After 25 years of classic Final Fantasy RPGs, Square Enix is releasing their first rhythm-based game in the series, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. The Final Fantasy spin-off, made for the Nintendo 3DS, was developed by indies zero, best known in North America for their work on Electroplankton and Retro Game Challenge.

While Theatrhythm has some RPG elements, it eschews the standard gameplay for rhythm events featuring over 70 songs spanning the history of the franchise. Battles are fought by tapping in time with classic battle themes, and adventuring is also accompanied by rhythm mini-games to increase your speed as you travel. As you can see in the screenshots below, the art style is distinct from any game in the main series, which may bother some long-time fans.

No exact date has been set yet, but Square Enix is targeting a Summer 2012 release.

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