Music is one of my favourite parts of games – especially RPGs. I listen to the music regularly in my car, in my condo, and when I’m exercising. So when I heard that this game had come out for the 3DS – I bought it immediately. The game is basically a rhythm game where you play through various songs of the final fantasy series (there are like over 200 songs to play)
Upon turing on the game, you are presented with various modes – versus (which I never played), music stage and quest medley. In music stage, you basically choose to play a single song from a final fantasy game while in quest medley, you are placed in a map (see bel0w) and must play through numerous stages, ultimately battling a boss music-style and unlocking interesting items and new characters. As you play the game, cool artwork is unlocked and can be accessed in the museum.
There are three main types of stages – field, battle, and event. Fields stages have music generally found on world maps, airships, and in exploration environments. Battle stages obviously have battle music (like One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII), and event stages usually play the FMV introductions and associated music (like the opening theme of Final Fantasy Tactics where the characters are riding around on chocobos). Gameplay varies slightly for each stage type but basically fits to a formula.
As time goes by, direction and non-direction circles move across the screen and the player must push the direction (or A button) as they reach the circle to the right of the screen (see below). Sometimes the player will need to hold the button down, but beyond that there is not much variation. The event stages follow a similar style although the ‘right circle’ moves around the screen and the player must push the button when it hovers over the circles. It may seem simple, but it’s actually a lot of fun!
As the game is played, more and more songs are unlocked. In total there are around 200 and include many favourites from all the main final fantasy games as well as side games like Final Fantasy X-II and Final Fantasy Tactics. While I am usually not a huge fan on DLC, the game also offers a large library of other games to choose from including games like Chrono Trigger which really impressed me!
The game also allows you to make a party of characters to go into music ‘battle’ with. Characters to select from come from all the different main Final Fantasy titles. I feel like this aspect of the game what somewhat tacked on as it did not really add a whole lot to the game. Yes – after levels, characters gain experience and gain special abilities that activate if you miss at button press, but I never felt like this had an effect on how well I did on songs or even how far I got in the quest medleys. I would generally play on the hardest of three modes and found most (if not all) levels manageable.
In terms of graphics, this game has a cutesy doll style that really works with it. The game oozes Final Fantasy on every screen which I really liked. In terms of replay value – it is very high. I have unlocked all the stages and have my party at level 99 and I am still coming back for more. If you are a dedicated player, there are tons of items cards to unlock to power up your characters and get through some of the more difficult quest medley maps, but I was just as happy playing my favourite songs in music stage mode.
Overall this game is a lot of fun to play – especially if you are a music and Final Fantasy game fan. There were a couple aspects of the game that I feel didn’t need to be in it – like all the party members and levelling up – but it never really detracted from the game at all. The selection of tracks is also HUGE and well with the 40 bucks to pick this game up. I give this game an 8/10.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10