GamingReview: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call

Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call

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I love music and I love video games. More so when the two are combined I can’t be kept away from either of them. Whether it be using my feet to stumble gracefully across the dance mat in the living room, pretending I’m the front man of a band using my plastic guitar spinning uncontrollably on the spot, or even pressing buttons in time to the onscreen prompts and directions, the original Quick Time Events, I love them all. Growing up playing Dance, Dance, Revolution, Beatmania, Guitar Hero and Parappa the Rapper I’ve watched how these games paved the way for many spin-offs and other titles that have been inspired by such peripherals and innovative mechanics. The music genre of video games will never die as long as it keeps churning out fresh ideas. Square Enix’s latest game Thearhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call is the second in the game’s series that does just that. So what exactly does this game do that’s different to the many out there?

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Theatre and Rhythm?

If you haven’t played the original title that came out in 2012 then the best way to describe this style of music game is that onscreen prompts and directions fly across playing field and you hit the relevant buttons in time. A piece of music is played in the background and the keys relate to notes in the song, what you’d expect from a typical music game at least. Sometimes you’ll have to press and hold down a key/button and keep it on track as the note moves up and down like a wave. Nothing too different to other games either. In fact the whole music ‘playing’ side to this game isn’t anything groundbreaking and resembles a lot of other games out there. But what this game does do that’s cool is slot the Final Fantasy franchise into its veins resulting in a game that adds almost every musical score and an adventure mode into it that will keep fans happy.

I must admit before I continue that I haven’t played much Final Fantasy in my lifetime and even though the main appeal might have been lost on me this game didn’t shut me out for not knowing my stuff. Fans of Final Fantasy will notice all 25 outings including the film Advent Children has been lovingly included into this game for you to play the music from. Across the different Music Stages game modes you can either play the battle stage where you fight foes, melody stages where you traverse the lands in less fight-like music, or even hit onscreen prompts whilst a video is played in the background from one of the games. With several difficulty settings on each song and with over 200+ tracks to chose from this mode along has hours of gameplay and nostalgia.

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Other Modes

Even though the Music Stages mode might be the backbone to this game I’m glad to have two other modes which otffer just as much, if not more replayable content. Quest Medleys is your quest mode that lets you participate in either a short, medium or a long quests. Each quest has a series of stages within which are the individual music playable parts but laid out like an adventure. You’ll have to progress through each quest keeping an eye out on your overall health bar which will go down on how bad you’re doing. This long endurance mode even has bosses to fight if you make it to the end that will reward you with collectables and unlockables. Using the Nintendo 3DS’s Play Coin feature you can even pay to fast track your way through the quests which is a pretty cool use of these coins.

The other game mode is the Verses Mode where you can fight against the AI or against human opponents locally or online. What this mode does differently to the other two is lets you play the battle stage music but allows you to send over modifiers to make the opponent struggle. These include sending faster speeds to hit the notes to, hidden notes that don’t reveal themselves until the last second and even health swapping which is always terrifying. If you don’t have internet access playing the AI is just as fun and offers a class system of difficulty to play against where you have to rank up before moving on. Playing offline still unlocks collectable cards for you just like the online mode rewards you so you’re never missing out. I played though both the AI and Online Battle modes and it offers hours of competitive gameplay that never had a dull moment. Yes, you might get to a stage where you know every note in a track but it’s not the same when you’re being thrown modifiers to make it more complex.

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Curtain Call?

Is this game for you? If you love music games whether it include loving Fantasy Fantasy or not this game could potentially have some appeal to you. When we purchase music games we don’t necessarily know all the music tracks beforehand and Curtain Call, for me, had no music I knew prior and still enjoyed what I listened to. The Final Fantasy franchise is filled with interesting and epic tracks that simulate great battle themes to even emotional melodies. Picking up a copy without being a fan will still have you hooked on these musical game scores. I also loved how they added a quest mode to give you that adventure feel even though it’s still a music game. The battle mode is by far the strongest mode that is always different whoever you play and doesn’t get repetitive. Without this mode’s fighting modifiers I would have to admit this game isn’t as in depth as it claims to be. Even with all the collectables and game modes, just playing the tracks perfectly you’ll notice that none of the in game items, booster cards, character levelling up system or abilities you can enable makes a difference. They’re only there to recharge your health or boost your chances of doing well, something made redundant if you play extremely well anyways.

I do appreciate the fact there’s a lot of Final Fantasy content which includes decades worth of protagonists to use and blends the RPG element in the quest mode but this is something truly for the fans and only they could appreciate this in its entirety. Beneath the Final Fantasy layer of quests, fighting and nostalgia Curtain Call isn’t any different to the other music games on the market and doesn’t add anything new to the genre.

SUMMARY

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call is available now on the Nintendo 3DS.
Sean Labode
Sean has been working as a Freelance Presenter and Video Producer for the past several years. Enjoys everything Geek, from Star Trek to Marvel. Loves Chinese food. Run's Sean's Game Night YouTube Channel.

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