4 reviews

Eternal Sonata

$60.00 Released September, 2007

Product Shot 1 The Pros:Fantastic cell shaded graphics. Very vibrant colors and a beautifully crafted world. Engrossing music.

The Cons:Some dungeons are incredibly frustrating and can have you lost for hours. Some very annoying characters. Repetitive gameplay gets boring pretty quickly.

Released in Japan in summer of 2007 unde the title Trusty Bell: Chopin's Dream, Eternal Sonata is a traditional Japanese Role Playing Game with a combination of real-time and turn-based combat. The story takes place inside of classical composer Frederic Chopin's mind three hours before he succumbs to tuberculosis at the age of 39.

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Inside this dream he finds himself in a world where people are gifted with magical powers but cursed with incurable diseases. Chopin meets with various characters on a quest to defeat an evil dictator that is oppressing the people.


The game uses a contrast of real and fantastical, as the story is based on the real figure of Chopin and includes references and biographical information about the composer, while the fantasy world is represented in cell-shaded cartoon graphics. While the story itself is removed from Chopin's real world life, music makes a strong thematic presence throughout the entire game including the towns and villages you visit, to the weapons you wield. An optional side quest in the game sees you collecting bits and pieces of Chopin's music to accompany other characters in the game to gain new items. The linear story is told through real-time cutscenes that are fully voiced in either English or the original Japanese with English subtitles.

Similar to other traditional JRPGs the main gameplay is divided into two sections; the world exploration, and combat. Exploration sees you traveling to different villages, talking with people and gaining more information. You'll also traverse through dungeons collecting items, and encountering enemies. Unlike totally open world games such as Oblivion, the characters are limited to predefined paths and areas.


In Eternal Sonata the enemies are visible in the exploration mode allowing you to avoid them altogether, or approach them from behind for an advantageous position in combat. Touching an enemy triggers the battle mode where all of the combat happens. The combat itself is part turn-based and part real-time. Each character gets a turn to make their action while every other character in the arena has to wait. Real-time aspects come into play when a character's turn comes up. They have a set amount of time to move, attack, use skills, or items. All actions occur in real-time where pressing the button initiates the action immediately. Attacks can be chained together for more damage.

As you level up your characters and party new abilities are gained, and the strategic elements that go into combat are constantly changing. To add another wrinkle to the combat is the light/dark system that grants your characters different skills depending on whether or not they're standing in an area that is covered in light or shadow. Enemies are also affected by the light as they can change their form depending on the situation.

Extra Notes

Originally slated as an Xbox 360 exclusive, Eternal Sonata is scheduled for release on the Playstation 3 sometime in 2008. Any new features and additions to the PS3 port are currently unknown.

User Reviews (5)

Add Pros & Cons
  • 4

    Fantastic cell shaded graphics

  • 4

    Very vibrant colors and a beautifully crafted world

  • 3

    Engrossing music

  • 1

    Exciting and intense combat that involves a lot of strategy

  • 1

    very interesting and creative story

  • 1

    deals with mature concepts with pretty well written dialog to match

  • 1

    includes interesting historical details about Chopin's life

  • 1

    some dungeons are incredibly frustrating and can have you lost for hours

  • 1

    some very annoying characters

  • 1

    repetitive gameplay gets boring pretty quickly

  • 0

    Long cutscenes

  • 0

    Game can be too easy, mitigating much of the strategy available

  • 0

    Short game

  • 0

    classic JRPG formula just doesn't cut it in the modern gaming climate

Comments (3)

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Omar: #eternal_sonata I finally got around to playing this game, and I have to say that after 6 hours or so I just can't be bothered to keep going. I'm not sure if I'm burned out on RPGs or what but the obtuse and archaic game design decisions are just such a waste of time. As an example, you have to walk around a lame dungeon for 1 to 2 hours just to find some lost kid that has nothing to do with the overall story. It's just such a waste. Jan 1, 11
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GT-D: #eternal_sonata I'd like to try this - it sounds interesting and the wifey wants to try out a single player RPG having gotten into WoW. Now we just need a console. Sep 20, 07
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Omar: #eternal_sonata I've been really interested in this game ever since it was unveiled partly because of the story, partly because of the amazing art style, and partly because of the combat. And I have to say that after playing the demo the game delivers on the last two, and reviews are coming in confirming that the story is solid.

It's a shame it's coming out at a time when the major heavy hitters are releasing. Between Skate and the impending Halo 3, this game is just going to have to wait. I'm sure this is what'll happen to a lot of games this holiday season, but if I can pick up some games on the cheap in 2008 I can't be too sad about it. Sep 19, 07
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