Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eternal Sonata, or, Chopin in Wonderland

Japan is known for many interesting game ideas, with anything from homoerotic shoot-'em-ups to all-female acting troupes who also defend the earth with giant robots. Many of these games don't make it to foreign shores, but every so often, one finds its way to the U.S. Eternal Sonata (known in Japan as Trusty Bell: Chopin's Dream) is a Japanese RPG with an unconventional plot: as the Japanese title suggests, the game centers around a dream that Frédéric Chopin (yes, THAT Frédéric Chopin) has while in a comatose state on the evening of his death. It's a strange concept, to be sure; however, when you're running around the battle field with a top hat-wearing Chopin and bludgeoning enemies with a conductor's baton, you stop questioning these details.

Chopin, as envisioned by Japan.

Although the game garnered predominantly positive reviews, some reviewers complained about its use of overdone JRPG cliches and simultaneously confusing and over-simplified plot. One thing that was universally agreed upon, though, was the fact that Eternal Sonata's music was some of the best that the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 had to offer.