollar at a yard sale.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40595753)

FFVIII was a great game, no matter what anyone says. XII was also good, and I only had trouble with a few enemies that I had to go way out of my way to find and fight. Strategy guide? I have played nearly every Final Fantasy and never had to use a strategy guide, perhaps you should stick with CoD or WoW if you can't handle a game that requires you to figure stuff out for yourself.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40595869)

FFVIII was a great game, no matter what anyone says.

Sure, if you like a boring story and an extremely steep difficulty ramp.

Strategy guide? I

Who the fuck are you, besides anonymous and cowardly?

have played nearly every Final Fantasy and never had to use a strategy guide

Good thing, because your lack of reading comprehension would presumably prevent you from getting anything worthwhile out of it. I didn't say I needed a strategy guide; I could wander around and find the answers myself, by simply wasting a lot of time. In XII sometimes you're told where you need to go on the map and sometimes not and it has no correlation to whether your character actually knows where he is going. And the first thing that stepped on me with no apparent justification was one of the elementals in the Ogir-Yensa. No one tells you wtf they are or that they will attack if you do something near them until after you've already been across the Nam-Yensa, let alone the Ogir. Then after I'd already lost literally hours of wandering in the desert because the save point is tucked way off at the edge and one of these guys flattened my party twice while I was fleeing. That's the kind of crap that makes you mad, or at least, it does me. If I'd paid more than a dollar I'd have been livid, as it is, I almost used the disc as a target. Still playing, though.

XII is overall inconsistent. For example, some cutscenes you can pause, some you can't. Probably that's the prerendered ones that you can't, or something, but there's no good reason for it.

perhaps you should stick with CoD or WoW if you can't handle a game that requires you to figure stuff out for yourself.

Perhaps you should stick with video games (as opposed to fora) if you can't handle not being an annoying bastard.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40596113)

1. I posted anonymously because I knew that you would be an ass.
2. The story was pretty unique and interesting IMO.
3. Steep difficulty ramp? Depends on who you are I guess.
4. My reading comprehension? When did I say that you said that you needed a strategy guide? Perhaps your reading comprehension should be the one in question. I think that wandering around for hours to discover hidden secrets and accomplish goals is part of what makes a RPG a RPG.
5. Sure, it's frustrating to die and lose progress, but that's part of the RPG experience.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40595843)

I expect you are in your Mid-30's
I-IV: I was a kid, everything is new and Exciting, being able to Win a Game is a big deal.
VII: Early Teens's In the grand scheme of things you still don't have a life but you are able to comprehend the story better.
VIII: Mid teens, you can't wast your time playing video games you should be working on more important things
IX: Late Teens, You got into college, your life is on a track, you got some times to have a little fun again.
X: Late Teens to early 20's Dude you want to hang out with people more, no grinding isn't fun.
XI: early to mid 20's: Don't have time for games, you want a girlfriend bad.
XII: You finally got a girl friend, things are steady, and you can play games again
XIII: Life started to get you down again, need time to work, you probably played the game using an internet walkthrew.
XIV: OK you have gotten a little too old, the game no longer matches to your nostalgia.

I myself was more of a fan of Sierra Games (Quest for Glory was my favorite)
Quest for Glory I and II These were mega cool
Quest for Glory III Cool graphics but not as interesting
Quest for Glory IV too many bugs.
Quest for Glory V never really finished it I lost my attention to it.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40596955)

I'm still laughing at anyone needing a walkthrough for XIII. The game is a walkthrough!

Re:The REAL problem with Square (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40602465)

(Japanese developers in general seem to have difficulty with the concept of a "game designer", as opposed to "game director" or "producer").

Yep, and it's not just Square-Enix. Raiden in MGS2 is what we get when someone doesn't tell Kojima, NO. Bait and switch heroes with whiny emo guy is NOT FUN. Lollipop Chainsaw is what we get when someone doesn't tell Suda51..NO Saga Frontier is what we get when someone doesn't tell that insane Koichi Ishii guy that Square should have got rid of sooner,...NO.

