Longtime fans of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series have always cited the games’ excellent music as one of their many selling points. Gamers of a certain age only need to hear a few bars of a Nobuo Uematsu classic to put them right back in the halls of Figaro Castle. Square capitalized on this nostalgia with Theatryhythm Final Fantasy for the Nintendo DS in 2012, which fused the long-running series with a rhythm game approach. Now that game is getting a sequel in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call.
Like most DS/3DS rhythm games, the Theatrhythm series’ mechanics utilizes the stylus and touch screen to swipe and tap along with a the soundtrack by following on-screen cues. The first game offered three types of stages: Battle featured fast-paced music as the cues slide toward you, a la Dance Dance Revolution; Field stages take a more languid pace as you drag the stylus along a continuous, flowing line; lastly, Event stages utilize the entire screen, demanding the most attention. The upcoming sequel adds a head-to-head battle mode to the others, allowing for some friendly competition.
Visually, the game unites the disparate visual styles of the venerable RPG series by shrinking the characters down into neotenous chibis. Over 60 characters and 221 tracks will be playable from the across the series’ history, including spin-offs like Final Fantasy Tactics or the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children film (though presumably not The Spirits Within, of which we do not speak).
As a pre-order incentive, Square announced that they will be selling 5,000 copies of a special Collector’s Edition, which includes:
- 3DS Collector’s Pouch
- 5-track Theatrhythm remix CD
- 20-track Best of Theatrhythm CD (a sort of second-order best of the best of Final Fantasy)
- 5 premium Collectacards (real world versions of the game’s collectible rewards system, including passwords for their exclusive in-game manifestations)
There is also a simpler Limited Edition for any preorders that includes a free copy of the remix album. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call will be available for Nintendo 3DS on September 16 for $40 and is now available for pre-order.