Since the franchise’s introduction in 2012, the Theatrhythm games have masterfully capitalized on the Final Fantasy series’ incredible soundtracks. Using a gameplay system that’s approachable yet deceptively challenging, while also mixing iconic scenes from past games in the background, the games act as a playable portfolio of FF’s most memorable moments. Final Bar Line is speculated to be the final game in the Theatrhythm series, at least for a while, and if that’s true, it’s an incredible final act.
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line presents 385 music tracks from across the Final Fantasy spectrum, with a healthy mixture of fan favorites and deep cuts spread out across 29 different categories. After selecting a song, players will press buttons along to its rhythm via three types of notes: red, which requires a single button press; yellow, where a button press is paired with flicking the joystick in a designated direction; and green, which must be held for as long as the green bar is present.
This traffic light-esque system sounds simple, but it can be downright devilish in practice, especially on higher difficulty levels. Keying in on which parts of the song the notes are corresponding to can be tough, especially with compositions as complex as what longtime composer Nobuo Uematsu and his peers have devised over the years. That said, it’s still immensely fun being able to interact with these iconic songs in this way, as I found my whole body moving to the beat while I tapped along on the controller.
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