Different people enjoy the Final Fantasy series for different reasons, but one of the most commonly beloved elements of the franchise is its collection of soundtracks.
Across the 16 mainline games in the series (17 if you count FFXIV's original pre-A Realm Reborn release as a separate game, which it sort of is) there must be well over a thousand tracks that make up the entirety of Final Fantasy's musical contributions to the world. Final Fantasy VII alone has 85 tracks, for example, with later installments in the series proving to be just as -- if not more so -- elaborate.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy was a good celebration of Final Fantasy's music, collecting together a selection of the series "greatest hits" into a solid rhythm game with a surprising amount of depth and replay value. Most of the music therein was made up of very "safe" choices, though -- things like Final Fantasy VII's One Winged Angel, Final Fantasy VI's Dancing Mad and Final Fantasy X's Suteki da Ne. The game was expanded over time with 52 new downloadable songs, but that still leaves a significant part of Final Fantasy's musical history untouched.
The iOS version of Theatrhythm took a different approach to the 3DS version. Rather than being a game you buy once and then optionally expand with DLC if you desire, it was a free-to-play title which only came with two songs, and which you then had to purchase additional pieces and packs on an a la carte basis. The overall game structure of the 3DS version was also completely removed in favor of making the mobile version more of a quick-hit, one-off "score attack" kind of game in which you just took on a single piece at a time rather than playing your way through an abridged representation of an entire Final Fantasy game. It was not particularly well-received upon its release, and is often pointed to by detractors of Square Enix's mobile strategy as evidence of the company's apparent greed when it comes to taking advantage of mobile gamers. I didn't find it all that bad, to be honest -- you could pick and choose just your favorite tracks for a price considerably less than the 3DS version and still have an enjoyable experience -- though the lack of the overall "metagame" hurt its longevity somewhat.
Earlier today, Gematsu reported that an official sequel to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy -- apparently known as Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call -- is on the way to 3DS in Japan in the spring of next year, with Western versions presumably to follow at some point thereafter if a recent trademark filing is to be believed.
The new game will reportedly include around 200 songs -- including some from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, both of which will have been out for a while by the time Curtain Call is released -- along with 60 playable characters from throughout the series. There will also be a multiplayer "versus battle" mode, though exactly what form that will take remains to be seen.
I got thinking about a new Theatrhythm game and what I'd like to hear in it, and it was actually quite a difficult question to answer. A lot of the Final Fantasy greatest hits were already playable in the first Theatrhythm, and so it would feel like a bit of a waste if Square Enix just put the same old tracks in again. But what to include in their stead?
For starters, I'm glad to hear that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's excellent soundtrack is getting some love from Curtain Call, since I've been really impressed with how good the music is in the new MMO. In particular, I'd like to hear the three city themes, each of which has two variations: a sweeping, cinematic, triumphant fanfare-style mix for the daytime, and a more contemplative, piano-heavy mix for the night. A Realm Reborn also has some excellent battle themes, of which a particular highlight is the "dungeon final boss" tune.
From the rest of the series, it might be interesting if Curtain Call branched out into some of the remixes, reorchestrations and rearrangements of Final Fantasy music we've heard over the years, though of course this brings with it its own host of licensing considerations. It'd be pretty great to tap away to the Black Mages' versions of some Final Fantasy classics, for example, though somehow I feel that's fairly unlikely.
So what tracks from the series would you like to hear in the new Theatrhythm?