Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS) Review

Jae Lee

Great music, great fun.

It was when I played Elite Beat Agents on the original DS where I thought to myself, “rhythm games and touch controls can really work well together!”

Sadly, after that point, I never got to play another one like it on the DS or 3DS.

So, when I first heard of the original Theater… wait no, theatr… rhyme…uhhh… I’ll just call it “TFF”, for short. I thought, “boy, that’s a really dumb name!” and “Final Fantasy music and rhythm game in one!? Sign me up!”

However, when it finally released, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed by the meager selection of songs and a progress system that felt like a boring grind.

With the release of Curtain Call, not only did they address all the concerns I had with the original, they nearly managed to fully realize the concept in such a way that I can’t help but feel that this is one game that may never be removed from my 3DS.

The art direction on the characters is still as adorable as ever.

MSRP: $39.99.
Platform: 3DS.
Multiplayer: Online and local versus mode against other players.
Demo: Available on the EShop.
Length: N/A – Endless replayability.
Two made up words to summarize game:: Melodylicious nostalgiagasm.

First and foremost, my biggest complaint of the previous title was the number of songs, which only numbered around seventy. Curtain Call basically triples the number of songs, and almost every song I remembered fondly from the past was present.

Better yet, there were songs from series I hadn’t even played before, like Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.

Rest assured, if the game had “Final Fantasy” in the title somewhere, it most likely would be represented here.

The song list is so massive that even after putting in over 12 hours into the game, I have just managed to play around half of the songs.

The modes of battle, field and emotion makes a return from the original, but have all seen an upgrade with the implementation of a few new mechanics.

Creating a party from a roster of my old favorite FF titles, leveling them up and equipping them with all manner of skills and an item was surprisingly addictive, as I often found myself in the abilities screen trying out new combinations of skills.

The act of unlocking things felt continuously rewarding, and came at a constant pace as it added to the fuel of addiction as I mumbled, “just one more song” well into the night.

I love you, fat chocobo! Now give me my rare item!

While the original felt aimless after playing through all the songs it had to offer, Curtain Call offers a multitude of modes to significantly add replayability and depth.

There is the quest melody, where the player is thrown into maps of varying size based on the difficulty and asked to beat the boss at the end of the dungeon.

The best path to the goal isn’t always clear, and it’s often left to the player to choose between many branching paths all with their own pros and cons.

It became a great place to play songs I wouldn’t normally pick on my own, all the while unlocking exclusive items and new characters.

There’s also the versus mode, where the player can choose to fight against increasingly difficult AI bots or fight against other players locally or even online.

It also introduced a “burst” system in which a random handicap could be placed on the opponent to disrupt their rhythm (pun absolutely intended). It made these battles against AI and other players a hectic tug of war and was an absolute blast to play.

Battle music selection is my favorite mode!

I think at the end of the day, the biggest question I have to answer for this review to be of any worth is a simple one.

“Is this game only for FF fans or is it for rhythm game fans?”

The answer to that is as follows.

Both and either.

Frankly, the only true requirement for the enjoyment of this fantastic title is that you love great music and like to have fun.

Now if they could just make a game like this that includes all the RPGs on the SquareEnix catalog like Chrono Trigger and Dragon Quest, I would be heaven.

Fun Tidbit – After reaching level 99 on a character, you can “prestige” them to reset their level while getting permanent bonuses to their CP which allows them to equip more powerful skills at once! I’m on my second prestige with my crew~

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Over two hundred songs to play
  • Tons of unlockables
  • Quest mode and customizing characters

Bad

  • N/A
9.5

Excellent

Jae Lee
Jae has been a gamer ever since he got a Nintendo when he was just a child. He has a passion for games and enjoys writing. While he worries about the direction gaming as a medium might be headed, he's too busy playing games to do anything about it.
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