Theatrhythm Final Bar Line Review – The perfect musical escape

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line ReviewSquare Enix

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line offers players an extensive list of music and satisfying mechanics that make the rhythm game a relaxing escape. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and nostalgic way to appreciate the Final Fantasy series.

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line comes alongside the release of other exciting Square Enix titles, including Octopath Traveler 2 and Final Fantasy 7 Crisis Core Reunion. The new rhythm game is the follow-up to previous titles including Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call, reimagining the classic gameplay with new songs and improved graphics.

The game offers players several modes, and the range of difficulty supports casual play or difficult challenges. Additionally, players can collect characters to play, unlock songs from almost every Final Fantasy game, and access DLC which further expands musical options.

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Theatrhythm Final Bar Line: Key Details

  • Price: $49.99 – $99.99
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release date: February 16, 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch/PS4

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line Trailer

Challenge classic bosses as beloved heroes

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line does a fantastic job of combining the elements of JRPG titles with rhythm game mechanics. Players will spend most of their time in the “Series Quest” area, where they can play through campaigns based on each of the different games of the series.

Here, a team of four heroes can be outfitted with special abilities, a Moogle can be equipped, and players can even change the vehicle that drops the party off at the start of each song. While playing through each campaign, new heroes, vehicles, Moogles, and Summons can be unlocked as rewards, encouraging fans to think strategically about their team makeup, and what skills are equipped.

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Series Quests are also the key to unlocking new music in Theatrhythm Final Bar Line, as each successfully completed song is added to the player’s available music library. At first, only a few campaigns are available, but through doing these and obtaining keys, new campaigns can quickly be unlocked. This offers a lovely sense of freedom and allows fans to get to their favorites without a frustrating grind.

Theatrhythm-Final-Bar-Line-gameplaySquare Enix
Play as your favorite heroes in Theatrhythm Final Bar Line.

Difficulty levels allow everyone to dance at their own pace

One of the best aspects of Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is the customization. Alongside extensive party options, players also have a range of difficulty levels to pick between when selecting songs both in the Series Quest and Music Stages modes. The “Basic” option is well-balanced but casual, perfect for those who want to enjoy the music, as where the “Expert” and “Ultimate” settings challenge the player with intense commands and fast-paced rhythms to follow.

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Additionally, the songs have a challenge rating on the side depending on the mode, offering insight into which songs may pose more difficulty to the player. This makes it easy to start out slowly and build skills without getting discouraged.

Players will also encounter two styles of gameplay when working through the tracklist in Theatrhythm Final Bar Line. Certain songs like “A Flower Blooming in the Slums” from Final Fantasy 7 will only have a single track, requiring payers to hit long notes using the analog stick, while other songs will have four tracks to create combos. Sometimes these tracks appear on the left-hand side of the screen, and other times they will appear at the bottom.

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Theatrhythm Final Bar Line SliderSquare Enix
Master difficult rhythm combos.

Play the songs you want when you want to

While playing in the Series Quest mode can be a fun and challenging way to progress through Theatrhythm Final Bar Line, my personal favorite mode was Music Stages. Here, players can replay the songs they have unlocked, as well as access any DLC or extra tracks that may be available depending on the version of the game.

All the difficulty levels for songs are present in this mode, which can be the perfect way to practice gameplay. However, completing the songs in this mode won’t offer the same rewards as Series Quests, so those trying to complete the collection gallery will need to play through the other modes to gather up Memory CollectaCards and other unlockables.

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Bumps while battling to the beat

The only downside to Theatrhythm Final Bar Line’s gameplay is the combat. As players successfully complete combos and increase their chain during a song, their team of heroes will battle a slew of different monsters. The more mistakes a player makes, the less successful blows the team will deal, eventually leading to defeat. I found that it was difficult to pay attention to the battle happening on the screen beyond the rhythm combos and that occasionally it could disrupt my ability to see the commands I was supposed to complete.

It can also be frustrating to change team abilities at every new Theatrhythm Final Bar Line track to complete the goals given, requiring players to repeatedly tailor their party in order to receive all the rewards. I found myself simply ignoring the goals just to unlock the songs more than a few times because I wanted to get back into gameplay without interruption.

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Verdict 4.5/5

Overall, Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is a fantastic title that combines all the joy of Final Fantasy music with the satisfaction of rhythm games. Players can spend hours unlocking their favorite tracks, or simply relax and replay songs while mastering combos. While there is no storyline, the progression of the Series Quest mode scratches the need for organization and creates a sense of forward motion that can sometimes be missing in rhythm games.

However, players wanting to pound their enemies with music will need to fine-tune their party regularly and may need to divide their attention between the back and foreground in order to see what is happening. Despite this, Theatrhythm Final Bar Line has something for every Final Fantasy fan and is a delight to fall into – regardless of which games are your favorites.

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Reviewed on Nintendo Switch

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