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Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360)

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£20.26 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
12 Reviews

Published by: Atari / Genre: Action & Adventure / Release date: 2007-10-19

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    12 Reviews
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      12.08.2014 23:04
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      good game

      I am a massive rpg game fan and like to try new ones whenever I see them on offer.

      ==**Storyline- what the game promises**
      On his deathbed, Chopin, the famous composer, drifts between this life and the next. In his dreams, happenstance encounters with a young girl facing a terrible destiny and the boy who will fight to save her, leads to Chopin’s discovery of the light that shines in each of us in this enduring tale of good and evil, love and betrayal.
      With gorgeous next gen visuals and style, a unique battle system, and a captivating story, Eternal Sonata promises to give Xbox 360 fans the RPG they’ve been waiting for.==
      **Game basics**
      Price and where to get - Amazon have this used from £5 which is a good price for a game.
      Platform - xbox 360 or ps3. its worth mentioning that the ps3 version came out later and has additional content
      Release date -2007
      Published by - Namco- I love games that namco have published so was quite eager to get this when it first came out. I may buy a lot of games but rarely straight away so it says something when I have to get something straight away .
      Graphics-very pretty background
      Sound-Chopin’s original compositions are a key element in the environment and story of Eternal Sonata. I quite like the music through this but I do think that it would put other people off.
      Value for money- The used price is quite low.
      Game play - Not that difficult a game but the storyline is a bit unusual.Sometimes its not that clear what you have to do and you end up having to go back over areas you have already covered to solve bits.
      Its very much like any other role playing video game.The player controls a party of up to twelve characters to explore the world, talking with its inhabitants, buying and selling equipment at shops, and encountering monsters whilst out and about .Its an element which is like very like final fantasy and one which I like about it.
      The combat system in the game is turn based like say the pokemon games which again I like as this isn't the biggest part of the game-I like rpg games but the actual battle part is probably my least favourite part
      One thing I really liked in the game is that the characters are named after musical terms.

      Overall its a nice game but I don't think it was worth full price or as good as other namco games I have played.

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      21.09.2012 18:05
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      Buy it!

      This game is based on the composer Chopins last moments as he is on his deathbed drifting between this world and the next. It is a classic RPG and one of my personal favourite games, and it is actually the meaning behind my username!
      You start of flicking between the stories of two main characters, chopin and a girl named polka, as you go on you meet new characters which join your group and you follow together ( This game follows a lovely musical theme from characters names such as allegretto, salsa and falsetto. It also has fun music - related mini games and references throughout. ) It has a fun turn taking fighting style and you learn exciting new moves as you level up, there is a small degree of customisation in this as you can buy different clothing and weapons with all have different perks and effects from travelling salespeople and in villages, there you can also buy items to help in battles with effects such as restoring health, powering up your attacks and bringing teammates back to life. The cut scenes make a brilliant story and i always enjoyed watching them but some of them are quite long and if that's not your thing you can easily skip them.
      You cannot save whenever you like there are designated save points dotted around the map which appear as glowing crystals. The graphics aren't top of the range but they fit the game well, the characters have been made in a cute anime style and the scenery is detailed and enchanting. There is such a variety of the creatures you fight and they are all very imaginative, it is always exciting to discover a new opponent! One piece of advice i can give about this game is not to rush through it, take your time leveling up because the bosses are fun but can be very tough if you are not prepared, for example, i got to a chapter about halfway through the game where you go onto a pirate ship, it warned me that once i crossed over to the ship i could never go back, i should have left it until i had leveled up more but i didn't, i went across unprepared, it was physically impossible to beat the boss and as a result had to restart the entire game, i also know two other people who made that same mistake so be warned!
      Like i said before, this is one of my all time favourite xbox games and i would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, interesting RPG but DO NOT RUSH IT!

      -DylanSonata.

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      10.08.2010 16:43
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      Play it an hour each day to fully enjoy this vivid dreamscape created by Chopin and tri Crescendo

      Intro

      Eternal Sonata is a JRPG (Japanese role playing game) developed by tri-Crescendo who are one of the developers behind the cult RPG series Baten Kaitos

      Story 8.0

      The is set within the dreams of polish composer Frederic Chopin who is falling ill. The game starts you off in the shoes of a girl called Polka who has magical abilities but at the cost of dying at a very young age. She is a girl who sells floral powder but struggles to due to low cost of a similar product known as mineral powder. So she and other characters she meets along the way including Chopin who finds himself in his own dream go to meet the king of the location named Forte about the mineral powder.