That's one reason Phil Fish made his "You Suck" comments at Japanese developers. He's right to a certain extent, their practices most certainly do suck, they just got away with it in the past in the console market because they had no real competition. Starting with the PSone, they had to compete on a more level playing field with US, UK and European developers. That's when their weaknesses started to show.

But Square doesn't get that. Mr. Miyamoto (of Nintendo) has a well-known personal mantra: "find the fun".

But even the Shiggy has his faults. In some ways, both The original Zelda and SMB3 are badly designed. Also, we have Shiggy to blame for the suckitude that is the N64 controller, since they let him have input into it's design. Never let Shiggy near hardware people.

[quote]They don't seem to see games as games, but as interactive stories. [/quote]

Yes, intereactive stories meant for conformist play that everyone is supposed to play the same way and have the exact same experience. They're playing a game alone, but playing the same game the same way every other japanese person is playing and not being the nail that sticks up.

That's partly what ruined FFXI, the conformism of the heavily japanese player base.

Personally, I blame Nomura. The latest Square games are about what you would expect from putting a character designer in charge of the game.

Why the hell would you put Nomura in charge of a game? Whose idea was that? He'd be likely to add some stupid "Belt Buckle Active Paradigm Ginsu-Gaiden Change System" or something.

Their portable division does much better -

of course, because making a PSP or DS game is like making a PSone or PS2 game, it means they don't have to adapt or change. You KNOW slow the Japanese developers are to adapt to new hardware. They'd rather keep making the same old tired niche grindfest 2D SRPG's for the otaku and their "excessively japanaphilic gaijin" counterparts in America, with the usual tropes and Moe stereotypes, than try something new.

We got Vaan and Penelo in FFXII because of that "moe obsession" and S-E's perception that a game with an adult hero wouldn't sell to the Japanese. (Because of Vagrant Story)

can recite both versions of "One Winged Angel" in two languages from memory)

That's easy all you need to know is a few lines of Latin and one of Japanese:

Estuans interius ira vehementi, estuans interius ira vehementi sephiroth.....sephiroth

Sons immanis, et innanis, sons immanis, et innanis

veni veni venias, ne me mori facias, veni veni venias ne me mori facias

Haryu no hanekata haryu no hanekata.

Re:The REAL problem with Square (1)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | more than 2 years ago | (#40603629)

Thing is, Square remains profitable. FFXIII, as much as I think it's a pile of doggy doo-doo sold incredibly well and now has a sequel coming out. However Square is losing us gamers who want good gameplay AND good stories (stories about angsty, stereotyped 'teenagers 'spending lengthy bad drama sequences blaming each other for stupid things don't appeal to me, I'm talking about you, FFXIII).

I would say if they don't get it right soon, it's not that they will go broke, but the Final Fantasy line will be delegated to the likes of the Transformers film franchise. Brain-dead high budget movies that make their money on fancy visuals for the kids, while the rest of us who want a bit of a hearty meal rather than another plate of potato chips (made from pressed starch, not real potatoes) look elsewhere.

Actually I take that back, what has happened to Final Fantasy is maybe more akin to what Lucas did to Star Wars. He had something so ludicrously profitable that he could make three genuinely terrible high budget films and still make a killing off of them, while retaining the popularity of the franchise.

I don't even care about nostalgia. I just want solid RPGs that are enjoyable to play. FFX for example wasn't perfect, but it had a fast-paced battle system and went out of its way to keep things varied and hold my interest with everything from the in-battle character swapping, the constant banter of the characters, the grid system that let you plan char development in advance, little touches like a wide variety of battle music.. so it succeeded in holding my attention. (It did the minigame thing far better than VII IMO). At least that game had some substance to it. And it did fairly well overall in terms of reception and response. FFXIII though... shudder.

FFIII recently released on the Android... (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592331)

For sixteen dollars it seems a bit pricey for an older game, but they've gone through and freshened the graphics and other tweeks. I never played the original FFIII, but I'm tempted to support this with the hopes Square will continue to port stuff to Android. I'd love to have FF VII in my Galaxy SII.

