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E3 2014: Tap Along If You Feel That Theatrhythm Is For You

Square Enix

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy was a celebration of the music of the franchise, which many will tell you is one of the best parts of the entire series. Every game with the words “Final Fantasy” on the box will have at least one memorable piece of music in it, and many of them will have a dozen. Theatrhythm collected those memorable songs and put them in one game for us to tap our styluses along with, and now it’s coming back for one more Curtain Call. The demo I played at Square Enix’s booth only confirmed what I thought to be true: this is one Curtain Call that shouldn’t be ignored.

The game has three different “types” of music: Event, Field, and Battle. Event music shows actual cutscenes from the scene where the song plays, Field music shows a party of characters traveling through an open field and running into monsters, and Battle music allows you to fight a turn-based battle based on how well you keep the rhythm of the song. The types are different, but the only major difference is what’s going on in the background; actually playing the game is always the same.

The E3 demo had four song choices for me, one Battle music choice in “Antipyretic” from Final Fantasy Tactics, one Field music choice in “Aboard the Hilda Garde” from Final Fantasy IX, and two Event music pieces in “Answers” from Final Fantasy XIV and the Advent Children version of “One-Winged Angel” (also known as the best version) from Final Fantasy VII. As I am not at all familiar with XIV, “Answers” is the only track I left out, but I feel like I got the full experience.

Seasoned veterans of the first Theatrhythm are going to feel right at home, because not much at all has changed. Event music still has full distracting cinematics on the screen that will make you lose a tap or two because you become so engrossed. Battle music still plays out like a classic FF battle, with larger combos resulting in bigger moves against whichever monster your party is up against. Field music is still the one that focuses on the music the most, only showing a little animation of an airship flying or a character walking through a field. Those looking for innovation in their Theatrhythm won’t be finding it in anything the E3 demo presented, although both of the new modes, Versus and Quest, were not featured.

If anything, the main reason to get excited about Thearhythm is the gigantic 221-song soundtrack encompassing the entire original game’s offering plus a heap of new tracks. The mind wanders when trying to think of songs that would fit in the game and that weren’t already available. Also, will the DLC from Theatrhythm be available in Curtain Call? A lot of those tracks, like “Ride On” from Final Fantasy VIII and “Other World” from Final Fantasy X, were some of the best tracks in the entire game; it’d be a shame if we bought them as DLC in the first game only to lose them in the second.

There’s going to be a lot of Final Fantasy themed tapping when Curtain Call launches in September, and Final Fantasy audiophiles will have plenty of music to fill their plates.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call will be available Sept. 16 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Next: Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix: E3 2014 Preview

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