      Whilst the plot doesn't sound that exceptional later on in the story there are greater details of politics, espionage, escapism, entrapment and rebellion which when all added to together there is a true sense of the story being multi-layered. As you look at the stories and backgrounds of a power hungry king, A rebellious group of freedom fighters, and Frederic Chopin tragic destiny in his dream and the real world.

      There are 8 chapters in the game each chapter is named after a composition by Chopin. At the end of each chapter is are interesting and very informative slide show of Chopin's life explaining his Education, love life, and his crushing disappointment of the November Uprising which helped him create some of his more tormented emotion pieces.

      Visuals 8.3

      The game is stunningly beautiful from the amazingly detailed level environments and scenery to the well designed character models and and attack animations. Lighting is done very well from bright meadow environments which have natural sunlight to caves which have torches scattered about

      Sound 7.8

      The soundtrack consists of musical scores Chopin's creations and Japanese composer Motoi Sakuraba. The game has many calm relaxing pieces which suit the surrounding very well. However the combat themes often repeat themselves but that can be looked over very easy

      Voice acting is unfortunately sub par even for a JRPG. The voice acting is like watching an American soap opera. They take.....long.........pauses in ....between....every...sentence. And that the voices don't even suit many of the characters. But the story is engaging enough that you can look over the voices.

      Gameplay 7.7

      Gameplay this JRPG uses an active battle system meaning you are able to move your characters around and attack within a certain time limit. There is also a light and dark system in use for example a special attack when used in a lighted zone would be different then used in a darkened zone. All in all the battle system is fun at first but it will soon get tiresome and repetitive so its hard to recommend playing this game more then an a hour and a half at a time.

      Overall 8.2/10

      Currently the best JRPG on the Xbox 360. Even better then Final Fantasy 13 which has one of the worst battle systems in an RPG.

      Expect around 25- 30 hours on a playthrough which isn't to long by JRPG standard but long enough that it doesn't overstay its welcome. And unlike final fantasy 13 it doesn't pad out the story like a menstuarating fire hose

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      07.02.2010 13:08
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      Game for the XBOX 360 revolving around the topic of music

      ****Review also posted on ciao.co.uk under the same username****

      Eternal Sonata

      I purchased Eternal Sonata at the recommendation of my fiancée, who knows exactly what I like about games. From the cover and price, I was quite happy to purchase it from Game on offer at £9.98. Even though we have both Xbox 360 and PS3 I chose to get this on my 360 - as I've only recently got it back from my step dad. I've always liked RPG's and I'm always on the lookout for new adventures.


      What I like about Eternal Sonata is the reference to music, each character, city, forest and village is named after something to do with music. Waltz, Salsa, March, Allegretto and Beat etc - A really cute way to sell a game.


      The cover is typical of the usual 360 game layouts, a green box with the game console at the top and the title underneath. Eternal Sonata is a product of Namco and the age rating on the game is 12+.It's very colourful and details Japanese anime type characters - three main characters and a man playing the piano in the background. The back of the box gives a little detail into what the game is about and shows a few scenes like fighting and some other characters.


      ==The Plot==
      In Eternal Sonata you switch between Polka and Allegretto until the two parties meet. The back of the box states: "On his deathbed, the famous composer, Chopin, drifts between this life and the next. On the border between dreams and reality, Chopin discovers the light that shines in all of us in this enduring tale of good and evil, love and betrayal." The tagline for the game is "Cross the bridge between Dreams and Reality." Again - this hooked me in, the idea of completely crossing borders between these two is fascinating to me and I wanted to see how the game creators at Bandai Namco put this forward.


      Like most RPG's Eternal Sonata has a full range of bad guys and bosses - the main enemy being Count Waltz in Forte City. The count has put high taxes on just about everything apart from a medicine called Mineral Powder. His subjects have become so dependent on Mineral Powder that they just have to keep using it - while the count destroys the Mountain and Agogo Forest to keep up and extend Mineral Powder's affectivness. What the people don't know is that if the keep using it for their health it will drive them mad and they become mindless beings and quickly die. The count is using the Mineral Powder to build an army and our hero's are the ones that want to stop him.


