Forum > Gaming Discussion > Eternal Sonata: A beautiful, overlooked RPG.
Eternal Sonata: A beautiful, overlooked RPG.
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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 14:48:21
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I bought this game months ago, and shortly after that I started playing it. As usual with me, I got distracted by something else and stopped playing it after about an hour or so, not even enough time to come to grips with the combat system. A couple nights ago I got back to it, and I'm very glad I did, currently clocking 10 hours.



The game revolves around the final days of Frederic Chopin, the piano virtuoso who passed away because of tuberculosis. Its storyline follows his final moments, and the things that happen inside his mind, which involve a world ruled by abuse of mineral powder (a substance that seems to heal illnesses, but with toxic and deadly effects in the long run), fueled by evil Count Waltz. Story is fairly cliche, as well as the characters, but the presentation makes them all likeable. All places and people have music-related names (after all, they all live inside Chopin's mind), such as Ritardando Village, Forte City, and characters such as Waltz, Polka, Allegretto and Beat.

Between chapters, the game gives you small pieces of background on Chopin's life, and how things went down in the world during his lifetime, these interludes include some of the finest pieces of his music.

Visual presentation is great, amazing even. Art direction is very well focused, and while there is not much exploration in those places (linear paths, mostly), vistas are breathtaking, with good draw distance, some great water effects, and nice lighting all around.







Combat is more complex than what you would expect, it's turn-based, but very action-oriented; it strikes you as button-mashy at first, but as your party develops, its level increases, gradually introducing you to concepts such as tactical time, reducing your action time, and opening more slots for special attacks and items. Besides, you can (and must) block most enemy attacks, helping you take less damage each turn, while keeping boredom at bay in defending turns. There's no magic gauge, and special moves can be used freely, and later on you can build up regular hits in a counter to increase the power and effectiveness of your specials.

Overall difficulty isn't hard, and so far I haven't had any need for grinding, so you can move at your own pace through the game, picking up your battles (no random encounters here) and building up your party. Like I said, I'm barely scratching the 10 hour mark, and new characters are still showing up as the plot unfolds, so I'll try to keep this thread updated.
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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 15:46:02
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RPG complexity turns me off these days so a game has to be relatively simple like Skies of Arcadia for me to get through it.

Can you explain how its turn based, yet action orientated button mashy?

I remember Tales fighting system which was okay for a while but then had me hankering after simple menus.

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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 16:10:10
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Your party and the enemies attack in turns, but once it's your turn, it's up to you where to move and how to attack. You have tactical time, and action time itself. When it's your turn to attack, you have limited time to do so (5 seconds at the beginning, it reduces as you gain levels). In lower party levels (those go up as you gain experience), you have unlimited tactical time before each turn, which means the counter doesn't move until you actually perform some action (move, attack, use items), once the counter gets moving, you have a limited amount of time to move your character and attack the enemies, regular attacks are button-mashy, you need to get in as many hits as possible to raise your hit meter, the highest it is (max 32 hits), the more powerful your special moves will be. Special moves can be attack or support ones.

Once your party level goes up, your tactical time gets reduced, so you have only a couple seconds before your counter starts running, forcing you to plan your attacks in advance. Your active time also goes down as well, making it more difficult to rake in the hits for your meter. Your specials are different depending on whether you are on broad sunlight or indoors/shadows, and your enemies shape and attacks also change depending on this! It's nice to mix things up by moving under a shadow to change your attacks or your enemie's shape, ot towards a light source while indoors. Adds another layer to a combat system that seems shallow on paper.  
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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 16:53:50
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Sounds so complicated. My mind is melting.  

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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 16:59:11
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Lol. I guess it does sound a bit complex. However, you can basically sum it up like this:

Run towards enemies, hit them hard before time ends.
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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 17:16:07
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What?! A non Nintendo topic! Burn it!

Steel the story is cliche? The final moments is Chopin's head is cliche? Did they really mess up this unique concept? Why am I asking so much questions? What's the purpose of life?

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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 17:22:13
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Iga_Bobovic said:

What?! A non Nintendo topic! Burn it!

Steel the story is cliche? The final moments is Chopin's head is cliche? Did they really mess up this unique concept? Why am I asking so much questions? What's the purpose of life?