I'm Rather Confused (1, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592377)

Theatrhythm is impressive, enjoyable, and one of the best examples of why it's worth owning a 3DS and that wacky stylus.

And then you say:

The device's 3D perspective doesn't add much to this game, but the system's upgraded graphic capabilities are put to great use, and the sound is excellent. The Final Fantasy characters are all recognizable, but cuter and more cartoonish than in their original incarnations.

So a long time ago I bought a DS Lite and then the DSi XL came out and I was told that I just had to have it. So I bought it and was not too impressed. Bigger screen, now I can buy from an online store, use an SD card, etc. Now I need to have a 3DS so I can play games that don't take advantage of the 3D perspective?

Why add 3D perspective and a "whacky stylus" to a game that does not need it? You can still play regular DS games on a 3DS right? So why are game publishers going 3DS for the sake of 3D? That just feels so gimmicky to me. Especially when they can access other systems (like all of them) that do not use 3D technology if they make a non-3D version of the same game or just go non-3D natively. I really do not understand.

This game looks really fun and it looks like it'd be right in my wheelhouse. I just can't justify buying a third Nintendo DS. Furthermore, I feel like this is by Nintendo's design as a way to get people like me who drag their feet to ante up. It's a risky venture and I'm not surprised to see the price anarchy ensue for them to move consoles. If my own personal experience is any indication, I don't think their 3DS XL is going to sell well. Guess I'll add it to my long list of games that I'll hopefully someday play.

Re:I'm Rather Confused (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592673)

Why add 3D perspective and a "whacky stylus" to a game that does not need it?

This is another game where you can challenge yourself to see how long you can keep the 3D turned on until your eyes bug out and you're forced to turn it off. Since you need to pay attention to the music prompts, the 3D effect actually makes it more difficult, because the background elements are at a different depth by the exact same focus. It looks really weird and I had to turn it off fairly quickly.

As for what this game does that it can't do on the DS? My guess: DLC. That's it. Everything else can be done on the DS. That's right, the reason they're targeting the 3DS and not the DS is so that they can charge you extra money to buy the rest of the game.

You can still play regular DS games on a 3DS right?

Kind of? The problem is that the 3DS screen is a higher resolution, but not 2x as big. So you have two choices: play the games in "blur-o-vision" with the DS screen bilinearly resized to fit, or play the games in "squint-o-vision" where they take up a small portion of the screen. Since I still have my DSi, I just use that for DS gaming rather than try using the 3DS's backwards compatibility.

Re:I'm Rather Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40592711)

As for what this game does that it can't do on the DS? My guess: DLC. That's it. Everything else can be done on the DS. That's right, the reason they're targeting the 3DS and not the DS is so that they can charge you extra money to buy the rest of the game.

But doesn't the DSi and DSi XL already allow you to purchase DLC?

Re:I'm Rather Confused (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592875)

Yeah, but this would have been a DS game, not a DSiware (or whatever it's called) downloadable game. And those can't really do DLC, because they have to run on the older DSes. (I suppose they could if they stuck a bunch of flash in the cart, but that would probably drive the game price up.)

But other than that, the animation and graphics are simple enough that the DS could definitely handle them. And given that Square Enix has managed to do full CGI cutscenes on the DS, there's no reason the videos used in Theatrhythm couldn't have been done on the DS. They might not have looked as nice, but it would hit a wider audience.

Re:I'm Rather Confused (1)

NearO (591410) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592701)

So why are game publishers going 3DS for the sake of 3D? That just feels so gimmicky to me. Especially when they can access other systems (like all of them) that do not use 3D technology if they make a non-3D version of the same game or just go non-3D natively. I really do not understand.

There's a very simple reason: It's a completely different system.

The 3DS has much more RAM (128MB vs 16MB, that's more than the Wii), a much better CPU and a much better GPU with actual fancy shaders and stuff. The old DSi can't even hope to compare. It's much more [wikipedia.org] than a "DS with a 3D screen".

You could say that the DS/DSi can be compared to the N64, while the 3DS is more like a Gamecube. Just take a look at some Resident Evil: Revelations footage. There's no way you could do that on a DS.

