It’s been a long time since this game was released, and to this day I am still amazed at how great this game is. Eternal Sonata is a Japanese role-playing game that combines music, historical elements, and a great storyline all in one. Graphically, this game is nothing but beautiful. It is one of the most colorful games I have ever seen, which is very impressive considering it was released (in Japan) exactly five years ago. Happy Anniversary, Trusty Bell!
So let’s get on with the “goodness”.
What separates this game from others in the Japanese RPG genre is the chiaroscuro-like combat system that focuses on the aspect of light and dark. On the battlefield, there are certain spots shaded in darkness, and other spots that are well-lit. Your special attacks will always be determined by your characters location on the field. If you are standing in the light your light spells will be automatically enabled, same goes for the dark.
As you progress through the game and level up your party will also level up. What does this mean? Well, it is very useful as you learn the combat system and as you level up your party new tactics become available. Throughout the game your party will keep changing as you meet new characters. Each character has their own special type of weapons which adds another nice layer of depth to the game. Beat even has a camera that can be used during combat. Pictures can then be sold at merchants with the pricing varied depending on the quality of the picture.
This game also features a soundtrack that consists of many original pieces and musical compositions by Frederic Chopin. To me, this compilation is an added bonus to an already amazing game. Fans of classical music, and gamers in general should all be thoroughly pleased with this compilation. After you finish each chapter you will unlock a new musical piece composed by Chopin. These can be played at any time from the menu.
As you progress through the story be sure to talk to people. Characters in pretty much every village and city can be found that hold special musical pieces called scores. As you collect scores you can perform them with special characters.. If you match well you will be rewarded with a prize. A bad match will get you nothing. Though it can be frustrating at times, you must complete the game twice in order to acquire every single musical score.
Eternal Sonata is a game with very long self life and a high replay value. So do yourself a favor and check it out. I am willing to bet that you will find the game aesthetic to look at, the musical interludes will really be music to your ears, and mostly you will just plain have a blast playing this game.