Believe it or not, music is absolutely vital to a game’s overall quality. If there’s one franchise that knows this particularly well, it is Final Fantasy. Whatever entry in the series, the music is always stellar, and the people at Square Enix know this. A few years ago, they released Theatrhythm, a rhythm game set to the tunes of the massive franchise. That success story has only been expanded on in its sequel, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call.
The demo I played wasn’t totally different from the previous game, still including the same music stages in the field, in battle, and in events, each with their own style of gameplay. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to toy around with the customization and with different characters, although a lot of that is mostly cosmetic anyway. In Theatrhythm, it mainly comes down to the player’s skill in playing along with the music, and the sequel understands this just as well as the original.
The latest musical additions to the game are pretty great, of course, although I felt that some tracks would have been better off elsewhere. Specifically, there was one track from Final Fantasy Tactics that felt too light and tame to go with the fast and frantic gameplay of the battle mode. I then had a lot of trouble catching up, hitting the right notes when it didn’t seem to match the music very well; going along with the music and rhythm is vital to this game, and often helps you achieve the best possible success. This could easily be rectified if the final game has the option to select any song to be playable in any mode, but it doesn’t seem that way at the moment. Just as well, some of the event songs seemed like they would be better suited for battle mode.
Nevertheless, the presentation and gameplay is still superb with the same responsive controls from the previous game. Whatever song you’re playing on whatever mode, you’re likely to get a punch to the face of nostalgia and general fun. It’s a formula that works and a series that doesn’t currently need any major changes. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call feels like the ideal sequel to a great title.
Players can look forward to checking out all the minute changes brought to the series when Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is released September 16th in North America and September 19th in Europe for the Nintendo 3DS.