Theatrhythm Final Bar Line Review – Refined Harmony #GeekLeap

The Theatrhythm sequence has been a standout, if criminally underplayed, instance of each showcase a sequence’ wonderful set of scores whereas celebrating a prolific franchise’s historical past. For the reason that earlier entry’s launch on 3DS in 2014, Ultimate Fantasy music has advanced because of the releases of Ultimate Fantasy XV, Ultimate Fantasy XIV expansions, remakes, and extra. Theatrhythm Ultimate Bar Line folds these additions into a mixture of returning classics and lesser-known tunes to create an incredible catalog of songs to play via within the sequence’ trademark tackle the rhythm style.

And similar to in 2012 and 2014, it stays as quirky and eclectic as ever. I’ve minor gripes with the sport, however they hardly ever get in the way in which of what issues: the gameplay. This new Theatrhythm units a excessive bar for your complete sequence, persevering with the development of outdoing what got here earlier than it and showcasing simply how properly a celebratory sequence compilation could be finished. 

There’s lots that’s acquainted this time round for returning gamers. This sequel retains the identical chibi artwork model, the identical forms of stage codecs, and lots of the present songs. It’s a “don’t repair what isn’t damaged” scenario and one which works. One huge distinction is that because of the {hardware} variations between the 3DS, the place the final two video games resided solely, and the PS4 and Swap, is the way you hit notes. The 3DS video games had been extra tactile since you’d use the contact display stylus to faucet the notes on display. Now, you’ll have to hit a observe because it scrolls throughout the display by urgent a face button, shoulder button, or slashing directionally with an analog stick. 

Admittedly, it’s fairly awkward at first and I wasn’t a fan of this mandatory format change, partially as a result of the sport does little that will help you decide a becoming management scheme. As a result of you’ll be able to hit most notes with nearly any button on the controller, it’s initially exhausting to maintain monitor of the place your fingers are and the place they need to be going when issues get hectic. After an hour or two, I settled right into a scheme that labored for me, however I found that each one by myself. I might have preferred extra course from Ultimate Bar Line, particularly in a style the place most video games assign particular button presses to particular notes. 

After discovering what labored for me, I fiendishly blazed via songs, and my outdated love of Theatrhythm reignited. Each Discipline Music Levels and Battle Music Levels start by choosing one among your 5 get together loadouts. Every loadout can comprise as much as 4 characters from varied Ultimate Fantasy video games. I loved mixing and matching a few of my favorites, like Lightning from Ultimate Fantasy XIII and Cloud from Ultimate Fantasy VII, to create offense-heavy builds. And when boss fights, for instance, gave me specific challenges, I geared up magic-focused characters to focus on the enemy’s weak point alongside extra defensive heroes. It’s a brand new aspect of technique that provides a deeper stage of engagement for gamers chasing down the best doable scores and treasure yield in every stage. 


This was particularly necessary to finish Sequence Quests, that are non-obligatory targets connected to every music. Finishing these quests ranges from defeating difficult boss enemies, necessitating that you just hit “vital” notes during the music, or one thing so simple as finishing a stage with a specific character within the get together (normally as a result of that character is connected to the music ultimately). These quests add a contact of extra problem if you would like it. They’re additionally fully non-obligatory, which means when you solely need your Ultimate Bar Line expertise to include taking part in via some nice songs and staying on rhythm whereas doing so, it may be simply that. 

I do want the quests had been extra built-in into the first development. Whereas they aren’t essential to advance, finishing them does include rewards. However generally the reward is awful, like a potion, which is an merchandise I hardly ever used. Different occasions, it’s higher, akin to whenever you earn a CollectaCard that showcases a key Ultimate Fantasy second in a buying and selling card model. Regardless, as a result of these further challenges are non-obligatory, I hardly ever felt compelled to offer every greater than a few tries. If I failed a music sufficient, I’d simply transfer on as a result of there’s no penalty for doing so. Finishing the music is all that’s required to advance. 

Certainly one of my favourite elements of Ultimate Bar Line is unlocking particular Occasion Music Levels, which let you play via songs whereas cinematics from the sport play behind the notes. It’s a pleasant contact and provides a premium stage of high quality to the sport’s nostalgia issue. The in-game Museum additionally helps out on that entrance, as you’ll be able to view your CollectaCards anytime. Taking a look at promotional artwork I forgot existed for some Ultimate Fantasy video games was an particularly good deal with, however different playing cards give a greater take a look at in-game characters or enemies of their chibi design. It’s an awesome addition for gamers trying to one hundred pc the sport and speaks to the Ultimate Bar Line’s celebratory nature properly. 

Exterior of the sport’s single-player choices, there are Multi Battles. Right here, you’ll be able to compete with as much as three different gamers, and I loved how this switches up the gameplay. The success of different gamers triggers results in your display, like a “Fats Chocobo” rush that sends a fleet of huge Chocobo to your display, obscuring incoming notes. Others take away the UI that tells you ways properly you hit a observe, which has a surprisingly damaging impact on how I carry out. And essentially the most difficult impact despatched by an opponent provides faux notes to my scroll. It’s an thrilling and aggravating option to play via my favourite Theatrhythm songs and a positive option to prolong my playtime with the sport. The identical goes for the Countless World stage, which helps you to play monitor after monitor till you now not have HP. 

Ultimate Bar Line does little to propel you ahead via any of this, although. There’s barely a semblance of a narrative, and I rolled credit with out even realizing I used to be close to the top – I had solely accomplished roughly a 3rd of the 385 tracks. You possibly can earn new Summons, which routinely play throughout a stage primarily based in your rhythmic motion, from different gamers in Multi Battles, and you may go for top scores by replaying songs, however Ultimate Bar Line doesn’t emphasize why you have to be doing this.

Regardless of that lack of propelling issue, I’m nonetheless fully engrossed on this recreation, taking part in it throughout any 15 free minutes I can discover all through my day. Although I’ve technically accomplished the sport, I need to SSS rank all of my favourite songs, dig deeper into the libraries from Ultimate Fantasy video games I’m much less accustomed to, and showcase my rhythm prowess towards different gamers. It is a unbelievable rhythm recreation set to the tune of arguably the best music catalog in all of video games. Whereas I might have preferred extra steerage in proceed, the musical content material on provide is so numerous, so nostalgic, and so properly finished, that I’ve no drawback composing my very own enjoyable.

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