      On the sidelines, we learn that people who use magic are very sick; terminally ill in fact, and will soon die, but there is nothing to prove that this is contagious. Our little heroine Polka has this illness and despite that, she wants to help the world and use her magic for good.


      ==Characters==
      The characters in Eternal Sonata feature Polka - a sick girl from a small village trying to make a difference, Frederik - or Chopin, who believes it is all a dream, the idea that when people are close to dying they begin to dream peacefully is a theme throughout the story, Allegretto and Beat - two brothers, I believe, that also want to lower taxes so the people in the sewers can afford to eat, March and Salsa - the Agogo Forest Guardians who want to protect their forest from Count Waltz, and Viola - a lady that owns a lot of goats and knows a lot more about Mineral Powder.


      Throughout the game the party meet Jazz, Falsetto and Claves who at first were intent on rescuing Salsa and now want to help defeat the count. The characters are a variety in ages and intelligence and the way they all work together to serve the same purpose is a typical attitude in most RPG's.


      ==Fighting==
      Eternal Sonata's fighting system is a little different to what I'm used to. The good news is there aren't any random battles as you can see your enemies and sometimes avoid them - although its best not to if you want to level up throughout the game. The game is set in real time, and decreases each time the party level upgrades.


      At first each characters turn has unlimited tactic time and when you're standing still your time doesn't decrease however that swiftly changes. The battles are not too difficult but it is recommended to be at least a few levels up than you think is necessary at first as there are some unexpected Boss Battles early on.


      Each character uses a unique weapon and some are long range fighters. Each has a special attack which builds up in strength the more echoes you collect - how many hits you get in before you hit them with your special attack.


      ==Graphics==
      The graphics in Eternal Sonata remind me of an upgraded Kingdom Hearts. The characters all have that childlike quality in their appearance but some of the background scenes are really stunning. Lots of waterfalls, forests and green grass. Characters and enemies are mostly 3D as well as some of the foreground but for the most part, in an anime kind of way, they have a realistic feel, edge and depth to them which again is quite common in many RPG's.


      ==Soundtrack==
      Due to the reference of music and piano's in Eternal Sonata the music is very peaceful and I enjoy it alot. It has some of Chopin's work integrated into the game which I thought was really clever and each chapter is named after a piece of his music.


      ==Extra's==
      What I found really unique about this game was the way it has real-life images when it's telling you the tale of Chopin. Who said video games weren't educational?


      ==Summary==
      Overall I would say this is one of my favourite games despite not quite finishing it yet. The characters all have their own stories and personalities and it is displayed lovingly in the script. The game did make me shed a few tears - the idea of the terminal illness is very sad, and the opening scene grips you in. The game is beautiful constructed and has a great amount of plot twists and turns to keep any gamer hooked. I think, with some of the references and the controls make the 12+ rating suitable for this game.


      ****Review also posted on ciao.co.uk under the same username****

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      04.01.2010 23:37

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      Not bad, but not for me.

      I had been waiting to get this game for a while before actually getting it, so I expected something amazing. First impressions were a really good storyline, simple combat system, good graphics. HOWEVER, as I continued to play the game, I started getting bored. I do love RPGs but this one is quite repetitive and Polka's voice really does get annoying. Like I said, the storyline is a really good idea, but I did find the game a chore to play. It may just be my attention span, but I couldn't play the game for more than a few hours at a time, when I usually spend a lot of the day playing new games. I wouldn't recommend this game to people, but that's my opinion, and many people may enjoy this kind of game. Strengths have got to be the storyline and the combat system, but it was the kind of game to me which I would put down and not want to pick back up.

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      07.10.2009 03:20
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      If your a RPG fan this game is a must.

