Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call Game Poster Image
Fun rhythm game with great music and a bit of mild violence.

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a bit about music in this rhythm game inspired by and featuring the music of a popular, long-running Japanese role-playing game franchise. Players will experience music and feel like they're participating in its creation -- albeit in a relatively minor way -- by tapping out rhythms according to on-screen cues. In doing so, they'll get a feel for its structure, though it's worth noting the game stops well short of providing anything resembling formal musical instruction. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call doesn't claim to be an educational music game, but it might help foster kids' interest in the musical arts.  

Positive Messages

Violence plays a role, but this game's focus is set squarely on music. Its tracks, many of which are beloved by Final Fantasy fans, may foster kids' interest in music and could help develop their sense of rhythm.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The slight narrative doesn't really delve into its many playable characters' backgrounds or personalities, but it does encourage players to think of them as altruistic heroes who are working to save the world from evil forces. 

Ease of Play

Dozens of pages of text instruction provide players with everything they need to know about various mechanics and systems, and they can be accessed at any time. All songs can be played on three difficulty levels, ranging from pretty easy to pretty hard, though it should never become impossibly challenging for practiced players.

Violence

Cartoonish monsters take damage as players tap notes, causing them to be struck by arrows and swords. They flash when hit and disappear when defeated. Unlockable video clips from previous Final Fantasy games show more graphic battles in which lifelike human characters appear injured or dead, sometimes with blood on the ground. 

Sex

Several female characters wear skimpy outfits, including micro skirts and tops that reveal deep cleavage. The word "panty" appears in text dialogue.

Language

The words "damn" and "hell" appear infrequently in text dialogue.

Consumerism

Music and clips from dozens of other Final Fantasy games make this game feel a bit like an ad for the franchise. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is a role-playing rhythm game in which players tap out beats to memorable songs from dozens of classic Final Fantasy games. Players tap the screen (or press a button) according to on-screen cues, which often results in fantastical enemy monsters taking damage. These hits are depicted as flashes of light, followed by the monster disappearing. The game also includes several unlockable, non-interactive videos that show realistic-looking human characters injured or dead, occasionally with mild blood effects. Female characters are sometimes scantily clad, though never nude. Occasional profanity includes words such as "hell" and "damn." There also are some privacy concerns if your kids have StreetPass enabled on the 3DS that could trade some personal information with passersby. But the overall vibe is upbeat, and the rhythm-based play and memorable songs could help develop kids' interest in music in general -- and rhythm in particular.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byLucan1010 January 2, 2016

Decent Rhythm game will probably only appeal to Final Fantasy Fans

Violence: Very little violence, you defeat enemies who fade off the screen by completing music minigames. Some unlockable videos depict dead bodies (one with b... Continue reading

What's it about?

Players take on the roles of dozens of their favorite Final Fantasy characters and tap out a beat to a long list of classic Japanese RPG songs in THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY: CURTAIN CALL, the sequel to 2012's Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. Play is roughly similar to that of many 3DS rhythm games: Just tap the lower screen in time with icons that scroll along the top display. Colors and arrows indicate whether players need to swipe in a specific direction or hold the stylus down before lifting up again. But there's more to it than that. Three types of music -- battle, field, and event -- alter the way musical cues are presented by showing them moving along multiple lanes, following a single path, or meandering around the entire screen. During some songs, each properly struck beat will damage an enemy character on the left side of the screen, and each missed beat will result in your characters taking damage. Take enough damage, and you'll fail the song. As players progress, their characters will level up, their attributes will grow, and they'll earn items and power-ups that confer various battle advantages. Players also can unlock quest medleys that send parties of characters out on short adventures composed of multiple songs. Hundreds of unlockable songs, cards, videos, items, and modes -- including local and online play -- are designed to keep kids playing for weeks, working to earn it all. 

Is it any good?

There are two likely requisites for enjoying Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. The first is to have an appreciation for the curious pleasures of Japanese role-playing games (and Final Fantasy games in particular). The second is the ability to enjoy relatively simply rhythm-based music games. Kids possessing only one or the other of these traits may still have an OK time with Square Enix's latest musical adventure, but those who appreciate both just might find it a little slice of Japanese rhythm gaming heaven.

The recognizable songs -- which should satisfy most Final Fantasy fans on a gut, emotional level -- will bring about memories of the games from which they originated, summoning images of riding chocobos through green fields and battling epic bosses. And the light RPG-style setup, complete with character growth and seemingly endless unlockables, will keep completionists glued to their consoles for weeks. Some songs end a bit too abruptly and will leave fans wishing for more, and the online arena seems packed with expert players against whom rookies don't stand much of a chance, but this terrific little rhythm game still earns an enthusiastic recommendation, especially for anyone with fond memories of this series' classic battle ballads and majestic field scores.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games. How do you determine the level of violence in media that's appropriate for your kids/family? 

  • Discuss music in games like Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. Music is a fundamental part of human culture, but it takes many different forms, each of which appeals to different kinds of people. What sort of music most appeals to you? Is there any music that you actively dislike? Why?

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