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When you first heard the 3DS announced, your first thought – obviously – was, “I just hope to God that system gets a mashup of Final Fantasy and the rhythm-action genre, or it doesn't have a hope in hell.” Thankfully, Square Enix realized this was what people would be thinking, promptly assuring citizens that, indeed, they would be getting a game that combined these two eminently combine-able things. Now the company has released new details for Theatrythm Final Fantasy, including screenshots that highlight the game's FF characters, redesigned for rhythm-theatricality (and creepy resemblance to stoned marionettes).
TFF's official site, while mainly in Japanese, does go to pains to explain to both locals and Westerners the implications of the title: if you were figuring on a whole new Final Fantasy game, you should be prepared for a simplified “Theatre” experience, but don't worry, because there's also “Rhythm” involved – which is where we get “Theatrythm,” see? With that puzzle solved, you can get back to your daily life.
The game's play style – pick four characters from throughout the FF franchise and take them on adventures based around tracks from the series' music-rich lineage – has been explained a little more, with level-ups and item-collection adding to the traditional rhythm-game structure. Which is lucky because, let's be frank here, that structure hasn't really changed since BeatMania – which coincidentally happened at the same time Final Fantasy was enjoying the kind of mass-cultural clout it's unlikely to regain within our lifetime.
Above: FFXIII's Lightning features in a semi-interactive story governed by arbitrary button-presses, in a first for the character. Oohh, FFXIII-burn
The game doesn't have a Japanese release date yet – let alone any hint of a Western release. Would you be keen to play? What do you think of the designs?
Jul 12, 2011