      I'm a big fan of RPG's and have been playing them for years. When i got my Xbox 360 i wanted a rpg that was different to the ones i was use to playing eg Final fantasy 7.
      This game blew me away. The music is fantastic, the graphics on a HD TV are amazing and full of detail. Its like your playing a stunning cartoon/movie at times.
      The battles are different to what i was use too for starters you see your enemy so you can choose to fight or run round them (no more random battles). If you do choose to fight the screen changes to a small battle area. Its turned based fights but with a twist. Your characters have a limited amount of time each turn to move and attack so making the most of this time involves alot of forward thinking. But thats not all if your character is stood in a light patch where the sun is shining they can preform light attacks (mainly cure magic), but in shaded areas they tend to have strong magic/attacks.
      This also applys to your enemies too, but again theres a twist. Some enemies transform into bigger and stronger monsters if they need light or dark. So again you have to think how to draw them into the light or dark to make them weak again.
      Sounds hard but its really easy when you play the controls are at the bottom of the screen to help you along during battles.
      The voice acting is one of the best in a game in along time. Along with a fantastic story line this game has a habit of sucking you in for hours its that addictive. I got on my first completion about 47hrs of total play.
      A couple of downsides about this game is that some of the cut scenes go on too long when its talking about the history of a main character, and the game doesnt have as much in the way of side missions as some rpgs.

      But other than that this is a must for rpg fans looking for something different to the norm.

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        06.10.2009 16:35
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        Worth a go!

        This is a great game for anyone that likes to play, role play games. I only went on it as my husband persuaded me to and now I've taken over the xbox! This is an action adventure type game with lots of attacking involved. The game gives you step by step tutorials on how to attach when you first start playing the games so it's very easy to pick up on. Also the story for this game is very good and made me feel like i was watching a film at times.
        This is the type of game that makes you want to carry on playing and not turn it off.
        The graphics on this game are great, especially if played in HD and i really would recommend this game for any role play game player as you will really enjoy it. One of the best games i have played in a long time.

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        12.08.2009 22:31
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        Great game, worth your money and time.

        If you've played anything from the JRPG genre before, then you know what you're in for. A plot that hurts your brain, and a battle system full of big numbers and flashy attacks.

        Every time you get attacked in a fight, you are given a short amount of time in which to guard against the attack. This is to give the player a reason to look at the screen while its not their turn. However, there is very little penalty in letting your characters take the full blow of an attack, and some of the enemies are nearly impossible to guard against anyway. Also, later on in the game you end up with heal spells that are good enough to heal your whole team a generous amount, and this makes the guarding system almost redundant. This makes the game easy, but it also gives a fast pace to the game, something which many JRPGs lack. It's not too easy, and chances are you won't get bored. If you do happen to find the battle system a bit tedious, then the story line will more than compensate for this.

        To start with, the story is great, and it becomes more philosophical as you play on. It deals with the subject of death and reality pretty well (You are playing in Chopin's dream world). However, there were times where the game looses its sublety and tends to spoon-feed you philosophical views on the world. With the philosophy lesson aside, the story is easy to follow and anybody with an open mind will appreciate it.

        That is, until the end.

        I can't tell you what happens, but there were a few loose ends, and I couldn't work out why certains characters had to do certain things. I've read many reviews about this game, and ive found that different people take away different things from the game. I enjoyed it a lot, and I loved the story line. The battle system did get a bit tedious towards the end, but the music and story more than made up for this. It took me 30 hours to finish, and I feel compelled to play it all again. Towards the end, the battle system becomes a lot more interesting, and to use the new battle system properly you need to play it a second time.

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        22.06.2009 18:11
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        Fun but not if you only like real time

        Its a fun JRPG

        Story:Some famouse composer is seriousely ill and has a dream about a musical world and hes not sure which is the dream (you play in the dream)

        Gameplay:You have a team which gets larger and larger and you can use 3 at a time you go through dungeons past monsters which will go towards you and if they come too close you will fight them you take it in turns and when its your go you have five seconds to run around the small arena you fight in and attack them as you see fit and all three of you get a go.At the end of each cave or whatever theres a boss.

        Forms of offence (how you kill them) There are different types of characters and each has a simple A move which can be anything from slashing to shooting to kicking them in the stomach and for every hit you charge up a bar so your Y attack do more. Also your Y attack changes wheather your in the shade or not so you need to strategiacly place them so they always have there best attack ready also the enemys mutate in the shadows to get stonger so you need to strategiacly lure them out.

        Multiplayer:Is sick u can have three people, each playing each a a character and each can fight in turns in the battles, basicly single player with friends.

        Unfortunately its meant to be musical so all the characters are named Falsetto, Beat etc (it gets worse) but if you like that sort of thing youl love it.

