12 March, 2010

Eternal Sonata

It's been about a 1½ weeks since I ended Eternal Sonata & now, after the reality of it has set in, I am ready to collect my thoughts. It took me a while to get into Eternal Sonata as I had started to play it at first & got to a cut scene where it started to tell me about Chopin's actual, real life. This was so incredibly boring to me, possibly because I already knew all this information, that I set the game down & had done with it. But earlier this year I decided to give it another try; I am happy that I did. Eternal Sonata has always been beautifully done. I love cel-shading so much & this game is gorgeous for that, but not that alone. The colours are vibrant, the characters are drawn very well for the style. The music sinks into the very fabric of the game with a wonderful emergence into audible wonderment. Even the boring Chopin cut scenes were done so well, but the fear that there might be more of them terrified me, initially. I realise that there is the option for skipping the cut scenes, but I am the kind of player who must watch all the cut scenes of a game at least once before I skip past them. I realised that the only way I'd be able to get through this is to play my DS during the boring Chopin cut scenes. I know that Bamco (namco bandai) were trying their hardest to allow us to get a piece of history explained with this game & hoped that people would embrace knowledge of the past in order to play, but seriously, it has NOTHING to do with the game at all. It doesn't help you understand the game any better & in the end you almost immediately forget the information when the cut scene is done. Aside from the pieces by Chopin scattered through-out the entire game, which are, in themselves, very beautiful, there is a well written score which is given to 
you with the game. So beautiful it is, dancing around everything you do, that even the 
sounds the game makes when you click things, seems like part of the score. The storyline is more or less based around the last moments of Chopin's life... & yet it isn't. Through out the story we are constantly being told that the world is a dream of Chopin as he is dying on the final night of his life, but as the story progresses you're opened up to the idea that quite possibly this isn't the case & that this is a world where people come to who are going to die. Something like a purgatory or whatever... not only the dying come here, but they are attracted to the world. Only those destined to die soon can use 'magic' & that is adhered to pretty well in the game. If you use magic, you're going to die, & most do eventually die. This is further solidified by some characters being vastly different in age, even though they can use magic... when magic users are ment to have very, very little time to live, how did one get so old with magic use? One acquires the ability to use magic whenever their death is soon coming. It's a little complicated & yet very simple when it's done being explained. Although it seems like this is giving away a lot about the game, but you learn all this pretty soon after playing the game & if you don't get the rest, well this IS a review & you ARE reading it. The combat system took a little getting used to, but after I got the hang of it, it flowed nicely. The only real qualm I have with it is the Party Level 6 function of the Harmony Chain. This Harmony Chain is when you cast a special ability, depending on how many chains you have, you can cast the special ability of another character in your party. You chain these together for incredible damage. Well in Party Level 6, it randomises the button that you need to press to chain to the next special ability. This is highly aggravating & you can't reset your 
Party Level until new game+. So I ended up saying fuck it to the optional dungeon until after I'd beat the game because the mobs were too hard to have to keep looking at which new button I had to use to chain. Another thing which happens in battle is something which should happen, but in a slightly new way. You earn your money, mainly, through taking photographs of battles, which your character Beat, & sell them in shops to Professionals in order to amass grand amounts of money. The only way better occurs in the optional dungeon I mentioned where a specific mob on floor 11 gives you 3mil a battle... but that is a ways off from 99.9% of the rest of the game. So you sacrifice DPS in your party to get some S or A rated photographs to sell... being smart about this game benefit you greatly with the best items & gear money at 30 minutes into the game... you will not want for cash for a while. The game is wonderful, I loved playing it. It's impossible to get all the achievements in one run, but you can grab quite a few before you have to start the Encore ( new game+ ). I am looking forward to playing this again on the Encore & I would recommend this gorgeous JRPG to anyone who enjoys the genre.

No comments:

Post a Comment