While Final Fantasy has had many spinoffs, it is surprising it took as long as it did for the franchise to have a rhythm game. One of the most well-defined features of the franchise, and something even the most argumentative of fans can agree with, is that just about every game in the series has some top-notch and incredibly memorable songs. It's no surprise that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, the first rhythm game in the series, wasn't the last. That title contained only a fraction of the songs in the series history and was missing several noticeable fan favorites. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call aims to improve upon the experience of the first.
Curtain Call brings back the same rhythm-action gameplay from the previous Theatrhythm game. You have a few different rhythm gameplay modes. Some involve tapping to the beat over "Final Fantasy" CG movies while others are set up like RPG battles, complete with a four-person party and special skills that you can activate to do more damage. The most significant change is the addition of critical hits notes, which allow you to gain a significant boost; you'll move faster on map songs or do extra damage in a battle. Another big change is that you can use the face buttons on the 3DS instead of the stylus if you choose. This is done by tapping any button for the beats and pressing in a certain direction for the sliders.
Curtain Call will feature over 220 songs from every Final Fantasy game on the market, up to and including the recent Lightning Returns. As with the previous game, Curtain Call will also support DLC, either Battle Music or Field Music. The Japanese version's DLC included classic songs like "Aerith's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII and new tracks like "Good King Moggle Mog XII" from Final Fantasy XIV.
One big thing that will appeal to Final Fantasy fans is the huge list of additional characters. New characters have been added from almost every game in the series. This includes fan favorites like Edgar and Lenna, spinoff characters like Ace from Final Fantasy Type-0 and Agrias from Final Fantasy Tactics, and even obscure characters like Benjamin from Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest!. Each character has distinct abilities, so you can craft your favorite team and take on any challenge. Several of the aforementioned DLCs will also include new characters, like Thunder God Cid and Yuffie.
Curtain Call will also feature a few new modes. In Versus mode, two players who own the game can compete in a battle against each other. This isn't a direct battle but more along the lines of competitive Tetris. You aim for a high score while certain actions can inflict status effects on your opponent, making it harder for them to succeed. There will also be a daily challenge mode that tasks players with taking on specific songs for special rewards. This mode encourages players to pick up the game at least once a day. Curtain Call will also feature the Quest Medley mode, which was first introduced to the iOS version of the original Theatrhythm.
In many ways, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is very similar to the first game, but that's a positive thing for fans. The gameplay is similar but more tightly tuned, and the title will feature more control options and more song options in addition to a number of new characters. If you enjoyed the first game, the second is lining up to eclipse it in every way. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call will be out exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS on Sept. 16 2014.
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