Picture: Sq. Enix

The curtains are open and the stage is about. Theatrhythm Closing Bar Line marks the return of the Closing Fantasy rhythm sequence to Nintendo consoles after a 10-year break. We have had an opportunity to go hands-on with an upcoming demo for the sport, which can be obtainable on 1st February, and if the early goings-on is something to go on, then this sequel is shaping as much as be as a lot of a delight because the 3DS entries.

Within the demo, we had been capable of check out two modes — Sequence Quests, which is open from the beginning, and Music Levels, which you unlock after beating your first tune in Sequence Quests. Music Levels is just about the very same because it was in Theatrhythm Closing Fantasy: Curtain Name: as soon as you have unlocked the tune, you may play it anytime you need on any problem you need. The demo permits you to unlock 30 songs, 30 characters, and degree up your assortment of cute characters to degree 30 — and you may carry over your progress to the complete sport.

So we jumped proper into Sequence Quests, a model new mode for the Theatrhythm sequence. Increasing on the Sequence Mode from the primary sport and taking a be aware from Curtain Name’s Quest Medley, Sequence Quests sees you enjoying via a selected sport (or class’s) music. However it’s important to get a key first to unlock a brand new Sequence Quest. Utilizing the important thing on a sport unlocks that quest and in addition will get you a handful of characters to play as from that exact entry, and also you get extra keys by enjoying via these quests.

We may solely unlock songs and characters from six mainline video games within the demo — Closing Fantasy II, Closing Fantasy V, Closing Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIV, and Final Fantasy XV. The entire unlockable songs are returning tracks from earlier Theatrhythm video games, together with the arcade-exclusive All-Star Carnival. All of the party-building mechanics of Curtain Name make their return, with the power to construct 5 separate events of 4, and character degree up in a short time — you may get a celebration of 4 to degree 30 in lower than just a few hours should you keep on with them.

In Sequence Quests, it’s good to basically “play via” your chosen Closing Fantasy title in musical type. So should you choose Closing Fantasy II first, for instance, your first port of name is the sport’s battle theme — a callback to how the NES entry begins out. Or, with Closing Fantasy XIV, you may choose one among three beginning songs, which all symbolize one of many three major areas that you would be able to select to begin in when starting your journey within the MMORPG. The demo solely allows you to play via the primary few songs in every Sequence Quest — wherever between three and 6 of them — however it was the proper appetizer for a mode we are able to see ourselves having plenty of enjoyable with.

What’s of most curiosity with Closing Bar Line, nonetheless, is the controls. Closing Bar Line, not like the 2 3DS video games, does not have any touchscreen controls in any respect — no less than not within the demo model. As an alternative, notes could be activated through the use of any of the buttons in your Swap — together with the shoulder buttons and the left and proper joysticks. The entire identical notes — like the easy pink hits and the inexperienced notes the place it’s important to maintain down the button then let go on the proper time — return, however there are notes the place it’s important to use each joysticks and push them in numerous (or the identical) path, and generally you may want to carry two buttons down on the identical time for a time frame, however let go of one among them sooner than the opposite. Thankfully, there are a handful of management schemes you may play with, together with a mode the place solely button presses are required (so no analogue sticks required).

We have got the stylus controls embedded in our musical brains right here, so going buttons solely took us some time to get used to. You could possibly at all times go buttons-only in earlier video games, although, so relying in your most popular playstyle, it could take you extra (or much less) time to get used to this new play type. Nevertheless, even within the demo, you might have entry to some accessibility choices that may assist alter the timing of the Triggers should you maintain hitting them too early or late. It’s also possible to play each single tune on one among 4 problem choices, and follow makes good, so that you needn’t transfer up from Primary to Professional till you are able to.

The demo is the proper overture for what’s shaping as much as be a loving tribute to Closing Fantasy’s (and Sq. Enix’s on the whole) musical legacy

In any other case, this is identical Theatrhythm you all know and love. Simply minutes into the demo, whereas we had been enjoying via ‘4 Hearts’ from FFV, we had a stupidly enormous grin on our face as the lovable cardboard cutout characters ran throughout the sphere, attacking monsters as we hit the notes in time with the music. And we replayed many songs, from ‘Combat On!’ to ‘The Insurgent Military’ a number of instances, chasing the elusive Good Chain rating and making an attempt to get as many Rainbow Criticals as we may. It is the type of addictive arcade-style gameplay we beloved again on the 3DS, simply on a much bigger display.

There are further challenges in Sequence Quests which unlock objects, playing cards, and all kinds. These require you to do extra than simply beat a stage — generally it’s important to use a sure variety of skills, whereas different instances it’s good to discover a treasure chest. This retains incentivising you to return again and play the identical quests again and again, generally on the next problem, and even with the 30 songs we presently have, we won’t assist however maintain lapping up the rewards and scores till we get one of the best numbers.

Each docked and undocked, the demo ran completely easily — however we truly most popular enjoying this undocked. The smaller display made it simpler for us to deal with the notes, particularly with Closing Bar Line’s a lot busier backdrops. Once more, that is one other function you may alter by dimming the backgrounds, and each TV and handheld mode have separate Set off enter settings so you may strive every little thing out forward of the sport’s launch.

For those who’re planning on choosing up Theatrhtyhm Closing Bar Line, there’s actually no purpose to not seize the demo beforehand. The entire CollectaCards, as much as 2000 Rhythmia (factors that act like foreign money), the summons, and airships you purchase could be carried over into the complete sport, so that you could be stocked up and able to rock. The demo is the proper overture for what’s shaping as much as be a loving tribute to Closing Fantasy’s (and Sq. Enix’s on the whole) musical legacy — so long as we are able to grasp these button controls.

The sport launches on sixteenth February 2023, and the bottom sport comes with 385 songs. The Digital Deluxe model has all of this plus an extra 27 songs and Season Go 1, whereas the Premium Digital Deluxe Version has the entire above together with all three Season passes. You’ll purchase all DLC songs and packs individually, too.

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Theatrhythm Final Bar Line

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