Re:I'm Rather Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593767)

Also because Nintendo probably don't support development on consoles that are officially discontinued. Anyone wanting to buy a dev kit for a Nintendo portable is going to be buying the 3DS one.

Re:I'm Rather Confused (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593311)

Nintendo really dropped the ball on naming the 3DS.

It *isn't* another DS. They tried to associate it with their prior brand for sales purposes, but it isn't. It's as different from the DS as the PS3 is from the PS2 - completely.

The DS was, technologically, about halfway between the SNES and N64. Some N64 games could be played on it, some couldn't. The 3DS is about halfway between the N64 and the Gamecube - I expect we'll see some Gamecube ports for it sooner or later.

IIRC, it only plays DS games by having separate hardware for it. So future hardware iterations could easily drop the DS compatibility for price/power savings. So making "just a DS" game will backfire, both because a 3DS Lite may not play it, and because they're sacrificing all the extra power they could be using.

The 3DS can do much better graphics than the DS. It is a genuinely *new* handheld, unlike the DSi which was just a DS with some new online features. They really would have been better off using a completely new name, or perhaps reviving the Game Boy name. Game Boy 3D - that would have worked well, especially since it *could* be classified as the 3rd Game Boy (Original/Slim/Color, Advance/SP).

I can see what they were aiming for. The DS is (IIRC) the best-selling game system of all time. It's got a very solid brand identity. But because of all the DS variants that were essentially the same thing plus a gimmick (smaller, larger, online, etc.), and having an ad campaign based around what seems to be just a gimmick, they're confusing customers into thinking it is "just another DS", which only hurts Nintendo.

Re:I'm Rather Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40595663)

It *isn't* another DS. They tried to associate it with their prior brand for sales purposes, but it isn't. It's as different from the DS as the PS3 is from the PS2 - completely.

The 3DS can do much better graphics than the DS. It is a genuinely *new* handheld, unlike the DSi which was just a DS with some new online features.

Wait, hold on right there. The PS3 can easily be considered to be "just" a more powerful PS2 with online features (assuming "Blu-Ray" counts as "more powerful DVD"). If the DSi is "just" a DS with some new online features, how exactly is the 3DS an entirely new handheld? More importantly, how on earth would it fit the Game Boy name? What, then, IS the Game Boy name?

The DS clearly was a "new" handheld. It wasn't an evolutionary upgrade from the Game Boy line (including the Advance). It was an entirely unique (for its time) control mechanism, an entirely new (for Nintendo's handhelds) multiplayer mechanism, and an entirely new way of considering game design on the programming end. It wasn't just "more colors", "more processor", "maybe a few more buttons". Developers now had to think in terms OTHER than "the player must control the game using a series of buttons at their thumbs".

The 3DS, on the other hand, IS just an evolutionary step up from the DSi. Yes, I'll grant there's motion sensing in the device, but frankly, that's not being used much at all, and that's pretty well it. Developers don't need to rethink anything moving up from the DS/DSi, other than "we have more power to work with" and "we have a pseudo-depth screen that the user can disable". The core of game design and development is the same: You have two screens, you have traditional controls, you have the stylus, go nuts.

So my question is, exactly how is this "an entirely new handheld"?

(as a note, I do love my trusty blue 3DS, but I see the thing as "an upgraded DS", not "hoooooboy, this is never-before-seen territory for game design and handheld operation")

Re:I'm Rather Confused (1)

goldgin (1218596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40595369)

The 3DS has superior sound, pretty important for a music game. It would never have sounded properly on DS. Despite the pricing and the DLC controvercy, the game fits/feels great on 3DS.

Final Fantasy fanboy (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592695)

This review has obviously been written by a Final Fantasy fanboy. There are even several paragraphs where he's being an apologist for Square Enix, even going so far as to call the scorn Final Fantasy XIII received "undeserved". Come on.

Gameplay issues aside, Final Fantasy XIII was a failure. They pumped so much money and manhours into the thing. The sales weren't bad, but they were well below expectations and didn't offset the investment.

