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The Latest Final Fantasy Music Game Is Totally Rad

Above: some hands-on impressions of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, the bizarrely-titled music game that Square Enix released for 3DS this week.

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If you don't have the time or energy to watch the video, here's the gist of it: Curtain Call, a sequel to 2012's Theatrhythm, adds more songs, characters, and other goodies to an already-solid rhythm game. The basics are still the same—it's all just meatier. Curtain Call also brings with it a new mode called Quest Medleys in which you can traverse a map and fight boss battles, playing through random songs as you try not to die. That's pretty much the best part of the game, which is rad and totally worth playing if you're into Final Fantasy.

For more, watch the video, or let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

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Random Encounters is a weekly column dedicated to all things JRPG. It runs every Friday at 3pm ET. You can reach Jason at jason@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @jasonschreier.

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DISCUSSION

michaelkelehan
Michael Kelehan

Improvements from the first that I love:

1. You can play the Normal, Expert, or Ultimate difficulties right off the bat. This is huge. If you have ANY experience with rhythm games, you'll want to play Expert right away. If you have a lot of experience with them, you'll want to skip straight to Ultimate. Having to play through the entire game on Normal and Expert before I was able to get to the challenging stuff made over half of my time with the first game a straight-up slog. Now, I'm having fun right away.

2. In the first game, you got a monstrous point bonus for having no skills equipped. It was so big, it didn't make any sense at all to equip any skills, or mess with the characters at all. In fact, it acted against you, hard. Now, that's gone, so I can actually mess with the characters and skills.

3. Three times the song selection. That's obviously great.

Versus and Quest I could take or leave. Versus is just too random; some of the attacks devastate you while others are minor annoyances, and since the type of attack is random, it's all luck of the draw. You can play with no attacks, but at that point, why not just put in leaderboards? Quest is, you know, fine.

There's one thing I don't like: When I play button-style in field music, if there's an arrow at the end of a green hold note, it will very often trigger early, because you're already moving the stick to keep up with the hold note's up and down movements. It would be better if the stick had to return to the neutral position before it registered a press for the end of a hold note. Might not sound like a big deal, but if you're trying to best your score (and that's really what this game is about, for me), it's very frustrating.