When I think of Final Fantasy as a whole, one of the first things that usually comes to mind is its music. Music helps define Final Fantasy – each entry unique in its own regard with the talents of composers old and new rounding out each title in their own way. Drawn up following the success of the original, Square Enix decided to reach back into their storied archives for another go-around at its well-proven “rhythm RPG” formula – bringing fans another, more definitive version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy to experience on the go.
Similar to the first game, Curtain Call’s gameplay relies on the touching and tapping of the stylus on the 3DS’s screen, although now players can use the system’s face buttons as inputs as well should they so desire. Being able to use buttons is a welcome change over the sometimes strenuous use of stylus – it has allowed the game to become a more relaxing and enjoyable experience even as a seasoned player.
Beyond basic song run-throughs, Curtain Call introduces two new modes: Quest Medley and Versus Mode. Quest Medley expands a bit more on the series’ RPG roots – letting you customize a set party of four characters and venture off through lands, taking on battle challenges along a world-map style experience. Similar to the Chaos Shrine in the original game, collecting various loot, character and song unlocks and leveling your own characters are the main motivation for going here. Quest Medleys present the player with a greater sense of purpose for playing the game outside of mastering songs on their own.
These new modes are only the tip of the iceberg for Curtain Call, however. As with any music game the most important component is its songs and it is here the game excels the most. Piling on top a healthy serving of new tracks, Curtain Call expands its roster beyond the core thirteen mainline titles and brings in music from series sequels, spin-offs and the newly released Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. With over 221 songs – including DLC bundled in from the previous title - the line-up is truly massive. Of course, Square Enix has planned for and is already releasing more tracks and characters online. Post-launch support for the game has certainly been impressive.
There’s no doubt that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call is a welcome improvement over its predecessor. Its pick-up and play nature coupled with new songs and gameplay modes highlight a sequel that has undoubtedly been done right. Like the original, enjoyment still relies a bit on your dedication to the Final Fantasy series, but for any fan - even an admirer of music - the game is enjoyable in its own right. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Versions tested: Nintendo 3DS
Disclaimer: A copy of this game was provided to RPG Site by the publisher.