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        03.11.2008 17:43
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        Eternal Sonata will be remebered as a classic RPG on the XBox 360

        I have to say that I have mixed feelings about Japanese-style RPGs. On one hand, I love them - taking the Final Fantasy games as an excellent example, they usually have great (and complicated) storylines, weird and wonderful characters, and a whole gamut of abilities for your characters to learn.

        Eternal Sonata is no exception to this. From the very start of the game, you are immersed in a series of beautifully put together cutscenes, and introduced to some of the core members of the game's cast. This includes a pair of street-urchin type kids (the gun-toting younger of the two likes to haul a huge camera with him everywhere he goes), and a strange young girl who is a social outcast due to her magical powers. Most bizarrely, another main character is the famous composer Chopin. From the start, you get the idea that Chopin is dying, and this whole story is taking place in his dreams, on his deathbed. Yes, this game is surreal.

        Gameplay basically involves guiding your party around various environments, following the story from place to place. The game is reasonably linear, although there is occasionally room to explore to find extra treasures / items for your characters.

        It's usually pretty easy to work out what you have to do next, which is nice sometimes, although occasionally this is a little bit annoying as it feels like the game is on rails, and is giving you too much guidance. I found however that the plot and character development is so strong that this didn't really bother me.

        I really like the combat system in Eternal Sonata. I think that it's awesome. Basically you take turns to control each of your characters, as if you are playing in real time, but in fact the rest of the world around you is frozen. This gives you a feeling of interaction that may be lacking in similar games. There are definite skills and strategies to learn, and a bit of smart button mashing enables you to execute special moves and combos, whilst quick reflexes and clever positioning allows you to mitigate damage sustained by your party members.

        Clever positioning is also important for another reason, because whether you are standing in the sunlight or in the shadows, different special attacks are available. One example is, if one of your characters is standing in a shadow, she fires a huge meteor at the enemy - whereas if she is standing in the light, she is able to heal a party member. This has obvious implications in terms of strategy. A further element of uncertainty is added when you consider that large enemies cast shadows that you can stand in...

        As you progress through the game and your 'party level' rises, the combat system becomes harder - for example, at the start of the game you have essentially infinite time to decide on your next move - sooner or later, you level up a little bit, and you've gotta move quicker!

        One nice touch is that you can avoid combat, as usually you have to run into an enemy on the main map to engage with them. This removes an element common in RPGs, where you are walking along a nice empty path and then BLAM - all of a sudden, the screen melts away, and you're being attacked by 4 giant flowers, with big teeth and a smiley faces, wielding rainbow-coloured Yo-Yos. Well, y'know, you get the idea...

        The graphics in Eternal Sonata are beautiful, and perfectly suited to the dreamlike atmosphere of the game. The detail in the characters and in the environments, as well as the spell effects, is great, and the game has a really professional and highly polished feel to it. The music is similarly beautiful, as you would expect I suppose, from a game based on the life of Chopin. Here's a tip, if you like piano music and haven't listened to Chopin, you should do, even if you don't usually listen to 'classical' music - his music is wonderful!

        Anyway, I digress. Eternal Sonata is a fantastic RPG game on the XBox 360. It may not be for everyone, but I've found it to be moving and epic, as well as a whole load of fun to play!

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          24.08.2008 03:58
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          Good game.

          Eternal sonata is a role playing game for the Microsoft Xbox 360 games console.

          The world of eternal sonata is based on the dreams of the famous music composer Chopin at the time when he was on his deathbed. So as you can imagine the story is quite whacky but it is very interesting and keeps you playing.

          In this game you will fight many monsters, the fighting system is a mix of turn based and real-time combat. It is turn based in the sense that every character gets a turn to move, but when it is their turn you control the fighting in real-time. There is also the light and dark parts of the battlefield which change your characters moves depending on which zone as they are currently in.

          The graphics in this game are spectacular, the world is vibrant colourful and highly detailed. It is a shame you cannot move the camera around to admire the graphics even more.

          You can get this excellent RPG for around 15 to 20 pounds.