Well, the way they deliver the central plot is not cliche, what with the whole world being a part of Chopin's feverish dreams. But the story itself, with an evil Count wrongdoing its naive citizens by letting them use a deadly substance and turning them into mindless soldiers, and a team of preteens (Chopin is the older, although he looks just as young as anyone else) trying to make a difference in a war they don't fully understand, with a rebellion taking place it's just your average RPG fare.


I'll have to delve deeper in the plot to see if things are as clear cut as I explained them.

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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 20:10:53
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SteelAttack said:
Lol. I guess it does sound a bit complex. However, you can basically sum it up like this:

Run towards enemies, hit them hard before time ends.

Then why try to outfox me with all that blurb ass!

LOL

Importantly, got an music sample clips from this game. Link me up to the video review. Happy

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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 21:13:48
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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 21:14:59

Trusty bell............

...end?

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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 21:15:40

gamingeek said:

Trusty bell............

...end?

Wat.

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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 21:17:56

The gamespot review says its called Trusty Bell.

Japanese name? How can you trust a bell?

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Fri, 28 Aug 2009 21:18:38

gamingeek said:

The gamespot review says its called Trusty Bell.

Japanese name? How can you trust a bell?

Lol, yeah, its japanese name is Trusty Bell. Don't try to understand that.

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Country: US
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Sat, 29 Aug 2009 02:42:14
You're just mocking me with a tri-Crescendo game I can't play, aren't you?

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Country: AU
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Sat, 29 Aug 2009 04:59:20

This and Tales of Vasperia are the two next PS3 games I'll probably get.

The Chopin factor really puts me off this, though. :X

I can always mute it before I want to cut my ears off, though!

    Children, our lives have been gongs striking; clamour and boasting; cries of despair; blows on the nape of the neck in gardens.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 04:07:18
I kept playing it. More characters join the festivities, and just finished chapter 3. I am already waiting for the next party level upgrade (and subsequent increase in combat difficulty), since I am having little trouble with enemies right now.
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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 05:10:58

SteelAttack said:
I kept playing it. More characters join the festivities, and just finished chapter 3. I am already waiting for the next party level upgrade (and subsequent increase in combat difficulty), since I am having little trouble with enemies right now.

 They way you were going on about it I thought you would've been a little further into it. Then I remembered it was you!

Stop playing this crap and get to Valkyria Chronicles.

    Children, our lives have been gongs striking; clamour and boasting; cries of despair; blows on the nape of the neck in gardens.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 05:19:27

Foolz said:

SteelAttack said:
I kept playing it. More characters join the festivities, and just finished chapter 3. I am already waiting for the next party level upgrade (and subsequent increase in combat difficulty), since I am having little trouble with enemies right now.

They way you were going on about it I thought you would've been a little further into it. Then I remembered it was you!

Stop playing this crap and get to Valkyria Chronicles.

LOL It's a miracle I'm still playing the game at all. I'll get back to VC as soon as I finish this one.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 05:38:57

SteelAttack said:

Foolz said:

SteelAttack said:
I kept playing it. More characters join the festivities, and just finished chapter 3. I am already waiting for the next party level upgrade (and subsequent increase in combat difficulty), since I am having little trouble with enemies right now.

They way you were going on about it I thought you would've been a little further into it. Then I remembered it was you!

Stop playing this crap and get to Valkyria Chronicles.

LOL It's a miracle I'm still playing the game at all. I'll get back to VC as soon as I finish this one.

So never then! T_T 

GET ON SKYPE FOR THE PODCAST!

Edited: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 05:43:50

    Children, our lives have been gongs striking; clamour and boasting; cries of despair; blows on the nape of the neck in gardens.

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Sun, 30 Aug 2009 19:01:08
The game really does look beautiful. I can't find another word other than that in describing the art style of the game.

Although I'm sure it's a great game, it might be too cute for me to handle. I can barely handle Dragonball Origins on the DS. But the original Dragonball is pretty raunchy, perverted Japanese manga humor, and Akira Toriyama does it the best. Can't believe the DS game wasn't toned down but intact! So funny as well.

Anyway, Tales of Vesperia is my limit to cuteness in RPGs. It at least looks like a playable anime movie, but Eternal Sonata looks so much like "My Precious Moments" the video game.

Maybe I should check it out. I did play the demo and I did enjoy it.

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Now Playing: Golden Sun Dark Dawn, God of War Ghost of Sparta, and DKC Returns

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