LTTP: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

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It’s been nearly a decade since I poured any significant time or effort into a rhythm game. I wasn’t into Guitar Hero or Rock Band and since they stopped making Dance Dance Revolution games, rhythm games dried up for me. I witnessed fervour for Hatsune Miku and other anime related rhythm titles but none of those interested me. I believe the last rhythm game I played with serious zest was Rhythm Heaven for the Nintendo DS.

I recall the original Theatrhythm Final Fantasy title being very intriguing in Giant Bomb’s Quick Look. So when I saw the sequel, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, hit the $15 price point, I couldn’t resist checking it out for myself.

It’s a given but being a fan of Final Fantasy franchise increased my enjoyment of Curtain Call tremendously. Playing through the classic songs of all the old Final Fantasy titles was like running through those games without the fuss of actually playing them. The accompanying backgrounds triggered memories of running through the fields of Final Fantasy VII or duking it out against L’Cie in Final Fantasy XIII.

I’m sure wrapping a rhythm game with a battle system isn’t an original idea but I found Theatrhythm’s implementation it was very clever. Levelling up characters, equipping the appropriate skills and items gave this game a level of strategy that I didn’t expect. Higher level characters and skills helped mitigate the damage dealt when I missed a music note or helped dish out additional damage to defeat enemies for loot.

It took me an hour or so before I clicked with the rhythm mechanics. It’s not a complicated system but there were tricky notes that tripped me up for quite some time. Slowly ramping up through the “Quests”, which were nothing more than a series of songs placed on a world map, helped me tremendously. I’m still not playing through songs at the highest difficulty levels but that doesn’t diminish my enjoyment.

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy: Curtain Call was a pleasant surprise. It was a fun and easy way to inject Final Fantasy nostalgia but at the same time, it was also a great way to expose the soundtrack of Final Fantasy properties that I never played before. I’m not done with it and I don’t think I will ever be. It’s one of those timeless classics that I can see myself revisit time and time again.

I love it


Checkpoint: My Eclectic Music Taste Edition

This week I realized that the music I listened to varied wildly depending where I was.

  • At work, it was whatever was playing on Rdio’s “Chill Instrumental”.
  • On the bus, it was instrumentals, synth and other video game related tracks found on my iPod Nano.
  • At home, it was whatever was playing on Spotify’s 80’s hits playlist.

On Music With Lyrics

There was a very brief period in my life where I was in tune with pop music but I let it pass me by rather quickly. I was never able to keep up and stay engaged with 90’s music with lyrics unless it was incredibly catchy. I often found 80’s music were easier to listen to and because of that I gravitated towards a lot of the old hits regardless how cheesy or bad they were. The lines were often accompanied with a beat that I enjoyed.

Lately, I’ve been digging into some of the more iconic 80’s hits like Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A album. The catchier of the tracks were dissected with attentive listens and I would look up interpretations to see if they matched my own. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to view “I’m on fire” as an older man lusting after an underage girl. Discovering “Born in the U.S.A” wasn’t a very patriotic song was also a mini-revelation.

Why Instrumentals?

Because it’s easy to just hook into the beat and let it take me on little journey or set me in an atmosphere. Since some of it is from video games, it’s also shorthand for “Remember when this happened in the game?”. I rarely get tired of repeated listens of an instrumental unless it contained grating bass beats.

Other genres?

I’ve revisited classic hip hop hits for exploratory purposes. I dabbled with whatever worldly music makes its way onto FIFA titles as well. On whims, I’ve tackled specific artists’ works in more depth but those were more concerted efforts and not what I would deem “part” of the regular rotation.

I’ve never taken music seriously as others and usually listen to whatever sounds good to me.

With The Witcher 3 in limbo, I thought it was a good idea to try out the Street Fighter V Beta in between bouts of Rocket League and Contradiction. How’s it going? I’ve yet to throw a punch in Street Fighter V but I’m enjoying Rocket League and Contradiction immensely.

Perturbator’s Dangerous Days released today

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And I just bought it. How does one even get into 80’s synth and dark synth? It started with  me delving through Hotline: Miami’s soundtrack and discovering who was behind my favorite tracks. Moon was one but Perturbator was the star of the show that I gravitated towards to.

I listened to one track then an entire album and before long, I listened and bought all of the Parisian’s discography. I just couldn’t get enough of it.

I couldn’t be the only fan of these 80’s sounds and found fellow fans in this NeoGAF thread. I tried listening to other artists but none of them stuck like Perturbator’s work. Needless to say, I was looking forward to his next release with much anticipation.

I haven’t listened to the album in its entirety but with tracks like “She is Young. She is Beautiful. She’s Next.”, how could I not buy Dangerous Days?

That Game With The Memorable Trailer

When I think of Gears of War and its franchise as a whole, I automatically associate it with that Mad World trailer. It’s one of the most memorable trailers of the generation and it doesn’t represent the game whatsoever. Many trailers — correction many mainstream trailers — do not represent their respective games. They’re made to be memorable and that’s all there is to it.

They’re not playing fair? Was the Halo 3 trailer playing fair with its gritty depiction of war against an unrelenting alien species? I don’t know about you, but Halo 3 was nothing like that diorama. And what about this Halo Wars trailer? Could you tell it was an RTS?

If they succeed in grabbing your attention and invoking any type of emotion, the marketing department did their job. And they were damn good at it as well.

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