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          28.12.2007 16:01
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          Not quite a perfect game, but it has a job to do and it does it excellently. 4.5 dooyoo stars

          After the brief and oddly unsatisfying flirt with western RPGs that was Oblivion, the Xbox 360 has been a bit quiet on the RPG front....
          Japan seems to be continuing to pour its efforts into the Wii and the PS2 without much thought for Microsoft's child of the console club. Final Fantasy xi barely counts since it is simply a port of a PC based MMORPG onto the console in an effort to get more players and the other Japanese influenced attempts like Enchanted Arms and Blue Dragon are barely what you would call an extensive genre catalogue. One reason why my beloved PS2 is still sitting pride of place below my TV instead of the 360.
          The lack of support of old Xbox games is also a bad failing for the 360 since I can no longer play Sudeki if the mood takes me, but that's a whole other gripe, still at least they sorted out Fable right?

          So, following disenchantment with Ninety Nine Nights and having not yet got my hands on Mass Effect, I settled for Eternal Sonata, since the trailers looked interesting.

          <...**The Story**...>
          You may not believe me here, but bear with me, I actually bought this game because "I had to know!"
          Frederic Chopin, the composer and artist lies dying, as his loved ones and doctors can do nothing he dreams his life away. The game itself is set inside this dream.
          Yeah....I know...
          Actually this is very well executed, there are a lot of long cut scenes to watch in this game, you can skip them, but you'll miss the story. Long sequences where Chopin's family wonder about the reality of dreams and reflect on his life as a composer, and their conversations with each other.

          Meanwhile, in the dream world, Polka, a young girl is troubled, living in her isolated village, she makes trips into to town where she is shunned and feared as she has the ability to use magic. In this fantastical dream world, the magic is a side effect of an incurable and terminal illness. Chopin manifests into the world when he is close to death, and is therefore also able to use magic.
          The boundary between reality and dream is blurred a little when it is revealed that Polka is the same age as Chopin's sister was when she died of tuberculosis.

          Various other characters are also available to play until their inevitable meeting, Allegretto and his younger friend Beat are the scrappy and kind hearted kids we are so familiar with in the JRPG genre, they witness the affect of the evil count Waltz and his unbearable taxes as they steal food for the homeless children who live in the sewers.

          We have the usual quest right there, everyone off to save the land of adults who won't do it themselves and pit themselves against forest animals and sewer rats in the meantime. Nothing new in the basic RPG formula here, but it is the regular cut scenes of Chopin's past life and interesting and refreshing game play here that makes this game far from a stale regurgitation of every other mediocre JRPG of the last ten years.

          <...**The Characters**...>

          FREDERIC CHOPIN
          A real life renowned composer and a pianist. You will probably be familiar with his work, even if you are not an aficionado of classical music and cannot identify his music specifically. Chopin enters the world he understands to be of his own creation in search of answers even as he lays dying in the real world. In the fantasy world he is able to use magic, as he is dying.
          He is softly spoken, and confused at times, but brave

          POLKA
          Blessed and cursed at the same time, Polka is able to use curative magic, and some destructive. This is a side effect of her terminal illness. Nevertheless, she is positive and kind hearted. She decides that before she dies, she wants an audience with the count to see if she can negotiate lower taxes on the medicine her village is famous for making.

          ALLEGRETTO
          A young and stout hearted young man, who fights against injustice in his own way.
          A thief who steals bread in order to feed children who are not able to feed themselves. However, he realises that this will not solve the problem in the long run and sets out to change that.

          BEAT
          Beat is a friendly boy who lives with Allegretto in the seaside city of Ritardando. He loves photography and can take photos during battle. He is an orphan, like so many of the children in Ritardando.

          VIOLA
          A girl who lives in a house on Chorus Plains and keeps goats. Viola has an adorable pet squirrel, Arco. Viola is always cheerful and fights with a bow and arrow. She is fiercely independent.

          SALSA & MARCH
          Twin sisters that couldn't be more different. Salsa is opinionated and outspoken often jumping to conclusions and speaking her mind. March is thoughtful and reflective and much more grown-up.
          Both sisters are comfortable with nature and join Allegretto and Beat on their journey.

          JAZZ
          A true resistance fighter, Jazz leads an anti-government group called Andantino
          He is serious and strong, but can often be blinded by his loyalty and love to his friends.

          FALSETTO
          A member of Andantino, and a close friend of Jazz. Falsetto is in love with Jazz but has never been able to tell him.

          CLAVES
          A member of Andantino, who is also Jazz's lover. Claves is a bit absentminded but is loyal to the cause. She knows that Falsetto doesn't like her. However, Claves is also jealous of Falsetto because of the close childhood friendship she has with Jazz.

