No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118

Eternal Sonata

Finished Eternal Sonata last night. It's half 'RPG', half anime, half powerpoint presentation on Chopin's life. Yes, that's three halves.
As Chopin lays dying of consumption, he slips away into a fantasy world where he has to beat the snot out of monsters using only his baton and his magical powers, aided by a motley cast of characters.
The monster-bashing is interspersed with extensive cut-scenes that expand the story into a what amounts to a short anime (machinima?) series. There are a few cutesy-poo scenes, and some crap that doesn't make sense, but mostly it's well-executed and provides a useful story background to the action. Occasionally, there are presentations on Chopin's life accompanied by excellent renditions of Chopin pieces performed by Stanislav Bunin, first prize medallist at the 11th International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition.
The combat system is reasonably fun, and there are excellent animations and special doodads. But ultimately combat can become a grind, particularly with some areas populated by only one species of monster that you run into over and over again, and some of the boss battles that are just cruel and can go on for a long time. Another annoyance is that some of the locations are essentially big mazes, and as they stream off into multiple screens, you can't really grok the whole thing, making it easy to get lost/never find the way out.
After beating the final boss, there's probably at least half an hour of additional animation, music and story with the credits. It's crazy. Despite flaws, I enjoyed the game a lot, mainly for having such a strange core idea, and running with it.

In related news, I'm really digging Are You Experienced? on Rock Band [Dr. Pookie dances a little like Garth when she sings Foxy Lady] and next week is the Doors' Greatest Hits.
Tags: game, music

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