Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call first impressions

theatrhythmfinalfantasycurtaincall

Coming to the 3DS in September is the sequel to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy,Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, a celebration of the music from the Final Fantasy series. An apt release for a series that has always been renowned for the quality of its music, ever since its first releases thanks primarily to the compositions of Nobuo Uematsu. MCM Buzz was lucky enough to be invited to take part in a hands-on preview of the game and it did not disappoint.

If you’ve not played the previous iteration, it’s a rhythm game, a genre that is hugely popular in developer Square Enix’s native Japan. Curtain Call was released in Japan in April to much acclaim. Players use the DS stylus on the bottom screen to follow the patterns on the top screen. A red dot means a tap on the second screen, a green dot means you have to hold your stylus down and trace a line and yellow arrows force you to flick the stylus in the specified direction; all in time to the music. If this at all sounds confusing, don’t worry; it’s incredibly intuitive. A marker on the one screen keeps you constantly aware of the location of your stylus on the second screen so that you don’t lose track of where your stylus is. If the player misses too many of the notes, then the song is failed and you’ll have to try again, but the inclusion of a practice mode lessens the resultant frustration coming from this.

While you are playing, the top screen on which the musical notes are shown also shows your character advancing through the stage/song, taking damage as you miss notes but causing damage and progressing when you are doing well. There are over 60 characters to choose from in the game, taken from across the entire range of Final Fantasy titles and more will be unlocked as you progress through ‘quest medleys’ (essentially playing several songs in sequence on one life bar), meaning that there is plenty of reason to keep playing. On top of that, more than 200 songs from the Final Fantasy universe and several different game modes (including a battle mode for multiplayer) will be included with potential for downloadable content in the future so there will be more than enough content to give the game value.

While it is difficult to tell how long the game will remain fresh after release due to the simplistic nature of the core gameplay, this also contributes to its arcade-style ‘pick-up-and-play’ mentality that seems to give the promise of a long life span. It seems like Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call will be the perfect game to play if you have 30 minutes to spare, but the extent of the peripheral content will hopefully ensure that owners will be coming back to this for a long time to come.

The latest trailer from Square Enix UK showcases music from Final Fantasy IV, V, IV and Mystic Quest.

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