Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is a rhythm game with role-playing elements. As the sequel to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, it's a nostalgic collection of even more songs from the first Final Fantasy all the way up through Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, with button inputs for you to press in-time with the music.
Pro Incredible amount of nostalgia for Final Fantasy fans
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is a good callback to the games in the series, specifically geared toward longtime fans. The cast of characters and songs ranges from the first Final Fantasy back in the 1980s all the way to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that released in 2013. Curtain Call includes many of the spin-offs in between the mainline games, such as Final Fantasy Tactics and the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children film.
Having the recognizable characters together like Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VIII, Yuna from Final Fantasy X, Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, and Terra from Final Fantasy VI, as well as a fantastic collection of iconic music from the franchise, helps this feel like a great celebration of the series. Most of all, getting to see familiar cutscenes in the background of the rhythm gameplay is a nice touch that Final Fantasy fans can appreciate.
Pro Engaging rhythm gameplay with improvements over the first game
The way the rhythm controls work is great for keeping you engaged and on your toes. While the basics are simple enough, with certain prompts signalling for you to press or tap your buttons or to instead use your 3DS stylus to trace a long note with the touchpad, things pick up pretty quickly. Once you get to the more upbeat battle themes that are faster and have a mix of different button inputs flying from left to right across your screen, it's a fun and satisfying challenge to pull off all of the notes correctly. For Final Fantasy fans especially, following along with the gameplay to the songs you know and love by heart is really special.
One major difference between Curtain Call and the original Theatrhythm is that you don't have to use the stylus if you don't want to: there's an option to just use the face buttons if you prefer. This is really helpful for the harder difficulties where drawing with the stylus with high precision may be unfeasible.
Pro Comprehensive collection of tracks that span the Final Fantasy franchise
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call has over 200 music tracks in the base game from Final Fantasy I to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, with an even better selection of the most memorable songs from each title.
Battle themes from the earlier Final Fantasy games are the ones that hold up best, with fast-paced melodies and a distinct sound that carries through the first six games. Fans are sure to recognize the bigger, more iconic final boss themes like the opera-orchestral "Dancing Mad" from Final Fantasy VI and "One-Winged Angel" from Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children. The wonderfully emotional vocal themes, "Melodies of Life" from Final Fantasy IX" and "Suteki Da Ne" from Final Fantasy X are also here as well.
And if you want even more songs, there are over DLC songs to purchase through the Nintendo eShop, some of which are from other Square games such as the SaGa series, Chrono Trigger, NieR, and Bravely Default.
Pro New online versus mode where you can play against a friend
As another addition that wasn't in the first game, Curtain Call has a multiplayer mode where you and a friend can face off in a rhythm battle against one another. You both play on your own screens while getting to see your health bars at the top. Aside from scoring high with the rhythm gameplay, you can sabotage your opponent's game here and there to throw their timing off and reduce their HP. It's not the most in-depth mode, but it's a nice change of pace from playing alone.
Pro Cute visual style
The chibi character sprites are quite cute as another throwback to older Final Fantasy games. The rounded, colorful designs make even more serious characters like Judge Gabranth from Final Fantasy XII look adorable, helping them fit in with this unusual but fun mash-up of genres. Younger players who aren't as familiar with Final Fantasy may find the style appealing as a way to get into the series through this game, while older fans can appreciate the differences and novelty.
Con Like the first game, there still isn't much of a story mode
While there is something of a "story mode" where you play through a map of increasingly challenging songs, it's barebones. As you play through the songs, you simulate battles against Final Fantasy bosses by successfully hitting notes at the right time to deplete their HP. You do this for every song, but there's really no point, since your goal is to rack up points by staying on-rhythm, not attacking the boss. There's no real narrative to speak of, either, so if that's a deal-breaker for you, then you may have to pass on this one.
Con Also like the first game, the role-playing elements are pointless
Again, while it's nice that the game has role-playing aspects like stats and skills to upgrade, there's really no point in bothering with them. They're supposed to help you with the rhythm gameplay, but they don't actually make a difference in the end, since you still have to do most of the work with your own reactions and button presses. The role-playing part is just there for the sake of being there, and as a wink and nod to the RPG identity of the franchise.