Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, a music game built around the series' excellent soundtracks, came out for the 3DS around two years ago. Now, a sequel, Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, is out in Japan and I am happy to report that it is far more than just an updated track list.
In the original Theatrhythm you had to tap, hold, and flick—following the prompts on the screen—to play the game. In Curtain Call there are several new control options. In addition to the normal control method from the first game, you can now press any button to tap and hold notes and press the analog stick in the indicated direction instead of flicking with the stylus. There is also a hybrid control setup that mixes the two control types as well as a special layout for anyone who wants to play one-handed.
While Theatrhythm featured a distinct lack of airship music, Curtain Call has pulled out all the stops. And with the 14 airship themes comes a new type of stage. While following the same basic rules as the “field” type songs, the airship of each game is instead seen flying along instead of your characters. Moreover, the on-screen prompts now come at an angle from the background, making it a bit harder to play (though not too much so once you get used to it).
Each day you play, several songs are marked. Playing these songs nets you a Rhythmia bonus to help you unlock songs, characters and other extras more quickly. It also has the nice side effect of getting you to try out some of the songs you might not have played as much.
While the first game was strictly single player and coop only, Curtain Call has its own versus battle mode. In versus mode you play against a single opponent, building up a gauge which then allows you to unleash an attack like erratically speeding up your opponent's screen or making his or her button prompts only appear at the last instant. Versus mode can be played locally, over the internet, or against the computer.
While not technically new—as it was included in the iOS release of Theatrhythm—quest medley mode is new to all but the iOS-version players. In quest mode, you move across a world map, playing a random selection of field and battle songs as you work your way to the boss. Beating the boss nets you great rewards and the longer the quest is, the bigger the exp bonus you get from doing it. In other words, this mode is a great way to level up your characters.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call was released on April 24, 2014, for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan. It is currently scheduled for a Western release later this year.
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