It’s hard to believe that a rhythm title about Final Fantasy could work. Yet Theatrhythm Final Fantasy was a successful idea with the title selling so well that it became hard to find in shops. The sequel, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, is being released very soon and promises to include even more features and songs from the Final Fantasy series.
The original title consisted of playing through stages from Final Fantasy titles. It was necessary to touch the screen with correct timing in order to earn higher scores. Each icon requires a different action, like touching down and then doing a gesture in a certain direction.
It’s also possible to use different characters from Final Fantasy titles whilst playing each of the songs. What is so fascinating about the original title is how it felt like it was necessary to follow the rhythm of the music track when touching the screen. This is because the icons that appear on the top screen are tied to specific notes from the music track being played.
The sequel pretty much follows the concept of the original. Not that it is necessarily bad given how addictive it was in the first place. Two of the modes from the original have made a welcome return.
One of them is Field mode where a character is used to play through one of the music tracks available in this mode. Hit a certain group of notes correctly and a Chocobo will randomly show up. It’s a good mode for those who just want to take in the sights provided as the character continues to walk forward.
The Battle mode is pretty much just battles with enemies from the Final Fantasy title the music track is from. It’s a little bit more tricky given that it is necessary to control four characters. However, it is still great to try and get all the notes hit correctly and defeat each enemy that appears.
Event mode is completely new to the sequel and so feels very different from the other two. Rather than coming from the left side, icons for the music notes are now appearing in a spiral like shape. Each new note appears right after the previous one and the shape the line icons are on is always changing. However it is still going in a spiral-like motion.
What is so exciting about Event mode is that a video clip from the title is playing in the background. The fact that icons are appearing from out of nowhere also makes it more interesting. That means it is necessary to pay more attention to what is on-screen, given that there is less time to react. It’s definitely a good twist on the Field mode because it makes it much faster paced.
The presentation of the title is the same quality as that found in most Final Fantasy titles. There is high quality artwork splattered all over the menus. It’s very easy to navigate the menus due to the way that options are presented. Like large displays on the top screen showcasing art from the title that the music track is from.
Each of the songs available during the demonstration ranged from very recent titles such as Lightning Returns to more obscure titles like Crystal Chronicles. It’s clear that Square Enix wants to appeal to a broader audience with this one. There’s even music track from the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children film.
There is no denying that some of the best Final Fantasy titles are those that were released many years ago. However, being able to use music tracks from recent titles like Final Fantasy XII-2 is still a fantastic idea. Even more so since the music tracks from these titles are perfect for a rhythm title, given that they tend to have a faster beat.
It wasn’t possible to try it, but there is also a Versus mode where two players go up against each other to see who can get the higher score. This and the idea of additional downloadable content (on top of an impressive amount of music tracks/costumes already included) should made for a very enjoyable experience. It’s worth mentioning that crystals are earned at the end of each music track. These are used to unlock further content for different areas.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call comes with a few new ideas and new modes. It may feel similar to the original, but it is definitely worthy of being a sequel, rather than being considered an expansion. The idea of including obscure and the latest music tracks is also very appealing. It definitely sounds like Square Enix has another major hit on its hands.