I’m a little embarrassed to say that a week after its launch, I’ve already put in more than 24 hours of game time into Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Final Bar Line. I’ve level 99-ed around 20+ characters and unlocked the endgame content.
I’ve been waiting for this rhythm game since its 3DS iteration Curtain Call, and the Switch game is everything that I could have ever asked for. It is a great game to sink time into and will spark a LOT of nostalgic feelings, especially if you’re a long-time Final Fantasy / Square Enix fan.
Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Final Bar Line – Story
To put it simply, there is no overarching story in Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Final Bar Line. The main goal, or objective, is to just keep playing through the soundtracks until you reach the endgame!
If you’re looking for some sort of plot, you can find this in the Series Quests game mode. This is where you go through the Music Stages in some kind of map format that sort of follows the flow of the Final Fantasy title you’re playing through.
Honestly, this lack of big storyline works perfectly with how the game plays. The Series Quests is the game’s way for you to access more songs, but you’re not literally tied to it. You can play the tracks you’ve unlocked over and over again individually, then when you’re sick of it, you can move on and unlock another Final Fantasy title in the Series Quests mode.
Even though I usually prefer my Square Enix titles to have some semblance of a plot, I’m glad to say that with all of Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Final Bar Line’s features, the game does well without an in-your-face one.
Gameplay & Features
If you’ve played through Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, or any of the Theatrhythm games on the 3DS, you’re probably familiar with all of the game’s features.
The initial gameplay seems straightforward. Choose a music track or Music Stage, follow the button prompts on-screen until the end, then you get scored by how well-timed you hit the button prompts. You’d think it’s pretty simple but Final Bar Line has a lot of little nuances that make it more complicated than a basic rhythm game.
Characters can be unlocked based on their respective Final Fantasy titles, and each character has a specific set of skills. Successfully completing Music Stages will grant EXP that levels these characters up, unlocking their skills and upgrading their stats. This offers that whole RPG vibe where you need specific characters for certain battles so you can unlock more rewards at the end of the Music Stage.
What’s more, this game is perfect for perfectionists (HAHA) and collectors. There is a museum feature in the game which shows you what you’ve unlocked so far. Be it CollectiCards, which give you buffs and more bonuses when playing, or movies / soundtracks that you can play over again when you need to take a break from the game. Oh, and if you’re into achievements, there is also a section that shows off the “Feats” you’ve accomplished in-game!
Though the series has always had different forms of Music Stages – Battle Music Stage, Field Music Stage, and Music Videos, the variety keeps the game from being too repetitive, increasing its replayability even as the game ages. PLUS, Square Enix has a lot of upcoming tracks to be released, and these are not even limited to the Final Fantasy series.
Overall, Final Bar Line has a lot to offer in terms of gameplay. So I don’t think you’ll be bored of this game. Honestly, I have a hard time putting it down, even up to now. HAHAHA.
Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Final Bar Line – Visuals & Audio
I can’t say that the visuals of Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Final Bar Line are incredibly amazing. The characters are chibi-fied, so it’s not something that is everyone’s cup of tea.
However, from the perspective of someone who has already played through both 3DS titles, I am blown away at all the visual additions in this title! For example, in the previous games, you can see where the devs repurposed the same battle or field scenarios across different stages. But in Final Bar Line, almost every track gets its own unique background, whether it’s a BMS or FMS!
The special effects are something to watch out for, too. I really like seeing the characters in action, especially when they’re executing their ultimate attacks. These effects can also be seen when calling forth Summons! It can get very distracting, though, and I also get annoyed that I can’t see my characters move around because I’m too busy keeping up with the beat. HAHAHAHA.
When it comes to the audio, I mean, it’s a rhythm game. Do I have to say more? XD The base game already offers more than 300 soundtracks to play through, and Square Enix promises that more will come!
My only complaint is that there is only ONE Tifa track in the WHOLE, ENTIRE GAME. And this is because I am biased. I am angry that Square Enix did my girl dirty in Final Bar Line. D<
I’m sure that other FF fans will protest about the lack of tracks from their favorite titles, but I’m sure there is a reason for everything. I just don’t know what. (LIKE WHAT KIND OF REASON DO THEY HAVE FOR ONLY HAVING ONE TIFA TRACK IN THE WHOLE GAME?!) HAHA. We just have to wait for the devs to give us updates if they’ll include missing tracks in the future as some sort of DLC. LOL.
Experience & Impressions
I have been waiting years, YEARS, for another Theatrhythm to be made by Square Enix, and FINALLY, IT IS HERE. AND I AM OBSESSED.
Does it check my boxes? YES. Good music? Check. Interesting and replayable gameplay? Check. Final Fantasy or Square Enix-related? Check!!
I would rate this game a 9/10, and I am only taking away one point because of the lack of Tifa tracks in the game, HAHAHAHA. Yes, please let me be petty like that.
Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is super fun, nostalgic, and an overall great way to take a break from the other complicated games of today. If you’re looking for bite-sized gaming that’s good on the ears, you might want to add this game to your wishlist. 🙂
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