Final Fantasy XIV was an even bigger failure.

Why do you think Final Fantasy XIII-2 saw the light of day? Because they could reuse assets made during Final Fantasy XIII's development, saving money. One wonders if the game helped, though. It has been out for only about half a year and it's already being dumped at 20 euro or less in stores.

Yes, Nintendo didn't have a good year. But they have been turning a profit for decades before that. The comparison is hardly appropriate.

Anyway, while I find Theatrhythm Final Fantasy to be a cute game, it definitely isn't worth the purchase of a 3DS in my opinion. Nor do I think it's worth 40 bucks. It's too derivative and doesn't have enough meat on its bones.

Re:Final Fantasy fanboy (4, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593117)

This review has obviously been written by a Final Fantasy fanboy.

Well, yeah. There's no reason to even consider Theatrhythm unless you're a Final Fantasy fan - of the complete series at that, not just a single game. If you're not, or only like a few of the games, there's no reason to even consider it. Hell, if you're a Final Fantasy fan but not a fan of Final Fantasy music, this game is not for you, either.

Seriously - this is a game that's for Final Fantasy music fans to the point of excluding everyone else. There's no reason to play it unless you like the entire series and want to listen to music from the entire series. There's a reason rhythm games aren't popular any more - they get pretty boring after a while, especially if you're not playing music you actually like. (And on that note, even as someone who in general likes Final Fantasy music, there's a good number of tracks you are required to play that I can't stand. Like the entirety of Final Fantasy XI.)

I'd also have to question the eight hour play time in the review. I S-ranked all the songs on Basic and defeated Chaos in the game, and I've yet to hit eight hours play time. Once you do that, you can replay the songs on harder difficulty levels to potentially unlock more characters and "collector cards." Yay?

I mean, I'm one of the few people who probably is in Square Enix's target market, and I'm already bored with the game. I can't imagine recommending this game to other people at $40, even if they were a huge Final Fantasy music fan.

Re:Final Fantasy fanboy (1)

PKFC (580410) | more than 2 years ago | (#40597757)

Hmm.. My 3DS is kaput for repairs atm (R button broke from Find Mii.... :P), but I was going to buy this game pretty blindly. Responding to your comment directly because I love FFXI's music.. But looking at their track list.. Yeah.. Not so good. Ronfaure is good, but the others are skippable. They should have had more of the unique songs from it and they have 5 discs minimum from the extra OSTs to choose from. Looking at my iTunes ratings for songs, best are - regional songs (eg. San D'Oria/Ronfaure), battle songs and a handful of songs from the later expansions: Wings of the Goddess, Aht Urghan.
Looks like they picked: Ronfaure (good), Vana'diel March 1/2 (Ugh), Awakening (poor song from the original OST.. should have been a battle theme easily especially since that's what it's supposed to be for that category.. it's actually a cut scene song) and the intro song is fair enough. Could have been some better choices, but Ronfaure is great.

I guess I'm at least in the right demographic for the game if nothing else. I've spent $40 on worse things too, but hopefully I do find enough enjoyment in this.

Since when did Final Fantasy matter nowadays? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40592705)

Could someone please point out to me the last time the Final Fantasy series mattered at all?

I mean, to anyone OTHER than the weeaboos.

Re:Since when did Final Fantasy matter nowadays? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40592811)

Gladly: 1997, where it helped kick off the trend of more CGI in video games and helped Sony beat out Nintendo in the home console arena, despite Nintendo having superior games and hardware.

Since then? Never.

Re:Since when did Final Fantasy matter nowadays? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40601997)

despite Nintendo having superior games

Ha ha, no.

The PSone easily has a better lineup than the N64. It even has better platform games than the N64 does. Yes that's right, I think any Spyro game is a better game than Mario 64. And if you want RPG's...well...you don't want the N64.

and hardware.

Ha Ha, no. Yes the N64 has more polygons and mip mapping and hardware z-buffering but that doesn't matter because of the limits of cartridges. Those cartridges also limit the music and sound. I can't stand the sound in N64 games. Also the massive amount of storage space let companies simply put more "stuff" in games. Not just FMV or Music but actual gameplay.

