A couple years ago, the first Theatrhythm Final Fantasy game released on the Nintendo 3DS. Fast forward to 2014 and here we are with the sequel, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy was the first title I ever reviewed so being here now reviewing Curtain Call feels like I’ve come full circle. I really enjoyed the first title, so much so that I had 100+ hours on it and still wasn’t near done. Well it’s safe to say that I will be reliving those 100+ hours on Curtain Call as it has just improved on the fantastic first title.
When you start up Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call you are presented with a tutorial. For those that played the first game this might feel unneeded (an option of “Have you played the first game?” would have been nice), it is thorough. Once you clear the tutorial you are asked to choose four characters and the game these four characters are from will decide your initial set of songs. This is great so as to not overwhelm the player with the library of 200+ songs off the bat. While you can only choose characters from the main 14 titles, this is plenty to start off with. After a short period of time (four songs or so), you are finally opened up to (almost) the entire library of songs.
The selection of songs is absolutely massive and there are still more to unlock! Curtain Call sees the return of Rhythmia which you must gather to fight the forces of Chaos. Really, you need to gather it to unlock a lot of the goodies Curtain Call has for you. At certain Rhythmia amounts you will unlock even more songs for you to play, mainly the Event songs for the titles new to Curtain Call. You will also obtain shards and various other collectibles for things such as your ProfiCard.
After you complete a couple more songs, Quest Medley is made available to you. Quest Medley is absolutely fantastic – it’s the Chaos Shrine done right. Quest Medley has access to pretty much every song in the game for you to play, no more specific “Chaos Note” songs. The only ones it can’t really access are those you unlock – Event songs and other various ones, such as songs from Final Fantasy Fables Chocobo’s Dungeon. At first you can only do Short Quests in the Medley, but once you clear one Short Quest you unlock a Medium Quest (along with another Short Quest). Clear that Medium Quest and you unlock a Long Quest along with another Medium Quest. Basically, the concept is just as it was in the first game, only much better.
In the quest, your goal is to make it to the final boss. In Short Quests you only have the ability to face down the final boss, Medium Quests add one extra boss, and Long Quests add two. Within these quests you’ll have the ability to go down multiple paths, choosing which songs you play. Though of course at first all you’ll see is, for example, “BMS – ??? – Final Fantasy XIV.” This is basically the same as when you first unlocked a new Chaos Note in the first game, though on a larger scale with there being more songs per quest. It adds a nice element of surprise, though of course I’d prefer to be able to choose to go to a song I haven’t played before over one I’ve played several times!
You can also obtain specific items within the Quest Medleys. First off you can find keys which are required to go through paths of the same color as the key. This feel slightly unneeded as I’d rather just see another song on the spot the door is taking up, but ah well. Next you have tents which you can use to fully recover your HP but they use up a day. Finally there are airship tickets which will either take you right to the last boss or just outside the final dungeon.
Movement in the Quest Medleys is very similar to 2D Mario games. This was a nice little touch I felt. Each quest, much like the notes in the first game had, have a level assigned to them. They also have a rarity, which I believe indicates the types of items you will find within. The levels denote what difficulty of songs you will run into. Lower level ones are basic, then as you go up the levels it slowly progresses into expert until all songs are expert. Then at a much higher level it starts progressing into ultimates. Be prepared for the ultimates – they are just as unforgiving as before.
When you first start going through the songs you’ll notice one extremely nice change from Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – all the difficulties are available from the get-go! No more having to unlock them, you can now dive into a song on ultimate if you so choose. Though as just mentioned, be warned! Ultimate difficulty songs are still extremely brutal, though they seem to be ever so slightly easier due to some adjustments – some very welcome adjustments I should add.
It would seem that they’ve improved the detection of the tapping and swiping of your stylus this time around. This has made basic and expert a lot easier, and ultimate at least a bit more doable for me. Granted, certain songs – mainly any one that is faster paced – are still extremely difficult. I have absolutely fallen in love with the touch detection this time around because it just feels so much better. Even Event songs seem a little easier, though there is still a tiny bit of lag in there making them more difficult than they should be.
The song selection in Curtain Call is absolutely fantastic. While there are some songs I would have rather seen, such as the proper final boss song for Crisis Core instead of the “hey we need one more fight so have one last easy boss” battle song, I’m overall happy with the selection. Every song from the first title returns, all the original DLC is there, all the songs (that I know of anyways) from the iOS release of the first title are there, and then some. There’s several new games that have been added such as the previously mentioned Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy X-2, and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.
Curtain Call now also features a Versus mode. While the original title did have a sort of co-op that was local play only, Curtain Call has expanded that into a full fledged mode. In Versus mode you can go head-to-head against another player, either online, local, or even AI, to clear songs. However, you will every so often have an event called an “Ex Burst” come up where a random effect will happen. Stuff such as anything that isn’t a critical will turn into a bad, arrows will start spinning, and you swap your HP with your opponent can happen. This mode pulls all the Battle songs that are available to you outside of the ones that require Rhythmia to unlock, much like in Quest Medley.
While I haven’t been able to test the Online or Local play, I have gone against the AI a fair bit. For the AI part, which you must do at least once anyways to get the rest of Versus unlocked, you have three tiers – Bronze, Silver, and Gold – and 15 ranks within each tier. You progress through these ranks to eventually make it to the top and unlock the next tier. The songs gradually start getting harder as you progress, moving from basic into expert and eventually ultimate.
Overall, Versus mode is a great addition, though it’d be nice if the opponent didn’t get Judgment (anything that isn’t a critical will become a bad) every other Ex Burst it seems. I can’t wait to be able to play against my friends!
In the first game, CollectaCards were all but useless other than gathering them to look at. Got multiple of one? Too bad! Now in Curtain Call, these CollectaCards can be used to raise stats by either using them separate or combining them together to get an even larger effect. It’s great to see them actually have a use! Also, tired of your level 99’s? You can reset their level! I haven’t personally done this yet and thus haven’t done much to seek out where to do so, but there was several reminders – including an in-game trophy – that you can do so.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call is an absolutely fantastic title that you should absolutely pick up if you own a Nintendo 3DS. Going forward, I will be spending a lot of time on it to unlock everything and to play through all the songs. With that said, I had a hard time deciding on the score you see below. I had to think long and hard on it, but I do feel this is the right choice. Congratulations Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call on being the first ever of this score I’ve given.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call Review Score
I would like to thank Square Enix for providing me with a copy of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call for use in this review. You can purchase Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call on Amazon and Gamestop.