Namco Bandai Eternal Sonata
- Gorgeous graphics and sound, a history lesson that's easy to swallow
- Battle mechanics are not as robust as they could be, lack of a map makes exploration tedious
Eternal Sonata is still a solid role-playing game that is built around an innovative and interesting story. There's plenty of fun to be had and while it may not redefine the role-playing genre, it does a mighty fine job of teasing the boundaries. Hopefully Namco Bandai has the sense to carry this idea forward, and perhaps, for the next title, we could explore the underworld playing as Mozart.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
I close my eyes and kill the sun as the tall grass catches the wind and wraps around my shoulders. I lie back on the hill and watch the clouds chase the western edge of the sky that stretches out past the port city of Ritardando. In the distance, a piano begins playing a piece by Frederic Chopin, and just before I sleep, those sounds coil in my ears and usher me into my own Eternal Sonata.
Don't worry we're not starting to recount to you our latest dreams, but instead the state of peaceful calm that comes with playing Eternal Sonata, a refreshing and unique take on the RPG genre as the main character of the game is Frederic Chopin, the famous Romantic period composer. The story shifts between the musician's final moments as he lies on his deathbed and the strange fantasy world that Chopin falls into before he dies.
An easy lesson to swallow
The fantasy world the game revolves around is deeply inspired by the vocabulary of music. When Chopin makes his entrance into the game, he is self-aware and convinced that he is dreaming just before his death. As the game progresses, Chopin begins to realise the possibility that his dream may be the true reality, and everything he knew before was merely an afterthought. It's a meaty and interesting bit of metaphysical philosophy that works well in the context of the game.
There's always music in the air
Eternal Sonata is one of the more visually impressive RPG titles around, as it features beautiful vistas coupled with an interesting--but flawed--element of light and dark rendered throughout the game. Also, there were many times that we forgot we were playing a game due to the overwhelming amount of marathon cut scenes involved in the storytelling process.
We must mention the sound track as it easily surpasses the music found in most other games, thanks to the fact that it revolves around the work of one of the (in our humble opinion) best composers in history. Unfortunately, while the presentation and premise are all amazing, the gameplay in Eternal Sonata is a little lacking.
Lost in translation
The game follows the traditional flow of an RPG, alternating between the exploration of an over-world and dungeon crawling. Unfortunately, there is no map of any kind and we found ourselves lost in dungeons on several different occasions. The game is mostly linear, but the lack of any guidance when traversing from point A to B felt cumbersome. Getting lost was only bearable because there were no random encounters.
The battles are a mix of action and strategy that is a refreshing departure from the tedious brawl of other action RPGs, though when boiled down lacks enough depth. When battles are initiated, the battle flow is broken up in two segments: tactical planning and action. The interesting thing is that as character levels increase, the time allotted for each phase of the battle is shortened, making you change your gameplay.
The light/dark element is interesting but rather convoluted. Different enemies will become either weaker or stronger depending on their position in light or shadow, but most enemies are difficult to lure into specific parts of the battlefield.
When we began playing Eternal Sonata, we thought it might be the kind of game that would move us to finally purchase an Xbox 360, but sadly, it did not. The real problem with the game is that it doesn't finish what it starts. There's just not enough depth here to leave the kind of impression on the genre that we thought it had the potential to.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Watch us play Vanquish on PC
- Tannenberg expands Verdun's World War I horrors to the Eastern front
- MSI Wins Computex Best Choice Award 2017 for a Record-Breaking 5 Products
- Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTPractise Manager - SecurityVIC
- FTsolution ArchitectNSW
- FTProject Manager or Coordinator - Retail Store ProjectsNSW
- TPMobile Application DeveloperVIC
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCIT Security Risk AnalystVIC
- FTSr Infrastructure Automation EngineerACT
- FTProject Manager - Accountin Finance and AssetWA
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- TPFront End .NET DeveloperQLD
- CCICT Security Systems AdministratorNSW
- TPMS Access/SQL DBAQLD
- FTSenior Solution Designer/ ConsultantVIC
- CCJava DeveloperACT
- TPProject Manager - ProcurementQLD
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCSQL Server Database Specialist l Bathurst LocationNSW
- FTResearch Officer / Data Scientist .Work Location- ACTACT
- FTScrum Master/Project ManagerQLD
- FTIT Systems EngineerTAS
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTDigital Marketing Executive / Content ProducerNSW
- CCSAP ISU Functional ConsultantVIC
- FTIT Support Level 1 and 2NSW