Do not want to pay for DLC (2, Insightful)

Whatah1 (2651417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40592895)

from your line:
  "and more that can be purchased and downloaded for a dollar apiece"

I see my main concern for this game has not been resolved. I might get this game when and if they release a "Deluxe Edition" that has all the songs. Until then I do not like the idea that there are songs for the game that do not come with the game. I love FF and enjoyed Elite Beat Agents but do not want to encourage developers to nickel and time customers with DLC micro-transactions.

Re:Do not want to pay for DLC (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#40597487)

I love FF and enjoyed Elite Beat Agents but do not want to encourage developers to nickel and time customers with DLC micro-transactions.

A slight reality check here. Elite Beat Agent had 16 basic tracks and 3 unlockable tracks.

Theatrhythm comes with about 80 songs, a couple of which are apparently only used in special situations, but over 70 of which are "general" songs.

So you think having about four times as many songs as Elite Beat Agents isn't good enough? Or are you just so offended at the idea of DLC that you refuse to buy any game that offers it, no matter how much content is included in the base package? Are you also waiting out on Rock Band 3 until they offer a deluxe package that offers all 3,500 or so songs in a single package for a low low price?

Re:Do not want to pay for DLC (1)

Whatah1 (2651417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40610555)

Yes, I am offended at the idea of DLC and will strongly resist any impulse to buy content that pushes microtransactions.
I just recently got into Rock Band (wife decided she thought it was fun) and we did go and get RB2 and the full set for $40, and Beatles + Green Day for $5 each. I will buy no DLC for those games and the fact that DLC exists for the games annoys me. I do not like the fact that the "retail game" comes will less than 100% of "the total game".

better idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40592973)

download old Final Fantasy MIDI's

Re:better idea: (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593151)

But then you'd miss out on all the great extra features like ... um ... virtual collector cards with rare foil versions?

Best idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40594001)

Black Mages concert bootlegs.

tl;dr (-1, Offtopic)

Novogrudok (2486718) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593491)

I have to scroll to read a submission? Never!

Re:tl;dr (0, Troll)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593987)

Here, I'll summarize it for you: "I'm a giant Final Fantasy Fanboy and will buy everything that Square Enix makes! Well, glorious Square Enix Nippon, not that western crap like Deus Ex Human Revolution or Quantum Conundrum."

Here's my review: Are you a giant Final Fantasy music fan? Like, enormous? Could you listen to nothing but Final Fantasy music for days on end? Congratulations, this game is for you! If you're only a minor Final Fantasy fan and enjoy the music, this game is probably worth $10-$20. Everyone else, don't even bother looking at it. The game is literally nothing but Final Fantasy fan-wank.

Re:tl;dr (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40602041)

So the dude is "excessively japanophilic" and not just your usual FF/S=E fan's version of "limited Japanophilia"

What? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#40595169)

(The disastrous MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is conspicuously absent.)

Well that's a shame! In retrospect the only good thing about FF14 was that they got Nobuo Uematsu to "come back" and do the soundtrack. (Well, hired him and his studio on contract rather.)

I got ahold of an early leak of the soundtrack and it was enough to get me kind of excited about the game, despite never having played an MMO before. Then of course the game was actually released and the reviews started coming in and there went that idea.

But still, the music was the only redeeming feature of the game, so it's kind of a shame that they didn't include it in the one context where the quality of the music is the only thing that matters.

Fuck Final Fantasy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40597745)

and yet you morons keep buying these shitty ass semi interactive movies where the fate of the world depends on a teenage girl with an IQ smaller than her bra size, holding a pop concert.

I wouldn't care, but every time SE farts it hits every god damned website in the world like its a universal truth, and its fat pervy fans defending it like it was the word of god.

How much longer? (1)

Alimony Pakhdan (1855364) | more than 2 years ago | (#40597981)

Square Enix will just just keep milking that cash cow till blood comes from the udders.
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