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PS3 Game Review

Eternal Sonata


Format: PS3
RRP: £44.99
3 296580 806409
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 13 February 2009

On his deathbed, the famous composer, Chopin, drifts between this life and the next. In his final hours, he experiences a fantastical dream where he encounters a young girl facing a terrible destiny and the boy who will fight to save her. 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...

Eternal Sonata is a RPG game in a similar vein to Star Ocean.

Visually the best thing in the game is the scenery, which consists of wonderfully green forests, dark spooky dungeons and impressive icy mountains. Although the scenery is magnificent, the character details unfortunately don’t live up to expectation with bad lip sync and fairly jerky movements. When you move around your environment, outside of combat, the characters seem to run at near unrealistic speeds.

The combat system is of the familiar time based turn variety, where you have a set amount of time to perform your moves. The moves that are available for you to use are simple at first with a normal attack and a special attack, but as you start to progress through the game you gradually unlock more special attacks as well as new abilities - such as being able to counter attack and a move called harmony chain which allows you to string on a couple of special attacks after you counter attack. Some characters are able to attack at range - such as one of the first characters you get, Beat, who uses a gun to shoot his enemies from afar staying out of the line of close combat.

There are lots of different monsters in Eternal Sonata, but most of them have similar forms - such as the rat like creatures which only have their colours and some tiny details changed, while their main form stays exactly the same. There are many unique and hard bosses in the game that can give you a challenge - unless you’re prepared they will easily kill you.

Another noteworthy aspect is just how much effort has been put into the story to make it original and exiting to follow. One of the most interesting things, that keeps the story going, is that the plot is set inside the dream of famous composer Chopin, who is in a coma. And, as the game progresses, you are shown cut sequences that keep you up to date with his condition in the real world. There are also score pieces scattered around the world, which you can collect in order to play a tune on the piano.

The music in the game is fantastic. Every single piece of music is situated in the right place in order to add an amazing affect to each environment and also to the battles. The result being that the battles are much more exciting than other games of this kind because you get have some intense music heightening the experience. The tracks for the boss battles are particularly impressive.

As far as customisation goes there’s an average amount of weapons, armour and accessories that will keep most people amused, but for the people that want a lot to mess around with this game is not for you. There are only three people allowed in each match so customisation can be limited between a party. There are also only five different stats to raise for each character hp, attack, defence, speed and magic and there’s not many accessories that increase speed or magic, making the game very inflexible.

This game is for your average gamer who wants a different experience not for any hardcore RPG fans, just because there is not much flexibility in the equipment and the stats. This is a shame because this game has a lot going for it.


Carl Simpson

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