Released September 16, 2014, the sequel to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (2012) has arrived it brings a host of new and improved features to an already exceptional game. All of the songs and DLC from the first game are included. The plot that holds it all together is just a repeat of the first; Chaos is disrupting the harmony of the Music Crystal and the Heroes of Light must collect Rhythmia to restore its balance. But that’s not important, let’s talk about our rhythm game.
This time you get an even larger assortment of characters to choose from in addition to the mass of content to find. The scores available include many of the sequels and spinoffs of the Final Fantasy series like, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. I expected to see DLC although it didn’t seem very necessary to also have downloadable characters. The one and only song I was interested in purchasing was “KUON ~Memories of Waves and Light~” from Final Fantasy X-2. That being said, I might feel more inclined to purchase songs if I could preview them first. It would be nice to have the option. It is worth mentioning, however, that songs from Romancing SaGa (a once top-selling game in Japan) are available in the shop.
There are three main modes. The Music Stages are for playing individual songs in three difficulties. The Versus mode is for local or online play versus another player. This is something brand new for the game. You can challenge other players or play against AI. You battle against one another and randomly activate obstacles throughout the song. Rotating arrows and off-tempo triggers are two examples of mischief you can throw their way. The winner gets to pick two out of three collect-a-cards and increases their rank. The profi-cards from the first game return and are exchanged after a battle. They may contain Chaos Maps. The Quest Medleys are like an adventure mode and come in short, medium, or long. Each map has a wacky title that resembles the Dark Notes from the first game’s Chaos Shrine. They combine different songs to make a stages specked with keys, crystals, bosses, and rewards.
The rewards for collecting Rhythmia are given with enough frequency to keep the game interesting. The Collect-a-Cards play a bigger role this time. In addition to collecting the cards, you can now synthesize them into perks and abilities for your characters. This allows further customization of each specific character. The new scoring system is also something to get used to. The highest letter grade is now a SSS. Some songs may feel easy at first but the difference between basic, expert, and ultimate mode is more noticeable than in the previous game.
There are two new play styles in addition to using the stylus. You can now play by using the buttons on the 3DS. If you want, you can use a combination of both. Although the hybrid style feels less efficient than the other two it’s still a cool idea and fun to try out. Another neat little feature that I’ve been using more than I thought I would is snapshot. You can record your scores or party line-up by using the camera on your 3DS.
So is this game worth the money? Absolutely. All of the little things that have been tweaked and refined, some of the new features that add to the fun, they all come together to make for a really solid gaming experience that is both enjoyable and challenging. It gets a 5 out of 5 from me so go, collect Rhythmia and restore the crystal’s balance once again!