          <...**The Gameplay**...>
          This is a run of the mill turn based strategy for the most part, but I always look for interesting magic or battle systems and Eternal Sonata has a real Gen up its sleeve. The world is governed by light and dark, as is magic, when you enter battle, you are shown a new playing field that reminds me a little of the Grandia series, as opposed to the Final Fantasy series, in that you can move around the space and are not simply facing your enemies. This can be a bit problematic as you only have a certain amount of time to make your move and if you don't know where the enemy is in relation to you, you could lose your turn, but the camera can pull out by using one of the trigger buttons to allow you to see the whole field. The game doesn't tell you this, I discovered it a couple of hours into playing the game.
          The battle field is shaded in some places and lit in others, reflected very well in the game's rich and beautiful graphics. When the character stands in the shade they are able to use one set of special moves, in the light they can use another. As a general rule of thumb, light heals and dark destroys, although some characters are purely damage dealers.

          The game world is easy to control, nothing very original, use the controller to move around pressing the action button to talk to people or interact with something if a '?' appears above your characters head.

          What is nice is that this game is not random battle, you can see the enemies ahead and choose whether to engage them or not (although some will chase you) You have an advantage if you can surprise them from behind, but they can glean the same advantage.
          Due to the game's light/dark mechanics, some enemies will change form and use different attacks if they cross into the dark or light during their move.

          I found battles quite easy, it only takes a short time to get the hang of battle controls and the tutorials are quite good, if a bit contrived, but the bosses have a good HP balance taking a while to bring down whereas small enemies in the way will not take up too much of your time.

          <...**minigames/sidequests**...>
          You can finds scraps of Chopin's music throughout the world and play it together with willing NPCs in an interesting and quirky little addition to the game

          You can also use Beat to take photos during battle that will be marked on how good they are, you can reach the gallery through the menu.

          <...**Graphics**...>
          Being a next gen game and coming from Japan I was expecting good things from Eternal Sonata. I was not at all disappointed; it is rich, beautifully drawn and well directed. The environments are well thought out and engaging and the character design is heavily influenced by anime and typical Japanese design, but I don't think that detracts, it simply helps build this game's identity.
          The cut scenes are especially beautiful, given the game's reliance on dark/light there is a lot included in the story board, characters standing in front of windows at sunset to talk and light from glowing flowers reflecting off their face.

          <...**Voice/Acting**...>
          Hmm....
          Not exactly Oscar winning stuff to be honest, Polka's saccharine tones and Allegretto's upbeat optimism had me deeply worried, I wasn't sure I could sit through this American child-talk, I cannot understand why US dubs of Japanese media are always so patronising and sugary! I can never watch anime in its American dub, I always watch it with the original soundtrack.
          However, in a stroke that saved this game from the off-switch I discovered you can switch soundtrack in the options menu, while I was simply looking to turn off voice and keep the subtitles, I found that I could revert to the original Japanese soundtrack and keep the English subs. I was so relieved as I wasn't sure I could have put up with it.

          <...**Soundtrack**...>
          It was always going to be obvious that they were going to keep Chopin's work in this game, but I was surprised at how well. They have punctuated the typical RPG background music with snippets of his compositions in a way that really grounds you in the game's environment. Eternal Sonata is very stylish and the music enhances that, without it, something would be missing.


          <...**My Thoughts**...>

          I am enchanted with Eternal Sonata, while not as good as some of Square's work, this title from Namco Bandai has done a good job of offering the 360 a lasting game for a seriously flagging genre, I don't think I would play it over and over, but it is pleasantly short, doesn't require the emotional investment or time that a Final Fantasy or Breath of Fire title would ask of you, and I fervently recommend it to anyone who is mildly interested. It is a lovely RPG with some traditional and unique elements gelling very successfully.

          Worth a mention is the website, it is very well designed.
          http://eternalsonata.namcobandaigames.com/

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        • Product Details

          On his deathbed, Chopin, the famous composer, drifts between this life and the next. In his dreams, happenstance encounters with a young girl facing a terrible destiny and the boy who will fight to save her, leads to ChopinÆs discovery of the light that shines in each of us in this enduring tale of good and evil, love and betrayal.