One of the biggest surprises of September's Nintendo Direct was Square Enix's Theatrhythm series' return to consoles! Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is coming to Switch on 16th February 2023, and the company has now shared several gameplay details on its blog, while also unveiling a brand new mode for the game — Series Quests.
Series Quests are the best way to unlock songs and playable characters in the game and, as the name suggests, they'll have you play through songs from multiple games in the Final Fantasy series and "past titles". There are 29 different titles to play through, and you'll need to complete a number of quests.
It won't be just a simple case of beating each song and advancing through a game's map — and we appreciate Square Enix choosing Final Fantasy VI, here — but every song will have a different objective, such as "Defeat 10 Bombs" or survive a stage with a certain amount of health. Every time you clear a song, you'll unlock it in the standard Music Stages mode, and if you unlock a new title, you'll also unlock all associated characters.
Another mode, new to Western audiences at least, is Endless World. First appearing in the Japan-only Theatrhythm Dragon Quest, Endless World is unlocked once you complete a special title, and is a continuous game of "play the music, pray you don't fail" essentially. Songs are chosen randomly, and the difficulty gradually increases. You have to play through each song and complete various quests along the way. And, if you fail three times, it's game over.
Online multiplayer is also returning, and you'll be able to take on others with Multi Battle. Create your own room or join another person's room — or set up a password-protected one to play with your friends. The more successful hits you get, the quicker your Burst Gauge fills, which then will unleash a special attack to hinder your opponents. Fat Chocobo could turn up, Moogle Dance could impede Trigger Marks and notes, and Points Freeze will stop rivals from getting points unless they're pitch-perfect.
There are a ton of returning features coming to Final Bar Line in February — all previous music stages (Battle Music Stages, Field Music Stages, and Event Music Stages) are all coming back, as are the CollectaCards, the Museum, and many returning songs.
The previous Theatrhythm game, All-Star Carnival, was an arcade-only game which never made it to consoles. Before Final Bar Line, the last taste we got of Theatrhythm was Curtain Call on the 3DS. So, given the seven-year gap, there's tons of new music to tap along to. Songs from Final Fantasy VII Remake, many Final Fantasy XIV expansion tracks, Record Keeper, and Mobius, among many other games, arrangements, and new songs.
While the base game will have a whopping 385 songs, that's only the beginning. The Digital Deluxe Edition offers 27 additional songs plus Season Pass 1, taking the total up to 442. Or there's the Premium Digital Deluxe Edition, which takes the total up to 502. All of the Season Passes are composed of packs of songs from other Square Enix games including NieR:Automata and Replicant/Gestalt, SaGa series, Live A Live, and The World Ends With You.
Are you ready for the curtain call on 16th February for Final Bar Line? Keep your eyes on us (and the comments!) and share your thoughts.